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If you take some time to read older to modern herb texts, you may not discover that a humble, ever-available herb is a possible aid in reducing high levels of blood cholesterol, and in turn, weight (an Italian study)!
I have tried psyllium with great success, including using the psyllium dosage in hot milk as a great sleepy-time nightcap(good for soothing the stomach),but I have just learned from an encyclopaedia on the net that psyllium actully reduces cholesterol. Psyllium seed is derived from particular types of Plantain, called Plantago psyllium L. and Plantago indica, also called 'flea seed' and Plantago.The long, braided stems offer seeds which, when ripe and dried, offer psyllium, a commonly known product which is high in mucilage, and used universally as a laxative.
In my web travels, I found a very unusual image
of a "Blue Mud Plantain", listed under Blue Wildflowers in:
I was interested to read that Chinese MDs use Plantain to assist in curing some types of male impotency.The species P. major and P. lanceolata contain mucilage, the iridoid glycosides cubin and catapol, flavonoids, tannins, and silica. Perhaps including plantain experimentally with the powers of the new miracle, Viagra, might prove to be efficient.
Even taking psyllium with an eye to reducing cholesterol itself could be a factor in cleansing blood vessels and preventing heart disease. In fact, an anti-toxic effect can be deduced from the use of Plantain for a blood purifying tonic, and from its use in ancient days for coughs, bronchitis, sore throat, tuberculosis, laryngitis, urinary infections,as well as for a mild expectorant and as a diuretic.
This is probably little known, but The Gale Encycyclopaedia of Alternative Medicine states that the juice of fresh leaves and stems may be used to relieve the stinging effects of Poison Ivy, or of Stinging Nettle, something many of us need to remember when hiking away in the forests. Poison Ivy or Nettle stings are really irritating.
Another remedy from nature is to take the juice from Impatiens botanicus, which is also known as Jewelweed. The Jewelweed is to be found growing in quite wet areas and had three to five feet of tender, pale green stems bearing orchid- like orange flowers which tenderly dangle from all sides of the branches. It is also called "Popweed" since it is characterized by its volatile seed case, which springs apart satisfyingly when touched in the most gentle manner, spewing its seeds from its case as it twists apart
Look up Jewelweed and Plantain in
your various guides, so that they are recognizable to you, since a natural
remedy can be invaluable in the wild.
The root of Plantain can relieve toothache, and its juice can relieve earache as well!
The Russian Ministry of Health claims that it is effective treatment for chronic colitis, acute gastritis, enteritis, and enterocolitis. The German Commission E is an advisory panel on herb medicines, and lists Plantain as having demulcent, antibacterial and astringent properties. A poultice or wash made of the plant can reduce pain, itching and bleeding from hemorrhoids.
Interested? This article suggests a delightful salad of young plantain below. Why not try a different way of looking at those plantains dotting your lawn, at least in terms of reducing its populus without wasting the plants? If their growth were not so tenuous and hectic along pathways and roadsides this invaluable herb might be an addition to the nobility of your herb garden.
After all, if one tells plants that they are noble, medicinally useful beings, they will learn their value, and be an assistant in showing you other valuable secrets. There is no reason to ignore their qualities when Nature has sowed them for Universal reasons!
Note: I found that Yarrow was used by the Scottish Highlanders Regiments traditionally for the reduction of hemorrhoids. I was quite excited, but I still did not know how to make the remedy myself. I would be a little more fastidious in my concerns, if I were you, for the way the remedy is created, taking care to fully research the possibility of home-grown.
After all, smoking it (as it were) might
not be hygienic unless all the aspects of manufacture are properly
covered. Rumor has it that other like-minded (cheap) individuals like
myself were gung-ho to fabricate the elixir of hope and well-being, with
the ghastly results that irritation and potential toxic shock were
present. Think about it.
Needless to say, the cost of Prep H is prohibitive, at times, so one day I will find the answer!
All Plantains have similar medicinal properties, and contain high amounts of the Vitamins C and K.
My Herb reference lists Plantain as a source of Dilantin, used widely for the prevention of seizures due to epilepsy.
One may eat newer leaves cooked as a spinach, or raw, in salad.You can even dye wool with Plantain.Its whole plant is used with an alum mordant to produce bronze-gold colouring.
If you are pregnant or nursing, please take note of the Contra-Indications section of the Properties page. Consult with an herbalist or your MD before even taking psyllium, or offering this to young children.
Majistycks.com lists another potential for Plantain, in that the
Ribwort variety may be useful in giving up smoking, and is a body detox,
as well as for:
Asthma, Blood Purifying, Bee Stings, Bed Wetting, Bladder Problems, Internal & External Bleeding,Blood Poisoning,
Burns, Diarrhoea, Douche ,Eyes ,Excema, Fractures, Frigidity, Haemorrhage, Haemorrhoids, Hoarseness, Insect Bites ,Itching ,Kidneys, Leucorrhoea ,Lumbago, Lungs, Menopause ,Menstruation (decrease) ,Poison Ivy-Oak, Poisonous Spiders, Rashes, Stinging Nettle rash ,Snake Bites*, Thrush, Tumours ,Ulcers, Vagina ,Wounds .
Ribwort can be offered homeopathically or as a tea. it is also called "Rat-Tail Plantain". A leaf from this can stop bleeding immediately and reduce problems from all skin ailments, including burns.
* Now a fairly rare plant in North American woods, Rattlesnake Plantain is known to have been used for snake bites by Indigenous people.
Complement your psyllium exploration when you are seeking to reduce
blood cholesterol levels and to lose weight. Use Walnut oil, available in
your Health Food store, and walnuts in a delicious, nutty salad made of
young Plantain greens, nuts and canteloupe balls.
Pick a couple of cups of the Spring or new developing Plantain leaves, unless you have just sprayed your lawn for weeds!
Wash these well, and shake with three tablespoons of walnut cold-pressed oil, juice of two fresh limes, and half a cup chopped walnut meats. Add 1/2 to a whole canteloupe shaped by a melon-baller.
The salad is truly delicious, as well as being quite easy. Imagine this delicacy on a hot June day, and all the benefits your body will derive from the clarification of the blood, stomach, and reduction of cholesterol. Rejoice!
Gale Encyclopaedia. of Alternative Medicine http://www.gale.com/
Rogues Gallery of Dune Invaders: The Ecology and Plantain:
http://www.bwca.go-legend.net (click flora)
Ribwort-Plantago lanceolata ( Rat Tail Plantain)
A glorious Temple to herbal Medicine in Australia
Good images of Plantain: http://www.motherlove.com/plants