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
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.
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.
There may also be a use for plantains in the abatement of enteric methane from ruminants, 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. Currently this is not a viable option in any significant scale due to agronomic difficulties.
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".
^Sangwan et al. (2011). Mucilages and their Pharmaceutical Applications: an Overview. Pharmacology Online 2: 1265-1271.
^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.
^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.
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 and a decreased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Psyllium's soluble fiber thus has the potential to decrease the risk of CHD.
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. 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.
"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:
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;"
"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."