Gray or light green lichen with forked irregular lobes measuring up to 5/8 in (1.5 cm) across.
Habitat & Cultivation
Found throughout Europe, tree lungwort grows on trees and rocks in woodland areas. It is gathered year round.
Tree lungwort contains a variety of plant acids (including stictic and sticinic acid), fatty acids, mucilage, and tannins.
History & Folklore
Tree lungwort has been used since ancient times as a remedy for lung problems. The Italian physician and herbalist Pierandrea Matteoli (1501–77) recommended it for healing pulmonary ulcers and for treating blood-flecked phlegm. It was also used to treat wounds, heal ulcers, reduce excessive menstrual bleeding, relieve dysentery, and halt “choleric vomiting.”
Medicinal Actions & Uses
A beneficial but underused remedy, tree lungwort has expectorant and tonic properties. It aids in clearing congested mucus, reduces phlegm, and helps to increase the appetite. In a decoction sweetened with honey, it is appropriate for all conditions that are marked by chronic respiratory infections, especially coughs and bronchitis.
The plant also treats asthma, pleurisy, and emphysema. Being astringent and demulcent, tree lungwort makes a useful treatment for pulmonary ulcers as well as for a variety of gastrointestinal problems. It is highly suitable for treating ailments in children.