Mattioli’s Dioscorides illustrated by Cibo (Discorsi by Mattioli and Cibo)

Lungworts (Pulmonaria officinalis), ff. 27v-28r


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Another species of lungworts exists, quite different from the one that grows on the trunks of old trees. The other grows in shady places, with leaves quite similar to those of the borage plant, rough, fuzzy and all spotted with white. The flavor, too, is just like the borage plant. It produces a stem at the beginning of spring, and purple flowers sprout from the top of it, very similar to those of the common houndstongue.

Expert herbalists also attribute to this plant the all-but-mediocre virtue of causing pulmonary ulcers to heal. In this regard, Giuliano da Marostica, an expert doctor from Treviso, told me that he had experimented many times with it to treat the coughing up of blood with extraordinary success. Boil it until it is reduced by half and drink the decoction, or the squeezed juice; in both cases mixed with sugar.

The leaves and flowers of this plant are very beneficial for all of these problems; cooked in whatever way, it benefits consumptive patients. This according to Mattioli.


Mattioli’s Dioscorides illustrated by Cibo (Discorsi by Mattioli and Cibo) Lungworts (Pulmonaria officinalis), ff. 27v-28r

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Lungworts (Pulmonaria officinalis), ff. 27v-28r

Another species of lungworts exists, quite different from the one that grows on the trunks of old trees. The other grows in shady places, with leaves quite similar to those of the borage plant, rough, fuzzy and all spotted with white. The flavor, too, is just like the borage plant. It produces a stem at the beginning of spring, and purple flowers sprout from the top of it, very similar to those of the common houndstongue.

Expert herbalists also attribute to this plant the all-but-mediocre virtue of causing pulmonary ulcers to heal. In this regard, Giuliano da Marostica, an expert doctor from Treviso, told me that he had experimented many times with it to treat the coughing up of blood with extraordinary success. Boil it until it is reduced by half and drink the decoction, or the squeezed juice; in both cases mixed with sugar.

The leaves and flowers of this plant are very beneficial for all of these problems; cooked in whatever way, it benefits consumptive patients. This according to Mattioli.


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