Cover Image

A Hypothesis on the Possible Potential of Plantago Major in the Treatment of Urticaria

Mohammad Ali Yazdian, Mahmood Khodadoost, Mehdi Gheisari, Mohammad Kamalinejad, Amir Hooshang Ehsani


Urticaria is a skin disease characterized by pruritic edematous lesions also called wheals. Although these lesions are self-limited they may result in lowered quality of life index. By far, the most recognized mechanisms that trigger the progression of this condition are hypersensitivity reactions. As an herbal therapy, Plantago major has been named in several references of Persian traditional medicine with effective properties in ameliorating urticarial symptoms. In this study we aimed to investigate whether Plantago major has the potential to be used clinically in treatment of urticaria according to the current knowledge about the plant effects.

Materials and Methods:

A combination of “Plantago major” and other terms related to urticarial therapy such as “mast cell”, “anti-inflammatory”, “prostaglandin”, “histamine” and “IgE” that may have possible role in progression or suppression of urticaria was searched in Google Scholar and PubMed as the reference databases.


Eleven articles discussing either the direct role of Plantago major or any of its constituents in urticarial related bimolecular pathways were selected.


Review of the selected articles indicated that Plantago major can effectively suppress many of hypersensitivity reactions which are also contributors in the pathophysiology of urticaria development. Further clinical trials are needed to prove the efficacy of this herbal treatment.

Urticaria; Antihistamine; Traditional Medicine; Hypothesis

Kaplan A, Greaves M. Pathogenesis of chronic urticaria. Clinical & Experimental Allergy. 2009;39(6):777-87.

Barbosa F, Freitas J, Barbosa A. Chronic idiopathic urticaria and anxiety symptoms. Journal of health psychology. 2011;16(7):1038-47.

Wedi B, Kapp A. [Current position of the role of allergic and non-allergic food hypersensitivity in urticaria]. Der Hautarzt; Zeitschrift fur Dermatologie, Venerologie, und verwandte Gebiete. 2006;57(2):101-7.

Katelaris CH, Peake JE. 5. Allergy and the skin: eczema and chronic urticaria. Medical journal of Australia. 2006;185(9):517.

Morgan M, Khan DA. Therapeutic alternatives for chronic urticaria: an evidence-based review, part 2. Annals of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. 2008;100(6):517-26.

Guldbakke KK, Khachemoune A. Etiology, classification, and treatment of urticaria. Cutis; cutaneous medicine for the practitioner. 2007;79(1):41-9.

Jáuregui I, Ferrer M, Montoro J, Dávila I, Bartra J, del Cuvillo A, et al. Antihistamines in the treatment of chronic urticaria. J Investig Allergol Clin Immunol. 2007;17(Suppl 2):41-52.

Sabroe RA, Greaves MW. The pathogenesis of chronic idiopathic urticaria. Archives of dermatology. 1997;133(8):1003-8.

Schocket AL, editor. Chronic urticaria: pathophysiology and etiology, or the what and why. Allergy & Asthma Proceedings; 2006.

Lee EE1, Maibach HI. Treatment of urticaria. An evidence-based evaluation of antihistamines. Am J Clin Dermatol. 2001;2(1):27-32.

Samuelsen AB. The traditional uses, chemical constituents and biological activities of< i> Plantago major L. A review. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2000;71(1):1-21.

Zubair M, Nybom H, Lindholm C, Rumpunen K. Major polyphenols in aerial organs of greater plantain (< i> Plantago major L< i>.), and effects of drying temperature on polyphenol contents in the leaves. Scientia Horticulturae. 2011;128(4):523-9.

Stanisavljević IT, Stojičević SS, Veličković DT, Lazić ML, Veljković VB. Screening the antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of the extracts from plantain (Plantago major L.) leaves. Separation Science and Technology. 2008;43(14):3652-62.

Velasco-Lezama R, Tapia-Aguilar R, Román-Ramos R, Vega-Avila E, Pérez-Gutiérrez MS. Effect of< i> Plantago< i> major on cell proliferation in vitro. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2006;103(1):36-42.

Anand MK, Nelson HS, Dreskin SC. A possible role for cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitors in the treatment of chronic urticaria. Journal of allergy and clinical immunology. 2003;111(5):1133-6.

Ringbom T, Segura L, Noreen Y, Perera P, Bohlin L. Ursolic acid from Plantago major, a selective inhibitor of cyclooxygenase-2 catalyzed prostaglandin biosynthesis. Journal of natural products. 1998;61(10):1212-5.

Stenholm Å, Göransson U, Bohlin L. Bioassay‐guided Supercritical Fluid Extraction of Cyclooxygenase‐2 Inhibiting Substances in Plantago major L. Phytochemical Analysis. 2013;24(2):176-83.

Magalhães WS, Corrêa CM, Alencastro RBd, Nagem TJ. The molecular basis of anti-inflammatory action of the oleanolic and ursolic acids on cyclooxygenase isoforms by docking and molecular dynamics. Química Nova. 2012;35(2):241-8.

Lien C, Lean T, Wen C, Mei-Yin C, Chun-Ching L. Immunomodulatory activities of flavonoids, monoterpenoids, triterpinoids, iridoid glycosides and phenolic compounds of Plantago species. Planta med. 2003;69:600-4.

Sugita Y, Morita E, Kawamoto H, Horiuchi K, Yamada S, Koro O, et al. Correlation between deposition of immuno-components and infiltration pattern of polymorphonuclear leukocytes in the lesions of chronic urticaria. The Journal of dermatology. 2000;27(3):157-62.

Kimata M, Shichijo M, Miura T, Serizawa I, Inagaki N, Nagai H. Effects of luteolin, quercetin and baicalein on immunoglobulin E-mediated mediator release from human cultured mast cells. Clinical and Experimental Allergy. 2000;30(4):501-8.

Ikawati Z, Wahyuono S, Maeyama K. Screening of several Indonesian medicinal plants for their inhibitory effect on histamine release from RBL-2H3 cells. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2001;75(2):249-56.

Pourmorad F, Hosseinimehr S, Shahabimajd N. Antioxidant activity, phenol and flavonoid contents of some selected Iranian medicinal plants. African journal of biotechnology. 2006;5(11).

Reina E, Al-Shibani N, Allam E, Gregson K, Kowolik M, Windsor L. The effects of plantago major on the activation of the neutrophil respiratory burst. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine. 2013;3(4):268.

Núñez Guillén ME, da Silva Emim JA, Souccar C, Lapa AJ. Analgesic and Anti-inflammatory Activities of the Aqueous Extract of Plantago major L. Pharmaceutical Biology. 1997;35(2):99-104.

Türel I, Özbek H, Erten R, Öner AC, Cengiz N, Yilmaz O. Hepatoprotective and anti-inflammatory activities of Plantago major L. Indian journal of pharmacology. 2009;41(3):120.


  • There are currently no refbacks.