Origin: Russia, Altai
The waybread a perennial herb with a rosette of long-stemmed large broadly ovate pressed to the ground leaves with three to nine arched veins. The inflorescence is a long cylindrical spike. The flowers are small, with a dry four-part corolla, four stamens and one pistil. The fruit is a box that opens with a lid. Height 15 – 30 cm.
The sweet plantain-a perennial herb with a rosette of short-stemmed or almost sessile elliptical pubescent slightly toothed leaves pressed to the ground. Inflorescence-oblong-cylindrical dense spike. The seeds are flat on one side. Height 30 – 50 cm.
The buckhorn plantain-a perennial herb with lanceolate sharp leaves with three to five veins. The inflorescence is an ovate-oblong dense spike. Fruit-box. Seeds on the inner side are grooved and depressed. Height 10 – 50 cm.
The time of flowering. Plantain blooms in June and September.
Distribution. These types of plantain are found throughout the Eurasia, with the exception of the Arctic and deserts.
Habitat. The waybread grows near roads and houses, in vacant lots and meadows; sweet plantain — near roads, in weeds, meadows, clearings; buckhorn plantain-in meadows, dry slopes, shrubs, gardens, forest clearings.
The part used. Leaves, inflorescences, seeds, and juice.
The time of collection. June-July.
Plantain leaves contain glycoside aucubin, bitter and tannins, enzymes, citric acid, carotene, ascorbic acid, vitamin K, a small amount of alkaloids and phytoncides. The seeds contain mucus (up to 44%), fatty oil, planteose carbohydrate, oleanolic acid and saponins.
Plantain is an ancient medicinal plant. It was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans, and in the X century it was widely used and highly appreciated by Arab and Persian doctors. Plantain has antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, wound healing, "blood purifying" and expectorant effects and increases the secretory activity of the stomach.
The infusion of leaves helps to dilute, dissolve and secrete thick sputum when coughing and is used for various diseases of the respiratory organs with a large release of mucous sputum: pulmonary tuberculosis, pleurisy, chronic catarrh of the bronchi and lungs, cough, whooping cough and asthma. The infusion of leaves and juice of the plant is very effectively used for various acute gastrointestinal diseases (gastritis, enteritis and enterocolitis), dysentery and for the treatment of stomach and intestinal ulcers. The infusion of leaves and juice is also successfully used for inflammation of the bladder and other diseases, with involuntary night urination, hemorrhoids, hemoptysis and malaria. Infusion of leaves as a "blood purifier" is also drunk for various skin diseases (rashes, lichen, acne, etc.). Decoction of inflorescences is taken for stomach and intestinal pain.
Clinical studies have shown that the decoction of plantain seeds has a laxative property and can be used to treat colitis. It is proved that the seeds are not poisonous and the mucus of the seeds protects the inflamed intestinal mucosa by irritation. In India, Prof. Chapra a decoction of the seeds was treated with various forms of dysentery. It was found that due to the content of phytoncides, plantain leaf infusion has a pronounced antimicrobial property and serves as a good means for washing purulent wounds and ulcers. Water infusion of leaves promotes faster healing of purulent wounds and can be used for primary treatment of fresh wounds.
In folk medicine of many countries, fresh crushed leaves of various types of plantain are used for wounds, boils, bruises, burns and as an anti-inflammatory agent when stung by insects. With inflammation of the eyes, the infusion is used for washing. Plantain is widely distributed in nature, has valuable medicinal properties and deserves wide application in scientific medicine.
1. 1 tablespoon of dry plantain leaves infuse for 2 hours in 1 cup of boiling water, strain. Take 1 tablespoon 20 minutes before meals 4 times a day.
2. 3 tablespoons of fresh leaves mixed with 3 tablespoons of sugar or honey powder, put in a closed container for 4 hours on a warm stove. The Syrup take in 1 teaspoon 4 times a day for 1/2 hour before meals.
3. 2 tablespoons of fresh or dry leaves infuse for 2 hours in 1.5 cups of boiling water, strain. Use for washing.
4. 2 tablespoons washed fresh crushed leaves wrapped in cheesecloth. Apply at inflammatory processes of the skin, bruises and scratches.
5. The equal parts of plantain and yarrow leaves chop and mix. Use as an external hemostatic, antiseptic and wound healing agent.
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