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Family Plantaginaceae
Plantago lanceolata Linn.


Scientific names Common names
Plantago lanceolata Linn. Lanting-haba (Tag.)
  Lance leaf plantain (Engl.)
  Ribgrass (Engl._
  Ribwort (Engl.)
  Ribwort plantain (Engl.)
  Ripplegrass (Engl.)
  Narrow-leaf plantain (Engl.)

Other vernacular names
CHINESE: Ch'e-ch'len.
FRENCH: Petit plantain.
GERMAN: Spitzwegerich.
POLISH: Babka lancetowata.
PORTUGUESE: Tanchagem-menor.
SPANISH: Llantén menor.

Lanting-haba is a perennial, scape-bearing, low herb, varying considerably in size. Rootstock is tapering. Leaves, which arise from the roots, are wooly, lanceolate, 15 to 21 centimeters long, 2 to 3 centimeters wide, with entire or toothed margins. Scape is as long as the leaf, deeply furrowed. Spikes are ovoid, subglobose, or cylindric, 1 to 7.5 centimeters long. Sepals are usually ciliate. Corolla is smooth. Capsule is 2-celled and the cells 1- to 2-seeded.

- Found only in Pauai, Benguet Subprovince in Luzon, in gardens at al altitude of about 2,200 meters.
- Introduced, of European or Asiatic origin.
- Now widely distributed
in most temperate and subtemperate regions.

- The leaves, roots and seeds yield a glucoside, aucubin, together with the enzymes, invertin and emulsin.
- Phytochemical screening yielded coumarins, flavonoids and terpenes.

- Constituent study yielded mucilage, polysaccharides, tannins, iridoid glycosides including aucubin and its precursor catalpol, silicic acid, phenolic carboxylic acids (protocatechuic acid), flavonoids (apigenin, luteolin, minerals (zinc, potassium) and saponin.

- Seeds considered purgative and hemostatic.
- Leaves considered diuretic and astringent.
- Considered anti-inflammatory, anti-asthma, antioxidant.

Parts used
Leaves, seeds.


- Leaves used on wounds, inflamed surfaces and sores.
- Seeds, with sugar, is a drastic purgative; also, acts as a hemostatic.
- In Africa, leaves used to treat wounds, insect stings, sunburn, skin disease, eye irritation and inflammation of the mouth and throat. Infusion used as detoxifier and taken for treat colds, asthma, emphysema, urinary bladder stones, gastric ulcers. Infusion of dried seeds used as soothing eye lotion, taken for diarrhea and dysentery, and for intestinal worms in children.
- In Mauritius, alcohol tincture of mashed leaves applied to toothaches associated with caries. Crushed leaves used as poultice on wounds to stop bleeding. Leaf decoction or infusion used to wash infected eyes. - Decoction of whole plant used for nausea, for mouth wash for aphthae, and for body wash to treat rheumatic pains.
- In Nigeria, whole plant and seeds used to treat intestinal problems such as gastritis and enteritis.
- In Ethiopia, roots used as taenicidal and to treat fertility problems.
- Pasture: Elsewhere, sometimes grown as fodder crop, and considered of better quality than Plantago major. (Also see study below

Ethanolic extracts of P lanceolata showed antitussive effects comparable to that of codeine. (1)
Anti-Mitotic / Anti-Genotoxic: Study showed the aqueous leaf extracts of Plantago lanceolata on Allium cepa root tip meristems treated with hydrogen peroxide have anti-mitotic and anti-genotoxic effects. (3)
Bacteriostatic / Bactericidal: Bacteriostatic and bactericidal activity show in vitro study of cold aqueous extract attributed to the aglycone, aucubigenin. Since the activity is destroyed by heat, cold macerate form is used as rinse, gargle or cataplasm for antibacterial action.
Anti-Inflammatory: Study showed Pinus sylvestris and Plantago lanceolata extracts inhibited NO production in a concentration-dependent manner. Results suggest the anti-inflammatory may reflect decreased NO production, possibly due to inhibitory effects on iNOS gene expression or to NO-scavenging activity. (7)
Phenylethanoids / Arachidonic Acid Inhibition: Study yielded five phenylethanoids - acteoside, cistanoside F, lavandulifolioside, plantamajoside and isoacteoside. Acteoside, the major phenylethanoid, showed inhibitory effects on arachidonic acid-induced mouse ear edema. (8)
Allergens: Fractionation of plantain pollen extracts showed a spread of allergenic activity. At least 16 different antigens were detected in plantain pollen and six may be allergenic. IgE-binding components were widely distributed in plantain plants and not confined to the pollen. (9)
Potential in Collagenase-Induced Tendonitis: Histopathological study evaluated P. lanceolata ointment as topical treatment of collagenase-induced tendonitis in rats. Results showed significant proliferation of endotendon, earlier disappearance of adipose, inflammatory cells and tendon lobulation, and faster collagen fiber rearrangement. (11)
Potential as Pasture Species: Supplementation of ruminant diets with Plantago seed husks have been shown to increase the ratio of propionic acid and acetic acid; early studies have suggested plaintain herbage may have a similar effect. Presence of antimicrobial compounds that may affect rumen fermentation may have implications for rumen efficiency, mineral composition, bloat and animal health. (12)
Antibacterial / Induced UTI: Study evaluated the antibacterial activity of an alcoholic extract of Pl lanceolata leaves in vitro and in vivo by inducing urinary tract infection in fats with S. saprophyticus isolated from humans and animals (cows and sheep). Results showed significant inhibition of growth in vitro. Histopathological studies showed decreased pathological signs in bladder and kidney, decreased renal congestion blood vessels and few inflammatory cells in the bladder. (13)

