Narrowleaf plantain, better known by its botanical name Plantago lanceolata, has become a staple ingredient in many skincare products lately. However, extracts from the plant have been administered for different medical issues for centuries. 

Read on as we uncover the health benefits of Plantago lanceolata and what you should know before administering the herb. 

Plantago Lanceolata’s Skincare Benefits

Image of Plantago plant with ribbed leaves and small flowers.

1. Alleviating Inflammation

Plantago lanceolata has been widely studied for its anti-inflammatory abilities, and available evidence points to the herb’s powerful anti-inflammatory properties. 

Narrowleaf plantain leaves are rich in various anti-inflammatory compounds, such as flavonoids, glycosides, terpenoids, and tannins. These compounds work synergistically to manage inflammatory flare-ups. 

According to a rat study, taking Plantago may alleviate several symptoms of inflammation resulting from liver injury. 

Plantago benefits for inflammation make it particularly useful in treating skin conditions like acne, eczema, and psoriasis. That explains why the herb is a principal ingredient in various skincare products, including creams, shampoos, and bath washes. 

You could also administer Narrowleaf plantain internally to manage other inflammatory issues, including osteoarthritis, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and melanomas.  

2. Accelerating Wound Healing

Another reason Plantago lanceolata is such a common ingredient in skincare products is its ability to promote wound healing. Whether your wounds are due to a physical injury or a skin condition like psoriasis, you can trust Narrowleaf plantain to offer much-needed relief. 

The herb promotes wound healing by suppressing inflammation. This prevents swollen areas on the skin from popping into painful blisters. 

Some research also indicates Plantago lanceolata may support wound healing by inhibiting microbial growth. That makes it particularly effective against wounds caused by bacterial infections. 

One study found that applying a gel formulated from Narrowleaf plantain and aloe vera could accelerate the healing of foot ulcers. The two herbs jointly soothe inflammation, eliminate bacterial toxins, and regenerate damaged skin tissues. 

Plantago Lanceolata’s Other Health Benefits

1. Suppressing Cancerous Cells

Inflammation is one of cancer’s primary symptoms. The fact that Plantago lanceolata possesses anti-inflammatory properties lends sufficient credence to its anti-carcinogenic effects. 

Besides, test-tube studies suggest that the high flavonoid content in Plantago lanceolata may guard against cancer by depressing the proliferation of carcinogenic cells. So, integrating the herb into your lifestyle might help keep the silent creeper at bay.

2. Aiding Digestion

Plantago lanceolata seeds are rich in dietary fiber, a nutrient prized for its digestive health benefits. The seeds are notably high in insoluble fiber, known as psyllium. 

Psyllium promotes digestion by bulking up stool. It’s commonly used as a laxative due to its ability to absorb water along the digestive tract. 

According to one review, Narrowleaf plantain’s high fiber content may help to regularise gut transit time and bowel movements. This can be especially useful in treating digestive complications like constipation and diarrhea. 

Moreover, plantago’s anti-inflammatory properties might help treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), while its antiseptic abilities may help in managing stomach ulcers.

Common Ways to Administer Plantago Lanceolata

There are numerous ways to enjoy plantago’s powerful healing properties. The choice of a specific delivery method depends on your desired effects. 

Below are the various ways to administer Narrowleaf plantain;

1. Topical Application

This is arguably the safest way to use Plantago lanceolata extracts. It involves applying a skincare product containing the herb as an active ingredient. 

Before administering Plantago lanceolata topically, go through the full list of ingredients in the skincare product. 

Narrowleaf plantain may not trigger worrying adverse effects in itself. But we cannot say the same about other common additives in topical products, such as parabens and sulfates. 

It’s also important to know your skin type before using plantago-enriched topicals. Sensitive skin calls for moderate usage.

2. Supplements

Narrowleaf plantain is available in different supplement products, including capsules, pills, tinctures, and beverage drinks. 

Tinctures are commonly administered sublingually. This delivery method has a fast-acting time (around 10 minutes), as the active ingredients in the product enter the bloodstream directly through the sublingual glands underneath the tongue. 

The effects of swallowing capsules and pills or drinking Plantago beverages may be delayed for up to three hours, depending on your metabolic rate. However, these three formulations can provide healing benefits up to 48 hours. 

3. Fresh Edibles

Unknown to many, Plantago lanceolata is edible. You can consume the plant’s leaves raw or cooked. 

Note that mature plantago leaves can be quite tough. So, consider cooking the leaves as opposed to consuming them raw. 

Plantago Lanceolata’s Potential Side Effects

Plantago lanceolata has a reasonably high safety profile if moderately consumed. An overdose could trigger several symptoms depending on the mode of administration. 

Gastrointestinal complications like nausea, vomiting, bloating, and diarrhea are common side effects of taking edible plantago extracts. You might expect allergic reactions like skin rash, itchiness, and anaphylaxis from excess topical application. 

Remember to stop taking Narrowleaf plantain and consult a licensed doctor immediately if you develop adverse reactions to the herb. 

The saving grace is that Plantago lanceolata is unlikely to trigger worrying adverse reactions if mindfully dosed. A standard dosage is 5 ounces (150 milliliters) of plantago-infused teas three to four times daily. 

However, note that serving amounts may vary depending on the specific preparation the herb comes in. The conventional rule is to begin with lower Narrowleaf plantain doses and then work your way up gradually. 

Final Word

Plantago lanceolata provides many health benefits, particularly for those with chronic skin conditions. However, moderation is key to unlocking the herb’s full therapeutic potential. 

It’s also prudent to consult your healthcare provider before adding Narrowleaf plantain to your wellness routine.