Facts and benefits of Water Plantain

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Facts and benefits of Water Plantain

Water Plantain Quick Facts
Name: Water Plantain
Scientific Name: Alisma plantago-aquatica
Origin Europe and Asia from Portugal and Morocco to Japan, Kamchatka and Vietnam
Shapes Numerous flat, keeled, achenes
Taste Distinctively, slightly bitter taste
Health benefits Lowers Blood Pressure and Promotes Kidney Health
Water Plantain scientifically known as Alisma plantago-aquatica is an aquatic or semi-aquatic plant belonging to the family Alismataceae. Water-plantain is quite different from regular plantain, which belongs to the genus Plantago.  Apart from water plantain it is also known as European water-plantain, common water-plantain, mad-dog weed, Great Water Plantain, ZE-XIE, American water plantain, Northern water plan, deil’s spoons, devil’s spoons and thumbwort. The plant is widespread across most of Europe and Asia from Portugal and Morocco to Japan, Kamchatka and Vietnam. It is also considered as native in northern and central Africa as far south as Tanzania. It is supposedly naturalized in southern Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Alaska, British Columbia, Washington State and Connecticut. Some sources maintain that the species is widespread across North America, but these reports seem to have been based on misidentified varieties. The word alisma is said to be a word of Celtic origin meaning “water”, a reference to the habitat in which it grows. Early botanists named it after the Plantago because of the similarity of their leaves.

Plant Description

Water Plantain is an erect herbaceous, perennial flowering plant that grows about 120 cm (48 inches) in height. The plant is found growing mainly in the lowlands and will grow in most mesotrophic to eutrophic wetland types, from the margins of streams and rivers, to lakes, ponds and marshy pools, as well as some artificial habitats such as canals and ricer fields. It prefers organic or silty soils, with seasonally or permanently inundated freshwater. The plant has fibrous root and flowering stems are long and leafless, growing up to 1 m (3 ft.) in height.

There are two subspecies of common water-plantain: Alisma plantago-aquatica subspecies plantago-aquatica, which is the most common and widespread of the two, and A. plantago-aquatica subsp. orientale, which occurs only in Asia.


Leaves are 15–30 cm long ovate to lanceolate shaped emerging from a 1 1/4 to 6 inch long stem. Each leaf has a primary mid-vein which is bordered by three sub parallel veins.


The plant has branched inflorescence bearing numerous small pink or pale lilac tinge flowers, up to 15 mm in diameter, with three round or slightly jagged, white or pale purple petals. The flowers open in the afternoon. There are 3 blunt green sepals, and 6 stamens per flower. The carpels often exist as a flat single whorl. Flowering normally takes place from June to August.

Flowering stems emerge from the center of the leaf bases, and delicate white, pink or lilac flowers develop in the afternoon for only a few hours, before closing again at dusk. During this time, the flowers are pollinated by flies, which are attracted by small drops of nectar.


Fruit are made up of a cluster of numerous achenes (dry fruits containing one seed) up to 7 mm in diameter. The fruits are buoyant, allowing water-borne dispersal. These Fruits consists of seeds that are deep reddish-brown to light pink or yellow that remains viable in water for many years.

Health Benefits of Water Plantain

The plant is very beneficial as most of its parts are used in different home treatments. It contains triterpenes like alisol A, alisol B and alisol C. Plant is used as a diuretic and to control kidney and liver problems. It can help get rid of excess water in the body. It can also allow the body to produce more urine. This, in turn, helps reduce edema, diarrhea, abdominal distention and difficulty producing urine. Listed below are few of the health benefits of using water plantain

1. Promotes Weight Loss

Water plantain is quite beneficial to help you lose some body weight. It can also help to lower the blood pressure, blood cholesterol, and blood fats as well. Hence, it has shown that water plantain can be the good foods for your healthy diet. For the tips, to have the best diet action, you can do exercise regularly and consume healthy foods like grain foods and fruits then.

2. Alleviating Kidney and Bladder Issues

Recent research has concluded that Water Plantain is a good diuretic that can easily promote proper renal function. Thus; helping the human body to properly filtrate and even eliminate harmful toxins and wastes.

The potent herbal remedy has been widely revealed to alleviate common kidney and urinary tract infections. It is important that you always visit a doctor before using this herb to ease your kidney problems because it may cause various complications when taken without antibiotics.