Extracts, tinctures, seeds in the cybermarket.

Last Update April 2014

IMAGE SOURCE: / Modified / Public Domain images / (1) File:Plantago lanceolata Sturm61.jpg / Deutschlands Flora in Abbildungen, 1796/ Wikimedia Commons
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: Photo by Leo Michels - Source: http://www.imagines-plantarum.de / click on photo to go to source page / Schede di botanica / altervista
OTHER IMAGE SOURCE: / Plantago lanceolata L. - narrowleaf plantain PLLA /Steve Hurst @ USDA-NRCS PLANTS Database / USDA

Additional Sources and Suggested Readings
Antitussive Effect of Plantago lanceolata in Guinea Pigs / M H Boskabady, H Rakhshandah et al / Iran J Med Sci 2006; 31(3): 143-146.
Plantago lanceolata L. / A Guide to Medicinal Plants in North Africa / Sp. Pl., ed. 1,114 1753).
Anti-mitotic and anti-genotoxic effects of Plantago lanceolata aqueous extract on Allium cepa root tip meristem cells / Tulay Askin Celik and Ozlem Sultan Aslanturk / Biologia, Volume 61, Number 6 / December, 2006 / DOI 10.2478/s11756-006-0142-5
Plantago lanceolata L. / Prota 11(1): Medicinal plants/Plantes médicinales
Effects of cinnamic acid on polyphenol production in Plantago lanceolata / Francoise Fons et al / Phytochemistry, Vol 49, Issue 3, October 1998, Pages 697-702 / doi:10.1016/S0031-9422(98)00210-6 |
Possible role for Plantago lanceolata in the treatment of HIV infection? / Townsend Letter for Doctors and Patients, June, 2006 by Maria Abdin
In-vitro anti-inflammatory activity of Pinus sylvestris and Plantago lanceolata extracts: effect on inducible NOS, COX-1, COX-2 and their products in J774A.1 murine macrophages / Vigo E, Cepeda A et al / J-Pharm-Pharmacol. 2005 Mar; 57(3): 383-91
Phenylethanoids in the herb of Plantago lanceolata and inhibitory effect on arachidonic acid / M Murai, Y Tamayama, S Nishibe / Planta Med (1995) 61: 479-80.
Allergens from plantain (plantago lanceolata). Studies with pollen and plant extracts. / Baldo BA, Chensee QJ, Howden ME, Sharp PJ. / Int Arch Allergy Appl Immunol. 1982;68(4):295-304.
Sorting Plantago names / /Maintained by: Michel H. Porcher / MULTILINGUAL MULTISCRIPT PLANT NAME DATABASE / Copyright © 1995 - 2020 The University of Melbourne.
A histopathological study of the healing potential of Plantago lanceolata ointment on collagenase-induced tendonitis in rats / Sina Kakooei, Mohammad Mehdi Oloumi, Amin Derakhshanfar, Laya Golmoradi / Comparative Clinical Pathology, September 2013, Volume 22, Issue 5, pp 977-981
Plantain (Plantago lanceolata) – a potential pasture species / A. V. Stewart / Proceedings of the New Zealand Grassland Association 58: 77–86 (1996)
Study the therapeutic role of Alcoholic Extract of Plantago lanceolata aganist infection with Staphylococcus saprophyticus / Hassan A. Abdul –Ratha and Aseel J. Mohammad / Proceeding of the Eleventh Veterinary Scientific Conference, 2012; 8-15

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