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Family Plantaginaceae
Plantago major Linn.

Scientific names Common names 
Plantago borystenica Wissjul. Lanting (Tag.) 
Plantago drageana Decne. Llantin (Span.)
Plantago gigas H. Lév. Broad-leaved plantain (Engl.)
Plantago jehohlensis Koidz. Common plantain (Engl.)
Plantago latifolia Salisb. Cart tract plant (Engl.)
Plantago macronipponica Yamam. Plantain (Engl.)
Plantago major Linn. Ribwort (Engl.)
Plantago sawadai (Yamam.) Yamam. Way bread (Engl.)
Plantago villifera Kitag. White man's footprint (Engl.)
  Wild saso (Engl.)
Plantago major L. is an accepted name. The Plant List

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Ch'e-ch'ien.
FRENCH: Grand plantain, Plantain majeur.
GERMAN: Breitwegerich.
POLISH: Babka zwyczajna.
PORTUGUESE: Tanchagem-maior.
SPANISH: Antén, Cancerina, Diantén, Lantén, Llantén, Llantén común, Llantén major, Llantén mayor.
SWEDISH: Groblad.
THAI: Mo noi, Phak kat nam, Ya en yuet.

- Research has shown introduction to the first cultivated firled nearly 4000 years ago. European Indians called it "White man's footprint' because it was found everywhere the Europeans had been, and from that derives the genus name, Plantago, meaning sole of the foot. (25)

Lanting is a perennial herb with the leaves occurring in a rosette near the ground. Leaves are oblong or oblong-ovate, 5 to 10 centimeters long, with entire or toothed margins, usually 5-nerved, and borne on petiole often as long as the leaf blades. Flowers are usually in crowded on erect, slender spikes, 6 to 12 centimeters long. Corolla is small and smooth, with the lobes spreading or reflexed. Sepals are ciliated. Fruits are capsules, ovoid, about 3 millimeters long and containing 2 cells. Each cell has 4 to 8 angular, very minute, black seeds.

- Occasionally in wastelands in and about towns, at medium altitudes, thoroughly naturalized.
- Probably introduced from Europe.
- Now a weed in most or all warm countries.

- Pollinated by wind; each plant can produced 20,000 seeds.

- Plant contains a large amount of potassium salts and citric acid.
- Seed yield 16.7 to 22.1% of fixed oil.
- Leaves, roots, and flowers yield a glucoside, aucubin, and enzymes invertin and emulsin.
- Seed yield aucubin, choline, and organic acids succinic and platenollic acids.
- Contains polysaccharides, lipids, caffeic acid derivatives, flavonoids, iridoid glycosides and terpenoides.
- Phytochemical studies have yielded apigenin, baicalein, benzoic acid, chlorogenic acid, citric acid ferulic acid, salicylic acid, ursolic acid.
- Studies have revealed Aucubin, a glycoside, reported as a powerful antitoxin.
- Methanol extract of Plantago major subsp. intermedia (Gilib.) Lange yielded 4 known compounds: isomartynoside, 10-hydroxymajoroside, β-sitosterol, and ursolic acid.

- Seeds yielded fatty acids: myristic acid, palmitic acid, stearic acid, oleic acid, linoleic acid, linolenic acid, arachidic acid, behenic acid, lignoceri acid, and 9-hydroxy-cis-11-octadecenoic acid. (25)
- GC-MS analysis of various extracts of leaves yielded main constituents as follows: phytol 13.22%, benzofuranone 10.48%, penthynediol 10.26%, and benzene propanoic acid 10.81% in the petroleum ether extract; diglycerol 30.31% and glycol 18.91%, in the methanol extract; glycerine 30.70%, benzene 21.81%, and dibuthyl phthalate 16.22% in the ethyl acetate extract; phthalic acid 24.62%, benezene propanoic acid 16.83%, in n-butanol extract; phenol 27.47%, diathiapentene 14.53%, napthalenone 14.31%, and glycerine 12.02% in the aqueous extract. The different chemical compositions are due to different polarity of the extraction solvent. (29)

- Slightly sweet, cooling.
- Considered antidote, antipyretic, astringent, diuretic, laxative, lymph deobstruent, ophthalmic, stomachic, vermifuge.
- Leaves considered emollient.
- Leaves reported as saline, bitter, and acid; the root saline and sweetish to taste.
- Seeds considered pectoral, demulcent, antidysenteric, mucilaginous, diuretic and antirheumatic.

