Ribwort Plantain (Plantago lanceolata)

In the past few years, the use of herbs has increased dramatically. Medicinal plants, minerals, and other substances are the source of many conventional medications. Herbal remedies employed in the Indian traditional medical system contain a variety of medicinal herbs that have been utilized for thousands of years.

Plantago lanceolata is one such plant with a wealth of therapeutic uses.

This plant was originally native to the continent of Eurasia, but when European settlers spread out throughout the globe, it progressively spread everywhere. The ancient Greeks and Romans are credited with using this plant medicinally; they mostly employed it to treat skin diseases, herpes, and as a rabies antidote.

  • Kingdom: Plantae
  • Phylum: Spermatophyta
  • Family: Plantaginaceae
  • Genus: Plantago
  • Species: Plantago lanceolata
  • Common Name:  Ribwort Plantain

Botanical Description

The plant grows slowly and has lanceolate leaves. A tiny, glabrous plant with one to several rosettes is P. lanceolata. Its root system consists of coarse, fibrous roots arranged in a shallow crown. Its leaves range in color from gray-green to green and have sparse to sparse hair. There are no leaves on the thin flower stems. Stamens with a purple tint are tightly packed together and oriented in all directions along the spike of the flower. Since every seed is oblongoid, it divides evenly in its lower half to produce two tiny seeds. The seeds range in color from dark brown to black. The main way that the plant spreads is by self-seeding.

Ayurvedic Properties


Hindi / Sanskrit


Rasa (Taste)



Guna (Physical Property)

Snigdha, Guru 

Moist, Heavy

Virya (Potency)



Vipaka (Post-Digestive Taste)



Effect on Dosha 

Reduces Vata and Pitta doshas.

Key Constituents of Plantago lanceolata

Mucilage, tannins, glycosides, and minerals like potassium, silica, and zinc are all present in this herb.

Health Benefits

  • This plant's seeds have laxative qualities because they contain polysaccharides. The nature of polysachharides is hydrophilic. The seeds help with bowel motions by stimulating peristaltis, absorbing water, and increasing the weight of the stool. In cases of diarrhea, the mucilage can also be administered as a supportive treatment. The seeds can be used to treat parasitic worms as well.
  • Plantago lanceolata leaves are moderately expectorant, astringent, demulcent, and ophthalmic. They also have a bitter flavor. They have a detoxifying effect when consumed internally. Asthma, hay fever, cystitis, bronchitis, sinusitis, gastritis, diarrhea, and peptic ulcers can all be helped by leaves.
  • The leaves can also be applied externally to treat a variety of skin conditions. The leaves can be applied externally to cure cuts, stings, and irritation of the skin. Wounds and swellings are dressed with the heated leaves.
  • Excellent eye lotion can be prepared from the plant's distilled water.
  • Urine retention might be aided by a 30–40 cc cold infusion of the seeds.
  • The seeds are prepared similarly to sago and used in cooking. In several nations, the seeds are powdered and mixed into flour.
  • Additionally, it is taken internally for inflammatory lesions of the oral and pharyngeal mucosa as well as respiratory tract catarrh. This plant was traditionally used to support the respiratory system. Long-term respiratory health treatment is provided by this plant. Their mucilage content is the cause of this.
  • It is an efficient and safe treatment for bleeding because it stops the blood flow fast and promotes the healing of the injured tissue. Tannins and other demulcent mucilage components have an astringent effect that causes the bleeding to cease extremely rapidly.
  • The leaf extract has antibacterial properties because it contains tannin, mucilage, and silicic acid. The leaves are expectorant in nature and have a harsh flavor.
  • This plant's roots are used to treat insect bites and stings, as well as rattlesnakes. On the affected area, apply the leaf juice. It is particularly helpful in treating children who have these conditions.
  • This plant's mucilage content has a calming expectorant effect, while its tannin content soothes the lining of the stomach and skin.

Parts used

Leaves and Seeds

Adverse Effects

When Plantago lanceolata seeds are utilized excessively, dehydration may occur.

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