What is Plantain Leaf Extract?
If your only idea of plantains and their broad, shady leaves involves a vision of yourself reclining lazily on a cozy island hammock under the sun, perhaps that alone gives them therapeutic value. But plantain leaves do much more than provide a backdrop for your daydreams.
Plantain leaf extract is not the same as the yummy, starchy staple found in many tropical countries. It doesn’t make a great snack chip or addictive side dish at Bahama Breeze restaurants. Instead, we’re talking about the benefits of plantain leaves and their extracts.
History of Plantain Leaf
Okay, history buffs, did you know that the long and fascinating medicinal history of the plantain plant started in ancient times? It gained the folkloric name of “Green Bandage” based on its use as a poultice to soothe skin irritations, offer a form of first aid, and expedite the healing of bacterial infections.
Throughout the plant’s history, it took on many names relating to medicinal purposes, such as the Germans called it “band aid plant.” English botanist Nicholas Culpeper (1616 – 1654) listed the plant in his book The English Physitian — currently titled Culpeper’s Herbal.
Culpeper suggested medicinal uses of the plantain leaves in his writings, such as drinking it as a juice for a few days for skin abrasions and pains in the bowels. It stops fluxes and helps with women’s courses when they are too abundant while staunching the also free bleeding wounds. He wrote quite a lot about its uses, including killing worms in the belly or treating old and foul ulcers. (x)
Alexander the Great took plantain leaves to ease his headaches. Greek-born, Pedanius Dioscorides suggested plantain leaves for cooling, soothing, softening and healing properties. If a mad dog bit you, he would treat you with plantain poultices.
In the ancient world of India, watching the mongoose fight the cobra, once bitten, the mongoose chewed on the plantain to nullify the venom.
Other scholars suggested plantain as the essential herb to have in your medicinal collections. Even the Gaelic called it the “healing herb.”
Native Americans in South Carolina used the herb to treat rattlesnake bites. While the Delawares used it for diarrhea or “summer complaint.”
Plantain leaves historical uses to continue on and on as a popular remedy for many ailments, such as blood poisoning, respiratory infections and wound healing. (x)
Geographically, the plantain leaf can grow nearly on every continent because of its ability to flourish in almost any type of soil and climate. Plantain is one of the world’s most common wild vegetables. Hundreds of plantain species exist, including two prominent ones for their therapeutic effects — Plantago major and Plantago asiatica.
Herald as a traditional treatment for skin ailments, plantain leaf helps treat sunburns, pink eye and dandruff. If you experience coughs, fevers, bleeding, insect bites, burns and insomnia, plantain leaf and help you.
Modern research shows it reduces inflammation, aids wound healing, kills bacteria and viruses and relieves gastrointestinal distress. It’s also an excellent antioxidant. (x)
Plantain Leaf Extract Benefits
What gives this supplement its superpowers? Compounds like flavonoids, alkaloids, terpenoids, phenolic acid derivatives, polysaccharides and vitamins, to name a few. (x) (x) As a result, plantain leaves are:
- Antibacterial and antiviral
It gives them many therapeutic applications, specifically for the skin, the gastrointestinal tract and the immune system.
- Skin Care and Wound Healing
Plantain leaf is a dermatological dream. One reason is that it contains lots of tannins. No, not the orange stuff you spray before you hit spring break, but the antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory chemical compound found in many plants. (x) Research indeed shows that plantain leaf effectively manages acute urticaria, better known as hives. (x)
It also helps wounds heal faster. Its anti-inflammatory, antioxidative and antibacterial properties contribute to this effect. But that’s not all. It can stimulate skin cell proliferation and collagen production, which also speeds up healing. (x) (x)
While there isn’t much scientific evidence to back this up yet, plantain leaf is a classic and well-regarded natural remedy for dandruff. A google search will give you countless ways to add it to your hair care regimen. But you can always count on plantain leaves as a poultice for badly healing wounds and skin inflammation. (x)
- Gastrointestinal Relief
Have you got belly bloat, ulcers or just a sensitive GI system? Well, plantain leaf extract might be just what you need. While it’s the go-to for external issues, the plantain plant benefits more than the body’s skin.
