The traditional uses, chemical constituents and biological activities of Plantago major L. A review

J Ethnopharmacol. 2000 Jul;71(1-2):1-21. doi: 10.1016/s0378-8741(00)00212-9.


Plantago major L. leaves have been used as a wound healing remedy for centuries in almost all parts of the world and in the treatment of a number of diseases apart from wound healing. These include diseases related to the skin, respiratory organs, digestive organs, reproduction, the circulation, against cancer, for pain relief and against infections. P. major contains biologically active compounds such as polysaccharides, lipids, caffeic acid derivatives, flavonoids, iridoid glycosides and terpenoids. Alkaloids and some organic acids have also been detected. A range of biological activities has been found from plant extracts including wound healing activity, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antioxidant, weak antibiotic, immuno modulating and antiulcerogenic activity. Some of these effects may attribute to the use of this plant in folk medicine.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Medicine, Traditional
  • Phytotherapy
  • Plantago / chemistry*
  • Plants, Medicinal / chemistry*