Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description

Herbs. Flowers 4-merous, inconspicuous, in cylindric spikes (in ours) or in heads, mostly bisexual.
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Source: Flora of Zimbabwe

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Ecology

Associations

Foodplant / open feeder
larva of Ametastegia glabrata grazes on leaf of Plantago

Foodplant / gall
Aphis causes gall of leaf of Plantago

Foodplant / open feeder
gregarious larva of Athalia cordata grazes on leaf (underside) of Plantago

Foodplant / open feeder
gregarious larva of Athalia lineolata grazes on leaf (underside) of Plantago

Plant / associate
Cathormiocerus attaphilus is associated with Plantago
Other: minor host/prey

Plant / associate
Cathormiocerus maritimus is associated with Plantago

Foodplant / open feeder
imago of Chrysolina haemoptera grazes on leaf of Plantago
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / open feeder
larva of Chrysolina intermedia grazes on live leaf of Plantago
Remarks: captive: in captivity, culture, or experimentally induced

In Great Britain and/or Ireland:
Foodplant / open feeder
adult of Longitarsus kutscherae grazes on leaf of Plantago

Foodplant / open feeder
adult of Longitarsus melanocephalus grazes on leaf of Plantago

Foodplant / open feeder
adult of Longitarsus pratensis grazes on leaf of Plantago

Foodplant / feeds on
Mecinus circulatus feeds on Plantago

Foodplant / gall
larva of Mecinus collaris causes gall of peduncle (top) of Plantago

Foodplant / feeds on
Mecinus pyraster feeds on Plantago

Foodplant / open feeder
nocturnal larva of Pachyprotasis nigronotata grazes on leaf of Plantago

Foodplant / miner
larva of Phytomyza plantaginis mines leaf of Plantago
Other: sole host/prey

Foodplant / saprobe
immersed pseudothecium of Pleospora phaeocomoides is saprobic on dead stem (slender) of Plantago
Remarks: season: 2-10

Foodplant / open feeder
larva of Subcoccinella vigintiquattuorpunctata grazes on leaf of Plantago
Other: major host/prey

Foodplant / open feeder
nocturnal larva of Tenthredo atra grazes on leaf of Plantago

Foodplant / open feeder
nocturnal larva of Tenthredo thomsoni grazes on leaf of Plantago

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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLD) Stats
Specimen Records:403
Specimens with Sequences:604
Specimens with Barcodes:365
Species:82
Species With Barcodes:79
Public Records:138
Public Species:52
Public BINs:0
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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Plantago sp.

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 0
Specimens with Barcodes: 2
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Barcode data

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Wikipedia

Plantago

This article is about the plant genus. For the fruit also called plantain, see Plantain.

Plantago is a genus of about 200 species of small, inconspicuous plants commonly called plantains or fleaworts. They share this name with the very dissimilar plantain, a kind of banana. Most are herbaceous plants, though a few are subshrubs growing to 60 cm (23.5 in) tall. The leaves are sessile, but have a narrow part near the stem which is a pseudo-petiole. They have three or five parallel veins that diverge in the wider part of the leaf. Leaves are broad or narrow, depending on the species. The inflorescences are borne on stalks typically 5–40 cm (2.25-15.75 in) tall, and can be a short cone or a long spike, with numerous tiny wind-pollinated flowers.

Plantains are used as food plants by the larvae of some species of Lepidoptera (butterfly and moth) - see list of Lepidoptera that feed on plantains.

They are found all over the world, including America, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Africa and Europe. Many species in the genus are cosmopolitan weeds. They are found in many different habitats, most commonly in wet areas like seepages or bogs. They can also be found in alpine and semi-alpine or coastal areas. The cosmopolitan weeds can be frequently seen at the side of roads.

Uses[edit]

Plantago species have been used since prehistoric times as herbal remedies. The herb is astringent, anti-toxic, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-histamine, as well as demulcent, expectorant, styptic and diuretic.[2] Externally, a poultice of the leaves is useful for insect bites, poison-ivy rashes, minor sores, and boils. In folklore it is even claimed to be able to cure snakebite. Internally, it is used for coughs and bronchitis, as a tea, tincture, or syrup. The broad-leaved varieties are sometimes used as a leaf vegetable for salads, green sauce, et cetera.

