• Useful and medicinal properties of plantain

    Synonyms: roadside, cutter, companion, chirya grass.

    Description. Perennial herbaceous plant of the plantain family( Plantaginaceae) with rosette of root leaves with one or several peduncles up to 45 cm high. Rhizome thick, short, with a lot of thin cord-like roots. Leaves are radical, dense, with a target-nocular or slightly serrate, with 5-9 longitudinal veins, broadly ovate. The inflorescence is a dense cylindrical long ear, blossoms in June-September. Fruit is a multi-seeded egg-shaped box, the seeds are small. Weight of 1000 seeds - 0,14-0,25.

    Medicinal raw materials: leaves and seeds.

    Biological features. Plantain has a fairly long flowering period - about 4 months. Uncomfortable in different conditions. Abundantly fructifies: one plant can yield up to 60 thousand seeds.

    Places of growth. It grows in floodplain meadows, in fields, in forests, in roads, in paths, in gardens, in kitchen gardens, near dwellings.

    Distribution. In natural conditions in Ukraine is found everywhere. Widely cultivated in culture.

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    Chemical composition. The leaves contain glycoside auku-bin, flavonoids, bitter, tannic and pectinic substances, mucus, oxycinnamic acids, factor T( participates in the process of blood clotting), vitamins C and K, carotene, choline, adenine, saponins and traces of alkaloids. In seeds there is a significant amount of mucus, fatty oil, auku-bin, oleanolic acid, steroid saponins and carbohydrates.

    Application. Galenic preparations from psyllium leaves have a multilateral therapeutic effect: secretory, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, hemostatic, wound-healing, bacteriostatic, sedative( even hypnotic), hypotensive and anti-allergic. Decoction of the leaves of the plantain is prescribed for bronchitis, pulmonary tuberculosis, whooping cough and other diseases of the respiratory organs, which are accompanied by the secretion of dense secrets, with catarrh of the stomach with insufficient acidity, acute gastrointestinal diseases( gastritis, enteritis, enterocolitis), acute and chronic colitis, chronicnephritis and peptic ulcer disease. Of the ready-made pharmacy drugs, plantain juice and a plan-taglucid are used. Plantaglucidum is used as an antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory agent for hypoacid gastritis, peptic ulcer of the stomach and duodenum with normal and insufficient acidity( during an exacerbation and for the prevention of relapses).The duration of treatment during an exacerbation is 3-4 weeks. Plantaglucid and decoction of plantain leaves are contraindicated in hyperacid gastritis and gastric ulcer with high acidity. Leaves of plantain are part of breastmilk tea.

    In folk medicine, a decoction or infusion of plantain leaves is drunk and as a blood cleanser, from hives, with scurvy, fever and atherosclerosis, in case of heartburn, eructation, flatulence, diarrhea and hemorrhoids, with bladder inflammation, from bed-wetting and swelling,cancer of the stomach, lungs, malignant skin ulcers and elephantiasis. Seeds of plantain large have enveloping, softening and anti-inflammatory properties. They use exactly the same as the seeds of plantain flea. In addition, a decoction of seeds of plantain large drink 1 tablespoon 3 times a day for 1-2 months with female infertility due to hormonal disorders and diabetes mellitus.

    Widely used plantain and as an external remedy. Fresh leaves are applied to furuncles, wounds, ulcers, burns, abrasions, cuts and abscesses. The juice of the crushed leaves of the plantain is treated with dermatitis caused by insect bites. Powder from leaves is used as

    powder for wounds( hemostatic effect) and for the preparation of an ointment, which is an effective tool for the treatment of pustular skin diseases. Decoction of the leaves is washed with wounds and ulcers, rinsing the mouth with inflammation of the gums, making lotions with inflammation of the eyes and dermatitis. The essence of a fresh plant is used in homeopathy.

    Agrotechnics of cultivation. Site selection. Since plantain large can grow in one place up to 5 years, its plantations are placed in fields with perennial medicinal plants. Under it, sometimes lead zapolnye sites. You can not grow on heavy soils. The best predecessors are winter crops, tilled and leguminous crops, under which fertilizers were applied.

    Soil treatment. The main autumn plowing is carried out to a depth of 25-27 cm after the field is freed from its predecessors. Early in the spring, the soil is harvested to preserve moisture. Pre-sowing cultivation is carried out to a depth of 5 cm, followed by harrowing. As the seeds of plantain are very small, before sowing for better sealing them, the field is rolled.

    Application of fertilizers. If organic fertilizers were applied under the predecessor, it is recommended to apply full mineral fertilizer for the main autumn plowing at the rate of 50-70 kg / ha of the active substance.

    Reproduction. Plantain multiplies seeds. It can be sown in three terms: early in spring, in summer and late in autumn. In the spring it is better to sow stratified, and in summer and under winter - dry seeds. The seeding is made with a vegetable seeder with a row width of 27.5-30 cm in clean areas and 45-60 cm in weeds overgrown with weeds. The seeding rate is 6 kg / ha dry and 4 kg / ha stratified, the depth of embedding is up to 1 cm. Under the winter sow without embedding.

    Care for plantations. The main care consists in the systematic loosening of the rows and the weeding out of the weeds in rows. The first treatment is performed immediately after emergence. On transitional plantations in early spring Remove dead leaves with harrowing. During the summer it is recommended to fertilize plants twice, which ensures a yield increase of up to 25%.

    Harvesting. The main medicinal raw materials of the plantain are leaves, which are harvested twice in summer: the first time - at the beginning of flowering, the second - 1.5-2 months before the end of summer, to grow a new rosette of leaves and plants before winter, before the winter. The leaves are harvested by harvesters or sickles and immediately sent to the processing site, where the juice is squeezed out of them.

    Drying. The leaves are dried under a canopy or in an air drier, and in wet weather - in a fire drier at a temperature of 40-50 ° C.The average yield of dry leaves with good care for two cuts is 14-18 centner / ha.

    Packing. Pack the leaves in bales of 50 kg.

    Storage. Store raw materials in wooden boxes lined with paper.

    Quality requirements. Raw materials must meet the requirements of State Pharmacopoeia XI( FS-20, pp. 264-267).