Plantago depressa Willd

Last updated: 04 May 2016

Scientific Name

Plantago depressa Willd


Plantago depressa subsp. depressa, Plantago depressa var. eudepressa Ganesch., Plantago depressa f. glaberrima Kom., Plantago depressa f. magnibracteata Tosh. Tanaka & T.K.Zheng, Plantago depressa f. minor Kom., Plantago sibirica Poir., Plantago tibetica Hook.f. & Thomson, Plantago tibetica Hook.f. [1]

Vernacular Name

English Depressed plantain [2]
China Cheqiancao [2]
India Isabgol, tharam [2]
Bhutan Tha-ram [2]
Tibet Tha-ram [2].

Geographical Distributions

Plantago depressa is thought to be native to Mongolia, China, Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, Kashmir, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Pakistan, and Russia. It requires some direct sunlight and requires moist, but well drained soil and is commonly found along roadsides and in farming areas. [3]

Botanical Description

P. depressa is a member of Plantaginaceae family. [1] It is an annual, winter annual or perennial herbs. [3]

The leaves are basal, sparsely or densely white pubescent; petiole 2-7 cm; leaf blade elliptic, elliptic-lanceolate, obovate-elliptic, or ovate-lanceolate, 3-15 × 1-5.5 cm, papery, veins 5 or 7, base cuneate and decurrent onto petiole, margin repand-crenate, irregularly serrate, dentate, or entire, apex acute to obtuse. [3]

Spikes narrowly cylindric, 6-12 cm, densely flowered, interrupted basally; peduncle 5-18 cm, white pubescent; bracts triangular-ovate, 2-3.5 mm, glabrous, keel extending near or to apex. Sepals 2-2.5 mm, glabrous, keel not extending to apex; lower sepals narrowly obovate-elliptic to broadly elliptic; upper sepals obovate-elliptic to broadly elliptic. [3]

Corolla white, glabrous; lobes elliptic to ovate, 0.5-1 mm, patent to reflexed. Stamens adnate to near apex of corolla tube, exserted; anthers white, ovoid-ellipsoid to broadly ellipsoid, 0.6-1.5 mm. Pyxis ovoid-ellipsoid to conic-ovoid, 4-5 mm, circumscissile near base, with 4 seeds. [3]

Seeds yellowish brown to black, ellipsoid, 1.2-1.8 mm, ventral face prominent to slightly flat; cotyledons parallel to ventral side. [3]


No documentation.

Chemical Constituent

P. depressa has been reported to contain phenylethanoid glycosides (e.g. cistanoside F, β-hydroxyacteoside, campenoside I, acteoside and orobanchoside, and beta-oxoacteoside), ursolic acid, flavonoids (e.g. apigenin, baicalein, scutellarein), alkaloids (e.g. boschniakine) along with amino acids (eg, alanine, asparagine, histidine, lysine), polysaccharides (e.g. rhamnose, L-arabinose, mannose, galactose and dextrose). The seeds also contain fixed oil, protein, iridoids and tannins. [4]

Plant Part Used

Leaves [4]

Traditional Use

No documentation.

Preclinical Data


Antidiabetic activity

A laboratory study found that an extract of P. depressa reduced fasting serum glucose (FSG) in diabetic mice after oral administration. The damage of pancreatic islet induced by alloxan was also significantly decreased by the administration of the P. depressa extract. The extract acted as an antioxidant, increasing serum oxide dismutase (SOD) and decreasing a marker of oxidative stress, malondialdehyde (MDA). The authors concluded that P. depressa extracts may decrease hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia based on its ability to decrease oxidative stress. The extract also seems to improve damaged pancreatic islet cells induced by oxidative stress, thereby helping improve the symptoms of diabetes. [5]


No documentation.

Clinical Data

Clinical findings

No documentation.


No documentation.

Poisonous Management

No documentation.

Line drawing

No documentation.


  1. The Plant List. Ver1.1. Plantago depressa Willd. [homepage on the Internet]. c2013 [updated 2012 Mar 23; cited 2016 May 04]. Available from:
  2. Quattrocchi U. CRC world dictionary of medicinal and poisonous plants: Common names, scientific names, eponyms, synonyms, and etymology. Volume IV M-Q. Boca Raton, Florida: CRC Press, 2012; p. 615.
  3. Flora of China. Volume 19. Plantago depressa. [homepage on the Internet]. No date [cited 2016 May 16]. Available from:
  4. Kletter C, Kriechbaum M. Tibetan medicinal plants. London: CRC Press; 2001.
  5. Wu FH, Liang JY, Yu P, Cai SF. Studies on the hypoglycaemia and lipids regulating effects of Plantagi depressa var. montata. Zhongguo Zhong Yao Za Zhi. 2005;30(15):1179-1183. Chinese.