3. Promoting Better Digestion

Water plantain is a good source of dietary fiber, which helps with proper digestion. Dietary fiber found in Water plantain can help relieve constipation and also improves bowel health and even normalize overall bowel movements.

Research indicates that this dietary fiber helps to facilitate weight loss in obese individuals. This happens through accelerating how the body gets rid of water weight. Consuming the natural foods will alleviate the common digestive disorders. These include stomach, flu, heartburn, cramps, bloating and diarrhea.

4. Acts as Diuretic

Leaves of water plantain are very beneficial to promote the body health. Not only leaves, root also has the hypotensive and lipotropic effects. At this point, it has the diuretic properties which can be the treatment for urinary bladder. This herb increases the urine, sodium, and urea output due to the diuretic effect. It will help increase the excretion of urea, urine, and chlorides. As a result, it will deal with the inflammation of the kidney to treat dysentery, renal calculus, and other urinary system problem as well.

5. Strengthening the Bones

Water plantain consists of good amount of calcium. This compound helps the body to strengthen and even facilitate the formation of muscles, teeth, and bones. People with adequate calcium levels are less likely to experience cavities. It will also help if you suffer from bone-related diseases like osteoporosis.

6. Promotes Kidney Health

Water Plantain has the content to boost the body health as well. As plantain water acts as the diuretic, it will be beneficial to promote kidney health. Water plantain can filtrate and remove harmful toxins and wastes.

Water decoction of this herbal plant can also lower the renal calcium content and the formation of calcium oxalate crystal in the renal tubule resulting in the prevention of kidney stones formation. Thus, with these benefits, you can prevent kidney dysfunction such as kidney failure and urinary tract infections.

7. Relieves Bruises

Water plantain is a wonderful option for those who suffer from injury, wounds, or bruises to deal with these problems. Fresh leaf of water plantain can help to heal bruises and swellings. Indeed, as plantain water is a part of an herbal plant, it will be useful to cure and reduce the pains of bruises and wounds for sure.

8. Promotes Sex Drive

As plantain water helps to promote the heat and fluid in the body. Then, it will be an effective generator of heat to the genital area. At this point, the seeds of water plantain will be beneficial to promote sterility.

9. Boosts Immune System

As you have read before, water plantain provides the best health benefits for you. Moreover, it has shown that water plantain has the anti-inflammatory effects which help to protect the body against free radicals damage. As a result, with the good content in water plantain as well as you consume this herb regularly, and then you can be healthier for sure.

10. Lowers Cholesterol Level

Consuming the best and right foods is a must. Surprisingly, having the herbal plant as your food is really great, too. Water plantain also has the benefit of lowering the cholesterol level in the body. This is also connected to the presence of serum nitroglycerine content in the water plantain. Thus, as you can control your cholesterol level, you also can help preventing risks of health problems such as heart attack and stroke as well.

11. Promotes Beautiful Skin

Consuming water plantain is the best way of promoting the beautiful skin. Researches have shown that plantain water help dealing with wrinkles which are a sign of earlier aging. This is also related to the presence of antiseptic and antibacterial properties in it. Certainly, as this herbal remedy provides best benefits for you, then you will have no doubt to add it for the food consumption and beauty uses.

12. Lowers Blood Pressure

Water Plantain is the kind of herbal plants that will give you best benefits. As you have read before, it provides benefits to promote the body health. Water plantain also has a role in maintaining the level of blood pressure. In fact, water plantain has fat indices and serum nitroglycerine content which help to lower blood pressure. As a result, with the action of regulating blood pressure level, it will also help you to prevent risks of diseases such as hypertension.

13. Relieves Fatigue

Tea made from the decoction of water plantain can be useful for relieving fatigue or weakness. Thus, if you want to have the relaxing days, you can count on water plantain as well. Even, this herb is called as “cooling herb” due to its ability to cure dizziness. Further, do not forget to add the natural sweetener such as sugar or honey to have the sweet tea for sure.

