Getting to Know Herbs: Lungwort

in #gardening2 years ago (edited)

Lungwort has the botanical name of Pulmonaria. The leaves have medicinally been used to treat lung and stomach conditions, among others ailments.

Photo by @krnel

Other names for Lungwort are Coucou Bleu, Dage of Jerusalem, Grande Pulmonaire, Herbe Cardiaque, Herbe au Lait de Notre-Dame, Herbe aux Poumons, Lungenkraut, Pulmonaire, Pulmonaire Officinale, Pulmonaria, Pulmonaria officinalis, Pulmonariae Herba, Sauge de Bethléem, Sauge de Jérusalem.

Most species have white spots all over the green leaves, but some don't, like the one in my picture. It doesn't tolerate strong sun and prefers to be shaded. It's a nice decorative gardening plant that fills spots with star-shaped flowers that change color from pink to blue as they age.




Key Points

  • highly decorative plant
  • spots resemble sickness
  • name comes from symbolic association with diseased lungs
  • used for lung conditions


The scientific name Pulmonaria comes from the Latin pulmo meaning lung. In the Middle Ages, the grey/white spots on the plant were viewed as a sign of it being dangerous, associating it with an inected lung. In the 19th century, those who believed in sympathetic magic symbolized it with disease and ulcerated lungs, using it to treat pulmonary infections.

Where is it found?

Lungwort is native to Europe and parts of Asia like Russia. There are 16 species of lungwort, with 8 known for cultivation: Pulmonaria affinis (France, Spain), Pulmonaria angustifolia (Central Europe to Russia), Pulmonaria longifolia (UK to Spain), Pulmonaria mollis (Central Europe to Asia), Pulmonaria officinalis (throughout Europe), Pulmonaria rubra (Balkans), Pulmonaria saccharata (France and Italy), and Pulmonaria vallarsae (Italy). The o ther 8 are not known for gardening: Pulmonaria dacica, Pulmonaria filarszkyana, Pulmonaria helvetica, Pulmonaria kerneri, Pulmonaria montana, Pulmonaria obscura, Pulmonaria stiriaca, and Pulmonaria visianii.

Pulmonaria spescies are fond in deciduous woodlands in the wild. It comes from variety of soil types, as some come from moist soils, while other are from drier regions, but in general the species prefer rich humus soil and moisture.

It was introduced to North America, and seems to only be reported to exist in the north-east of Canada in Ontario and Quebec, and a few state in the US.

What's it used for?

Uses of lungwort include treatment for breathing, stomach and intestinal conditions, kidney and urinary tract infections. It's been used as a cough medicine and even to treat tuberculosis. It also is used to relieve fluid retention. It can be applied on the skin as a drying agent and to treat wounds.

Are there any risks?

There are no known issues or side effects.


Previous posts on Getting to Know Herbs:
Cramp Bark | Motherwort | Common Plantain | Eleuthero (Siberian ginseng) | Black Cohosh | Common Bearberry | Mahonia Mountain Grape (Oregon Grape) | Blue Cohosh | Goldenseal

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Quite informative @krnel. I could see you putting together a table top book on this with each page being a different herb. Or categorizing and cataloging them here as a permanent library for easy access. @creatr did this a while back. It takes work but would be a valuable resource. Again thanks.

A table top book? A real book in real life?

I will have to look into this one soon. I am going to stop smoking once the bag of tobacco I have is gone, and wonder if this may aid me in restoring my lungs quicker.

Good luck, not sure it will help, but maybe ;)

Thanks. I am hoping so. They say that when you quit over time the damage will repair itself and anything I can do to heal 40 years of abuse would be awesome.

I collect that plant in my orchard, and mix it with some other plants in everyday tea :) I never pick all leaves, just outer ones, so I have it almost all year.

Yup, good idea for all plants, to just take some leaves and let it keep growing.

Thank you for sharing. I look forward to bringing this plant further south into #OHIO

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Good luck ;)

Indeed what a great remedy it is. Last week a cought a bronchities as usally once a year. Pulmonaria is the remedy of the first choice.

how is it consumed and what's the dosage?

Not sure, you would have to look at the amount suggested on the bottles of extract based on it's concentration. One on amazon suggests 20-30 drops up to 3 times per day.

Beautiful flower @krnel

Helo, @krnel great &usefull post

Postingan yang sangat bagus @krnel saya sangat suka dengan postingan anda dan saya ingin mengikuti anda dan membagikan postingan anda @krnel

We will share such a great post in our midst. Thank you