In a ruling today a coroner has made legal history by concluding that air pollution was a cause of the death of Ella Adoo-Kissi-Debrah. This is the first conclusion of its kind. The coroner also identified failures to bring air pollution below legal limits and failures to provide information about the risks of air pollution to Ella or her family.

Ella’s family are represented by Doughty Street’s Adam Straw. Adam is led by Richard Hermer QC and acts alongside Ravi Mehta. They are instructed by Jocelyn Cockburn at Hodge Jones & Allen solicitors.

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Parliament committee says miner must negotiate a compensation deal with traditional owners and ‘ensure a full reconstruction’ of the caves

A parliamentary inquiry into the destruction of 46,000-year-old caves has delivered a scathing report criticising the actions of Rio Tinto and calling for the Western Australian government to put a stop to the destruction of heritage until new laws are passed.

The majority bipartisan interim report said Rio Tinto’s decision to destroy two rock shelters in Juukan Gorge, against the wishes of the traditional owners and despite knowing the archaeological value of the site, was “inexcusable”.

“Rio knew the value of what they were destroying but blew it up anyway,” the report said.

The report recommended a moratorium on the approval of all new section 18 approvals under the Aboriginal Heritage Act until new laws are passed next year – unless it can be “established and verified that there is current free, prior and informed consent obtained from Traditional Owners”.

Protecting history: how Juukan Gorge could change mining forever
It also called for mining companies to introduce a voluntary moratorium on acting on existing approvals, under section 18 of the Western Australian legislation, to destroy sites.

“How many Juukan Gorge catastrophies are lurking on working schedules around the country? We don’t know because there are still existing legal regimes that permit various companies to destroy them,” senator Pat Dodson told the Senate after the interim report was tabled on Thursday.

“Whilst our report is called Never Again, it’s in a legislative environment where there’s still capacity for an organisation or a company to destroy such a site. So we have a serious problem.”

The report recommended the Australian government outlaw the use of gag clauses in agreements between mining companies and traditional owners, which prevent traditional owners from speaking publicly against the destruction of their heritage.

It also recommended that:

  • Rio Tinto must negotiate a restitution package with the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura peoples (PKKP) and ensure a full reconstruction of the rock shelters and remediation of the site at its own expense.
  • Rio must commit to a permanent moratorium on mining in the Juukan Gorge area.
  • All mining companies, including Rio Tinto, should undertake an independent review of all agreements with traditional owners and remove any gag clauses or restrictions in existing agreements.
  • All mining companies should commit to a voluntary moratorium on applying for new section 18 permissions until new Aboriginal heritage laws are passed.
  • Rio Tinto should commit to a stay on actions on the 1,700 Aboriginal heritage sites which it currently has permission to destroy.
  • The WA government should urgently establish new procedures to improve the regulation of Aboriginal heritage and undertake a mapping and truth-telling process to record all sites that have been destroyed or damaged.
  • The federal Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Heritage Protection Act 1984 be “urgently” reviewed, and responsibility for the legislation revert to the minister for Aboriginal affairs.

Dodson said the failures that led to the Juukan Gorge disaster “did not happen out of the blue”.

“These failures were symptomatic of the ‘don’t care’ culture that infected Rio Tinto from the top down,” he said. “It had gone through a rapid decline in the way it did business.”

Dodson said it was “a mistake” for Rio Tinto board member Michael L’Estrange to conduct the company’s internal review into the disaster. “His report is full of mea culpas and corporate lingo,” he said. “It was an unsatisfactory piece of work. It didn’t get to the heart of the drift and rot that was allowed to corrupt Rio Tinto’s formerly good practice.”

He said that First Nations people were “seriously disadvantaged” when dealing with mining companies, failed by state and federal heritage legislation that required “serious overhaul”, and failed by the “ineffectual Native Title Act”, which he said had “delivered nothing of substance to protect the interests of First Nations”.

“If Eddie Mabo were with us he would be deeply distressed to realise that what he had fought for so vigorously has delivered so little.”

The inquiry was led by the LNP MP Warren Entsch, who wrote in the forward that while the interim report focused on the actions of Rio the committee would continue to investigate the actions of other mining companies and failures in state and federal legislation.

