Lanting-haba is a perennial, scape-bearing, low herb, varying considerably in size. Rootstock is tapering. Leaves, which arise from the roots, are wooly, lanceolate, 15 to 21 centimeters long, 2 to 3 centimeters wide, with entire or toothed margins. Scape is as long as the leaf, deeply furrowed. Spikes are ovoid, subglobose, or cylindric, 1 to 7.5 centimeters long. Sepals are usually ciliate. Corolla is smooth. Capsule is 2-celled and the cells 1- to 2-seeded.
- Found only in Pauai, Benguet Subprovince in Luzon, in gardens at al altitude of about 2,200 meters.
- Introduced, of European or Asiatic origin.
Now widely distributed in most temperate and subtemperate regions.
- The leaves, roots and seeds yield a glucoside, aucubin, together with the enzymes, invertin and emulsin.
- Phytochemical screening yielded coumarins, flavonoids and terpenes.
- Constituent study yielded mucilage, polysaccharides, tannins, iridoid glycosides including aucubin and its precursor catalpol, silicic acid, phenolic carboxylic acids (protocatechuic acid), flavonoids (apigenin, luteolin, minerals (zinc, potassium) and saponin.
- Seeds considered purgative and hemostatic.
- Leaves considered diuretic and astringent.
- Considered anti-inflammatory, anti-asthma, antioxidant.
- Leaves used on wounds, inflamed surfaces and sores.
- Seeds, with sugar, is a drastic purgative; also, acts as a hemostatic.
- In Africa, leaves used to treat wounds, insect stings, sunburn, skin disease, eye irritation and inflammation of the mouth and throat. Infusion used as detoxifier and taken for treat colds, asthma, emphysema, urinary bladder stones, gastric ulcers. Infusion of dried seeds used as soothing eye lotion, taken for diarrhea and dysentery, and for intestinal worms in children.
- In Mauritius, alcohol tincture of mashed leaves applied to toothaches associated with caries. Crushed leaves used as poultice on wounds to stop bleeding. Leaf decoction or infusion used to wash infected eyes. - Decoction of whole plant used for nausea, for mouth wash for aphthae, and for body wash to treat rheumatic pains.
- In Nigeria, whole plant and seeds used to treat intestinal problems such as gastritis and enteritis.
- In Ethiopia, roots used as taenicidal and to treat fertility problems.
Elsewhere, sometimes grown as fodder crop, and considered of better quality than Plantago major.
• Antitussive: Ethanolic extracts of P lanceolata showed antitussive effects comparable to that of codeine.
• Anti-Mitotic / Anti-Genotoxic: Study showed the aqueous leaf extracts of Plantago lanceolata on Allium cepa root tip meristems treated with hydrogen peroxide have anti-mitotic and anti-genotoxic effects.
• Bacteriostatic / Bactericidal: Bacteriostatic and bactericidal activity show in vitro study of cold aqueous extract attributed to the aglycone, aucubigenin. Since the activity is destroyed by heat, cold macerate form is used as rinse, gargle or cataplasm for antibacterial action.
• Anti-Inflammatory: Study showed Pinus sylvestris and Plantago lanceolata extracts inhibited NO production in a concentration-dependent manner. Results suggest the anti-inflammatory may reflect decreased NO production, possibly due to inhibitory effects on iNOS gene expression or to NO-scavenging activity.
• Phenylethanoids / Arachidonic Acid Inhibition: Study yielded five phenylethanoids - acteoside, cistanoside F, lavandulifolioside, plantamajoside and isoacteoside. Acteoside, the major phenylethanoid, showed inhibitory effects on arachidonic acid-induced mouse ear edema.
• Allergens: Fractionation of plantain pollen extracts showed a spread of allergenic activity. At least 16 different antigens were detected in plantain pollen and six may be allergenic. IgE-binding components were widely distributed in plantain plants and not confined to the pollen.
Extracts, tinctures, seeds in the cybermarket.