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Benefits of Plantain Weed

Updated: Apr 3, 2023

Scientific Name: Plantago major

Common Names: Broadleaf plantain, Buckthorn plantain, Rippleseed plantain, Great plantain.

Family: Plantaginaceae (Plantain)

Plantain weed, also known as Plantago major herbaceous perennial with a rosette of leaves 6-12 inches in diameter, 5-15 inch tall, leafless, unbranched, stems with clusters of inconspicuous greenish or whitish colored flower clusters. Plantain weed is often referred to as broadleaf plantain, buckthorn plantain, and rippleseed plantain (1). This herbaceous perennial with large, oval-shaped leaves can be eaten raw or cooked but is often dismissed as a pervasive garden pest despite its long history of medicinal properties. Despite sharing its name, plantain weed is unrelated to plantain fruit, a type of banana.


Benefits of Plantain Weed

May Decrease Inflammation

In several studies, plantain weed was shown to help decrease inflammation. Chronic inflammation has been linked with many diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, asthma, and certain cancers (2). The leaves of plantain weed contain several anti-inflammatory compounds, including flavonoids, terpenoids, glycosides, and tannins. An animal study found that administering plantain weed extract to rats decreased several markers of inflammation caused by liver injury (3). Another animal study uncovered similar findings, documenting that plantain weed extract significantly reduced inflammation and reduced liver enzymes to protect against liver damage (4). Test-tube studies propose that plantain seeds may reduce several markers of inflammation and delay the growth of distinguishing cancer cells (5).

May Support Digestive Health

Several chemical constituents in plantain weed seeds and leaves have helped alleviate specific digestive problems (6). For instance, the seeds contain psyllium, a type of fiber typically used as a natural laxative due to its ability to absorb water as it moves through your digestive tract (7). An animal study discovered that narrow-leaf plantain extract promoted the healing of stomach ulcers in rats (8). Other animal studies indicated that plantain weed’s anti-inflammatory properties might oblige digestive issues like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which can generate symptoms like stomach pain, bloating, and diarrhea (9). One review found plantain leaves may slow the activity of your digestive tract, which may encourage bowel regularity and help treat diarrhea (10).

May Promote Wound Healing

Some research documents that plantain weed may support wound healing by relieving inflammation, intercepting microbial growth, and alleviating pain (11). In an animal study, when aloe vera and plantain weed were applied topically, they enhanced wound healing and improved tissue repair (12). In another animal study, applying only plantain weed extract to wounds enabled an increased recovery rate compared to the control group (13). This isn’t just in animals; a study of 40 people discovered that applying a gel containing aloe vera and plantain weed assisted in healing foot ulcers (14).

May Promote Respiratory Health

Plantain weed has been used to ease coughs and other respiratory problems. The coating of seeds has carbohydrate polymers that absorb water and form mucilage with a high viscosity (15), which helps soothe, moisten, and protect the throat and respiratory system. A few studies conducted in Bulgaria have demonstrated that it can effectively treat chronic bronchitis (16,17).

⚠️ Warning: The Holistic Hipppie is not a functional medicine practitioner. These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This content is not medical advice and should not be used to diagnose, treat, cure, or replace medical guidance. The Holistic Hipppie assumes no liability for the application of the information discussed.

Contraindications & Interactions

Mainstream sources claim there isn't enough reliable information to know if great plantain is safe to use when breastfeeding and caution to stay on the safe side and avoid use (18). Contrarily, trusted herbalist Richard Whelan states it is extremely safe to use in high or frequent doses if necessary and may be taken by the young or old while pregnant or during breastfeeding with confidence (19).

Products Recommended with Plantain Weed Ingredients

  • Earthley's Sun Soothe After Sun Lotion is an all-natural, after-sun lotion to help calm skin that has been exposed to the sun. This cooling lotion helps to relieve pain and redness, prevent peeling, and moisturize the skin.

What's your favorite way to use plantain weed?



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