Plantain seed husks expand and become mucilaginous when wet, especially those of P. psyllium, which is used in common over-the-counter bulk laxative and fiber supplement products such as Metamucil. P. psyllium seed is useful for constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, dietary fiber supplementation, and diverticular disease. Plantain has been consumed as human food since prehistory. For example, archaeological recovery along California's Central Coast has demonstrated use of this species as a food since the Millingstone Horizon.[3]

Psyllium supplements are typically used in powder form, along with adequate amounts of fluids. A dose of at least 7 grams daily taken with adequate amounts of fluid (water, juice) is used by some for management of elevated cholesterol. There are a number of psyllium products used for constipation. The usual dose is about 3.5 grams twice a day. Psyllium is also a component of several ready-to-eat cereals.

Mucilage from Desert Indianwheat (Plantago ovata) is obtained by grinding off the husk. This mucilage, also known as Psyllium, is commonly sold as Isabgol, a laxative which is used to control irregular bowel syndrome and constipation.[4] It has been used as an indigenous Ayurvedic and Unani medicine for a whole range of bowel problems.

As Old English Wegbrade the plantago is one of the nine plants invoked in the pagan Anglo-Saxon Nine Herbs Charm, recorded in the 10th century. In Serbia, Romania, and Bulgaria, leaves from Plantago major are used as a folk remedy to preventing infection on cuts and scratches because of its antiseptic properties. In Slovenia and other Central European regions, the leaves were traditionally used topically as a cure for blisters resulting from friction (such as caused by tight shoes etc.) and as relief on mosquito bites in eastern Westphalia as well as western Eastphalia.

There may also be a use for plantains in the abatement of enteric methane from ruminants,[5] as the natural compounds present (e.g. condensed tannins; ~14g/kg DM), affect the acetate-propionate ratio in the rumen which is a primary mechanism by which methanogenesis is restricted.[6] Currently this is not a viable option in any significant scale due to agronomic difficulties.

Species[edit]

The boundaries of the genus Plantago have been fairly stable, with the main question being whether to include Bougueria (one species from the Andes) and Littorella (2–3 species of aquatic plants).[7]

There are about 200 species of Plantago, including:

The genus name Plantago descends from the classical Latin name plantago which in classical Latin meant some Plantago species, including Plantago major and Plantago media. In Latin the name was formed from the classical Latin word planta = "sole of the foot". The name was so formed in Latin because the leaves of these species grow out near flat at ground level. The suffix -ago in Latin means "a sort of".[8]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Genus: Plantago L.". Germplasm Resources Information Network. United States Department of Agriculture. 2006-04-20. Retrieved 2011-03-04. 
  2. ^ Samuelsen, Anne Berit (July 2000). "The traditional uses, chemical constituents and biological activities of Plantago major L. A review". Journal of Ethnopharmacology 77 (1-2): 1. doi:10.1016/S0378-8741(00)00212-9. ISSN 0378-8741. 
  3. ^ C.Michael Hogan (2008) Morro Creek, ed. by A. Burnham
  4. ^ Sangwan et al. (2011). Mucilages and their Pharmaceutical Applications: an Overview. Pharmacology Online 2: 1265-1271.
  5. ^ Ramírez-Restrepo, C. and T. Barry (2005) 'Alternative temperate forages containing secondary compounds for improving sustainable productivity in grazing ruminants', Animal Feed Science and Technology, 120(3-4), 179-201.
  6. ^ Lourenço, M., G. Van Ranst, B. Vlaeminck, S. De Smet, and V. Fievez (2008) 'Influence of different dietary forages on the fatty acid composition of rumen digesta as well as ruminant meat and milk', Animal Feed Science and Technology, 145(1-4), 418-437.
  7. ^ Albach, D. C., Meudt, H. M. & Oxelman, B. 2005. Piecing together the "new" Plantaginaceae. American Journal of Botany 92: 297–315.
  8. ^ "Plantago" in The Names of Plants, by David Gledhill, year 2008. Compare the definitions of "planta", "plantago" and "plantarium" in Lewis and Short's Latin-English Dictionary. Cf "planta" at Latin-Dictionary.net.
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Psyllium seed husks

Psyllium seed husks, also known as ispaghula, isabgol, or psyllium, are portions of the seeds of the plant Plantago ovata, (genus Plantago), a native of India and Pakistan. They are hygroscopic, which allows them to expand and become mucilaginous.

