Of Mullein for the Natural Medicine Plant Medicine Challenge

in naturalmedicine •  5 months ago 

Mullein first came into my life when I was a member of the Perennial Society working in their demonstration gardens. I saw this lovely tall spike flower - "What's that?" I inquired and found it was the Mullein (Verbascum Thapsus).
And, low and behold there was a few plants being offered in their plant exchange (which I quickly snagged up.)

Tall Spike of Flowers from the Common Mullein Plant


Knowing it is classified as a herb I put it in my herb garden. It is not a true perennial but self-seeds pretty good. In fact, these few plants that I was babying to get established in my garden, grew plentiful wild, in a bit warmer climates.

Close Up of the Fuzzy Mullein Leaf (Often Called Flannel Plant)

Mullein Leaf Texture closeup.JPG

The first year only it's big fuzzy leaves grow. I love the feel of them and they are soft enough to use as diapers or linings for soles of old worn shoes with a bonus of being anti-inflammatory and having anti-bacterial properties!

Mullein is considered a cool, soothing demulcent herb which is particularly good at acting on the lungs.

My son had problems with his lungs and we made hot infusions, mullein leaf tea, and also dried some of the leaves combining it with colts-foot for smoking to relieve congestion in his lungs. Sore throats will respond well to the hot leaf tea too.

Mullein is known for relieving acute asthma and bronchitis and it worked very well for my son.
Infusions from the seeds are also know to help childhood asthma and convulsions.

Veterinarians use fresh picked leaves to give to cattle to treat coughs and expel tapeworms (also good for riding of parasites in humans) plus they use powdered roots mixed in chicken feed to fatten the chickens up.

Another use for the leaves is in Moxibustion.
Moxibustion is a form of heat therapy in which dried plant materials called "moxa" are burned on or very near the surface of the skin. The intention is to warm and invigorate the flow of Qi in the body and dispel certain pathogenic influences. Read more about it here

The tall dried spikes of spent seeds were also used for torches dipping them in tallow or whatever oil you have on hand (veggie oil is fine) or it makes a wonderful wick, simply dip the stalk in some melted wax.

I like to leave the tall spikes of seeds standing for the winter for the birds.

The seeds not only make good bird seed but the seeds have a mild narcotic effect that easily passes through the intestine to relieve obstructions and kill parasites.

Close Up of Flowers of the Mullein Plant

mullein flowers.jpg

The flowers can be used by adding them to a hot water as a steam for respiratory weakness.

The whole plant is used for efficiently dissolving gallstones if you gather the plant after the first frost when there are still crystals on it, stuff them into a container and mash and bruise them, then allow it to ferment. Drink this for treating gallstones..

Note: Information offered on is for educational purposes only. This post makes neither medical claim, nor intends to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Links to external sites are for informational purposes only. This post neither endorses them nor is in any way responsible for their content. Readers must do their own research concerning the safety and usage of any herbs or supplements. If you are pregnant or nursing consult a professional before using herbs.

Image Mulliein leaf - from Missouri Department of Conservation
Pictures of Mullein plant and flowers is from Pixabay.

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Wow! @nateonsteemit, thanks for that cowboy reference! It's a weird thing, around here it's called tourists' toilet paper and most conveniently grows on high pastures and plateaus in the hills and mountains where you're likely to go hiking! Sustainable, carbon-positive, bio degradable and medicinal toilet paper! And if you catch it in an early morning mist or dew, it also works as wet wipe!

That is one hell of a function stack!

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Good one! Mullein wet wipes!

What a great post! I had no idea it was so fuzzy and soft! Is it like lambs ear in that way? I'm particularly interested in it being beneficial for asthma. I didn't know it was used for moxi! It's a beautiful plant. thanks so much for sharing, @porters! xx

And @sagescrub has seeeeeeds :)

It came up 2 years ago in the New Herb garden and I left it in place. One got really tall, and the other was much shorter with lots of flower spikes. The leaves are really cool!

I've never seen this plant before. It seems to be very healthy. Thanks for sharing this great post.

Very cool flower. I wanna wear it. I love me some cozy flannel!
Thanks for the info and sweet photos!

This was such a great informative write up @porters! I did not know of the many benefits of mulleins! Very useful information in how to effectively use it as well! We have a few in our family with asthma so that was good to find out. Thanks so much for sharing ~

You’ve been visited by @nateonsteemit on behalf of Natural Medicine!

What a great medicinal plant! I've heard it called cowboy toilet paper, hinting at another use for it ;) I know @sagescrub has some seeds available at Homesteaders Co-op too! Something I found out first hand in my journey with Mullein is that you want a lot of it. I was taking capsules of it ground up, and learned (probably from @sagescrub) that that's the least effective way to experience it's benefits. Infusions like you described are the way to go. So I'm saving for a big order, and praying that my seeds (which I broadcasted as if they're ground cover) pop up. Any ideas what a baby Mullein looks like?

We are also running our fortnightly competition for steem rewards, where you can explore a plant medicine. This fortnight's plants are mullein, ginseng and alder... Plus a wild card where you can choose your own!

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Oh the versatile mullein!
Wow - you'll probably have tons off mullien if you broadcasted them (unless the birds ate them or something.
The little seedlings are kinda silvery gray colored fuzzy leaves

Womp. I've crawled all over my garden and can't find a single one. Maybe they need some time :) I'll try cultivating a few in pots too...

Hey @nateonsteemit Did you get some planted on spots that were disturbed and more bare? I don't think they can take too much competition. Planting some in posts should work.

I'd never heard of this plant before, but after reading your post I think I'll try to get me some seeds and grow some. Thanks for sharing.

A beautiful exploration of mullein @porters. I love the close up of the leaf. It really is quite lovely. I've never actually tried the flowers but I will do this summer!

Great info. I have used this plant medicinally myself over the years. I was always told that the seeds were poison. Good to know they actually have uses too.

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H-m-m! I had never heard of the seeds being poisonous but personally I always focused on the leaves. It's always a good thing to do your own research when using herbs medicinally. I know it helped my son with his lung condition.

Yes I agree. I have used the leaves for bronchial conditions with great success. Great post!

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This is such an interesting post about this plant. Thanks for sharing.

These don't grow in the climate of New England by any chance, do they? If so, I might just try my hand; though seemingly everything in nature I touch dies. I wish I was being facetious .

They should grow there and they are easy to propagate. Do a little research for their growing requirements and pick up some seeds. There are different garden varieties of Verbascum that you can try out.

I might have to do that. The hopefully they can actually stay alive around me. I have the issue. I swear I've been cursed or something, because seemingly every plant I put my hands on Sims to die. I'm actually being serious.

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Hey @porters. Mullein is a miracle plant. I use it for my daughter as well. Only thing is I don't think I have gotten it to work properly when her asthma is full blown. Thinking I don't know how to do right. How did you do it for your son?

There is a place not far from where I am where it grows naturally. They are so tall too. Beautiful plants and so fuzzy! :p