The report said the WA legislation was “outdated, unfit for purpose and in urgent need of replacement” and noted that while the state government had begun reviewing the laws in early 2018 it continued to use the same approvals process. It also raised concerns with the proposed new laws stating “the experience of the PKKP with Rio Tinto, and that of other Aboriginal groups, would suggest that the bill’s focus on agreement-making needs careful consideration”.

The WA Aboriginal affairs minister, Ben Wyatt, said the recommendation to introduce a moratorium on new section 18 approvals until the replacement legislation was introduced was “not a practical solution in light of their use across a vast array of different projects most of which are uncontentious”.

“As minister, I won’t be considering applications for Section 18s where native title parties have not been appropriately consulted,” he said.

Wyatt cited the dissenting report from the WA Liberal senator, Dean Smith, who argued that the proposed moratorium could prevent upgrades and maintenance of public infrastructure including the $3bn project to upgrade Perth’s train network.

Smith also said it was “disappointing” that the majority report “creates an impression that Rio Tinto’s behaviour is reflective of the values of the entire Western Australian mining industry”.

But he agreed with the rest of the committee that Rio Tinto should be subject to further scrutiny, telling parliament the company, including its chairman and board, “are still on notice”. “They should not allow themselves to believe the investigation into their culpability has concluded,” he said.

Rio Tinto’s global CEO, Jean-Sébastien Jacques, and its Perth-based chief executive of iron ore, Chris Salisbury, both appeared before the inquiry before resigning over the issue in September. They both appeared again alongside the head of corporate affairs, Simone Niven, who also resigned, in October.

All three had previously lost their annual bonuses following an internal review that blamed the destruction on “shortfalls in linked-up decision making”, but will keep their long-term bonuses on exit from the company. The internal review has been criticised as “inadequate” and lacking transparency.

Smith criticised the “golden handshakes” granted to the outgoing executives and questioned Jacques’ assertion that he had been unaware of the significance of the shelters until after they were destroyed on 24 May 2020. “This is also difficult to believe,” Smith said.

Rio’s global chairman, Simon Thompson, on Wednesday said the company would review the report’s recommendations. He also repeated his apology to the PKKP.

“We are committed to learning from this event to ensure the destruction of heritage sites of such exceptional archaeological and cultural significance never occurs again,” he said.

‘Devastated’ Indigenous owners say Rio Tinto misled them ahead of Juukan Gorge blast

PKKP Aboriginal corporation spokesman Burchell Hayes said they were grateful the committee had conducted a “full, thorough, and transparent investigation”.

“We hope the inquiry’s preliminary findings prompt a fundamental reset of the sector, particularly in the relationships between traditional owners and mining companies; and pave a way forward for more equal partnerships fostered by greater respect and mutual benefit,” he said.

“We have started the long road to healing and repairing our relationship with Rio Tinto but … Rio Tinto now needs to turn its words into actions.”

The PKKP people told the inquiry in October they were “devastated” by the destruction of the two rockshelters, one of which had been described by an archaeologist paid for by Rio Tinto as one of the most significant archaeological sites in Australia.

The inquiry was called in June, three weeks after Rio Tinto blew up the 46,000-year-old Aboriginal heritage site.

Senior executives from BHP, Roy Hill, Woodside and Fortescue Metals were also called before the public hearings. All defended their own relationship with traditional owners. But Aboriginal corporations in the Pilbara said that the issues outlined in the destruction of Juukan Gorge were widespread. They include agreements with gag clauses that prevent traditional owners from speaking out against mining companies, and a heritage system that is geared towards mining companies and does not allow for review once more information about a site is discovered.

Greenpeace: 10,5 juta ha lahan Papua diberikan untuk investasi berbasis lahan

Lokasi perkebunan sawit milik Rajawali Group melalui anak perusahaannya, PT Tandan Sawita Papua, dengan lahan konsesi 26.300 ha hutan di Distrik Arso Timur, Kabupaten Keerom, Papua. -- Dok. Theo Kelen.
 Lokasi perkebunan sawit milik Rajawali Group melalui anak perusahaannya, PT Tandan Sawita Papua, dengan lahan konsesi 26.300 ha hutan di Distrik Arso Timur, Kabupaten Keerom, Papua. — Dok. Theo Kelen.

Jayapura, Jubi – Juru Kampanye Hutan Papua Greenpeace Indonesia, Nicodemus Wamafma mengatakan 10,5 juta hektare hutan di Papua telah diberikan kepada investasi berbasis lahan. Lahan tersebut digunakan untuk perkebunan sawit, Hak Pengusahaan Hutan (HPH), dan Hutan Tanam Industri (HTI).

