Once called ‘white man’s footprint’ is available very easily whole year in the backyards, fields, roadsides, or even sand dunes. Plantain is a broad leaf weed distributed in every continent abundantly, especially in North America. Its seeds distribution responsibility is mainly laid upon air, spreading them at every place free of bees or other types of pollens. Birds also contribute in distribution due to the adhesive nature of seeds, which stick to the outer surfaces. Flowers sprout in the month of June giving fruiting body until the cold weather. Psyllium seed, Black psyllium or Spanish psyllium are its common names. You shuold know medical uses of plantain herb.
For centuries plantain has been used for healing wounds. Many compounds which are active biologically are a constituent of it e.g. lipids, terpenoids, flavonoids, polysaccharides, lipids and some organic acids. Besides, cells & tissue regeneration, pain relieving and anti-microbial agents are also found in it. It is a rich source of calcium, vitamin A, beta carotene (A), ascorbic acid.
Uses of Plantain Herb
Plantain has more nutrients than we think other green leaves or vegetables have. Nutrients like Magnesium and vitamin A, C, K are in enormous amount in it. These weed leaves can be chewed in raw form, salads, & sandwiches etc. Usage is not limited to eating young tender leaves, different dishes can be cooked of tough aged leaves in chopped form with other spices, herbs or even vegetable combinations. Often people use plantain as a substitute of the spinach.
Tea of plantain by boiling into water, adding honey afterwards cures the breathing problems, flu, fever, cold and some allergies.
Europeans have been using it in medicines since ages. In addition to wound healing property, this small plant extract acts as an analgesic, weak antibiotic, immune system modulator, plus an antioxidant. For years it has been a part of plant derived remedies or folk medicines.
The salve made of plantain cures the ringworms, dog bites, epilepsy, ulcers, jaundice, wasp bites, mosquito bites, rashes, scratches and liver malfunctioning.
Infusion of plantain is very effective against wind burn or sun burns, soothes very quickly with its cooling nature. To prepare the infusion, boil a handful of the leaves in two cups of water. Turn off the burner, let it cool down to room temperature, filter out the leaves and use the water extract. Use this fresh infusion on the affected area, for later use the remaining solution can be stored in refrigerator but the best results are observed with the one prepared freshly.
NO SIDE EFFECTS
Until now no side effects has been reported. Adults, young or children can consume it without any hesitation. However, some people are allergic to pollen grains. For such problem it is recommended to consume leaf part of the weed only.
OTHER BENEFICIAL USES
- Plantain treats the hyperlipidemias, a condition in which lipids or lipoproteins level shoots up in the blood.
- It is also helpful in lowering the cholesterol level by eliminating it in the form of fecal bile acids, with the help of polyphenolic compound present in its leaves.
- Rinsing hair with plantain tea is believed to remove the dandruff.
- Fishing lines and threads are also made from the strong fiber of the leaves.
- Patients taking Lithium in their medicines should consult to doctor before eating plantain.
- Women should avoid it during
- Pollen grains contain glycoproteins having IgE antibody, responsible for triggering allergy in allergic prone persons.
- Excessive use can cause sneezing, chest congestion, or watery eye.
Please note, Plantain banana-like fruit is a whole different thing and has nothing to do with plantain weed.