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Common name Standardised: plantain
Other: broad-leaf plantain, greater plantain
Botanical name Plantago major L.
Overview Plantains have a long history of being used as food plants and healing herbs in many diverse cultures around the world. Plantains have wide-ranging antimicrobial properties besides being anti-inflammatory and analgesic. It soothes insect bites and superficial wounds, prevents infections and accelerate healing. Plantains also have an astringent property that has a cleansing effect on the body. It helps dry up excess secretions in the respiratory tract and the digestive system, thus being useful in treating colds and diarrhoea. The astringency is moderated by the demulcent effect of the mucilage in the herb, so this herbal remedy is much gentler than other commonly used astringents. Plantain is used to treat a variety of everyday problems, from mosquito bites and skin rashes to kidney problems and gastrointestinal inflammatory diseases.
Typical usage and preparations As a tea, in tincture form and as an external compress. Apply plantain tea or oil infusion to the scalp for dandruff and other scalp problems.
Precautions Don't use if pregnant or breastfeeding.