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Good for dry coughs

Plantain is the medicinal plant of the year 2014 in Germany. One of its many uses is to reduce mucous membrane inflammations in the mouth and throat and the resulting dry cough. This selection by the Study Group Development History of the Study of Medicinal Herbs (Studienkreis Entwicklungsgeschichte der Arzneipflanzenkunde) at the University of Würzburg is intended to highlight the positive properties of this plant.

Where to find plantain

Narrow-leaf plantain (Plantago lanceolata) grows on roadsides and in dry meadows. It has long, narrow leaves that form a point at the end. It’s a vigorous plant, forming a rosette on the ground that stifles any plants growing nearby. Depending on where it grows narrow-leaf plantain can grow 5 to 60 centimetres tall.

Versatile medicinal plant

Plantains have been used as medicinal plants since antiquity. The fresh leaves are made into tea, juice, syrup or tinctures. Plantain is commonly thought to be a good first aid measure for cuts and grazes and for insect bites. It’s also recommended for coughs and hoarseness, for menstrual problems, for burns and animal bites and for toothache and earache. 

Plantain is soothing and fights bacteria

The medicinal value of plantain derives from the many effective substances in the plant. The antibiotic effect comes for instance from iridoidglycosides like aucubin, while the soothing effects are due to the mucilage which forms a protective film over the mucous membranes and reduces the irritation that causes coughing. The high tannin content in plantain draws tissues together and stops bleeding.

 

Source: Heike Kreutz, www.aid.de