Nicodemus mengatakan hal tersebut dalam webinar “Bisnis Investasi Serta Perubahan Hak Atas Hutan dan Tanah Masyarakat Adat di Papua” yang diadakan Jaringan Kerja Rakyat (Jerat) Papua, Kamis (03/12/2020).

“Kurang lebih yang dicatat Greenpeace sampai hari ini adalah 10,5 juta hektare diberikan kepada investor, di Provinsi Papua kurang lebih 6,6 juta ha dan Papua Barat 3,9 juta ha,” ujarnya.

Untuk Provinsi Papua luas lahan kelapa sawit 2,5 juta ha, hak penguasahaan hutan 2,5 juta ha, dan hutan tanam industri 1,6 juta ha.

“Sedangkan di Papua Barat luas perkebunan sawit kurang lebih 569 ribu ha, hak penguasahaan hutan 3,3 juta ha, dan hutan tanam industri 100 ribu ha,” katanya.
Jumlah perkebunan sawit di Provinsi Papua lebih 100 ha, di Papua Barat kurang lebih 60 ha. Sedangkan HPH di Papua 20 ha dan Papua Barat 23 ha. Hutan tanaman industri di Papua 8 ha dan Papua Barat 1 ha.

“Itu semua sangat terkait dengan tanah dan hutan dari masyarakat adat dan totalnya sudah lebih 10,5 juta ha yang diberikan kepada investasi berbasis lahan,” ujarnya.

Menurut Nicodemus, dampak masuknya investasi berbasis lahan terjadi deforestasi atau penyusutan tutupan hutan. Periode 2011-2019 Greenpeace mencatat sekitar 400 ribu ha hutan yang habis atau dibabat untuk kepentingan investasi berbasis lahan.

“Ketika kita berbicara tentang berkurangnya tutupan hutan seperti ini, kita bisa bayangkan 400 ribu ha, kita bukan hanya bicara hutan, ada manusia Papua yang hidup di dalamnya, praktik kehidupannya, kebudayaannya, itu semua bergantung kepada hutan,” katanya.

Penyebab berkurangnya tutupan hutan, kata Nicodemus, karena ada beberapa program besar yang muncul di Tanah Papua yang juga bersamaan dengan Inpres percepatan pembangunan di Papua dan Papua Barat. Karena itu investasi berbasis lahan akan terus hadir di Tanah Papua.

“Program Papua Food Estate sedang didorong di dalam percepatan pembangunan Papua dan Papua Barat, itu sudah dimunculkan juga di dalam perencanaan Bapenas,” ujarnya.

Kemudian pemekaran kabupaten dan provinsi baru muncul, maka akan ada infrastruktur baru yang harus dibangun, seperti kantor-kantor, jalan-jalan, pasar, jembatan, dermaga-dermaga, dan bandara.

“Ini akan mengorbankan hutan Papua, dari seluruh proses kepentingan izin berbasis lahan yang masuk, investasi berbasis lahan masuk dan berbagai macam kebijakan pembangunan masuk,” katanya.

Pengakuan terhadap hak-hak masyarakat adat, kata Nicodemus, penting untuk mempertahankan manusia Papua dan hak-hak masyarakat adat atas tanah, hutan, dan sumber daya alamnya.

“Pengakuan itu menjadi kunci bagi mereka untuk bisa secara mandiri bebas-merdeka mengatur dan mengelola hutanya,” ujarnya.

Greenpeace, kata Nicodemus, selalu konsisten berbicara tentang hutan di Papua karena hutan Papua adalah hutan alam terakhir ketiga di dunia. Pertama hutan alam di lembah Amazon, Brasil dan kedua hutan alam di Kongo, Afrika.

“Hutan alam ketiga yang menjadi harapan untuk bumi adalah hutan alam yang ada di Papua, itulah kenapa kita selalu bicara tidak boleh ada penembangan hutan, tidak boleh ada lagi sawit,” katanya.

Maka itu, tambahnya, perlu didorong program-program pembangunan di Papua yang ramah lingkungan. Artinya, tidak boleh mengorbankan hutan di Papua.

“Pada Oktober 2018 di Manokwari sudah ada pertemuan antara masyarakat dan Pemerintah Provinsi Papua Barat, bersama-sama mendorong daerah konservasi di Papua Barat,” ujarnya.