Parts utilized
Seeds, roots, leaves.

Edibility / Nutrition
- Edible: Leaves, roots, seeds.
- Young leaves, raw in salad or cooked as pot herb.
- Rich in vitamin B1 and riboflavin.

· For centuries, used as wound healing remedy in most parts of the world. The Norwegians ad Swedes referred to it as groblad, meaning 'healing leaves.' (25)
· For boils, furuncles, and abscesses, lesions are covered with fresh crushed material.
· Anuria and dysuria due to beriberi: Concentrated decoction of the whole plant or seeds. Use 9 to 15 gms of the whole plant or 6 to 12 gms of seeds.
- Decoction of plant used for asthma.
- Decoction of leaves used as emollient.
- Severe cough with plenty of phlegm which cannot be smoothly expectorated: Concentrated decoction of the whole plant or seeds with bark of Morus alba
- Insomnia, bloody urine, urinary lithiasis, nephritic edema, beriberi edema, hypertension, bronchitis: Decoction of 30 to 60 gms of dried or 30 to 90 gms of fresh material.
- Reddening and swelling pain of the eye.
- For furuncles, eczema and various skin irritation: Poultice of pounded fresh material.
Gum inflammation or gingivitis: Use decoction as mouth wash or as gargle.
- Skin irritation: Apply decoction over affected area. The powdered seeds may be mixed with oil for treatment of dermatitis.
- Used as antidote and diuretic. Also used as poultice for sores, particularly inflamed fingernails. A watery extract of the seeds is given for whooping cough. To purify blood, stomachaches, and malaria, the whole plant is boiled and the decoction is taken internally as a diuretic for stone in the bladder.
- Decoction of root reported to cause a natural aversion to tobacco and used as an ingredient in smoking-cessation preparations.
- Decoction of leaves used as antidysenteric and vulnerary; used in burns, contusions, and ulcers of the mouth.
- Roots and leaves used to relieve coughs and consumption.
- Used for wasting diseases in men and women; promotes secretion of semen and conducive to fertility.
- Used to nourish the liver, assist in difficult labor.
- Malays used a decoction leaves for dysentery and gonorrhea.
- Leaves used as poultices for sores, particularly for inflamed fingernails.
- In Japan, watery extract of seed used for whooping cough.
Zulus squeezed the leaf juice into the mouth and ears. Europeans used fresh leaf juice as a remedy for malaria.
- Transvaal Europeans plug the ears with the leaf to relive earache.
- Mucilaginous leaves are roots used as astringent and febrifuge.
In Java used for diuretic for bladder stones. Used in decoction for diabetes, worms, hemorrhoids, and to purify the blood.
In Romania and Bulgaria, used for cuts and scratches.
In Ayurveda, used for constipation, diarrhea, dysentery.
In China, used for colds and viral hepatitis.
In Malaysia, used for treating diabetes and to increase male fertility.
In Taiwan, used for treating respiratory, urinary and digestive tract infectious diseases.
- In Guatemala and Turkey, used for acne. In India, used for bee, wasp, and nettle stings. In Turkey, used for the treatment of ulcers—the powdered leaf taken with honey daily before breakfast. (25)

