Plantain tea (车前草茶, Chē Qián Cǎo Chá) is made from Plantago major, Plantago asiatica, or Plantago depressa.
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What Is Plantain
Plantain has strong adaptability and is widely distributed all over the world. It can be seen everywhere in the mountains, fields, roadsides, and riversides.
Plantain is a kind of herbaceous plant and its whole parts can be used as medicine, including its roots and seeds. In Chinese medicine, plantain is called Che Qian Cao and its seed is called Che Qian Zi. Both of them are traditional Chinese medicine, which is recorded in many Chinese medical books, such as <Compendium of Materia Medica>.
Plantain can not only be used for medicine, but also for food. The young plants of plantain can be used for soup, dishes, stuffing, and porridge, which also have a lot of medicinal effects.
When the plantain is growing vigorously if its spikes have grown to be as long as the leaves, its medicinal effect is the highest, and the whole plant can be harvested.
Plantain seed is collected from the mature spikes of the plantain. After the seeds are dried, they require to be stir-fried before using as medicine.
How to Make Plantain Tea
Plantain tea can be made from fresh leaves, seeds, or dried whole plant of plantain.
Wash the fresh leaves, tear them into small pieces, and boil them for a few minutes to drink. Or put them in boiling water to steep for 10 minutes to drink.
The dried plantain can be boiled or brewed directly with boiling water. Plantain seeds should be brewed with boiling water for 15 minutes to drink, or grind them and steep them in boiling water. The plantain products sold on the market are usually dried whole plants or seeds.
Plantain can be brewed with other herbs, such as Ma Huang, Houttuynia cordata, Jin Yin Hua, licorice, etc., which have different medicinal effects.
Benefits of Plantain Tea
- Clear heat
- Treat cough
- Improve eyesight
- Eliminate phlegm
- Treat chronic bronchitis
- Treat urinary system diseases
Plantain is rich in protein, riboflavin, vitamin A, vitamin B, calcium, iron, magnesium, and other nutrients, which can provide the basic nutrients of the human body.
In traditional Chinese medicine, plantain has the functions of diuretic, clearing heat, detoxification, improving eyesight, eliminating phlegm, and treating cough, skin ulcers, and dysentery.
Plantain also has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory effects. In modern clinical applications, it is often used to treat chronic bronchitis, tonsillitis, and icteric hepatitis.
People with diseases of the urinary system and prostate are very suitable for drinking plantain tea, which can relieve the diseases and help the body to excrete excess uric acid.
Side Effects of Plantain Tea
The medicinal property of plantain is cold, so people with a cold constitution should not drink plantain tea, otherwise, it may cause diarrhea and other symptoms.
Pregnant women should not drink plantain tea, which may affect the fetus.
Although plantain tea has many benefits, it can not be drunk in large quantities for a long time. Otherwise, it may cause gastrointestinal disorders and electrolyte disorders.