Studies confirm plantain leaf extract can reduce the acidity of gastric fluids and possibly increase “defensive mucosal factors.” It means it can be helpful for conditions like gastric ulcers. It also has an antidiarrheal effect. (x)
A study performed on rabbits showed the positive effects of plantain on wound healing as an anti-inflammatory. The herb stimulated the injured area and helped close non-infected wounds. (x)
Plantain grows in South Africa, where an extensive study showed the plant’s effectiveness in wound healing, burns, skin growths and sores or ulcers. The South African Journal of Botany reports the benefits of taking its powder and making ointments, compresses and paste. (x)
- Lowers High Cholesterol
Plantain leaf extract is a traditional remedy for high cholesterol. Modern studies only focus on animals but also suggest that it exerts this effect. As a result, it can help slow atherosclerosis progression, where plaque builds up in the arteries. (x)
An experiment of plantain’s effect on atherosclerosis in rabbits proved fruitful in the possibility of the plant helping humans with high cholesterol. (x)
- Immune System
Plantain leaf extract benefits the immune system in a couple of ways. First, we know it’s an effective antimicrobial. Fewer germs mean less work for your immune system.
Second, it’s anti-inflammatory. We may correlate a well-functioning immune system with pro-inflammatory cells (like the kind that rush to the site of an injury and cause it to swell). The reality, however, is that a healthy immune system can modulate inflammation and use it in an appropriate, balanced way. And this is what plantain leaf extract can help do.
For example, one study found that it reduced inflammation-induced liver damage in animals. (x) Another study reported findings it reduced inflammation of oral epithelial cells (cells lining the cavity of the mouth) and, by doing so, improved wound healing. (x)
- Other Benefits and Uses
Finding an alternative to psychotropic drugs is always an innovative and effective plan of action for your well-being. (x) Researchers are investigating the anti-anxiety potential of plantain leaf extract. A small animal study helped chemically stimulate rats to sleep longer, suggesting a sedative effect. (x)
Plantain Leaf Extract Dosage
As a dietary supplement, take 800 mg (heavy 1/3 tsp) of plantain leaf extract once daily with meals or as directed by a physician. Of course, one should not consider this supplement as a substitute for professional medical advice. Be sure to talk to a doctor before adding this supplement to your regimen.
Where to Buy Plantain Leaf Extract Powder
You can purchase Plantain Leaf Extract Powder at BulkSupplements.com. The company is an industry-leading manufacturer and distributor for pure dietary supplements. BulkSupplements.com is not just a consumer brand. It also supplies pure ingredients to other brands that distribute food and other supplement products. All products at BulkSupplements.com are manufactured and tested according to current and proper manufacturing practices.
Are you interested in trying the plantain leaf powder to support your skin, immune system, cardiovascular health, digestive system and overall health? Contact BulkSupplements.com to place an order today.
Plantain Leaf Extract Side Effects
Certain people should also refrain from plantain leaf usage, including pregnant/nursing women and those allergic to it. Anyone with diabetes or problems maintaining stable blood sugar should use caution.
The Bottom Line
While plantain leaf extract is not an absolute fix or lone magical potion to cure all your ills, it is worth considering when seeking relief from some bacterial, dermatological and gastrointestinal symptoms. It is widely available and safely used since yesteryear as it reduces inflammation, helps wounds heal, soothes the stomach, and might even help eliminate dandruff.
Plantain’s popularity goes back to ancient times. Alexander the Great conquered the known world, so he was pretty aware of solving problems. He took plantain leaves to ease his headaches. Greek-born, Pedanius Dioscorides recommended plantain leaves for cooling, soothing, softening and healing properties.
In nature, plantain leaf can grow virtually on every continent because of its ability to thrive in almost any type of soil and climate. Plantain is one of the world’s most familiar wild vegetables. Hundreds of plantain species exist, including two well-known ones for their medicinal effects — Plantago major and Plantago asiatica.
You should take the plant with certain prescription drugs and supplements, so check with your doctor before starting any new supplement.
The statements in this article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.