Some time ago I wrote about my plan to make a small base of herbs, tomatoes and flowers with their basic information and use all in one place. Well that went down the drain do to many problems that have occurred in my life, but I never forgot about it so now it's time to start introducing new things to this little blog and I thought about starting with a common spring herb:
Pulmonaria officinalis aka Lungwort (Plućnjak)
Lungwort, a herbaceous perennial is one of the first spring flowers that cover forest and shady meadows. Plant has been well know in medicine for hundreds of years. It was named by Latin word for "lungs" (lat. Pulmo) in 18th century. Still there are writings about it's usage in 16th century by Leonhart Fuchs, German physician and one of the fathers of botany. In middle age this plant was used regularly for it's benefits in treating cough.
Description of the plant:
Lungwort belongs to the Boraginaceae family (Borage, comfrey..) It's egg shaped leaves that are covered with different sized hairs form rosettes. From the center of the roseette grows a 30cm (12in) stem which is also covered in tiny hairs with flower cluster at the top of the stem. Flowers are delicate, forming a small trumpet. Young flowers are blue and with age they turn from purple to pink and red. After the flowers fall off the clusters start producing seeds in small pods. Seeds ripe in late summer and after the plant produces seeds it slowly disappears. Plants survives the winter in it's creeping rhizomes and in late winter starts growing rosette again.
Harvest and usage:
Whole lungwort plant can be harvested( except root) when the plant is in full bloom. Plant can be dried or used as tincture.
Lungwort contains allantoin, saponins, quercetin, polygalacturonane, silicic acide, tannic acid and other.
It is believed that lungwort is natural antiseptic, antitusic, diuretic and laxative.
Folk medicine uses it to cure lung diseases, angina, bladder diseases and skin problems. Dried plant can also be added to animal food and used to treat horse, cow and sheep cough.
When making Lungwort tea the dosage should be 1-2 tea spoons of dried herb on 2dl of water. Tea is bitter so it should be taken with honey or sugar.
When treating lung diseases herb is often mixed with yarrow, horsetail, sage and leaf marshmallow.
Pregnant woman and breastfeeding mums shouldn't use lungwort tea.
- Vegetable Encyclopedia