Friday, January 23, 2009

Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)

Mullein is a widely distributed plant found all over the world and usually collected in the wild state. You've probably seen this plant growing along the roadside and thought it was a weed. It is part of the Snapdragon family. Mullein a fantastic herb for many pulmonary (lung) complaints and I thought it would be a great time to talk about this herb with near record low temperatures affecting most of the US right now. I highly recommend getting some of this herb and curling up with a hot cup of tea every night until things warm up again.

Nutrients: Mullein contains many nutrients, but is especially high in these minerals and vitamins.
  • Minerals: potassium, calcium, cobalt, iron, magnesium, manganese, niacin, phosphorus, silicon, sodium, and sulphur.

  • Vitamins: vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin D, and B-Complex.

Natural Healing
  • This is a great herb to support and nourish the lungs and helps with most pulmonary complaints such as tuberculosis, coughs, bronchitis, croup, asthma. Mullein has a particular knack for loosening mucus and expelling it out of the body.

  • This herb is known to have a slight narcotic effect when taken which is extremely helpful to promote rest and relieve coughing. It is a very calming herb.

  • Oil of Mullein is great for ear infections and it's slight narcotic effect numbs the pain while the mullein is working to heal the infection. You can find commercial preparations of oil of mullein in most health food stores or make your own by soaking mullein in olive oil for about 3 weeks. It's best to do this in the sun, but in a warm spot near a fire or other heat source will work as well.

  • Due to it's soothing nature, mullein is also helpful to treat hemorrhoids, ulcers and inflammatory skin disorders.

  • Because of it's ability to sooth inflamed tissue and it's anti-bacterial properties, mullein has also been successful when used to treat painful urination, nephritis, and cystitis.

How to Use
  • The leaves, flowers and roots of this plant can all be used medicinally.

  • You can add a tablespoon or two of this herb to a Green Smoothie or sprinkle in a salad

  • Mullein makes a great tea (standard infusion). I love to curl up with a warm cup of this tea before bed on a cold night. It warms you inside and out and with the slight narcotic/calming effect this tea has helps you fall asleep.

  • To increase this herb's effectiveness when used for bronchitis and asthma, make a tea with equal parts Mullein and Lobelia.

  • Make a standard decoction. A decoction of this herb is about four times the strength of the infusion and much more astringent. A decoction of mullein is especially helpful for painful urination or cystitis.


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