Plantago Major: Uses, Side Effects & Dosage Guide

Plantago major is a plant of the Plantaginaceae family. The leaves of Plantago major are used for various medical purposes. Plantago major is also known as a weed. The leaves of Plantago major is widely used for wound healing purposes throughout the world and also have many other medical uses besides wound healing.

Plantago major leaves help to relieve the signs and symptoms of the following diseases:

  • Skin diseases
  • Respiratory system disorders
  • Digestive system diseases
  • Reproduction abnormalities
  • Some infections
  • Neoplastic lesions

Plantago major leaves contain many compounds which are biologically active including terpenoids, iridoid glycosides, polysaccharides, flavonoids, lipids, and caffeic acid derivatives. Plantago major is a very ancient plant used for medicinal purposes for a very long time. Many people know Plantago significantly because of its wound healing property in Scandinavia. The Norwegian and Swedish people name the Plantago major plant as groblad, which means healing leaves.

The recent studies showed that the leaves of Plantago plant are used worldwide for various medical purposes.

Anti Giardiasis activity

The leaves of Plantago major has anti giardiasis activity, and therefore the people of Mexico used the leaves of Plantago major for the treatment of parasite associated diarrhoea.  

Antimalarial activity

The leaves of Plantago major has antimalarial activity, and therefore the people of Tanzania used the leaves of Plantago major for the treatment of malaria. In some studies, it is shown that Plantago major may be helpful in multidrug-resistant Plasmodium falciparum treatment.

Antiviral activity

There are many studies in progress to evaluate the antiviral effect of the Plantago major leaves. Still, at this time, there is no specific data available to support the antiviral activity of the Plantago major.

Anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity

By various studies, it is proved that the leaves of the Plantago major plant have anti-inflammatory and analgesic activity. The leaves of Plantago major inhibit the synthesis of prostaglandins which are the primary pain mediators of the human body and hence by the inhibition of synthesis of prostaglandin pain relives.

The Plantago major leaves inhibit the cyclooxygenase pathway to reduce the inflammation. The leaves of Plantago major not only inhibit the cyclooxygenase pathway but also inhibit the production of exudate and white cell mobilisation.

Antioxidant and free radical scavenger activity

Studies have shown that leaves of Plantago major have antioxidants activity like the leaves of green and black tea, but the activity is less than that of green tea. Green tea leaves contain higher amounts of antioxidants than the leaves of Plantago major.

Diuretic effect

The people of Guatemala used the leaves of Plantago major as a diuretic agent. But in the recent studies in Vietnam, no diuretic effect of leaves of Plantago major is evaluated, and there is a need for more studies in this regard.

Indications Or Uses

The medical indications of Plantago major are

  • Neurological uses
  • Used for the treatment of epilepsy
  • To improve nervous pains
  • For earache
  • Ophthalmic uses
  • Eye choroid diseases
  • Day blindness
  • Conjunctivitis
  • Eyesores
  • ENT uses
  • Earaches
  • Toothache
  • Halitosis
  • Oral lesions
  • Mouth sores
  • Epistaxis
  • Hemoptysis
  • Loose teeth
  • Gingivitis
  • Tonsillitis
  • Pulmonary uses
  • Asthma
  • Allergic diseases
  • Hemoptysis
  • Tuberculosis
  • Lung lesions
  • Plural lesions
  • And decoction and incense
  • Gastrointestinal effects
  • Upper gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Lower gastrointestinal bleeding
  • Hematemesis
  • Dysentery
  • Haemorrhoids
  • Stomachache
  • Intestinal ulcer
  • Constipation
  • dyspepsia
  • Hepatic and splenic effects
  • As a liver tonic
  • Increases the levels of alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase
  • In obstructive diseases of the liver
  • In obstructive diseases of the spleen
  • Urogenital effects
  • Uterus ulcer
  • Uterus warts
  • Menometrorrhagia
  • Polymenorrhea
  • As a diuretics
  • For urinary retention
  • For urolithiasis
  • Hematuria
  • Kidney pain
  • Bladder pain
  • as a topical analgesic
  • Dermatological effects
  • It is used in different kind of skin diseases and wound such as
  • Purulent wounds
  • Deep wounds
  • Chronic wounds
  • Progressive wounds
  • Malignant wounds
  • Fire burn
  • Erysipelas
  • Progressive blisters
  • Pruritus
  • Irritating urticaria
  • Fistula
  • Skin ulcers
  • Immune enhancing effects
  • Increases creation of nitric oxide
  • Tumour necrosis factor-alpha
  • Stimulate lymphocytes proliferation
  • Increase secretion of interferon-gamma at low concentration, but at higher concentration, it can also inhibit interferon-gamma
  • Help to improve leukaemia
  • Help to improve carcinoma
  • Help to improve viral infection
  • Prevents the formation of tumour or infection
  • Ant-hypercholesteremic
  • Anti-atherosclerotic
  • Hypoglycemic effects
  • Antinociceptive effects
  • Antioxidant and Free radical scavenging effects
  • Anti-infective
  • As an antibiotic
  • As antifungal
  • As antiviral
  • As an antimalarial
  • And as an anti-giardiasis
  • Anticancer and cytotoxic activity

Contraindications

Use of Plantago major is contraindicated in :

  • patients who show allergic reactions to it or any of its components
  • Cardiac patients
  • In patients with a history of myocardial infarction
  • Pregnancy
  • Patients who are taking antiplatelet medicines

Side effects

Use of Plantago major is mostly safe, but it can rarely show some minor side effects in some individuals like:

● Diarrhoea

● Nausea

● Vomiting

● Anorexia

● Bloating

● Hypersensitivity reactions

● Dermatitis

● And in some cases life-threatening anaphylactic reactions

Warnings

Plantago major products should be used with caution in patients who are allergic to it or any of its products.

Plantago major have some drug interactions also there care should be taken if you are using any of the medication given below:

Warfarin

Plantago major also has vitamin K in large amounts; therefore, the patients who are on warfarin therapy should use Plantago major with great caution. Because vitamin K is an essential component of various clotting factors in the liver, the use of Plantago major with warfarin dramatically reduces its effectiveness. It poses a significant threat to the patient.

High-risk groups

High-risk groups for this Plantago major are:

● Patients with a history of hypersensitivity reactions

● Children

● Pregnant mothers