Pemerintah Provinsi Papua juga perlu mendorong hal ini, sehingga komitmen 2100, di mana 90 persen adalah kawasan hutan, dari itu 70 persen adalah kawasan lindung, artinya sudah berpikir 2100 nanti, berharap hutan Papua harus ada seperti yang saat ini.

“Karena manusia Papua tidak mungkin hidup tanpa hutan karena seluruh praktek kehidupan harta kita itu hanyalah hutan, tanah dan sumber daya alam kita,” katanya.

Menurut Nicodemus, jika semua dibuka dan diberikan kepada pihak luar dengan alasan investasi, ekonomi, dan membuka isolasi daerah maka bisa dibayangkan apa yang terjadi di masa depan.

“Kita tidak punya harta yang lain, artinya masa depan anak, cucu, masa depan manusia Papua 100 sampai 200 tahun lagi, itu sangat bergantung pada bagaimana kita menjaga hutan dan sumber daya alam ini,” ujarnya.

Dewan Adat Papua Sayid Fadhal Alhamid mengatakan saat ini masyarakat adat menghadapi tantangan-tantangan, yakni regulasi yang tidak memihak, bahkan merugikan masyarakat adat, watak negara yang tidak demokratis, korupsi, dan abai terhadap hak-hak masyarakat adat.

“Hal ini yang di akhir-akhir membuat kehancuran hutan adat semakin luas, masif, dan menggerogoti di semua kewilayaan adat masyarakat Papua,” katanya.

Sayid mengatakan menghadapi tantangan ini harus ada upaya advokasi yang harus dilakukan masyarakat adat, LSM, dan pemerhati. Yakni peningkatan konsolidasi masyarakat adat, revalitasi tatanan adat, termasuk di dalamnya pemetaan batasan teritori dan batasan keret atau suku.

“Revalitasi tatanan adat penting supaya orang kembali melihat sebenarnya di dirinya ada nilai yang penting, tidak boleh dia tinggalkan, seperti jati diri,” ujarnya.

Kemudian perlu penguatan kapasitas masyarakat adat, baik kelembagaan dan individu. Juga penguatan kapisatas bagi yang membantu dan mendampingi masyarakat adat selama ini.

“Baik itu mahasiswa, LSM, pemerhati, itu juga perlu peningkatan kapasitas untuk bisa berkolaborasi dalam upaya-upaya advokasi,” katanya.

Selain itu memperluas dan memperbesar upaya-upaya advokasi melalui aliansi strategis dengan LSM dan institusi yang memihak kepada masyarakat adat. Baik dari tingkat lokal, regional, maupun sampai ke tingkat internasional. (CR-7)

Editor: Syofiardi

UN report says up to 850,000 animal viruses could be caught by humans, unless we protect nature

Human damage to biodiversity is leading us into a pandemic era. The virus that causes COVID-19, for example, is linked to similar viruses in bats, which may have been passed to humans via pangolins or another species.

Environmental destruction such as land clearing, deforestation, climate change, intense agriculture and the wildlife trade is putting humans into closer contact with wildlife. Animals carry microbes that can be transferred to people during these encounters.

A major report released today says up to 850,000 undiscovered viruses which could be transferred to humans are thought to exist in mammal and avian hosts.

The report, by The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), says to avoid future pandemics, humans must urgently transform our relationship with the environment.

Covid-19 graphic
Microbes can pass from animals to humans, causing disease pandemics. Shutterstock

Humans costs are mounting

The report is the result of a week-long virtual workshop in July this year, attended by leading experts. It says a review of scientific evidence shows:

…pandemics are becoming more frequent, driven by a continued rise in the underlying emerging disease events that spark them. Without preventative strategies, pandemics will emerge more often, spread more rapidly, kill more people, and affect the global economy with more devastating impact than ever before.

The report says, on average, five new diseases are transferred from animals to humans every year – all with pandemic potential. In the past century, these have included:

  • the Ebola virus (from fruit bats),
  • AIDS (from chimpazees)
  • Lyme disease (from ticks)
  • the Hendra virus (which first erupted at a Brisbane racing stable in 1994).

The report says an estimated 1.7 million currently undiscovered viruses are thought to exist in mammal and avian hosts. Of these, 540,000-850,000 could infect humans.

