Plantago ovata Forsk.

Plantago ovata Forsk.

Botanical Name:        Plantago ovata Forsk.Plantago ovate Forsk. 

Kingdom:                      Plantae

Order:                           Lamiales

Family:                         Plantaginaceae

Genus:                         Plantago

Sindhi Name:            Ispangar

Local Name:              Ispaghul

Part Used:                  Seeds and husk

English Name:          Psyllium husk

Description annual herb. Leaves are in rosettes, linear, 3 nerved, densely covered with appressed wooly hairs, attenuated at bases, bases slightly dialted. Scapesascendent, 1-9 cm long, glabrous, or at the upper part pubescent. Flowers in dense capituliform or short cylindrical, 0.5-2 cm long thick spikes.Seeds 2, small ovoid-oblong, boat-shaped, smooth, yellowish-brown1.


P.ovatais found from the Mediterranian regions to the deserts of Kizil Kum, Afghanistan, and Pakistan2.

Ethnomedicinal Uses in Skin Diseases

Boils and Pyoderma

Plantago ovate Forsk. (Ispanghar)is soaked in sheep milk and then applied on boils in District Ghotki (Sindh).


P. ovatehusk is taken orally with sheep milk for the treatment of pyoderma in District Sukkur (Simdh).

Abscess and Boils

  1. P. ovate is mixed with water and applied topically for the treatment of abscess in Districts Jacobabad, Larkana, and District Khairpur (Sindh). This mixture is also applied topically on boils in District Kashmore (Sindh). This remedy is also used for the treatment of wounds in district Jacobabad (Sindh).
  2. P. ovate is taken orally with water for the treatment of abscess in District Sukkur (Sindh). This remedy is also used for the treatment of heat rashes in District Umerkot (Sindh).
  3. P. ovate is mixed with jaggery (gur) and Triticum aestivum L. (Wheat) flour and applied topically for the treatment of abscess in District Sukkur (Sindh). This remedyis also used for the treatment of wounds in District Jacobabad (Sindh).
  4. Husk of P. ovate is mixed in water and bandaged on affected areas for the treatment of boils in District Kashmore (Sindh).

Wounds and Scabies

P. ovate husk is soaked in milk and applied on wounds, abscess and scabies in District Sukkur (Sindh) and bandaged on wounds in District Jacobabad (Sindh). This mixture is taken orally for the treatment of prickly heat in Districts Thatta and Tando Mohammad Khan (Sindh).

Chemical Constituents

P. ovatacontain high content of hemicelluloses, composed of rabinose, galacturonic acid units (arabinoxylans), and rhamnose. It also containaucubin, oleanolic acid, ursolic acid, linalool, and luteolin3.Acetoside, plantamajoside, and phenylethyanoids are its important phytoconstituents4.

Chemical Structure:

Plantago ovate

Medicinal Uses and Pharmacology/ Scientific studies:

Seed poultice is used in rheumatic swelling, boils, and ulcers3. P.ovatais used as an ointment and applied topically on boils, ulcer, and stye. Tea prepared from herb is used in irritation of stomach, sore throat, and dry cough. Husk is boiled in water and this water is used as face wash for removing brown strains. It is also used for reducing blood glucose level and coronary heart disease risk. Husk is also used for the treatment of various common problem and diseases such as constipation, bowel syndrome, and hemorrhoids stool. Roots, leaves, and, seeds are preferred in diarrhea, oral mucosa swelling, and asthma5.

Alcoholic extract of P. ovataseeds showed cholinergic activity.Seed oil possesses hypocholesterolemic activity. Ethanolicand acetone extract showed antibacterial activity. Plantago seeds are also reported for hypolipidemic, antiartherosclerotic, hyperglycaemiaantioxidant,antinematodal, and anti-inflammatory activities3.


  2. Flora Aegyptiaco-Arabica. (1 Oct 1775),p. 31 ( Aegypt.-Arab.)
  4. Romero-Baranzini, A. L., Rodriguez, O. G., Yanez-Farias, G. A., Barron-Hoyos, J. M., and Rayas-Duarte, P. (2006). Chemical, physicochemical, and nutritional evaluation of Plantago (PlantagoovataForsk). Cereal chemistry, 83(4), 358-362.
  5. Haddadian, K., Haddadian, K., and Zahmatkash, M. (2014). A review of Plantago Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge, 13(4), 681-685.