Review: The traditional uses, chemical constituents and biological activities of Plantago major L. A review: Well known in traditional medicine as a wound healing remedy. Studies have yielded biologically active compounds and a range of biologic activities as wound healing, antiinflammatory, antioxidant, analgesic, antiulcerogenic activity. (1)
Anti-Urolithiatic: In Vitro Effects of Plantago Major Extract on Urolithiasis: PM extract was better than allopurinol and potassium citrate in inhibiting the size of calcium oxalate crystals in vivo. (2)
Immunoenhancing: Plantago major leaves have been attributed antiinflammatory, antimicrobial, antitumor and wound healing properties. A methanol extract study of its leaves showed increases of nitric-oxide production, increase in TNF-a production. Study suggests the a regulation of immune parameters induced by plant extracts may be clinically involved in numerous diseases including chronic viral infections, TB, AIDS and cancer. (3)
Antibacterial: Effects of Methanol, Ethanol and Aqueous Extract of Plantago major on Gram Positive Bacteria, Gram Negative Bacteria and Yeast: The methanol and ethanol extracts of PM showed antibacterial activity against S. aureus and E col. (4) In an antibacterial study of Plantago major and Ceratonia siliqua against six types of bacteria viz., Lactobacillus sp., S. aureus, Proteus sp., P. aeruginosa, E. coli, and Enterococcus sp., the methanol extract of P. major showed more antibacterial activity. (30)
Antiviral Activity: Study showed phenolic compounds to be responsible for PM antiviral activities against herpesvirus-2 and adenovirus-3. (5)
Smoking Cessation: (US Patent 6063401) - Plantago major and hypericum perforatum compound for use in treating a tobacco or nicotine habit – Patented claims on the use of P major and H perforatum as a smoking cessation preparation. (7)
Analgesic / Antiinflammatory: A study of the aqueous extract of dried ground leaves on rats showed effective antiinflammatory and analgesic activities. (8)
No Diuretic Effect: In a study of four traditional Vietnamese herbal remedies (Z mays, I cylindrica, Plantago major, O stamineus) claiming to increase diuresis, no diuretic effect was seen in a placebo-controlled double-blind crossover model. (9)
Hypoglycemic / Spermatogenic Effect: Study to evaluate its traditional use for diabetes and male fertility showed the aqueous leaf extract of PM could contain chemicals for treating diabetes and male infertility problems. (10)
Anti-Cancer: Study results showed that the PM extract had an inhibitory effect on Ehrlich ascites carcinoma and proposes an potential agent for cancer prevention. (11)
Antimicrobial: Study of several folk medicinal plants, including the ethanolic extract of PM, tested against several organisms, all showed higher antibacterial activity against E coli and S aureus. (12)
Anticancer / Antiviral / Immunmodulatory: Study of the hot water extracts of P major and P asiatica showed a broad spectrum of anti-leukemic, anticarciboma and antiviral activities, as well as modulation of cell-mediated immunity. (13)
Ursolic Acid / COX-2 Inhibition: Study isolated a triterpenoid, ursolic acid, which showed significant COX-2 inhibitory effect, directly on enzyme activity.
Hepatoprotective / Anti-Inflammatory: Study in carbon tetrachloride-induced hepatotoxicity, PM showed considerable anti-inflammatory and hepatoprotective activities. (14)
Hematopoietic Activity: Study of the extracts of the aerial parts (leaves and seeds) of PM, added to mice bone marrow and spleen cultures, E coli, B subtilis and C albicans cultures, showed bone marrow and spleen cell concentration and inhibition of the bacterial growths. Data demonstrates for the first time that PM has hematopoietic activity in vitro.
Biochemical Studies: In an analysis for general chemical components, leaves yielded a high percentage of linolenic acid, 56.19% while seeds yielded 25.41%. Total phenols, flavonoids and tannin were highest in the Plantago leaves. (16)
Antioxidant / Isomartynoside: Study of P. major subsp. intermedia showed antioxidant activity, probably related to the presence of phenylpropanoid glycoside, isomartynoside. (17)
Anti-Urolithiatic Terpenoid: A methanol extract yielded an active terpenoid. The inhibition effect of the terpenoid of Plantago major extract on crystal size was much better than Zyloric and potassium citrate.
Antitumoral / Ehrlich Ascites Tumor: Study of P. major extract in Ehrlich ascites tumor in mice showed a dose-dependent inhibitory effect on EAT. (19)
Wound Healing: Study of different leaf extracts from fresh and dried leaves in an in vitro scratch assay showed both water extracts and the more poly-phenol-rich ethanol extracts showed increased proliferation/migration of oral epithelial cells suggesting a wound healing effect. (20)
Anticarcinogenesis: Study in Swiss albino rats administered DMBA evaluated the effect of Pm extract on serum total sialic acid, lipid-bound SA and other trace elements. Results suggest PM may be partially effective in preventing carcinogenesis initiated by environmental carcinogen DMBA.
Inhibition of ROS: Study evaluated the in vivo effects of P. major extract, baicalein, and aucubin on human neutrophil respiratory burst activity. Results showed P major extract inhibited neutrophil ROS production, as did aucubin and baicalein, and suggest further study in its relation to the regulation of destructive ROS production in conditions such as periodontal disease. (22)
Inhibition of AOM-Induced ACF via Apoptosis / Colon Cancer: Study showed anti-colon cancer effects through inhibition of AOM (Azoxymethane)-induced ACF( aberrant crypt foci) via apoptosis, and suggests a potential for a chemopreventive and potential therapeutic agent for colon cancer. (23)
• Interaction with Anticoagulants: Moderate interaction concerns with warfarin. Plantain contains large amounts of vitamin. By helping the blood clot, it might decrease the effectiveness of warfarin (coumadin). Dose of coumadin may need to be changed. (26)
• Hepatoprotective / Drug-Induced Hepatotoxicity: Study evaluated an ethanol extract on Omeprazole and Ciprofibrate induced hepatotoxicity in a rat model. Results showed hepatoprotective activity as evidenced by reduction in hepatic transaminases and improvement in histopathologic appearances of liver. (31)
• Antimicrobial / Synergism / Antioxidant / Leaves: Study evaluated different leaf extracts for antioxidant and antibacterial properties using in vitro methods. An ethyl acetate fractions showed the highest DPPH scavenging capacity (IC50-12.85±0.27 µg/ml) and relative antioxidant activity of 70.48% in the ß-carotene bleaching assay. The ethyl acetate fraction was also the most active in vitro against Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. Synergistic antibacterial activity was seen by combination of standard antibiotic (gentamicin) with the tested extracts. (32)

