Plantago major L.

DeFilipps, Robert A. & Krupnick, Gary A., 2018, The medicinal plants of Myanmar, PhytoKeys 102, pp. 1-341: 139

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scientific name

Plantago major L.


Plantago major L.  


Myanmar: a-kyaw ta-htaung, bar-kyaw pin, hsay-kyaw gyi. English: broad-leaved plantain, cart-track-plant, common plantain, great plantain, plantain, ribwort, white man’s foot.


Europe and Asia; considered a cosmopolitan weed. In Myanmar, grows naturally in cold places at high altitudes, such as Pyin-oo-lwin and surrounding areas.

Conservation status.

Least Concern [LC] ( IUCN 2017).


Leaves, roots, stems, flowers, and fruits are used. Whole plant: Consuming the five parts stewed in water regularly is considered a cure for diabetes; drinking the juice of the five parts every morning and evening is considered a cure for lung disease. The plant can be used either as an oral or external medicine to cure inflammation and aches in the joints, stomach pain, and general aches and pains. It is also widely used as a tonic for strength. Leaf and Root: A decoction of the leaves and the root is given for fever of long duration and intermittent fever. Leaf: The leaves have cooling properties that promote urination. Finely crushed leaves are used as a poultice on bee, wasp, and other stings to neutralize venom quickly, as well as to stop bleeding from cuts and other injuries. A decoction of the leaves is used as a wash to cleanse sores and stimulate new tissue formation. The leaf decoction is also used warm as a mouthwash and gargle for oral inflammation, swollen and infected gums, and gingivitis. For earaches and ear infections exuding pus, juice from the crushed leaves is used as eardrops applied 2-3 times daily. Juice from the crushed leaves is also given to cure malaria. Steam from cooked leaves is used for steam baths to remedy white vaginal discharge, gonorrhea in men and women, hemorrhoids, and bloating. Leaves roasted until limp are applied twice daily to draw out embedded thorns and to heal sores quickly. Ingesting the leaf decoction with sugar alleviates urinary problems, prickly heat, impetigo (caused by species of Staphylococcus   and Streptococcus   bacteria), erysipelas (caused by Streptococcus   ), intestinal disease/ inflammation.


Medicinal uses of this species in India are discussed in Jain and DeFilipps (1991). Indigenous medicinal uses of the species in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands (India) are described by Dagar and Singh (1999).

The medicinal uses of this plant in the Caribbean region, as well as its chemistry, biological activity, toxicity and dosages, are discussed by Germosén-Robineau (1997). The chemistry, pharmacology, history, and medicinal uses of this species in Latin America are discussed in detail by Gupta (1995). Worldwide medicinal usage, chemical composition, and toxicity of this species are discussed by Duke (1986).


Agricultural Corporation (1980).