Plantain Seed and Its common functions.
What is Plantain Seed?:
Plantain Seed:Plantain Seed is the dried ripe seed of Plantago asiatica L. or Plantago depressa Willd.(Fam. Plantaginaceae).Ellipsoid, irregularly oblong or triangular oblong, slightly flattened, about 2 mm long, 1 mm wide. Externally yellowish-brown to dark brown, with fine wrinkles, and a grayish-white concave pointed hilm on one side. Texture hard. Odour, slight; taste, weak.
Plantain seed contains mucilage in its outer epidermis, and swells when it gets wet. This property makes these seeds a natural candidate for the control of cholesterol levels. Along these lines, Plantain has been shown by scientists in Italy, Russia and other countries to reduce the intestinal absorption of lipids and cholesterol. The consensus of opinion today is that the Plantain seeds and leaves act by reducing the intestinal absorption of bile acids. Cholesterol levels may also be lowered in persons that use this herb as an appetite suppressant.
Action: To remove heat , to cause diuresis and eliminate damp, to relieve dysuria, to clear the eye, and to promote expectoration.
Indications: Edema; dysuria with difficult painful urination; diarrhea caused by sum-mer-damp; inflammation of the eye; cough caused by phlegm-heat.
The herb is astringent, antitoxic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, as well as demulcent, expectorant and diuretic. Externally, a poultice of the leaves is useful for insect bites, poison ivy rashes, minor sores. In folklore it is even claimed to be able to cure snakebite (but at least for actually dangerous snakebites this is certainly untrue). Internally, it is used for coughs and broncitis, as a tea, tincture, or syrup. The broad-leaved varieties are sometimes used as a leaf vegetable for salads, green sauce, et cetera.
Plantain seed husks expand and become mucilaginous when wet, especially those of P. psyllium, which is used in common over-the-counter bulk laxative and fiber supplement products such as Metamucil. P. psyllium seed is useful for constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, dietary fiber supplementation, and diverticular disease. Recent research is also showing it to be promising in lowering cholesterol and controlling diabetes.
Functions of Plantain Seed.Semen plantaginis.:
1. Inducing diuresis to treat stranguria:In treating edema, dysuria, stranguria with burning pain and blood, etc., the drug is often used with Herba Diznthi, Caulis Akebiae, Herba Polygoni Avicularis, Talcum, etc.
2. Removing dampness to arrest diarrhea:In treating vomitting and diarrhea due to summer-heat, and dysuria, the drug is often used with Herba Elsholtziae seu Moslae, Polyporus Umbellatus, etc.
3. Clearing away heat from the liver and improving vision:In treating conjunctival congestion due to liver-heat, the drug can be used with Flos Chrysanthemi, Flos Buddlejae, Radix Scutellariae, Radix Gentianae, etc.
4. Clearing away heat from the lung and resolving phlegm:In treating cough with profuse sputum, the drug can be used in combination with Radix Platycodi, Semen Armeniacae Amarum,Radix Asteris, etc.
5.To promote water metabolism and relieve abnormal urination.
6.Treatment for diarrhea:
Although it may sound contradictory, psyllium seed may also be used to treat diarrhea. Because mucilage absorbs water from the intestinal tract, liquid intestinal contents may become more solid when mucilage is present. In studies, psyllium has caused both stomach and intestinal emptying to slow down, allowing more water to be reabsorbed into the body. Both of these effects help to control diarrhea. They may also be effective for the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome and ulcerative colitis.
7.To clear heat in the liver and brighten eyes.
8.To clear the lung and resolve phlegm.
9.Speed Cirluation and repair damage tissue:
Common plantain quickly staunches blood flow and encourages the repair of damaged tissue. Plantain may be used instead of comfrey (Symphytum offidnale) in treating bruises and broken bones. An ointment or lotion may be used to treat hemorrhoids, fistulae (abnormal passages in the skin), and ulcers. Taken internally, common plantain is diuretic, expectorant, and decongestant. Plantain is commonly prescribed for gastritis, peptic ulcers, diarrhea, dysentery, irritable bowel syndrome, respiratory congestion, loss of voice, and urinary tract bleeding.
Plantain is famous as a wound healer and an antidote to poisons. Plantain clears heat, congestion and toxins from the body, useful in treating fevers, infections and skin problems. Its mucilage has a soothing effect particularly in the respiratory, digestive and urinary systems. It protects their mucous linings from irritation and relaxes spasm in asthma and colic; plantain soothes the cough reflex, relieving harsh, tickly, and nervous coughs. The tannins are astringent, useful to reduce swelling and inflammation, staunching bleeding and encouraging healing, explaining its traditional use for TB, bleeding in the stomach and bowels, vomiting of blood, diarrhea and colitis, and for excessive menstrual bleeding.
11.Depresses the secretion of mucous:
Plantain depresses the secretion of mucous, particularly in the respiratory system - useful when treating colds, catarrh, sinusitis, bronchial congestion and allergic conditions such as hay fever and asthma. Its expectorant action clears phlegm from the chest. It can be used for catarrhal congestion in the middle ear, glue ear and ear infections. The antiseptic action of plantain augments its success as a remedy for respiratory complaints such as colds, sore throats, tonsillitis and chest infections. Plantain also helps clear stomach and bowel infections, as well as urinary infections, cystitis, prostatis and urethritis, soothing and reducing the pain and irritation of colic. Plantain is a useful remedy for prostatic enlargement.
12.Prevent or relieve constipation:
Although psyllium may be taken orally to treat several conditions of the gastrointestinal tract, It is probably best known as a laxative. Psyllium seeds are coated with mucilage, a natural gummy substance that does not dissolve in water. Instead, mucilage forms a thick, gooey mass when exposed to fluids. The body does not digest mucilage, so the resulting large soft mass moves through the intestines, usually also triggering intestinal muscle contractions. In addition, the mucilage forms a slick coating on the walls of the intestines. All of these effects help to prevent or relieve constipation.
13.Lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels:
Taking psyllium may also help to lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. In the intestines, psyllium may stick to cholesterol contained in foods, keeping it from being absorbed by the body and forcing it to be eliminated. Psyllium may also trap and eliminate bile acids. Since the body needs bile to digest fats, any bile that is lost in this way must be replaced. Cholesterol is a major component of bile, so more cholesterol may be used to produce adequate bile supplies. Less well-defined is psyllium possible blood sugar-lowering effect for individuals with diabetes. In some studies of individuals with diabetes, taking unsweetened or artificially-sweetened psyllium appeared to delay the absorption of carbohydrates from foods. As a result, blood sugar levels did not increase as high or as fast as they would have normally. Much more research is needed before psyllium may be recommended as treatment for either diabetes or high cholesterol.
Psyllium has also been studied for possible anticancer effects. Results from a few laboratory and animal studies seem to show that taking psyllium may help prevent certain types of cancer ?particularly breast and colon cancers. The exact ways it might work are still not clear, but one theory is that psyllium may help prevent the formation of chemicals that cancer cells need to spread. Much more research is needed before psyllium potential anticancer effects can be proved.
- 1.Plantago asiatica,the Plantain Herb and Plantain Seed,a traditional herb for diuresis promoting and stranguria ,its introductions and applications.
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