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PULMONARIA OFFICINALIS. COMMON LUNGWORT.
Class V. PentANDRIA. Order I. MonogyNIA.
ed, with an open throat. Spec. Char. Leaves, hirsute. Stem-leaves, ovate, oblong. Root
The root is perennial; the stem is simple, erect, angular, rough, and rises about a foot in height; the stem-leaves are somewhat ovate, or rather lanceolate, broad, pointed, hairy, alternate, and on the upper side speckled with small whitish spots; the radical leaves are broader and more elongated towards the base; the flowers are terminal, fasciculate, and of a reddish purple color; the calyx is prismatic, rough, and divided at the mouth into five short, pointed, segments; the corolla is funnel-shaped, consisting of a cylindrical tube, open at the mouth, and a spreading limb, cut at the margin into five obtuse segments; the filaments are five, very short, placed at the mouth of the tube, and furnished with simple yellow anthers; the germen is quadrifid, supporting a tapering style of the length of the calyx, and crowned with a blunt notched stigma; the seeds are four in number, which are lodged at the base of the calyx. . This plant, although a native of the eastern part of Europe, is found growing wild in many parts of the United States; but not in sufficient quantities to supply the shops. In England, and to some extent in this country, it is cultivated in gardens for medicinal purposes; in which case the leaves become broader, and approach more
to a cordate shape, as may be seen by the detached leaves repre sented in the plate. The figure itself, however, represents a speci. men of the spontaneous growth of this country. The leaves which are the part directed for use, are inodorous, but in their recent state manifest a slightly astringent and mucilaginous taste; hence it seems not wholly without foundation, that they have been supposed to be demulcent and pectoral. The name, Pulmonaria, seems to have originated rather from the speckled appearance of the leaves, (they resembling that of the lungs,) than from any intrinsic quality which experience has discovered to be useful in pulmonary complaints.
Medical Properties and Uses. The leaves of this plant have been highly esteemed by some, as a pectoral and demulcent, and have been employed in catarrh, hæmoptysis, consumption, and other affections of the chest; but at present is seldom administered unless in connexion with other remedies. A syrup has been prepared of the following articles, which has proved highly servicable in the treatment of pulmonary affections, and coughs of long standing. Take of Aralia nudicaulis Spikenard root, Marrubium vulgare Horehound, Inula helenium, Elecampane, Symphytum offincinale Comfrey, Pulmonaria officinalis, Lungwort, each one pound, add a suitable quantity of water; boil, and pour off the infusion repeatedly, until the strength is all extracted; then strain and reduce the whole of the liquid down to about six quarts, after this add white sugar six pounds, and good honey three pounds; clarify it with the whites of eggs. Let it stand for twenty-four hours, that it may settle; add one quart good French brandy, and bottle it for use. Dose, half a wine-glass-full, three or four times a day.
SPEAR MINT. Class XIV. DIDYNAMIA.
Order I. GYMNOSPERMIA. Gen. Char. Corolla almost equal, four-cleft; the broader segment
emarginate. Stamina upright, distant. Spe. Char. Spikes cylindrical. Leaves oblong, acute, serrate, hairy,
subsessile. Stem strigose. Stamens longer than the corolla. The root is perennial, creeping, and sends forth numerous small fibres; the stems are square, hollow, erect, branched, and rise about, two feet in height; the leaves are large, eliptical, serrated, pointed, of a bright green color, and placed in pairs close to the stem, or on short footstalks; the flowers are small, of a light purple or pink color, and produced in terminal spikes; the filaments are larger than the corolla. It flowers in August.
This plant is a native of North America, and can be found growing on the banks of rivers and small streams, in most of the Northern and Middle States. It is also found growing in many parts of Europe, and in England is cultivated for culinary uses. Many virtues were ascribed to mint by the ancients, but what species they referred to must ever remain uncertain; even at this time the different species of this numerous family are not satisfactorily ascertained; but in a medical sense, this is of little importance, as the virtues of all reside in the aromatic flavor, which is, common to the whole genus.
On drying, the leaves loose about three-fourths of their weight without suffering much loss of their odor or taste. Cold or warm