The Medicinal Herb Info site was created to help educate visitors about the often forgotten wisdom of the old ways of treating illnesses. Many of today's drugs and medicines were originally derived from natural ingredients, combinations of plants and other items found in nature.

We are not suggesting that you ignore the help of trained medical professionals, simply that you have additional options available for treating illnesses. Often the most effective treatment involves a responsible blend of both modern and traditional treatments.

We wish you peace and health!

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Lungwort

Scientific Names

Lungwort

  • Pulmonaria officinalis L.
  • Boraginaceae
  • Borage family

Common Names

  • Jerusalem cowslip
  • Jerusalem sage
  • Lungmoss
  • Maple lungwort
  • Oak lungs
  • Spotted comfrey
  • Spotted lungwort
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    Parts Usually Used

    Flowering herb
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    Lungwort

    Description of Plant(s) and Culture

    Lungwort is a perennial plant; the horizontal, creeping rootstock produces several bristly stems with alternate ovate, dark green leaves which are petioled at the bottom of the plant and become sessile near the top. The funnel-shaped flowers grow in terminal clusters from March to May. They turn from rose-colored to blue, both colors being found on the plant at the same time.

    Other varieties: Bethlehem sage (P. saccarata) has white-spotted leaves and white to reddish violet flowers; the variety ‘Roy Davidson’ has gray-blue leaves with silvery splotches, flowers turn from clear blue to light pink; P. angustifolia has dark blue flowers; and P. montana has violet flowers and bright green leaves.
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    Where Found

    Grows in shady areas, moist soil, cool to moderate temperatures; in Europe and in the northern parts of the United States; cultivated in gardens also.
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    Medicinal Properties

    Antitussive, astringent, demulcent, emollient, expectorant, pectoral, mucilaginous, tonic
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    Biochemical Information

    Mucilage, vitamins B and C, iron, copper, silver, manganese, kerotin, titan, nickel
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    Legends, Myths and Stories

    In the Middle Ages it was commonly believed that the outward appearance of a plant was a God-given sign of the medicinal value contained within. Under this concept, called the Doctrine of Signatures, lungwort received its name: its lung-shaped leaves were considered a sign of its ability to treat lung diseases. Based on folklore, this doctrine was formally stated by the 16th century physician Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus Paracelsus von Hohenheim. Interestingly, Native Americans had the same idea in their herb lore, even before they were exposed to white men. The problem with the concept is that, although it works well for some plants, it generally takes a great deal of creative imagination to match the outward appearance of most plants to the “appropriate” medicinal use.
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    Uses

    The tea is used for diarrhea, hemorrhoids, respiratory problems, coughs, asthma, flu, colds, the grippe, catarrh, and hoarseness. It has mildly diuretic properties. The decoction may be helpful for bleeding lung problems. Externally, the plant is used for all kinds of wounds, ulcers, and sores. Decreases the menstrual flow when excessive.

    Poultice helps enlarged thyroid, burns, tumors, and reduces swelling and inflammation from injuries and bruises.
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    Formulas or Dosages

    Infusion: steep 1 tbsp. herb in 1 cup hot water. Take 1 cup per day.

    Decoction: use the same quantities, but boil for a few minutes. Take 1 cup per day.

    Juice: take 1 tsp., 3 times a day, with honey.

    Powder: take 1 tsp., 3 times a day, with milk.
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    Nutrient Content

    Vitamins B and C, iron
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    Warning

    If a cough persists for more than 2 weeks, do not try to treat it. See a medical professional immediately.
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    Bibliography

    Buy It! Back to Eden, by Jethro Kloss; Back to Eden Publishing Co., Loma Linda, CA 92354, Original copyright 1939, revised edition 1994

    Buy It! Culpeper’s Complete Herbal & English Physician: Updated With 117 Modern Herbs, by Nicholas Culpeper, Meyerbooks, publisher, PO Box 427, Glenwood, Illinois 60425, 1990, (reprint of 1814)

    Buy It! Earl Mindell’s Herb Bible, by Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D., Simon & Schuster/Fireside, Rockefeller Center 1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, New York 10020

    Buy It! The Herb Book, by John Lust, Bantam Books, 666 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY. copyright 1974.

    Herbal Gardening, compiled by The Robison York State Herb Garden, Cornell Plantations, Matthaei Botanical Gardens of the University of Michigan, University of California Botanical Garden, Berkeley., Pantheon Books, Knopf Publishing Group, New York, 1994, first edition

    Buy It! Indian Herbalogy of North America, by Alma R. Hutchens, Shambala Publications, Inc., Horticultural Hall, 300 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, 1973

    Buy It! Planetary Herbology, by Michael Tierra, C.A., N.D., O.M.D., Lotus Press, PO Box 325, Twin Lakes. WI 53181., Copyright 1988, published 1992

    Buy It! Webster’s New World Dictionary, Third College Edition, Victoria Neufeldt, Editor in Chief, New World Dictionaries: A Division of Simon & Schuster, Inc., 15 Columbus Circle, New York, NY 10023

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