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Lungwort

Lungwort

Botanical Description & Habitat

Pulmonaria officinalis or Sticta pulmonaria

Family
Boraginaceae

Common Names

Jerusalem cowslipJerusalem sage
Maple lungwortSpotted comfrey
Spotted lungwort



Habitat
Grows in woods and thickets in Europe and the United States

Description
It has a horizontal, creeping rootstock which produces bristly stems. The leaves are alternate, ovate, and dark green; the upper leaves are sessile, and the lower, petioled. The flowers turn from rose-colored to blue, and grow in terminal clusters from March to May.


Medicinal parts
Flowering herb - dried
leaves - dried

Historical Properties & Uses

As its name implies, lungwort is primarily used in lung disease. Due to its large concentration of mucilage, the herb has some soothing effects. It is an expectorant, cough suppressant, and a good external emollient and demulcent for wounds. Lungwort contains tannins, which impart some astringent action.

This herb has not achieved approval status by the German Commission E. Either there was insufficient evidence in favor, or a contraindication.

References:

Blumenthal, M (Ed.): The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council. Austin, TX. 1998.

Method of Action

Lungwort is highly mucilaginous
Lungwort has a very high content of mucilage, silicic acid, and saponins, all of which contribute to its efficacy as a treatment for chronic lung disease. Both the common and Latin names for this herb reflect its ancient use in the treatment of lung disorders.

Drug Interactions & Precautions

Possible Interactions
The topical application of the astringent herb lungwort, in conjunction with the acne product Tretinoin (retinoic acid, vitamin A acid), may adversely affect the skin.

Comments
Tannin in lungwort may potentiate the antibiotic activity of echinacea. The tannin in lungwort tea may be inactivated by the addition of milk or cream.

Safety Factors & Toxicity

The toxicity level of lungwort has not been determined at this time.

The German Commission E status is "null" or neutral i.e. while it is not approved, there is no documented risk. There may also be some concern over the claims made by manufacturers i.e. they are unproven.

References:

Blumenthal, M (Ed.): The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council. Austin, TX. 1998.

Preparation & Administration

Three times a day

Dried herb
2-4 grams

Tea
made of 1 tsp of dried herb

Fluid extract
1:1 in 25% alcohol, 2-4 ml

Note: This Herbal Preparation information is a summary of data from books and articles by various authors. It is not intended to replace the advice or attention of health care professionals.

References

Am Hospital Formulary Service. Am Soc of Hosp Pharm. Wash, D.C.

Bressler, R., M.D. Bogdonoff & G.J. Subak-Sharpe. 1981. The Physicians Drug Manual. Doubleday & Co, Inc. Garden City, NY. 1213 pp.

Committee on Pharmocopaeia of the Am Institute of Homeopathy, The Homeopathic Pharmacopaeia of the United States. 8th ed., Vol 1. Otis Clapp and Son, Agents, Boston, l981.

Goodman, L.S. & A. Gilman. 1975. Pharm Basis of Thera. Macmillan, NY.

Hansten, P.D. 1979. Drug Interactions, 4th ed. Lea & Febiger, Phila.

Hyde. British Herbal Pharmacopoeia. Brit Herb Med Assoc: England, 1983.

Kastrup, E.K., ed. 1981. Drug Facts and Comparisons, 1982 edition. Facts and Comparisions Division, J.P. Lippincott Co, Phila (St. Louis).

List, P. & L. Hoerhammer. 1969-1976. Hagers Hanbuch der Pharmazeutischen Praxis, vols. 2-5. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.

Martin, E.W. 1978. Drug Interactions Index, 1978/79. J.B. Lippincott Company, Philadelphia.

Mowrey, Daniel B., Ph.D. Exper. Psych., Brigham Young University. Director of Nebo Institute of Herbal Sciences. Director of Behavior Change Agent Training Institute. Director of Research, Nova Corp.

Scientific Committee. British Herbal Pharmocopaeia. British Herbal Med Assoc. Lane House, Cowling, Na Keighley, West Yorks, Bd Bd220lx, l983

Vincent, D. & G. Segonzac. 1953. Comptes Rendus des Seances de la Societe de Biologie et de ses Filiales, 147. pp. 1776-1779.