From the 16th century onwards, people believing the theory of signs saw in the Jerusalem sage plant the resemblance of an ill lung with tuberculosis. Many 19th and early 20th century people suffering from tuberculosis were treated with the lungwort plant, in some cases achieving success. At present, it still is a helpful plant for respiratory afflictions.
Jerusalem Sage Plant Scientific Facts
- Other names: Jerusalem cowslip, lungwort, maple lungwort, spotted comfrey, spotted lungwort.
- French: Pulmonaire.
- Spanish: Pulmonaria, salvia de Jerusalen.
- Environment: Humid, clear, calcareous forests all over Europe. It has been introduced to warm and cold regions of America.
- Description: Vivacious, herbaceous plant for the Boraginaceae family, with hairy stem which grows up to 30 cm high. A pink and violet flower bouquet grows on the tip of its stem.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally: The whole plant with flowers.
Healing Properties and Indications
The whole plant contains mucilage and allantoin, both substances with emollient properties; tannin, with astringent properties; a certain amount of saponins, which give the plant expectorant properties; salicylic acid, and potassium and calcium salts, which have anti-inflammatory, diuretic, and sudorific properties.
- Internally used: The plant is recommended for several respiratory ailments such as bronchial catarrh, sore throat, irritating cough, hoarseness, and aphonia (taken orally and in gargles). It is beneficial to combat the adverse effects of tobacco on the respiratory airways. For pulmonary tuberculosis, it can be used to complement specific treatment, always under medical supervision.
- In external applications, the Jerusalem sage plant is used to heal wounds, bruises, skin marks, and chilblains.
How to use Jerusalem Sage
- Decoction with 30-50 g of plant per liter of water, boiled for 15 minutes. Drink three or four cups daily, sweetened with honey.
- Gargles with the same infusion as for internal use.
- Washing and compresses with the decoction mentioned above, applied on the affected skin area.
George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. Vols. 1 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 331. Print.