Last updated: August 9, 2021

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Welcome to our big lungwort test 2021. Here we present all the lung herbs we have tested in detail. We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best lung herb for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of when buying lungwort.




Summary

  • Lungwort grows in forests and along forest edges in almost all of Europe.
  • The flowers of the lungwort change colour from reddish-pink to purple and blue as they age.
  • The most common species, the spotted lungwort, can be recognised by its white spotted leaves.

The Best Lungwort: Our Choices

Advisor: Questions you should ask yourself before buying lungwort

What is lungwort?

Lungwort (Pulmonaria) belongs to the family of broadleaf plants. It is found in almost all of Europe and grows in forests and forest edges. Lungwort prefers moderately moist soil and semi-shady to shady areas. The plant is 15 to 30 cm tall and flowers from March to May. During this time the flowers change colour with age from reddish-pink to purple and blue.

The lungwort's flowers turn from reddish-pink to purple and blue with age. (Image source: pixabay.com / Marigard)

Lungwort consists of a horizontal rootstock, a slightly hairy stem from which the lanceolate to heart-shaped leaves emerge and the funnel-shaped flowers.

What can I use lungwort for?

You can use lungwort in different areas. In the following table we show you the different uses.

Use Description
In the garden In the garden, lungwort is good as a ground cover, as it does not spread very much and is not a nuisance.
In the kitchen You can use the young leaves of the lungwort as an ingredient for wild herb soups and salads. They have a bitter, cabbage-like and mild taste. The flowers are also edible and can be processed or used as decoration.
As a medicinal plant Hildegard von Bingen (1098-1179) already recognised the healing effect of lungwort. Lungwort teas are particularly well known. Lungwort is also used in homeopathy as a tincture or in capsule form.

For whom is the use of lungwort as a medicinal plant suitable?

The use of lungwort is suitable for diseases of the lungs and respiratory tract. The ingredients, such as silicic acid, saponins and tannins, have an expectorant, soothing and anti-inflammatory effect against cough (irritation), hoarseness and colds with cough.

Homeopaths recommend lungwort as a tincture for bronchitis and bronchial asthma. Applied externally, lungwort has a wound-healing effect due to the ingredient allantoin. Lungwort also helps against bladder problems and diarrhoea.

Because of the few, insufficient scientific studies on the risks and long-term effects of lungwort, experts advise against long-term use, as well as against use during pregnancy.

How much does lungwort cost?

You can buy lungwort in different forms, depending on the intended use. Lungwort tea has a price of 5 to 25 euros, whereby the price increases with the quantity. Lungwort tinctures cost 15 to 30 euros. The price also increases with the amount of contents. The whole plant costs 3 to 8 euros. The seeds are available for a little less, from 2 to 5 euros.

species price range
tea 5-25€
tincture 15-30€
plant 3-8€
seeds 2-5€

Where can I buy lungwort?

Where you buy lungwort depends on how the plant is processed. Teas, tinctures and capsules are available in pharmacies, but also online. When buying online, you should pay attention to the exact botanical name so that you don't buy the wrong thing. You can buy the longweed itself in a garden centre. The seeds, however, are difficult to find there and can usually only be bought online.

What are the alternatives to lungwort?

There are several alternatives to lungwort in the garden and as a medicinal plant. In the garden you can use lungwort as a ground cover. Other good ground covers are small periwinkle, foam flower or Balkan cranesbill.

As a medicinal plant, lungwort is used against respiratory diseases and colds with coughs. Proven alternative medicinal plants against these complaints are ivy, thyme, sage, anise, elder and many more. Lungwort also has wound-healing properties, as do these medicinal plants: Comfrey, aloe vera, arnica and lady's mantle. We would now like to introduce you to Balkan cranesbill, sage and arnica in a little more detail:

Balkan Cranesbill

The Balkan cranesbill (Geranium macrorrhizum) is a perennial and belongs to the cranesbill family. It grows to a height of 30 to 45cm and flowers in May and June. The Balkan cranesbill is ideal as a ground cover in the garden as it makes it difficult for weeds to grow. The colour of the flowers varies depending on the variety. There are varieties with red, white, purple, pink or magenta coloured flowers.

Sage

Sage (Salvia officinalis) belongs to the labiates family. The genus of sage plants includes more than 1000 species. Sage has a growth height of 40 to 60cm. What is special about sage are the strongly aromatic smelling leaves.

They are also often used in cooking and have become established in Italian cuisine in particular. Sage is also one of the oldest known medicinal plants. It helps, for example, with colds, pharyngitis, whooping cough or intestinal complaints. Furthermore, sage can also help with problems such as listlessness.

Arnica

Arnica (arnika montana) belongs to the daisy family and grows up to 60 cm high. It is native to mountain meadows all over Europe. It flowers there from June to August. The flowers of the plant are bright yellow and have an aromatic scent.

