Mullein is a common weed prominent all over the United States, often found along stretches of the highway, on the edges of forests and on the gravely sides of railroad tracks. But this plant is much more than a bit of roadside greenery, as it may assist in the recovery of several common conditions within it its fuzzy, pale green leaves and yellow rosettes. Originally used by the natives in several parts of the United States, this plant is still used because of its, beneficial effects on the respiratory system. Assisting with common ailments such as coughing, lung weakness, respiratory constriction and chest colds, the mullein plant is truly a lung healing herb.
Known as Verbascum thapsus, its Latin name, mullein is considered beneficial for the lungs because it is an expectorant. This means that the herb may help the body remove excess mucus from lungs and soothes the mucus membranes with its emollient properties. It is therefore excellent for helping with the relief of bronchitis, heavy coughing, chest colds and even asthma. Both the leaves and the flowers of the plant contain saponins, natural detergents which make a cough more productive in releasing and expelling phlegm from the walls of the lungs, and mucilage, a gelatinous substance which soothes any irritated membrane.
The herb is also a diuretic and thus can relieve urinary tract inflammation when taken through a tea. It can also be used to decrease inflammation in the bowels, helping to reduce colitis and other issues.
A Mullein Tea Recipe
1 ½ cups boiling water
1-2 teaspoons dried mullein leaves and/or flowers (flowers make a sweeter tea)
1 teaspoon dried spearmint (optional for flavor)
1-2 teaspoons honey (optional)
Steep the mullein leaves in hot water inside a tea ball or strainer for 15 minutes. Add honey if you like a sweeter tea.
Other Ways to Use this Herb:
Mullein extract infused with olive oil has been used to reduce the inflammation of earaches, sore joints, insect bites and hemorrhoids because of its soothing properties.
Simple poultices made out of fresh, mashed mullein and flowers mixed with water can also be used to relieve, burns, boils and sores.
Notes to Know:
Native Americans and the Amish smoked the dried leaves to relax the lungs when respiratory coughing was uncontrollable, or breathing became too difficult. Often just making a smudge of the leaves would suffice.
If you decide to make your own concoctions from mullein, which is easy to do, make sure that you strain all your product through a very fine sieve to remove the hairs from the leaves. These hairs are what most people find irritating if they have allergies.
Mullein must always be heated thoroughly before being ingested due to the saponins which are rather toxic. After being heated, mullein is fine for humans.
This is for information only. Though this herb has been used for centuries.