BronchitisPlantain is a soothing herb that has been shown to help people with chronic bronchitis.
Anti-inflammatory herbs may help people with bronchitis. Often these herbs contain complex polysaccharides and have a soothing effect; they are also known as demulcents. Plantain is a demulcent that has been documented in two preliminary trials conducted in Bulgaria to help people with chronic bronchitis.8,9 Other demulcents traditionally used for people with bronchitis include mullein, marshmallow, and slippery elm. Because demulcents can provoke production of more mucus in the lungs, they tend to be used more often in people with dry coughs.10
CoughPlantain has a long history of use for relieving coughs.
The mucilage of slippery elm gives it a soothing effect for coughs. Usnea also contains mucilage, which may be helpful in easing irritating coughs. There is a long tradition of using wild cherry syrups to treat coughs. Other traditional remedies to relieve coughs include bloodroot, catnip, comfrey (the above-ground parts, not the root), horehound, elecampane, mullein, lobelia, hyssop, licorice, mallow, (Malvia sylvestris),red clover, ivy leaf, pennyroyal (Hedeoma pulegioides, Mentha pulegium),onion, (Allium cepa), and plantain (Plantago lanceolata, P. major). None of these has been investigated in human trials, so their true efficacy for relieving coughs is unknown.
Urinary Tract InfectionPlantain has anti-inflammatory effects an may be beneficial in some people with UTIs.
Because of the anti-inflammatory effects of plantain, it may be beneficial in some people with UTIs. However, human trials have not been done to confirm this possibility or to confirm the traditional belief that plantain is diuretic.11
Peptic UlcerBecause of plantain’s anti-inflammatory and healing effects, it may be beneficial in some people with peptic ulcer.
Because of the anti-inflammatory and healing effects of plantain, it may be beneficial in some people with peptic ulcer. Clinical trials have not been done to confirm this possibility.
Traditional Use (May Not Be Supported by Scientific Studies)
Plantain has long been considered by herbalists to be a useful remedy for cough, wounds, inflamed skin or dermatitis, and insect bites.12 Bruised or crushed leaves have been applied topically to treat insect bites and stings, eczema, and small wounds or cuts. It was considered by herbalists to be a gentle, soothing expectorant, and additionally to have a mild astringent effect said to help remedy hemorrhoids or bladder infections with mild amounts of blood in the urine.13