Herb: Che Qian Zi

Latin name: Plantago asiatica

Family: Plantaginaceae (Plantain Family)

Medicinal use of Che Qian Zi:

The leaves and the seed are anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antitussive, cardiac, diuretic, expectorant, haemostatic. Assists the repair of joints. The seed is used internally in the treatment of a variety of ailments including asthma, bladder problems, bronchitis, fever, hypertension and rheumatism. The leaves are also used for these purposes, though they are considered to be less powerful than the seed. The leaves can be harvested at any time in the growing season, and are used fresh or dried. A decoction of the roots is used in the treatment of coughs. Plantain seeds contain up to 30% mucilage which swells up in the gut, acting as a bulk laxative and soothing irritated membranes. Sometimes the seed husks are used without the seeds. Extracts of the plant have antibacterial activity.

Description of the plant:


50 cm
(1 foot)

July to

Habitat of the herb:

Woods and waste ground in lowland and mountains all over Japan.

Edible parts of Che Qian Zi:

Young leaves - raw or cooked. Rather fibrous, unless they are very young, they have a slightly bitter flavour.

Propagation of the herb:

Seed - sow spring in a cold frame. When they are large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and plant them out in early summer A sowing can be made outdoors in situ in mid to late spring if you have enough seeds.

Cultivation of Che Qian Zi:

Woods and waste ground in lowland and mountains all over Japan.

Known hazards of Plantago asiatica:

None known

Plant information taken from the Plants For A Future.