This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Plantain: a small perennial herb, common in fields and by road sides; with the leaves lying on the ground; and naked un-branched stalks, bearing on the top a spike of small imperfect four-leaved flowers, followed by little capsules, which, opening horizontally, shed numerous crooked seeds.
I. Plantago Pharm. Edinb. Plantago lati-folia finuata C. B. Plantago septinervia. Plantago major, Linn. Common greater plantain: with oval leaves, having seven ribs, prominent on the lower side, running from end to end; and long slender spikes.
Unguent, e pice† Ph. Lond.
2. Plantago minor seu quinquenervia: Plan-tago major angustifolia C. B. Plantago lanceolata J, B. Plantago lanceolata Linn. Narrow-leaved plantain or ribwort: with oblong, five-ribbed leaves; and short thick spikes.
The leaves and seeds of plantain, recommended as vulneraries, in phthisical complaints, spittings of blood, alvine fluxes, etc. appear to be of the milder kind of restringents or corroborants. The leaves, of no remarkable smell, are in taste slightly acerb: their expressed juice, depurated by fettling and colature, or clarified with white of eggs, and infpiffated to the consistence of honey, discovers a considerable saline austerity. The two sorts are not sensibly different in quality from one another, though the first has been generally directed for medicinal use in preference to the other. The leaves are, in some places, the usual application made by the common people to slight wounds.
* For the use of a species of plantain, with horehound, in the bite of the rattlesnake, see the art. Marrubium.