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What Are the Benefits of Plantain Leaves?

By Meshell Powell
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Plantain leaves are believed to have a variety of health benefits, including the promotion of digestive and cardiovascular health. These leaves have traditionally been used to treat skin irritation caused by insect bites or stings and may help to neutralize the effects of some snake bites. Thought to have natural diuretic properties, plantain leaves may help to improve kidney health and aid in the removal of excess fluid from the body. Sore throat, toothaches, and respiratory illnesses may also be treated with this herb. Any specific questions or concerns about the possible uses of plantain leaves in an individual situation should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.

Digestive problems that may be treated by the use of plantain leaves include ulcers, heartburn, and indigestion. Cardiovascular benefits may include lowered cholesterol levels and prevention or treatment of blood-borne infections. Overall kidney health may improve with the regular use of plantain leaves, and this herb may also help to remove excess fluid from the body through the urine.

Several skin conditions have been treated with the use of plantain leaves for several centuries, as this herb is thought to have antiseptic, antibacterial, and antimicrobial properties. Insect stings, snake bites, and minor cuts or scrapes are believed to heal more quickly when these leaves are applied to the site of the injury. Fungal infections such as ringworm and skin disorders such as eczema are often treated with this herbal remedy.

Respiratory illnesses that are frequently treated with plantain leaves include bronchitis, influenza, and asthma. Sore throat, cough, and fever are some of the specific symptoms that may be treated with this herb. Nasal and chest congestion may also be reduced when using the leaves from the plantain tree due to a reduction in the amount of mucus produced in the lungs and nasal passages. Chewing on the leaves of this plant may help to soothe pain associated with a toothache or gum infection.

While plantain leaves are considered safe to use by most people, a doctor should be consulted before beginning treatment with any herbal supplement. Some medications may lose effectiveness when combined with herbs, so it is important that the doctor is made aware of all over-the-counter, prescription, and herbal medications that are being used. The supervising physician can help the patient create an individualized treatment plan and decide if this type of herb is safe for use in a specific situation.

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Discussion Comments
By Sporkasia — On Dec 05, 2014

@mobilian33 - Plantains have a high concentration of vitamin C. This explains why the leaves might be considered good for the snake bites. The vitamin C is good for fighting off any infections that might develop because of the bite. I am not certain what the role of the tobacco would have been.

By mobilian33 — On Dec 05, 2014

I agree with the first paragraph of this article where it talks about plantain leaves and the way they can be used to treat bites. Where I grew up, there were a large number of snakes, and there were many varieties of them. We played in the woods and by the creeks, ponds and the river, so we came in contact with snakes almost daily.

Most of the snakes were not poisonous. They didn't have any deadly venom. However, what you might not know is that any type of snake bite can be dangerous. Even when the snakes were not venomous, their bites could make you pretty sick.

When one of us would get a snake bite, my grandmother would put tobacco and plantain leaves on the skin where the bite had occurred. This was supposed to suck out the snake saliva and help the wound heal quicker and with less skin irritation.

By Feryll — On Dec 04, 2014

When I play sports, especially tennis, I eat bananas to keep my potassium levels from dropping too low and to prevent my muscles from cramping. I have been doing this for years. One of my tennis coaches recommended bananas to me because I always had a tendency to cramp up during long matches in hot weather.

I was recently told that plantains are actually better than bananas in my case. The plantains have more potassium and they also have more calories than bananas, and I need the potassium and the calories when I am working out and playing sports. However, bananas are more convenient because they taste great raw while plantains need to be cooked for the most part if you want to enjoy them.

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