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Plantain

What is it?

Plantain is an herbal medicine that has been used for bronchitis, coughs, colds, diarrhea, high cholesterol (blood fats), constipation (difficulty having a bowel movement), and for urinary tract infections. It has also been used on the skin for wounds, rashes, and poison ivy.

Other names for Plantain include: Plantago Lanceolata, Blond Plantago, Broadleaf Plantain, Buckhorn, Flea Seed, Indian Plantago, Lanten, Narrowleaf Plantago Seed, Ribwort, Ripple Grass, Snakeweed, Tract Plant, Way-Bread, White Man's Foot, Wild Plantain, and Wild Saso.

Ask your doctor, nurse, or pharmacist if you need more information about this medicine or if any information in this leaflet concerns you.

Before Using:

Tell your doctor if you

  • are taking medicine or are allergic to any medicine (prescription or over-the-counter (OTC) or dietary supplement)
  • are allergic to Plantain or weed pollens
  • are pregnant or plan to become pregnant while using this medicine
  • are breastfeeding
  • have a bowel blockage
  • have any other health problems, such as high blood pressure or heart or blood vessel disease

Dosage:

Talk with your caregiver about how much Plantain you should take. The amount depends on the strength of the medicine and the reason you are taking Plantain. If you are using this medicine without instructions from your caregiver, follow the directions on the medicine bottle. Do not take more medicine or take it more often than the directions tell you to.

To store this medicine:

Keep all medicine locked up and away from children. Store medicine away from heat and direct light. Do not store your medicine in the bathroom, near the kitchen sink, or in other damp places. Heat or moisture may cause the medicine to break down and not work the way it should work. Throw away medicine that is out of date or that you do not need. Never share your medicine with others.

Warnings:

  • Before taking Plantain, tell your doctor if you are pregnant or breastfeeding
  • Do not take if you have a bowel blockage (obstruction) (4)

Side Effects:

Stop taking your medicine right away and talk to your doctor if you have any of the following side effects. Your medicine may be causing these symptoms which may mean you are allergic to it.

  • Breathing problems or tightness in your throat or chest
  • Chest pain
  • Skin hives, rash, or itchy or swollen skin

Other Side Effects:

You may have the following side effects, but this medicine may also cause other side effects. Tell your doctor if you have side effects that you think are caused by this medicine.

  • Diarrhea, gas, upset stomach (4)
  • Lowered blood pressure (4)
  • Call your doctor immediately if you have a faster heart beat or low blood pressure, because some Plantain supplements also contain digitalis, a heart medicine, which can cause life-threatening heart problems (3,4)

References:

1. Blumenthal, Busse, Goldberg, et al: The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. The American Botanical Council, Austin, TX; 1998.

2. Anon: British Herbal Pharmacopeia. British Herbal Medicine Association, Keighley, UK; 1983.

3. Anon: FDA warns consumers against taking dietary supplement products that may contain digitalis mislabeled as plantain. June 16, 1997.

4. Fetrow CW & Avila JR: Professional's Handbook of Complementary and Alternative Medicines. Springhouse Corporation, Springhouse, PA; 1999.


Last Updated: 4/4/2014

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