Scientific name: Plantago major
Plant description: The plantain is a herbaceous, perennial plant with an unbranched stem. Its height ranges from 30 to 50 cm in height. Its stem is a short underground, better known as a rhizome, with many yellow rootlets.
The leaves are alternate, all basal, arranged in a rosette, thick and somewhat leathery broad, oval 3 to 12 cm wide and 4 to 20 centimeters long.
The flowers are whitish green or greenish-brown, they produce in dense cylindrical spikes that appear during spring and the fruit is a pixidium (a type of dried fruit that looks similar to capsules that opens by itself).
The seeds are brown in color with a slightly bitter and unpleasant taste.
The plantain is native to Europe, Central and Northern Asia. It is currently spread throughout the world, there are varieties adapted to different climates.
Cultivation: As for the type of soil, it does not require too much although it will grow better in abundant organic matter. It is important to have good drainage, as it does not tolerate excessive humidity.
You can plant its seeds or multiply it by cuttings. In both cases, it is advisable to do it at the beginning of spring. It will be better to place it in a place where it receives light and shade during the day.
To dry them, it is best to place them in a shady and well-ventilated place. Once ready, they should be stored in airtight containers.
Uses: Platain is a widely recognized medicinal plant, used and studied. Contains a variety of bioactive compounds including flavonoids, alkaloids, terpenoids, phenolic compounds (derived from caffeic acid), iridoid glycosides, fatty acids, polysaccharides and vitamins. These compounds can be found in almost all parts of the plant, such as seeds, leaves, flowers, and roots.
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory property and its high content of mucilage and silicic acid, it is regularly used to combat conditions such as a cold in the upper respiratory tract, bronchitis, laryngitis and asthma.
In gargling it relieves angina or tonsillitis. In eye drops it is used for conjunctivitis and inflammation of the eyelids.
Externally in the form of compresses to treat burns and ulcers. It is also recommended for the treatment of blows, wounds and hemorrhages, it helps rapid healing as it promotes the regeneration of cells.
Plantain is antibacterial, so it can be used to disinfect cuts and wounds. Use it as a poultice for insect bites.
Digestive. The plantain is rich in tannins, which is why it is astringent. Helps cut diarrhea and relieves colitis. It is also demulcent: it contains viscous substances that protect the internal membranes as well as the mucous membranes of our body, which is why it has the ability to reduce the discomfort generated by gastric ulcers.
The seeds are rich in mucilage, so they help treat constipation. It also serves for dental health, reduces cholesterol, improves kidney function and has anti-cancer properties.
Pregnant women should not use it for any reason because a miscarriage may occur since plantain can cause some changes in the uterus.
It is not recommended to administer it to newborns.
Adom, M. B., Taher, M., Mutalabisin, M. F., Amri, M. S., Abdul Kudos, M. B., Wan Sulaiman, M. W. A., Sengupta, P., & Susanti, D. (2017). Chemical constituents and medical benefits of Plantago major. Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, 96, 348–360. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.biopha.2017.09.152
Hills, J. N. A. M. W. (2019, August 6). Plantain is not Weed. It Fights Cancer, Prevents Kidney Stones, Anti-Bacterial, Anti-Parasite and More. Healthy and Natural World. https://www.healthyandnaturalworld.com/plantain-herb/
Las maravillosas propiedades curativas del llantén. (2020, April 17). Mejor Con Salud. https://mejorconsalud.com/propiedades-curativas-llanten/
Plantago major - ficha informativa. (n.d.). Conabio. Retrieved August 1, 2020, from http://www.conabio.gob.mx/malezasdemexico/plantaginaceae/plantago-major/fichas/ficha.htm
Wikipedia contributors. (2020, July 18). Plantago major. Wikipedia. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plantago_major
En español: Llantén