But rather than prioritising the prevention of pandemic outbreaks, governments around the world primarily focus on responding – through early detection, containment and hope for rapid development of vaccines and medicines.

Doctor giving injection to patient
Governments are focused on pandemic responses such as developing vaccines, rather than prevention. Shutterstock

As the report states, COVID-19 demonstrates:

…this is a slow and uncertain path, and as the global population waits for vaccines to become available, the human costs are mounting, in lives lost, sickness endured, economic collapse, and lost livelihoods.

This approach can also damage biodiversity – for example, leading to large culls of identified carrier-species. Tens of thousands of wild animals were culled in China after the SARS outbreak and bats continue to be persecuted after the onset of COVID-19.

The report says women and Indigenous communities are particularly disadvantaged by pandemics. Women represent more then 70% of social and health-care workers globally, and past pandemics have disproportionately harmed indigenous people, often due to geographical isolation.

Baca juga: The next global health pandemic could easily erupt in your backyard

It says pandemics and other emerging zoonoses (diseases that have jumped from animals to humans) likely cause more than US$1 trillion in economic damages annually. As of July 2020, the cost of COVID-19 was estimated at US $8-16 trillion globally. The costs of preventing the next pandemic are likely to be 100 times less than that.

People wearing masks in a crowd
The cost to governments of dealing with pandemics far outweighs the cost of prevention. Shutterstock

A way forward

The IPBES report identifies potential ways forward. These include:

• increased intergovernmental cooperation, such as a council on pandemic prevention, that could lead to a binding international agreement on targets for pandemic prevention measures

• global implementation of OneHealth policies – policies on human health, animal health and the environment which are integrated, rather than “siloed” and considered in isolation

• a reduction in land-use change, by expanding protected areas, restoring habitat and implementing financial disincentives such as taxes on meat consumption

• policies to reduce wildlife trade and the risks associated with it, such as increasing sanitation and safety in wild animal markets, increased biosecurity measures and enhanced enforcement around illegal trade.

Societal and individual behaviour change will also be needed. Exponential growth in consumption, often driven by developed countries, has led to the repeated emergence of diseases from less-developed countries where the commodities are produced.

So how do we bring about social change that can reduce consumption? Measures proposed in the report include:

  • education policies
  • labelling high pandemic-risk consumption patterns, such as captive wildlife for sale as pets as either “wild-caught” or “captive-bred” with information on the country where it was bred or captured
  • providing incentives for sustainable behaviour
  • increasing food security to reduce the need for wildlife consumption.
People inspecting haul of wildlife products
Cracking down on the illegal wildlife trade will help prevent pandemics. AP

An Australian response

Australia was one of the founding member countries of IPBES in 2012 and so has made an informal, non-binding commitment to follow its science and policy evidence.

However, there are no guarantees it will accept the recommendations of the IPBES report, given the Australian government’s underwhelming recent record on environmental policy.

For example, in recent months the government has so far refused to sign the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature. The pledge, instigated by the UN, includes a commitment to taking a OneHealth approach – which considers health and environmental sustainability together – when devising policies and making decisions.

The government cut funding of environmental studies courses by 30%. It has sought to reduce so called “green tape” in national environmental legislation, and its economic response to the pandemic will be led by industry and mining – a focus that creates further pandemic potential.

Baca juga: New polling shows 79% of Aussies care about climate change. So why doesn’t the government listen?

Finally, Australia is one of few countries without a national centre for disease control and pandemics.

But there are good reasons for hope. It’s within Australia’s means to build an organisation focused on a OneHealth approach. Australia is one of the most biologically diverse countries on the planet and Australians are willing to protect it. Further, many investors believe proper environmental policy will aid Australia’s economic recovery.

Finally, we have countless passionate experts and traditional owners willing to do the hard work around policy design and implementation.

As this new report demonstrates, we know the origins of pandemics, and this gives us the power to prevent them.

Plantain is a common garden herb with healing properties. Although many people refer to plantain as a weed, it’s actually an edible medicinal herb with a number of health benefits. You can use plantain leaf as a poultice for insect bites, a plantain tea to improve digestion or soothe bronchitis, or a healing plantain salve for helping wounds to heal quickly.

Many of the benefits of plantain herb come from its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Plantain leaf is also a good source of antioxidants, vitamin c, beta-carotene, and minerals such as calcium and potassium.Advertisement

Far from being an unwelcome weed in your yard, plantain herb should be prized for its medicinal uses.

