Medicinal plants

Lungwort - application and effects

The Lungwort already served as a medicinal plant in folk medicine. The type of spotted lung herb common in this country also bears names such as lung root, Arzenil lung herb and fox lung herb. However, it was not used as a remedy for lung diseases, but its leaves were reminiscent of the lung. It should help with sore throat, hoarseness, or bladder problems.

The spotted lungwort

The spotted or real lungwort grows in Germany, Austria and Switzerland often on the edge of the forest as well as in deciduous forests, but also in city parks and gardens. It is a predator family like borage, viper's head or comfrey, which are also considered medicinal plants. Related species such as dark lungwort and soft lungwort are of no importance as medicinal plants.

The real lung herb grows up to 30 cm in height, is perennial and forms wood-like roots. The lanceolate leaves are covered with white spots.


The real lungwort is an early bloomer and shows its red, purple or blue calyx from March. There are several flowers on each stem that are reminiscent of bells. Lungwort is available in various cultivation forms, which differ mainly in the color of the flowers, such as "Cambrdige Blue". The fruit node forms brown seeds with the characteristic "pointed cap".


As a forest plant, the lungwort likes it shady to semi-shady, in addition nutritious with permeable humus like deciduous forest soil and a little damp. If the soil is clayey, you can break it up with gravel or sand. The best place is under deciduous trees that are not in the blazing sun.


You should sow the early bloomer in March. As a cold germ, the plant needs frost to germinate. At the same time, lungwort is a light germ, which is why the seeds must not be deeper than about 0.5 cm below the earth's crust. There should be a distance of up to 20 cm between the individual plants.

If you pull lungwort on the balcony, it should be facing north or west, otherwise the plant will get too much with the sun. A pot should have a diameter of 20 cm so that the roots can be placed.


In addition to seeds, lungwort can also be propagated by division. It’s pretty easy. You only need to split the root with a sharp spade in spring or summer and plant the sections separately.

Fertilize and water

As a forest plant, lungwort thanks for annual fertilization in spring with compost and / or nettle slurry. The earth must not dry out, and lungwort cannot tolerate waterlogging. Weekly watering is advisable in the shade in summer if the rain does not come.


Lung herb is hardy.

Lungwort in medicine

Lung herb has been used as a medicinal plant since the Middle Ages. Back then, there were superstitious reasons - it was about the imagined effect based on analogies. The leaves were reminiscent of a lung, which is why Hildegard von Bingen proposed the "lungwort" in Causa et Curae as a remedy for lung diseases. Later it should help with wound healing and also with women complaints, namely as a powder and as a wine tincture.

Considering lungwort as a medicinal herb does not only arise from superstition. It contains saponins, tannins and silica, which loosen mucus, relieve stimuli and contract. Dried lungwort brewed into tea is a real home remedy for cough, hoarseness, diarrhea and bladder problems.


For tea, pour a quarter liter of hot water on 2 teaspoons of dried lungwort and let it steep for 8-10 minutes, drinking 3 cups a day. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Dr. phil. Utz Anhalt, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch


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  • Medicinal herb pages: (access: 05.02.2018), lung herb
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