Lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis)
This attractive plant is prized as a groundcover both for its striking, white-spotted green foliage and it's pretty, tubular flowers that are pink when they first open, then fade to shades of blue and purple. It grows to a height of only 9 inches. This is a great choice for shady spots in zones 3-9 except in Florida and along the Gulf Coast.
Lungwort is a perennial herb which is propagated by root division in autumn or seed sown directly in spring. When dividing clumps, keep them well watered to encourage good root development before winter sets in. Plants requires a shady and reasonably moist environment and the soil should be rich in organic matter. Give it a little extra water during hot spells. In winter, cut back the flowering stems and mulch well. Divide clumps three or four years after planting.
Harvest the whole plant in the middle of summer during the flowering period.
For medicinal purposes, make an infusion or tincture of leaves that have been gathered during the flowering period.
Lungwort is traditionally used bronchial complaints. There is little evidence to support the effectiveness of this plant.
It has astringent properties and can be used to cleanse the digestive system, for diarreha, and for cystitis.
It's often used to strengthen the utereus during pregnancy and to facilitate childbirth.
It makes a soothing gargle for hoarseness or sore throat.
It helps to stop bleeding after passing kidney stones.
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