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Here is a link to a youtube video on the topic http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RYOc_jyEpnI

This week I was asked to share more details about one of the plants that I wild harvest for SongCroft Naturals products. Since I am a contributing writer for Herb Mentor website, I decided it would be helpful to share one of the articles I wrote there. You will find it below. I hope you enjoy it!

 

About Mullein

To say that Mullein is up in my garden might be an understatement. I have Great Mullein that is eight feet tall. And holding a strong presence amidst the vegetables and berries.

Mullein is distributed all over Europe of parts of temperate Asia. It is an alien to North American but it has become common enough that many people think it is native to our continent.  Mullein is a biennial herb that can be found growing on roadsides, in gravel, sand or other spaces as long as it is well-drained. It seems to like uncultivated sunny dry spaces the best. It will, however, live in well-drained gardens with rich soil abundant in nutrients.

In the first season, Mullein will form leaves at the base of a stem, known as a rosette. These leaves average 6-15 inches long and up to 5 inches broad but are smaller as they ascend the stem. They are a whitish/grey color with soft hairs on both sides. They feel furry and thick. They make a perfect toilet paper if you are in need while hiking. The root is a long taproot which is fibrous on the outside but fleshy and soft inside. The flower-spike (second season) has been known to attain a height of 7 or 8 feet. Covered with densely crowded sulfur-yellow flowers about an inch across with five round petals.

In the Pacific Northwest, Mullein usually blooms in July and August. The entire plant can be harvest for later use.

Mullein has been used for many centuries. There is reference to it’s use in  Greek literature as well as the Bible. It ‘s medicinal value is backed by science because of the many studies that have been conducted.  Some of the valuable constituents of Mullein are Coumarin and Hesperidin. These have many healing uses. Research had indicated several uses such as an analgesic, antihistaminic, anticancer, antioxidant, antiviral, bacteristat cardio-depressant, fungicide, sedative and pesticide.

The leaves, root, and the flowers are anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, demulcent, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, nervine, and vulnerary.

Mullein oil is a very medicinal and valuable destroyer of disease germs. An infusion of the flowers in olive oil is used as earache drops. This is a very effective earache treatment. This infusion is a strong antibacterial. The oil being used to treat gum and mouth ulcers is very effective.

A decoction of Mullein roots is used to alleviate toothache and also relieve cramps and convulsions. It is also used in alternative medicine for the treatment of migraine headaches accompanied with oppression of the ear.

The whole plant possess slightly sedative and narcotic properties but beware because the seeds are considered toxic. They have been historically used as a narcotic and also contain saponins.

Mullein also makes a great tinder when needed. It will light right up with little effort.

In most places, this is the time of year to harvest Mullein so I suggest going out and gathering yours now. You can put it up as an oil and as dry it for decoctions when needed.

If you enjoy reading articles about things like this, check out www.songcroft.com where we write about all sorts of self-sufficiency skills including herbology.

 

{ 2 comments }

Darkling Farm September 12, 2011 at 9:15 pm

Thanks for featuring one of my favorite “roadside attractions”~! I’ve used Mullien flower in teas blended for headaches for years! I love the beautiful, tall spikes abloom with yellow, and the soft, fuzzy leaves!

songcroft October 11, 2011 at 5:05 pm

Mullien is a great friend, especially during the cold months when school kids start getting earaches. How do you like to use mullein?

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