Ribwort Plantain leaf / herb – ESCOP Herbal Monograph 2013

Plantaginis lanceolatae folium / herba
Ribwort Plantai Leaf/Herb
Published 2013
Price:   €20
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The herbal monograph selects and summarises scientific studies and textbooks regarding efficacy, dosage and safety to support the therapeutic uses of ribwort plantain leaf or herb. The herbal drug by definition consists of the whole or fragmented dried leaf and scape of Plantago lanceolata L.s.l. or of the dried flowering aerial parts of Plantago lanceolata L. Studies with its characteristic constituents  mucilage polysaccharides, iridoid glycosides and dihydroxycinnamic acid derivatives are included. The therapeutic indications are catarrh of the respiratory tract; temporary, mild inflammations of the oral and pharyngeal mucosa; insect bites; wound healing. Administration of ribwort plantain addresses posology; its duration of use; contra-indications; special warnings; special precautions for use; interactions with other medicinal products; other forms of interaction; in pregnancy and lactation; its effects on ability to drive;  undesirable effects; overdose. In vitro experiments with ribwort plantain extracts or its constituents demonstrate anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, spasmolytic, immunostimulant and antioxidant activities. In vivo experiments in animals demonstrate anti-inflammatory, immunostimulant and analgesic properties. An open clinical study with ribwort plantain extract demonstrated its use in patients with catarrh of the respiratory tract. Preclinical safety data for ribwort plantain were assessed in toxicity studies. Safety data were assessed in human studies. A few minor adverse events were reported.

The selection of literature cited in the monograph is aimed at bringing together relevant information about the possible physiological roles of ribwort plantain and its major constituents. Examples are given below.


  • Plantago lanceolate L.s.l.
  • Plantaginis lanceolatae folium/herba
  • Ribwort Plantain Leaf/Herb
  • Catarrh of the respiratory tract; Inflammations of the mucosa; Insect bites; Wound healing.


– Bräutigam M, Franz G. Structural features of Plantago lanceolata mucilage. Planta Med 1985b;51:293-7. http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-2007-969494.
– Chang IM. Antiviral activity of aucubin against hepatitis B virus replication. Phytother Res 1997;11:189-92.http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/(SICI)1099-1573(199705)11:3<189::AID-PTR67>3.0.CO;2-R.
– Darrow K, Bowers MD. Phenological and population variation in iridoid glycosides of Plantago lanceolata (Plantaginaceae). Biochem Syst Ecol 1997;25:1-11. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0305-1978(96)00090-7.
– Elich J. Die antibakterielle Aktivität einiger einheimischer Plantago-Arten. Dtsch Apoth Ztg 1966;106:428.
– Fleer H, Verspohl. Antispasmodic activity of an extract from Plantago lanceolata L. and some isolated compounds. Phytomedicine 2007;14(6): 409-15. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phymed.2006.05.006.
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