Plantago major

Flora Palaestina Ethnobotany

Plantago major L.


  • Broad-leaf Plantain
  • Common Plantain
  • lisan el-hamal el-kebir لسان الحمل الكبير
  • udun el-jadi اذن الجدي
  • lekhekh gadol
  • לֶחֶךְ גָּדוֹל


  • Humid habitats
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Medicinal Complaints / Uses

Plantago major L.

System/State Traditional
Activity / Interpretation
Preparation/ Administration
Parts Used



1. Decoct 1 handful of dry leaves in 1L water, boil 15 min, filter & drink x1 cup before breakfast daily.
2. Prepare infusion of ground leaves & drink x2-3 cups/day (+ honey as needed).
3. Prepare infusion by adding 2 teaspoons of cut leaves to 1 cup boiled water & drink x2-3 cups/day as needed.

Leaf B
Child Health

Bed wetting


1. Boil large handful of leaves for 5 min in 1L water, emulsify for 15 min, drain & drink 1 cup x4/day.
2. Prepare infusion by adding 2 teaspoons cut leaves to 1 cup boiling water, sweeten + honey & drink x2-3 cups /day.

Leaf B
Ear, Nose, Throat (ENT)

Ear problems


1. Extract juice from fresh leaves & add few drops into ear.
2. Boil flowers in olive oil, filter & add several drops to ear x2/day.
3. Boil seeds in water, filter & use filtrate as ear drops x1/day.

Leaf, Seed B
Ear, Nose, Throat (ENT)



Extract juice from fresh leaves & add as drops into ear.

Leaf B


Anti-Infective, Anti-diarrheal

1.Decoct 25 gm powdered leaves in 1L water & drink 1 cup x2-3/day until well. (An infusion can also be used.)
2. Boil leaves in water for 1 min & drink x1 spoon (small spoon for a child, large spoon for adult) x3 /day.

Leaf B



Prepare poultice from leaves + grilled garlic (Allium sativum) + onion (Allium cepa) + roasted apples (Malus pumila) & apply to haemorrhoids.

Leaf B
Helminth infections

Intestinal worms

Anthelmintic, Vermifuge

1. Mix ground seeds + vinegar (suger can be added) & drink x1 teaspoon before breakfast for 3 days.
2. Prepare dough from ground seeds, knead + vinegar, sweeten + sugar & eat on empty stomach x1 teaspoon of dough (young people) or x1 large spoon (adults with large bodies); repeat single dose for 3 days.

Seed B
Kidney & Urinary Tract

Urinary retention


Boil 1 large handful leaves for 5 min in 1L of water, steep for 15 min, filter & drink x4/day.

Leaf B



Decoct seeds, filter, sweeten + sugar & drink x1 cup/day until well.

Seed B
Venoms, Bites & Stings

Bee sting


1. Apply cut, fleshy leaves over sting.
2. Wash twigs well, grind & apply as poultice.

Branch/ twigs, Leaf B

The authors of FLORAPALE, (Flora Palaestina Ethnobotanical) web site do not take responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of the plants described here. Always seek advice from a health professional before using a plant medicinally or for other purposes. See DISCLAIMER.



The oil of Plantago major is mustard like, allergenic, irritant & causes dermatosis. Plantago major has laxative & uterine activity therefore not recommended in pregancy & lactation. Large doses can also be hypotensive. Some species in Plantago genus are contraindicated in diabetes & oesophageal, bowel or gastrointestinal obstruction. Can also cause fatal bronchospasm.