In this article, you will learn about the many health benefits of plantain. You will also learn how to use plantain as a medicinal herb.

Why Plantain Is an Herb and Not a Weed

Plantain is called a weed because it is an invasive plant that can quickly take over a garden. However, plantain should be regarded as an herb due to its many health benefits. Plantain is among the edible weeds that are good for you.

You shouldn’t confuse plantain with a type of cooking banana that has the same name.

Broadleaf plantain (Plantago major) is a perennial herbaceous plant that grows in most areas of the world. Other names for broadleaf plantain include common plantain, greater plantain and wild plantain. The ribwort plantain is related to the Plantago major. It has narrower leaves and sometimes called narrowleaf plantain.

The plantain plant has broad leaves that grow to around 2-4 inches wide. It is mostly the plantain leaf that contains many of its therapeutic benefits. However, plantain seeds are also used medicinally. (12)

People say that plantain leaves taste similar to spinach or asparagus but with a slightly more bitter taste. Young plantain leaves are said to be the tastiest; whereas the broader and older plantain leaves taste bitter and have a fibrous texture.

Images of Plantain Plant (Plantago major)

plantain weed pictures

Nutritional Benefits of Plantain Herb

Broadleaf plantain is an extremely nutritious wild herb that contains a number of bioactive compounds.

The journal Ecology of Food and Nutrition reports that plantain leaf is a good source of vitamin A and vitamin C. Plantain leaves also have calcium, magnesium, potassium, zinc, and manganese. (3)

One of the reasons why plantain is a medicinal herb is that all parts of the plant – the leaves, roots, stems, flowers, and seeds – contain a lot of antioxidants. Flavonoids, polysaccharides, and caffeic acid are just a few of the phytochemicals in plantain. (4)Advertisement

Researchers say that plantain compounds are good for wound healing, reducing inflammation, managing diabetes, treating diarrhea, and killing germs. (4)

Benefits and Uses of Plantain Herb

Let’s look in more detail at how to use common plantain for its many health benefits.

Plantain Weed Can Boost Your Immunity

Wild plantain is an amazingly useful herb that can help in strengthening your immunity.

Various studies have shown that plantain compounds have immune-strengthening properties to fight infection. For example, plantain leaf extract can help boost the number of white blood cells. (5)

One study in the lab found that hot water extracts of plantain leaves have antiviral properties. (6)

You can take a few young plantain leaves to make a medicinal herb tea. Roughly chop the fresh leaves and put in a cup of boiling water, cover, and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Strain and add a teaspoon of raw honey when the tea has cooled down to increase the antimicrobial properties.

Consume the plantain tea to help fight infection whenever you have a cold or the flu.

Find out about more herbs and supplements to boost your immune system’s health naturally.

Plantain Herb has Antimicrobial Properties

Studies have found that plantain leaf extracts have good antimicrobial action. Tests in the lab have shown that compounds in plantain leaves can help to kill off various bacterial and viral pathogens. (78)

You can drink plantain tea as a health tonic to improve your digestive health. Or, you can use plantain leaf tea as a cleansing skin tonic.

Plantain Herb Benefits Your Gastrointestinal Health Due to its Anti-Inflammatory Properties

One of the most popular uses for taking plantain leaf tea is to treat gastrointestinal disorders.

A 2017 survey found that herbal weeds such as plantain are good for digestion. Herbal digestive remedies can help to soothe intestinal pain and treat other symptoms of gastric upset. (9)

The astringent and cleansing effect of compounds in common plantain also helps resolve symptoms of diarrhea. (10)

Drink a cup of plantain leaf tea every day if you suffer from irritable bowel syndrome, indigestion, or heartburn.

Studies have shown that if you have abdominal pain from a peptic ulcer, then taking plantain tincture could help treat your ulcer. It is best to use leaf extract for gastric ulcers rather than seed extract. (1112)

Find out about more foods that have an anti-inflammatory effect and can help prevent the development of chronic disease. Or you can try these teas for better digestive health.Advertisement

Plantain Weed Promotes Good Liver Health

You can use plantain leaf to help protect the health and function of your liver.

The anti-inflammatory compounds in Plantago major (plantain) have many protective benefits for your liver. Lab tests have found that administering plantain extracts has many benefits as a liver tonic. (13)

Other studies involving rats found that plantain extracts may protect the liver from injury caused by painkillers. (14)

The best way to help improve your liver function is to consume 1 or 2 glasses of plantain leaf tea every day. At the end of the article, you can find out an easy recipe on how to make plantain tea.