Psyllium seed husk are indigestible and are a source of soluble dietary fiber. They are used to relieve constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and diarrhea. They are also used as a regular dietary supplement to improve and maintain regular GI transit. The inert bulk of the husks helps provide a constant volume of solid material irrespective of other aspects of the diet or any disease condition of the gut. Some recent research[1] has shown they may be effective in lowering cholesterol[2] and controlling certain types of diabetes.[3]

Other uses include gluten-free baking, where ground psyllium seed husks bind moisture and help make breads less crumbly.

The husks are used whole in their natural state, or dried and chopped or powdered for easier consumption. In either of these forms, one takes them by mixing them with water or another fluid.

They are also available in capsules. Over-the-counter laxatives and fiber supplements such as Metamucil, Colon Cleanse, Serutan, Fybogel, Bonvit, Effersyllium, and Konsyl have psyllium husks as their main ingredient.

The husks may also be combined with other ingredients. For example, Blackstrap molasses is sometimes used with psyllium seed husks for its high mineral and vitamin content, as well as being an excellent carrier. A typical dose is one to three teaspoons per glass of water. Psyllium seeds can be used for the same purpose at a lower cost. The standard dose is 3.5g dissolved in 250 ml of water.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has established a tangible benefit of psyllium seed husk intake[4] and a decreased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Psyllium's soluble fiber thus has the potential to decrease the risk of CHD.

Adverse reactions[edit]

Psyllium husks from shop in India

Possible adverse reactions include allergic reactions, especially among those having had regular exposure to psyllium dust. Gastrointestinal tract obstruction may occur, especially for those with prior bowel surgeries or anatomic abnormalities, or if taken with inadequate amounts of water.

Psyllium seed husk consumption has noteworthy negative and positive attributes.[5] A properly trained person can address the potential side-effects between prescription medications and psyllium seed husk, and the potential interactions between herbs or supplements and psyllium seed husk.

The U.S. FDA has published that psyllium, among other water-soluble gums, have been linked to medical reports of esophageal obstruction (Esophageal food bolus obstruction), choking, and asphyxiation. To be specific, the FDA reports.

"Esophageal obstruction and asphyxiation due to orally-administered drug products containing water-soluble gums, hydrophilic gums, and hydrophilic mucilloids as active ingredients are significant health risks when these products are taken without adequate fluid or when they are used by individuals with esophageal narrowing or dysfunction, or with difficulty in swallowing."

and "when marketed in a dry or incompletely hydrated form" are required to have the following warning labels:

"Choking:
Taking this product without adequate fluid may cause it to swell and block your throat or esophagus and may cause choking. Do not take this product if you have difficulty in swallowing. If you experience chest pain, vomiting, or difficulty in swallowing or breathing after taking this product, seek immediate medical attention;"

and

"Directions: (Select one of the following, as appropriate: "Take" or "Mix") this product (child or adult dose) with at least 8 ounces (a full glass) of water or other fluid. Taking this product without enough liquid may cause choking. See choking warning."[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Blond psyllium, MedlinePlus
  2. ^ Arch Intern Med. 1988 Feb;148(2):292-6
  3. ^ Am J Clin Nutr. 1999 Oct;70(4):466-73
  4. ^ Schultz, William B (1998-02-18). "Federal Register 63 FR 8103, February 18, 1998 - Food Labeling: Health Claims; Soluble Fiber From Certain Foods and Coronary Heart Disease, Final Rule". Federal Register. U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Archived from the original on 2011-08-18. Retrieved 2013-02-10. 
  5. ^ "Blond psyllium: MedlinePlus Supplements". Nlm.nih.gov. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
  6. ^ "CFR - Code of Federal Regulations Title 21". Accessdata.fda.gov. Retrieved 2013-02-05. 
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