They are also relevant for medicinal purposes and are processed into arnica ointment, for example. This is used externally to treat sprains and bruises. That is why arnica is often used in sports ointments. Arnica is a protected plant, so you must not pick it without permission.

Decision: What types of lungwort are there and which one is right for you?

There are up to 20 species of lungwort in Europe. The most widespread species are:

  • Spotted lungwort
  • Dark lungwort
  • Soft Lungwort

We would now like to help you find the most suitable lungwort for you. For this purpose, we will introduce you to the different species with their advantages and disadvantages.

What are the characteristics of spotted lungwort and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

The spotted or true lungwort (Pulmonaria officinalis) is the best-known variety of lungwort. You can easily recognise it because of its leaves. As the name suggests, they are spotted. You can use spotted lungwort in many ways, in the garden as a ground cover, in the kitchen as a spicy ingredient or in case of a cold as a medicinal plant in the form of teas, tinctures or capsules.

Advantages
  • Easily recognisable by spotted leaves
  • many uses
Disadvantages
  • Sensitive to waterlogging and drought
  • susceptible to mildew

Spotted lungwort is sensitive to waterlogging and drought and is susceptible to the fungal disease powdery mildew.

What characterises dark lungwort and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Dark lungwort (Pulmonaria obscura) is very similar to spotted lungwort. The biggest difference, however, is the appearance of the leaves, they do not have the white spots typical of spotted lungwort. The dark lungwort can also be used as a medicinal plant. It is somewhat more resistant to wetness and dryness than the spotted lungwort.

Advantages
  • Can be used as a medicinal plant
  • Robust
Disadvantages
  • Susceptible to mildew
  • Popular with snails

Dark lungwort is also susceptible to powdery mildew. In addition, it is very popular with snails as food.

What characterises soft lungwort and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Soft lungwort (Pulminaria mollis) is particularly persistent and serves as a good ground cover, due to its maximum growth height of 30 cm and horizontal rootstock.

Advantages
  • Perennial
  • Good ground cover
Disadvantages
  • Rare
  • Not many uses

Buying criteria: You can use these factors to compare and evaluate lungworts

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the many possible lungworts. The criteria you can use to compare lung herbs include:

  • Processing
  • Care
  • Susceptibility to disease
  • Use
  • Effect

In the following paragraphs we will explain what is important in each of the criteria.

Processing

Processing depends on what you want to use the lungwort for. Lungwort is available in the form of tinctures, capsules, teas, as a whole plant or the seeds of the herb. The processing differs in quality and you should always make sure when buying that the botanical name is given correctly.

Care

The care of lungwort is not particularly demanding if you plant it in a suitable location. This location should be semi-shady to shady and have a slightly moist soil. If you choose such a location, the lungwort will grow almost by itself.

In the first year, however, you should water the plant regularly. We also recommend that you fertilise the lungwort annually with compost in spring so that the plant develops in the best possible way.

Susceptibility to disease

Lungwort is susceptible to powdery mildew. This is one of the most common fungal diseases in the garden. In addition, lungwort is very popular with slugs and butterfly larvae. Infestation by aphids and sawflies cannot be ruled out either.

Application

Spotted and dark lungwort can be used as a medicinal plant. Tea, tinctures, capsules and powder are available. The tea should be drunk unsweetened. If it is too bitter, you can add honey. You can drink one to three cups a day. The powder is best mixed with a cup of lukewarm milk.

As with other medicinal herbs, you should not use lungwort permanently and take a break after 3 to 6 weeks at the latest.

Effect

The ingredients silicic acid, saponin and tannins have an expectorant, soothing and anti-inflammatory effect. The allantoin contained in lungwort has a wound-healing effect when applied externally. Lungwort also has a diuretic effect and helps with diarrhoea and bladder problems.

Facts worth knowing about lungwort

What are the possible side effects of lungwort?

Risks and possible side effects from the use of lungwort are not known, as the effect has not yet been scientifically tested. Therefore, we recommend that you do not use lungwort if you are pregnant or under 18 years of age.

How do I propagate lungwort?

If you want to propagate lungwort in your garden, it is best to divide the rhizomes (rootstock) into several parts after flowering in early summer. Then replant the pieces in a suitable place in your garden.

Make sure there is a certain distance between the pieces and that the soil is nutrient-rich and moist. In a location where the lungwort feels comfortable, it will also self-seed. Alternatively, you can sow the ripe seeds.

How do I make my own lungwort tea?

You can buy pre-packaged lungwort tea, but you can also make it yourself. You use the entire above-ground part of the plant. Let it dry for a while and then chop it up. Take two teaspoons of the chopped lungwort and pour 250 ml of boiling water over it. After 10 minutes of infusion, strain the tea and drink it.

Lungwort tea is easy to make yourself. (Image source: pixabay.com / dungthuyvunguyen)

Picture credits: pixabay.com / zimt2003

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