You could also make plantain leaf juice by putting fresh plantain leaves through a juicer, or you could add a few leaves to your green smoothie recipe to get plantain’s protective properties that way.

To help keep your liver healthy, find out about the worst habits that damage your liver’s health. Avoiding these habits and consuming these proven foods to cleanse your liver will promote good liver health.

Plantain Leaf Is Good for Your Skin

Because plantain is an incredibly useful herb, you can also use plantain tea to cleanse and tone your skin.

Studies have shown that the skin benefits of plantain come from a number of antioxidant compounds. Plantain extracts contain anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and healing properties that are good for your skin. (15)

Ribwort plantain (narrowleaf plantain) is also classed as an herb that is good for the skin. Applying plantain to the skin also has astringent, soothing, and moisturizing properties. (16)

Here are a number of ways how plantain can benefit your skin:

Plantain for eczema. Soak some plantain leaves in water until soft and then mash into a pulp. Put the plantain pulp on your itchy red skin to help soothe pain, stop itching, and relieve inflammation.

Further reading: Natural eczema remedies that you can make at home.

Plantain for sunburn. Make a cup of plantain tea. Once the liquid has cooled, pour into a spray bottle. Spray the plantain remedy liberally over the irritated skin to help cool skin and relieve pain.

Further reading: Other ways to cure sunburn naturally.

Plantain for acne. Cleanse your skin regularly with plantain tea to help kill off germs and remove grime. Or, you could apply a little plantain tincture directly on the pustule or pimple to help reduce redness and speed up healing.

Further reading: The most effective acne face masks you can make at homeAdvertisement

Plantain for poison ivy or allergic skin reactions. Make a poultice (recipe at end of this article) and apply to the itchy hives or swollen skin until you get relief. Use plantain tea to cleanse the skin after removing the poultice to benefit your skin.

Plantain for spider bites and other insect bites. Make a plantain pulp with mashed up leaves and water. Apply the plantain poultice directly to the spider bite to relieve irritation, pain, and swelling.

Plantain Weed May Help Wounds Heal Faster

One of the benefits of using healing herbs such as plantain on your skin is to help promote wound healing.

Studies have shown that plantain leaves are good for speeding up the healing of wounds. Plantain leaves help regenerate skin tissue, reduce inflammation, and have antibacterial properties. (1718)

One study on rats found that combining plantain tincture and aloe vera enhanced wounds healing. (17)

You could apply fresh plantain leaves to minor cuts or wounds to promote healing. Crush a washed plantain leaf to help release the healing compounds. Place over the minor cut for 10-15 minutes and repeat 3 or 4 times a day. Use the plantain remedy daily until the small wound has healed.

To treat small cuts, grazes, or wounds, you can also buy plantain healing salve from online stores (like this one) or health stores. Apply the plantain salve 3 times a day to encourage healthy wound healing.

You can also use plantain tea to wash and cleanse wounds in between changing dressings.

Learn how to care for wounds to minimize the risk of scars forming.

Use Plantain Herb to Improve Dental Health

Plantain weed is an herb that is extremely versatile and can help to keep your mouth free from plaque and bacteria.

Scientific studies indicate that using plantain leaf tea could help to promote good oral health. Some compounds in medicinal herbs such as plantain have antibacterial activity against plaque-forming bacteria. (18)

Other studies have shown that plantain herb benefits dental health because it can help to reduce the number of tooth cavities due to its anti-bacterial effect. (19)

Because some of the medicinal uses of plantain include killing off microbes, you can use a plantain tea mouth rinse to help treat gum inflammation, toothache, and mouth ulcers.

Swish plantain tea around your mouth for 1-2 minutes to help kill off bacteria before spitting out.

You can also use plantain tea as a gargle to help treat a sore throat. Add a few drops oforegano oil to the plantain gargle to help boost its antimicrobial power and reduce painful inflammation. Gargle for 30 seconds and spit out. Repeat 2 or 3 times a day to help eliminate throat infections.

Learn how to remove dental plaque naturally to lower your risk of gum inflammation and gum disease.

