Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Plantago minor

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Plantago tenuiflora ; Plantago lanceolata

Etymology

Family

Traditional name

Used parts

Classification

Plantae; Spermatophyta, Angiospermae - Flowering Plants; Dicotyledonae; Lamiidae / Tubiflorae; Scrophulariales; Plantaginaceae - Plantain Family

Keywords

Original proving

Cyclop. Drug Path., V. 3. Macfarlan: High Pot. Provings.
     Forestier: Bull. Soc. Med. Hom. de France, V. 2, p. 397.
     Macfarlan: Hom. Phys., V. 12, pp. 94, 523; V. 13, pp. 286, 289, 375, 380, 389, 435, 529, 534; V. 14, p. 19. Hahn. Mo., V. 27, p. 349.
     Humphreys: Monograph, New York, 1871.

Description of the substance

Plantago lanceolata is a perennial herb, with slightly toothed leaves 10-15cm long, usually lanceolate forming basal rosettes. The flower stem can reach up to 45cm in length, the stem being covered in long silky hairs (Clapham, et al. 1987), and can be deeply furrowed (Rose, 1981). The flowers are brown, in short spikes on furrowed stalks, with pale yellow anthers. It is a very variable plant which has been divided into numerous varieties and sub-species (Sagar & Harper 1964) on the grounds of hairiness of the leaves, habit and other features. It adapts its habit to environmental factors, being erect in tall vegetation but prostrate under grazing pressure. It can spread vegetatively and so often appears in dense patches

Plantago lanceolata is native to the British Isles and is very widespread in Britain, occurring almost everywhere (Sagar & Harper 1964, Clapham, et al. 1987). It colonises open habitats and waste ground, is a consistent member of grassland and pasture communities (Godwin, 1975, Rodwell 199) and also occurs in arable fields especially on chalk. It is present at all altitudes between sea level and c.800m. and there do not appear to be any climatic constraints upon its range. While Plantago lanceolata is present in many types of plant community (Rodwell 199) it is particularly associated with grassland. It is characteristic of chalk and limestone grassland, calcareous dunes, dune pastures and coastal grassland (Tansley 1939). It occurs in lowland grass-heaths, but also at high altitude as in Scottish alpine grassland (Sagar & Harper 1964). While not favoured on acidic upland soils it nevertheless occurs there, primarily on paths and other disturbed areas. It is perhaps the most widely distributed British plant.

Plantago lanceolata (Plantago minor) is popularly considered as a medicinal species. At present, it is among the plants whose use as a dry drug and as a fluid extract in the National Health System has been approved by the Ministry of Public Health in Cuba. That´s why, it is necessary to obtain large quantities of vegetable material through its growth. A series of investigations made at "Dr. Carlos J. Finlay" Experimental Station allowed to recommend the preparation of seed plots between mid-October and the beginning of November, to plant the seed at a distance of 45 x 20 cm and to harvest the vegetable material 3 times; the first at about 45 days after transplantation and the rest at intervals of 30 days, achieving a total fresh yield of 20 tons by hectare.