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Common Name: Che Qian Zi
Plantago asiatica is a perennial plant that can grow up to 0.50 metres tall.
It has edible and medicinal uses.
E. Asia - China, Japan, Korea.
Woods and waste ground in lowland and mountains all over Japan[
Succeeds in any moderately fertile soil in a sunny position[
This species is hardy to at least -15°c[
Closely related to P. major and included as a sub-species of that plant by some botanists[
Young leaves - raw or cooked[
]. Rather fibrous, unless they are very young, they have a slightly bitter flavour[
The leaves and the seed are anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antitussive, cardiac, diuretic, expectorant, haemostatic. Assists the repair of joints[
]. The seed is used internally in the treatment of a variety of ailments including asthma, bladder problems, bronchitis, fever, hypertension and rheumatism[
]. The leaves are also used for these purposes, though they are considered to be less powerful than the seed[
]. The leaves can be harvested at any time in the growing season, and are used fresh or dried[
A decoction of the roots is used in the treatment of coughs[
Plantain seeds contain up to 30% mucilage which swells up in the gut, acting as a bulk laxative and soothing irritated membranes[
]. Sometimes the seed husks are used without the seeds[
Extracts of the plant have antibacterial activity[
Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer
A sowing can be made outdoors in situ in mid to late spring if you have enough seeds.