Asian Plantain (Plantago asiatica) is native to East Asia, specifically China, Korea, and Japan. Asian Plantain is not related to the plantain fruit, which is a cousin to the banana. The roots, leaves, flowers, and seeds can be used for internal or external use.
Lab studies have shown that Asian Plantain may aid in lowering total cholesterol and reducing oxidation of bad cholesterol (LDL).1,2 It has also been suggested in a lab study that Asian Plantain may contain antiviral activities and stimulate the immune system.3
Chung MJ, Park KW, Kim KH, Kim CT, Baek JP, Bang KH, Choi YM, Lee SJ. Asian plantain (Plantago asiatica) essential oils suppress 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-co-enzyme A reductase expression in vitro and in vivo and show hypocholesterolaemic properties in mice. Br J Nutr. 2008 Jan;99(1):67-75. Epub 2007 Aug 15. PubMed PMID: 17697428.
Hu JL, Nie SP, Li C, Xie MY. In vitro effects of a novel polysaccharide from the seeds of Plantago asiatica L. on intestinal function. Int J Biol Macromol. 2013 Mar;54:264-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ijbiomac.2012.12.011. Epub 2012 Dec 12. PubMed PMID: 23246413.
Chiang LC, Chiang W, Chang MY, Lin CC. In vitro cytotoxic, antiviral and immunomodulatory effects of Plantago major and Plantago asiatica. Am J Chin Med. 2003;31(2):225-34. PubMed PMID: 12856861.