Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis L., lungwort) is a unique plant with many health-promoting properties. There are 4 species of Lungwort in Poland. Find out what medicinal properties lungwort has and what diseases it can be used for.
- What does lungwort look like?
- Lungwort – what are its medicinal properties?
- What effect does lungwort have?
- Lungwort – contraindications and overdose
Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis L.) belongs to the borage family. It occurs naturally in Central Asia and, among others, in Central and Southern Europe. Lungwort is an ornamental and medicinal plant that is traditionally used to treat lung diseases – the unique effect of lungwort on the respiratory tract is why it is also called “lungwort”. Lungwort species that occur in Poland include the mothed lungwort, the spotted lungwort, the soft-haired lungwort and the narrow-leaved lungwort. It is difficult to recognize individual lungwort species because they differ little in appearance. Lungwort grows in deciduous forests, including: in the Greater Poland Lake District and Western Pomerania. It prefers shaded areas with nutrient-rich and moist, humus-rich soil.
People who live in harmony with nature should always have lungwort in their home medicine cabinet. A package of lungwort herb (Pulmonariae herba) weighing 50 grams costs about PLN 10.
What does lungwort look like?
Lungwort has bell-shaped, pentagonal flowers in blue, purple and pink, hairy stems and leaves extending into a petiole. This plant produces rhizomes and fruits that resemble small nuts. The appearance of the lungwort differs slightly depending on the plant species, e.g. the spotted lungwort – as the name suggests, it has spotted leaves, and the narrow-leafed lungwort is characterized by long leaves with a lanceolate shape and a uniform green color.
Lungwort – what are its medicinal properties?
This medicinal plant has a rich composition. Lungwort is a valuable source of tannins, phytosterols, lignans, flavonol glycosides and alkaloids. Additionally, it contains flavonoids, polyphenols and allantoin. Moreover, the lungwort herb contains vitamins and mineral salts that are important for maintaining good health, including: vitamin A, vitamin C, B vitamins, potassium, manganese, copper, silicon, calcium, iron, nickel and mucus.
Lungwort has antimicrobial properties – this plant has antiviral and antibacterial properties, prevents blood clots, has a diuretic effect, supports the body’s immunity, effectively relieves respiratory and digestive system ailments, and supports the functioning of the nervous system.
The unique healing properties of lungwort are used in natural medicine to support the treatment of frequently diagnosed diseases.
What effect does lungwort have?
The action of lungwort turns out to be particularly useful in the treatment of acute and chronic respiratory diseases (e.g. viral and bacterial respiratory infections). This plant also has a protective effect on the respiratory tract, reducing the harmful effects of various pollutants on the lungs, including: production dusts.
Respiratory diseases that are often treated with lungwort include:
diseases with dry cough,
diseases causing thick secretions to remain in the respiratory tract,
Lungwort is recommended for inflammation of the respiratory tract of various causes. Lungwort infusion has anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral and antioxidant properties, facilitates expectoration and soothes dry cough by coating the respiratory tract with moisturizing mucus.
Lungwort can also be used for inflammation of the mouth and throat. Starting the use of lungwort at the first symptoms of the disease shortens its duration and supports the functioning of the immune system that fights the disease. Some sources say that lungwort can be used to support the treatment of cystic fibrosis and asthma. Please remember that the use of herbs should always be consulted with your doctor. Moreover, natural treatment methods should not make you stop taking medications prescribed by your doctor.
Since lungwort has diuretic properties, it has a beneficial effect on the kidneys and urinary tract. Lungwort infusion turns out to be helpful, among others: in the treatment of bladder diseases and kidney stones.
The use of the herb Lungwort in the form of a decoction accelerates the healing of wounds – Lungwort is recommended, among others, against irritations and bacterial infections. The properties of Lungwort are also used for cosmetic purposes – the Lungwort herb softens and smoothes the skin and helps restore its young, radiant appearance.
Lungwort – contraindications and overdose
Lungwort is a safe herb, but it may cause some side effects. Pregnant and breastfeeding women, people taking anticoagulants, and people suffering from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) should refrain from using lungwort. An overdose of lungwort may cause constipation.
Hasik J., Lutomski J., Herbal medicine in internal diseases. Rational guide for doctors and pharmacists, Borgis Publishing House, Warsaw, 2000
Wasilewska G., Polish medicinal and healing herbs, Wydawnictwo RM, Warsaw, 2017
Leokadia Witkowska-Żuk, Forest plants, Multico Oficyna Wydawnicza, Warsaw, 2013