Common Lungwort

Common Lungwort is a most pleasant plant which sowed itself in one of my tubs. Its flowers, which come out in the spring, are beloved by insects, adding a little colour ahead of most else. The Plants for a Future website, which considers the greater uses to which we might put our plants, comments that its leaves

can be added to salads or used as a potherb. A fairly bland flavour but the leaves are low in fibre and make an acceptable addition to mixed salads, though their mucilaginous and slightly hairy texture make them less acceptable when eaten on their own. The young leaves make a palatable cooked vegetable, though we have found the texture to be somewhat slimy. The plant is an ingredient of the drink Vermouth (source; emphasis mine).

Not the most fulsome of recommendations; I don’t think the greengrocers and supermarkets will be rushing to stock their shelves with it any time soon. The little plant in my tub is quite unlikely to find itself chopped and boiled. Still, as its name suggests, its mucilaginous leaves are said to be useful for breathing complaints, chronic bronchitis and coughs. Furthermore, it is used as an ingredient in vermouth, a type of fortified wine popular in this country from the seventeenth century. It is still used with gin to make the famous martini and manhattan cocktails.

A plant which is described as bland and slimy when eaten turns out to be rather useful when put to other uses, and in concert with other components. Each Christian is God’s servant, His agent while on earth. While some appear unpalatable and disagreeable as individuals, God has assigned them a part to play and given them a place in His Israel. They help to make the church, the redeemed community, as colourful and as rich as it is. Anyone who has called on Christ to save them is assigned a role and has their proper place.

One of Common Lungwort’s other names is Jerusalem Sage.