Plantain Can Help Reduce Cholesterol

Some scientific studies on animal subjects have suggested that extracts from the plantain plant may have a cholesterol-lowering effect. Plantain leaf and plantain seed extracts help to bring down cholesterol levels. (2021)Advertisement

If you need to address issues of cholesterol, find out about simple and effective waysto bring down your cholesterol levels to improve your cardiovascular health.

Plantain May Help Treat Kidney Stones

Apart from helping to improve kidney function, regularly drinking plantain tea could help prevent kidney stones from forming.

Some studies suggest that extracts from plantain leaf are better than some traditional kidney stone remedies. (22)

Because plantain extracts also help to lower levels of uric acids, taking plantain seed extracts could help to reduce instances of gout. (23)

To help flush out kidney stones and increase urine output, drink 1-2 glasses of plantain tea daily.

Learn more about why apple cider vinegar is also a good natural remedy for kidney stones.

Plantain May Be Good for Parasite Infections

The results of some laboratory experiments have shown that plantain extracts could help get rid of parasites.

One test in the lab showed that plantain extracts have anti-parasitic activity against the Giardia parasite. Plantain extracts are also used in traditional medicine for treating parasite infections. (2425)

While there are no studies showing if common plantain can eradicate parasites in humans, there are still a number of health benefits of regularly consuming plantain leaf tea.

If you are showing signs of a parasite infection, find out some of the best ways toeradicate worms from your body.

Plantain is Good for Treating Respiratory Tract Infections

You can also use wild plantain herb to treat infections such as bronchitis, tonsillitis, the common cold, and sinusitis.

Researchers have found that using plantain for upper respiratory tract infections can help to soothe coughing, boost immunity, and reduce inflammatory responses. (26)

You can also drink plantain tea to help manage the symptoms of chronic bronchitis. (27)

When you need to clear sinuses, get rid of a cough, or get relief from the flu, consume a cup of warm plantain tea. Put 1 teaspoon of dried plantain herb in a cup of boiling water, cover, and allow to infuse for 15 minutes. Add a spoon of raw honey to help get rid of your infection quicker and consume 3 times a day.

Find out what else you can do to clear up a chest infection quickly.

Plantain Weed Might Have Anticancer Properties

Although more research on plantain weed is required, there is some evidence that this healing herb has potential in treating cancer.

A 2017 study found that extracts from plantain seed may have anticancer and anti-inflammatory activity. (28)

Another test tube study in laboratory conditions found that extracts from various species of Plantago plants have potential use in cancer treatment. (6)

Further reading: The Anti-Cancer Diet: Cancer Fighting Foods to Help Prevent Cancer(Evidence Based).

How to Use Plantain Herb for Healing

It is very easy to make your own plantain leaf tea from this medicinal herb. Because common plantain grows wild in many places, it shouldn’t be too difficult to find fresh leaves.

How to make plantain tea

To make your own health-boosting plantain leaf infusion, this is what you should do:

  • Wash and roughly chop 1 cup of fresh plantain leaves.
  • Put in a heatproof bowl that has a lid.
  • Pour over 4 cups of boiling water, cover, and leave until cold.
  • Strain the liquid and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.

You can drink 1-2 cups of plantain tea daily to benefit from its healing power. You can also use this tea topically to cleanse your skin, help clear up acne breakouts, and promote healthy wound healing.

You can also use the leftover leaves from the plantain tea to apply to pimples, wounds, insect bites, and sunburn to help your skin heal without scarring.

How to make a plantain poultice

A poultice made from crushed plantain leaves can help to soothe pain and reduce inflammation caused by bites, allergic skin reactions, or irritated skin.

To make a healing plantain poultice, this is what you should do:

  • Pick and wash a few fresh plantain leaves.
  • Crush them between your palms or chop the leaves to create a mash.
  • Place the plantain poultice on the inflamed bite, pustule, or cut and loosely cover with a bandage.
  • The enzymes in the plantain leaves should help to soothe pain, reduce inflammation, and start the healing process.
  • Reapply the healing poultice when the remedy has dried out.

Precautions When Using Plantain Leaf

It is generally safe to use plantain leaf tea or a plantain leaf poultice for medicinal purposes.

Doctors from WebMD advise that people with a pollen or melon allergy should avoid using remedies made from plantain. Also, plantain tea, tinctures, or tonics may not be safe to take if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. (29)

When picking wild plantain leaves, always ensure that no chemicals or pesticides have been used on them. Always thoroughly wash the leaves before using them to make tea or a poultice.