Mullein is an herb that has been used for hundreds of years and the whole plant is used: the leaves, flowers and roots. You’ll find it common in the United States. It flowers in July and August and will often be found growing by banks, roadsides in gravel or sandy soil. Native Americans used this plant and many parts of Europe used this plant traditionally. It is considered one of the top herbal plants in Ireland.
Historical Benefits of Mullein
- All respiratory complaints, clears congestion, soothes mucus membranes
- Eases coughs, help for dry or unproductive coughs
- Helps symptoms of asthma
- May help bronchitis
- Sore throats and tonsillitis
- Supports the thyroid
- Helps swollen glands
- My help a migraine
- Helps with pain
You can make a mullein tea and it is wonderfully soothing for coughs and sore throats. Just take 1 rounded tsp of the dried herb and steep with boiled water for about 5 minutes. Drink as is or for even more healing benefits add raw local honey which is often used for cough syrups.
Mullein tea without the honey (make a stronger batch) can used topically. Just soak a natural fiber cloth in the strong tea and wrap areas affected with a wound or by gout, bursitis, bruises, achy joints and more. You can also mash and bruise fresh mullein leaves and flowers and apply a poultice. It has great anti-inflammatory properties and acts as an antiseptic. Use the mullein tea as a rinse on the head for dandruff. You can also apply mullein extract to the scalp.
Some people will soak mullein in olive oil for 3 weeks and then strain. The oil can be used as a chest rub and applied to bruised skin – it is even a great topical application for hemorrhoids. Try it over areas experiencing gout. Rub this mullein oil around the ears for infection. It is beneficial for your dog’s ear infection as well.
People have used mullein to treat dry skin. Use the mullein oil topically. Add some dried and ground herb to coconut oil and let sit for a couple of days then rub into the dry skin for an easy preparation and natural moisturizer.
Mullein is also used in capsule form and is found by itself or in many different combinations with other herbs. It is considered an herb for acute respiratory and other illnesses and a tonic for the endocrine system in supporting the thyroid and reducing cortisol levels in the body which can help restore the natural sleep rhythms of the body.
You’ll find this herb in Dr. Christopher’s Master Gland formula, Lung and Bronchial formula, Cough formula, in a single herb capsule; and in Nature’s Sunshine ALJ formula.
Mullein is generally considered safe with no serious side effects. It is loaded with minerals and vitamins. It combines well with black cohosh, lobelia, comfrey, plantain, and garlic.
The herb was a favorite of Dr. John R. Christopher who said we should all keep some handy.
If you are wild harvesting, please make sure to learn all you can to get the right plant and proper preparation. You may want to lightly scrub the hairs of the plant leaves as they can be irritating to some. Remember don’t take all you find in nature – leave some for the next person and for nature.
For us when we catch a cough or sore throat, I brew up large pots of herbal tea with mullein, usually comfrey, marshmallow root, catnip, peppermint and red raspberry leaf. Sometimes I’ll add fresh ginger root to the mix but you can use dried ginger root as well. You don’t have to use all those herbs, just mullein will work great on its own. I add honey and keep everyone drinking. It helps hydrate by keep fluids in the system and helps speed up healing.
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