Traditional uses and benefits of Water Plantain

  • Powder prepared from dried roots is used in popular medicine as a cure for rabies.
  • Crushed leaves are used against mammary congestion.
  • Fresh leaves are used in homeopathy.
  • It could be used to cure rabies.
  • Leaves are antibacterial, anti-cholesterolemic, diaphoretic, diuretic, hypo-glycaemic and hypotensive.
  • Leaves are used in the treatment of cystitis, dysentery, renal calculus, gravel etc.
  • Fresh leaf is rubefacient and is used in the treatment of leprosy and is also applied locally to bruises and swellings.
  • Dried stem bases eaten, or grated and taken with water in treating digestive disorders such as heartburn, cramps and stomach flu.
  • Powdered seed is an astringent, used in cases of bleeding.
  • Seed is said to promote sterility.
  • Root contains an essential oil and has a wide range of medicinal uses.
  • It is antibacterial, anticholesterolemic, diuretic and hypotensive.
  • It is said to lower blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar levels whilst it also has an antibacterial action on Staphylococcus, Pneumococci and Mycobacterium.
  • Root is used in the treatment of oliguria, oedema, nephritis, acute diarrhea, cholesterolaemia and fatty liver.
  • It has been thought of as a cure for rabies, though this has not been validated.
  • Whole plant is supposed to promote conception.
  • Homeopathic remedy is obtained from the fresh root.
  • It is best used to treat kidney and liver problems.
  • It helps to get rid of excess water in the body.
  • It helps to produce more urine in the body.
  • It helps to treats a number of diseases like Edema, Diarrhea, bloating and difficult urination.
  • It is an expectorant and helps in expelling phlegm from the body.
  • It treats dizziness and ringing in the ear.
  • It is good for men having problems associated with premature ejaculation, spermatorrhoea and nightly emissions.
  • They are used in the treatment of Cystitis, dysentery and kidney stones.
  • Roots are used in the treatments of diseases associated with kidneys like oliguria and Nephritis.
  • It also treats fatty liver and Cholesterolaemia.
  • Essential oil helps in lowering blood pressure, cholesterol and blood sugar level.
  • The roots prevent the body from infection causing bacteria.
  • Stem is a good remedy for digestive disorders, heart burn, cramps and stomach flu.

Ayurvedic Health benefits of Water plantain

  • Watery Semen: Roast the dried Water plantain plant over flame. Grind to make powder. Take 1 tsp after every meal. Use it for 1 month.
  • Burns: Prepare a paste of plantain leaves. Apply this paste on the burnt part.
  • Jaundice: Make a decoction of Rhubarb root, water plantain leaves, Gardenia fruit and knotgrass leaves. Take it twice a day.
  • Night Sweat: Take equal amount of Rehmannia, Cornus florida, white Peony, Yam Rhizome, Hoelen, Water Plantain, Anemarrhena, Phellodendron Amurense. Powder all ingredients together. Have one tsp with milk at night.
  • Reproductive problems of Male: Ginseng Korean, Astragalus, Dong Quai, Rehmannia, Cuscuta Chinensis, Goji berry, Fennel, Zanthoxylum Piperitum, Morinda Officinalis, Cornus Offinalis, Polyporus Umbellatus, Psoralea, Achyranthes Aspera, Yam Rhizome, Horny Goat weed, Eucommia, Cinnamon, Paeonia Suffruticosa, Raspberry, Chinese Knotweed, Anemarrhena, Atractylodes Macrocephala, Water Plantain, Senega, White Peony, Anemone Chinensis, Honey in conjunction are beneficial for reproductive problems of males and acts as a powerful kidney tonic. OR You may buy the formula containing above mentioned herbs. Capsule form is readily available. Consume 1 capsules 3 times a day.

 Culinary Uses

  • Leaves and petioles must be thoroughly cooked. They require long boiling and have a salty flavor.
  • Root is acrid if it is not dried or well-cooked before use.
  • The starch-rich rootstock is also eaten in some countries.


  • Plant is poisonous if ingested in large quantities.
  • Fresh leaves and roots are toxic but the toxic principal is destroyed by heat or by drying.
  • Seed is said to promote sterility. By contrast it is also said to promote conception.
  • It may cause skin irritation.
  • Avoid use during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  • Excess use may cause Haematuria, vomiting, nausea and abdominal pain.
  • If you are using water plantain then do not take diuretic medications.
  • Prolonged use of rhizome may cause gastroenteritis (inflammation of the stomach and intestines).

















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