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erbal Medicine Materia Medica

Lungwort Herb

© David L. Hoffmann BSc (Hons), MNIMH

Pulmonaria officinalis


Habitat: Shady places throughout Europe including Britain, cultivated in gardens.

Part used: Leaves.

Collection: The leavres should be gathered during and after flowering, between March and September.


  • Allantoin
  • Flavonoids; quercitin and kaempferol
  • Miscellaneous; tannins, mucilage, vitamin C, saponins, (unspecified). Pyrrolizidine alkaloids, common in other plants of the Boraginaceae, have been shown to be absent from all samples of Pulmonaria officinalis tested.
Actions: Demulcent, expectorant, astringent, anti-inflammatory, vulnerary.

Indications: Lungwort has two broad areas of use. The one that provides its name is its use in the treatment of coughs and bronchitis, especially where associated with upper respiratory catarrh. The other broad area is that related to its astringency. This explains its use in the treating of diarrhoea, especially in children, and in easing haemorrhoids. As with all plants these two broad areas must be seen as part of the whole activity of the herb, acting as a unity. Externally this plant may be used to heal cuts and wounds.

Priest & Priest tell us that it is a "demulcent pectoral tonic for general pulmonary conditions where a gentle tonic is required." They give the following specific indications: coughs, colds, influenza. Bronchial and catarrhal states. Inflammation of throat or lungs.

Combinations: For lung conditions, this herb may be used with White Horehound, Coltsfoot or Lobelia.

Preparation and dosage: Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto l-2 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb and leave to infuse for l0-l5 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day. Tincture: take l-4ml of the tincture three times a day.

About The Author
Whilst working in conservation and lecturing in ecology and the eco-crisis for the University of Wales, David Hoffman became convinced that to heal the world, to embrace planetary......more
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