Leaf extracts in the cybermarket.

Last Update January 2017

Photo ©Godofredo Stuart / StuartXchange
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Plantago major / Flora von Deutschland Österreich und der Schweiz (1885)/ © Kurt Stueber, 2007. Dieses Buch ist geschützt durch die GNU Free Document License. / caliban.mpiz-koeln

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
The traditional uses, chemical constituents and biological activities of Plantago major L. A review
In Vitro Effects of Plantago Major Extract on Urolithiasis / Sharifa Abdul Aziz, Tan Lee See et al / Journal of Medical Sciences, 12 (2). pp. 22-26. ISSN 1394195X
Immunoenhancing properties of Plantago major leaf extract
/ Dr R Gomez-Flores et al / Phytotherapy Research • Volume 14 Issue 8, Pages 617 - 62/ DOI • 10.1002/1099-1573(200012)14:8<617::AID-PTR674>3.0.CO;2-N
Effects of Methanol, Ethanol and Aqueous Extract of Plantago major on Gram Positive Bacteria, Gram Negative Bacteria and Yeast
/ Sharifa A A et al / Annals of Microscopy • Vol 8, April 2008

Antiviral activity of Plantago major extracts and related compounds in vitro
/ Chiang L C et al / Antiviral research / 2002, vol. 55, no1, pp. 53-62
Plantain • Plantago major / Deb Jackson and Karen Bergeron
Plantago major and hypericum perforatum compound for use in treating a tobacco or nicotine habit (US Patent 6063401) /
Analgesic and Anti-inflammatory Activities of the Aqueous Extract of Plantago major L. / Maria Elena Nuñez Gullen et al / Summary Pharmaceutical Biology 1997, Vol. 35, No. 2, Pages 99-104 / DOI 10.1076/phbi.

