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Plantain, Plantago major (lat.)
For medicinal purposes mainly the leaves and the seeds, in some cases the root, are used. The leaves are gathered starting from the blossom time until the plant fades. They are dried in cool, windy place. The dried preparation usually makes 22-23% of the fresh leaves. The leaves can be gathered twice a week, they are best before 2 years. The seeds are gathered when completely ripe. Plantain has been used in folk medicinal practice for a very long time. It was has been used against bronchitis, blue cough, and a number of stomach-intestine tract diseases. Even back in ancient times, the Greeks and roman were using the plant against dysentery. Avicenna mentions the usefulness of all types of plantain against wounds, chronical ulcers, eye, kidney, and liver diseases.
Mkhitar Heratsi has used the seeds of the plant against cough and diarrhea. He also mentions the efficient influence of leaf juice and the seeds. He has used the plant against a number of fever and intestine diseases.
Amirdovlat also mentions the positive qualities of the plant. According to him, plantain leaf juice and seeds are good against kidney, urinary bladder diseases, as well as against headaches, earaches, and menstrual diseases. Galen has used plantain to cure pneumonia, gastritis, joint aches, etc. In Armenian folk medicinal practice the root squash was used against fever and cough, the leaves were used to cure infected wounds.
In Chinese folk medicinal practice the plantain leaves are used to cure chronical bronchitis, Plevritis, wounds, etc. the seeds are used as diuretic, and to cure diabetes, dyspepsia, male and female infertility, etc. In France the leaves are used against enterocolitis, diarrhea, and chronical nephritis. In Germany the tea from the leaves is used against respiratory diseases.
In Armenian folk medicinal practice the fresh leaves are soaked in boiling water and used against joint and neural aches as lotion. 3-10 times more leaves are soaked in hot water and put as compress on irritated eyes.
The pharmaco-dynamical activeness of the plant leaves is proven scientifically. The leaves have also cholesterol exchange stabilizing quality. The leaves have antiphlogistic and anesthetic features. The alcohol extract from the leaves is good against toothache. The seeds are not poisonous, but if used in large doses can cause diarrhea. Plantain’s positive influence on neurasthenia, atherosclerosis, chronical cholecystitis, and a number of respiratory and urethra diseases is proven clinically.
These are folk remedies and are no guarantee is made as to either their effectiveness, or their safety.