The whole plant of Plantago major, Linné (Nat. Ord. Plantaginaceae). A very common weed everywhere, especially in lawns and along roadsides, growing in rich soils.
Common Names: Plantain, Rib Grass, Ribwort.
Principal Constituents.—Resin, and citric and oxalic acids.
Preparation.—Specific Medicine Plantago. Dose, 1 to 60 drops.
Action and Therapy.—External. The crushed leaves very promptly relieve the distressing symptoms caused by punctures from the horny appendages of larvae of lepidoptera and the irritation produced by certain caterpillars, as well as the stings of insects and bites of spiders. The promptness with which it relieves the burning pain of wounds caused by the first named and dissipates the rapidly spreading erythema, as we have personally experienced, leads us to believe it may be of value in erysipelas, and should be tried when that disease occurs in the summer season when the fresh plant can be obtained. The alcoholic preparations have been advised as topical applications in toothache, when due to a sensitive pulp, and in earache.
Internal. Plantago is reputed useful in bed wetting in children, due to relaxation of the vesical sphincter, with copious discharge of pale urine.
The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1922, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D.