Studies on the individual and combined diuretic effects of four Vietnamese traditional herbal remedies (Zea mays, Imperata cylindrica, Plantago major and Orthosiphon stamineus) / Doan Du Dat, Nguyen Ngoc Ham et al / Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 36, Issue 3, June 1992, Pages 225-231 / doi:10.1016/0378-8741(92)90048-V
Medicinal Properties of Plantago major : Hypoglycaemic and Male Fertility Studies / H Noor, M Juing et al / PertanikaJ. Trap. Agric. Sci. 23(1): 29 - 35 (2000)
Effect of Plantago major sap on Ehrlich ascites tumours in mice
/ Mehmet Ozaslan, Isik Didem Karagoz et al / African Journal of Biotechnology Vol. 8 (6), pp. 955-959, 20 March, 2009
ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITY OF SOME PLANTS USED IN FOLK MEDICINE / Gulcin Saltan Citoglu, Nurten Altanlar / J. Fac. Pharm, Ankara 32 (3) 159-163, 2003
In vitro cytotoxic, antiviral and immunomodulatory effects of Plantago major and Plantago asiatica
/ Chiang Lien-Chai, Wen Chiang et al / The American journal of Chinese medicine, 2003, vol. 31, no2, pp. 225-23
Hepatoprotective and anti-inflammatory activities of Plantago major L. / Idris Turel, Hanefi Ozbek et al / RESEARCH ARTICLE, 2009 | Volume : 41 | Issue : 3 | Page : 120-124
Effect of Plantago major on cell proliferation in vitro / R Velasco-Lezama, R Tapia-Aguilar et al /
Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Vol 103, Issue 1, 3 Jan 2006, Pages 36-4 / doi:10.1016/j.jep.2005.05.050 |
Biochemical studies on Plantago major L / Mohamed, I. Kobeasy, Osama, M. Abdel-Fatah, S. A. M. El-Salam, and Z. E. - O. M. Mohamed / International Journal of Biodiversity and Conservation, 2011.
Constituents of Plantago major subsp. intermedia with antioxidant and anticholinesterase capacities
Ufuk KOLAK, Mehmet BOG ̆A, Emine AKALIN URUS ̧AK, Ayhan ULUBELEN / Turk J Chem 35 (2011) , 637 – 645.
Anti-Urolithiatic Terpenoid Compound from Plantago major Linn. (Ekor Anjing)
/ A.A. SHARIFA*, J. JAMALUDIN, L.S. KIONG, L.A. CHIA & K. OSMAN / Sains Malaysiana 41(1)(2012): 33–39
In vivo antitumoral effect of Plantago major L. extract on Balb/C mouse with Ehrlich ascites tumor. / Ozaslan M, Didem Karagöz I, Kalender ME, Kilic IH, Sari I, Karagöz A. / Am J Chin Med. 2007;35(5):841-51.
Effects of Plantago major L. leaf extracts on oral epithelial cells in a scratch assay. / Zubair M, Ekholm A, Nybom H, Renvert S, Widen C, Rumpunen K. / J Ethnopharmacol. 2012 Jun 14;141(3):825-30. Epub 2012 Mar 21.
Sorting Plantago names / /Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 - 2020 The University of Melbourne.
The effects of plantago major on the activation of the neutrophil respiratory burst
/ Elaine Reina, Nouf Al-Shibani, Eman Allam, Karen S Gregson, Michael Kowolik, L Jack Windsor / Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine, 2013, Vol 3, No 4 | Page : 268-272
Abstract A50: Plantago major inhibits azoxymethane-induced aberrant crypt foci in C57BL/6 mice and modulates apoptosis in mice and human colon cancer cells / Peter S. Han, Robert J. Frey, Yuki Nishino, Jonathan H. Kang, Anthony H. Yeo, Janna M. Vassantachart, Han Y. Kim1, Randy P. Hausted2 and Brian Y. Y. Wong / Cancer Prevention Research: Dec 2010; Vol 3, No 12, Suppl 2 / doi: 10.1158/1940-6207.PREV-10-A50
Plantago major / Synonyms / The Plant List
The traditional uses, chemical constituents and biological activities of Plantago major L. A review / Anne Berit Samuelsen * / Journal of Ethnopharmacology 71 (2000) 1–21
Great Plantain: Interactions / WebMD
GC-MS Analysis of Various Extracts from Leaf of Plantago major Used as Traditional Medicine / J. Jamilah, A.A. Sharifa and N.R.S.A. Sharifah / World Appl. Sci. J., 15 (Towards the Traceability of Halal and Thoyyiban Application): 67-70, 2011
The Study of Antibacterial Activity of Plantago Major and Ceratonia Siliqua / Basma Monjd Abd Razik, Hiba Ali Hasan, Muna Khalil Murtadha / THE IRAQI POSTGRADUATE MEDICAL JOURNAL, VOL.11, NO.1, 2012
THE HEPATOPROTECTIVE EFFECT OF ETHANOL EXTRACT OF PLANTAIN (Plantago major L.) ON DRUG INDUCED HEPATOTOXICITY RAT (Rattus norvegicus) MODEL / A. A. Fitriani , E. Sutrisna* , I. A. Salim , A. M. Maskoen , M. Sujatno , H. S. Sastramihardja / Asian Journal of Phytomedicine and Clinical Research. 2(3), 2013, 97 - 108.
ANTIOXIDANT AND ANTIMICROBIAL ACTIVITIES OF PLANTAGO MAJOR / Saffidine Karima, Sahli Farida, Zerroug Mohamed Mihoub / International Journal of Pharmacy and Phamaceutical Sciences, Vol 7, Issue 5 (2015)

It is not uncommon for links on studies/sources to change. Copying and pasting the information on the search window or using the DOI (if available) will often redirect to the new link page.

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