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The plantain is a plant rich in flavonoids, alkaloids, terpenoids, iridoids, mucilage and other compounds, which guarantees the antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory functions of this plant. Therefore, plantain is widely used in the preparation of home remedies to treat the flu, the common cold and inflammation of the throat, uterus and intestines.
In addition to its antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties, plantain also has an anticancer, detoxifying, expectorant, purifying, diuretic, antispasmodic, decongestant, healing and laxative action in the case of seeds.
The scientific name of plantain is Plantago major and belongs to the Plantaginaceae family. The parts of plantain that are used are its leaves and seeds, and can be purchased in natural products stores, pharmacies and in some street markets.
This way, due to its properties, plantain can be used for:
1. Facilitate wound healing
This property is due to the fact that plantain is rich in polyphenols, polysaccharides and antioxidants, which are responsible for protecting cells against the destruction caused by inflammatory mediators, which facilitates tissue repair.
2. Prevent the appearance of gastric ulcers
Some scientific studies indicate that plantain leaves and seeds help prevent the formation of gastric ulcers, as they have the ability to reduce the acidity of gastric juice, relieving burning and pain in the stomach.
In addition, it is also capable of inhibiting the activity of the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which when not identified and treated correctly, can lead to the formation of stomach ulcers.
3. Controlling blood sugar
Tancho has antidiabetic activity, because it improves the mechanism with which pancreatic cells regulate blood sugar levels. In addition, it also has flavonoids, sterols and tannins, which are compounds that exert a hypoglycemic effect.
4. Fight diarrhea
Some studies confirm that plantain helps to improve diarrhea symptoms as it contains tannins, flavonoids and alkaloids, which reduce the secretion and accumulation of liquids in the intestine, exerting an antidiarrheal effect.
5. Fight infections
Due to the presence of polysaccharides in its composition, plantain has protective effects against some bacteria such as Streptococcus pneumoniae, as well as against viruses, including adenovirus, being, therefore, widely used in the treatment of common flu.
In addition, the leaves of this plant can be used in the preparation of plantain tea, which helps to fluidify the secretions accumulated in the bronchi, relieving cough.It can also be used as a gargle to treat mouth and throat disorders, such as canker sores, pharyngitis, tonsillitis and laryngitis, exerting an anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effect.
Tancho also has action against bacteria associated with skin infections and urinary system infections, such as Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Candida albicans, for example.
6. Prevent premature aging
Because it is rich in antioxidants, mainly phenolic compounds and flavonoids, plantain prevents the damage caused by free radicals to cells, preventing premature aging.
How to use
The plantain leaves can be used to season meals, prepare tea or make a compress to put on the skin, while its seeds can be ingested.
1. Plantain tea
- 3 to 4 g of plantain leaf tea;
- 240 mL of water.
Boil the water and then remove from the heat and place the plantain leaves, letting it rest for about 3 minutes. Let cool, strain and drink up to 3 cups a day.
2. Plantain compresses
The compresses can be prepared with the tea itself, dipping a cloth in the tea and placing it on the skin at the wound site in order to help heal and reduce skin inflammation.
Possible side effects
Major side effects of plantain include drowsiness, intestinal colic and dehydration.
Who should not use
The plantain is contraindicated for pregnant women, women who are breastfeeding and patients with heart problems. In addition, it is not indicated for people who have intestinal obstruction, hypotension and before surgical procedures.It is necessary that the doctor is consulted when the person has diabetes, as plantain seeds can greatly decrease blood sugar levels, which can cause hypoglycemia.
In relation to children, the use of plantain should be discussed and guided by the pediatrician, because so far no studies have been carried out on the effects of this plant in children.