The Lungwort or the Pulmonaria flower is native to Europe and also the western part of Asia.
The plant was used in alternative medicine in the past. This plant’s legends are linked to bible.
In this blog we will explore the lungwort meaning using folklore, alchemy and its uses.
What does lungwort symbolise?
The lungwort meaning are “thou art my life” or “you are my life.” It is also used as protection especially when travelling by air. The lungwort comes under the dominion of the planet Jupiter.
The lungwort is a birth flower for the zodiacs Pisces and Sagittarius.
Why is it called lungwort?
The lungwort gets its name from its spotted leaves which resembled lungs. Moreover, they were also used to treat lung diseases and this was emphasised by its generic name Pulmonaria.
There is a legend linked to the spotted leaves. Some of the Virgin Mary milk fell on the leaves while she was nursing infant Jesus in Egypt.
The milk that fell stained the leaves and it eventually was called Virgin Mary’s Milkdrops or Spotted Mary.
In another version of the legend the leaves of the lungwort were spotted with her tears. The plant was growing at the foot of the Cross on Calvary. This is also why it is considered unlucky to dig up lungwort from the garden.
The Lungwort has a plethora of names such as Lady Mary’s Tears, Virgin Mary’s Tears. Additionally, they were given names based on their two coloured flowers such as Adam and Eve, Joseph and Mary, Faith, Hope, Charity.
In the region of Somerset the plant was also named Twelve Apostles. There was also a folk song related to the plant with the same title:
The Twelve Apostles in the garden plot do grow,
Some be blue, some be red and others white as
They cure the ill name of every man, whatever ill
But Judas he was hanged on an elder tree.
The hairy leaves of the Lungwort’s plant contains silicic acid and this helped to restore the elasticity of the lungs. Moreover, it aided in the reduction of mucus in the chest and throat.
Therefore, the lungwort was used as infusion in order to aid any lung related issues and infections but also respiratory disorders.
During the Anglo-Saxon times and around the mid 18th century it was also used to treat coughs, shortness of breath.
If you enjoyed this blog then don’t miss out on our spring flower blog list.
Smith, A. (2022). The physick garden the physick garden: Ancient cures for modern maladies. Frances Lincoln.
Thiselton Dyer, T. F. (1994). Folklore of Plants. Llanerch Press.
Vickery, R. (1997). A Dictionary of Plant-Lore. Oxford Paperbacks.
Deena Bsingh, a UK-born, Mauritius-raised content writer, is a dedicated explorer of the ancient world’s hidden treasures. Armed with classical studies knowledge and a decade of spiritual immersion, Deena delves deep into the wellspring of ancient wisdom. Her illuminating writings on flower meanings and culinary history are imbued with the profound insights she has gathered on her journey. Through her Medium articles, she guides readers on transformative journeys that bridge the gap between ancient cultures and contemporary consciousness, offering a rich tapestry of understanding that endures through time.