Friday, August 4, 2006

God's Gift of Mullein and more!

Mullein! One of my favorite plants! I grow an earache garden, a small bed filled with Mullein and St. John's Wort. Add a few other things and say good-bye to antibiotics for ear infections! I use both the leaves and the flowers of the Mullein plant for different medicines.

Join me as we explore some of the many uses of Mullein. The leaves are used mainly for respiratory problems. It is a wonderful expectorant. A long time ago they were harvested like tobacco and smoked - I don't , however, recommend this. I do recommend making a strong infusion using the dried leaves and sweetening it with honey. Sip this for chronic coughs and sore throats. I also tincture the fresh leaves and use for chronic respiratory problems...mainly for bronchitis in my family.

I also often combine Mullein with other expectorants like Elecampane, Anise or Thyme. Leaves should be harvested in the second year of the plant and it should be done before flowering. In the past, leaves were used to wrap fruits to preserve them...I don't know anyone who has tried this but I would love to hear from anyone who has had success with this. Mullein flowers are harvested individually every morning. It is a wee bit time consuming but well worth the time it takes. The flowers also have an expectorant action. They are especially good for those suffering with asthma, bronchitis, whooping cough and even tuberculosis.

To use the flowers, make an infusion and use it to gargle with for sore throat relief. You can also tincture the flowers and take for coughs. This has been very effective for my family to help break up the mucus and get it out of the respiratory tract. You can make a syrup from the flowers....or add it to other herbs for a wonderful cough syrup - I always add Mullein flowers to my horehound cough syrup. But my favorite use of Mullein flowers is to infuse them in oil.

I use olive oil and add the flowers of St. John's Wort and Calendula and several cloves of fresh crushed garlic. I strain this through cheesecloth when cool and bottle in a dark container with a dropper. This is the most effective cure for an earache or ear infection I have ever found. I wish I had known this when Jeremy was a toddler. He had many allergies - I knew dairy was one but I didn't know at the time that he was allergic to chemicals, dyes and preservative that are found in all foods from the grocery store. We battled months and months of constant ear infections. I bought an otoscope and my doctor taught me how to use it and how to diagnose an ear infection in hopes of reducing my many trips to the pediatrician (over 50 miles away at the time)...he ended up with tubes in his ears at the age of 3. Shortly after that I learned about Mullein.

Needless to say I began using this oil in my boys ears about 12 years ago and have not needed to use antibiotics for an ear infection since. If I have any doubt about what I see in the ear, I will take them to the doctor for a diagnosis....but I use the oil instead of the usual course of antibiotics and have great success. One of the best things about the oil is that it reduces pain on contact. I have found it most effective to hold the bottle of oil in my hands for 10 minutes or so until it is warm - this seems to bring the most comfort....then 2 or 3 drops in each ear canal several times a day has worked wonders for my family for 12 years now...I have used it to treat all of my children, myself and even my mother!

For those of you who are new to making hebal medicine and do not live close enough to take a class at my farm, watch my website .....I am working on, and have almost completed, a downloadable text version of my medicinal herb class which will be available for a fee. This will include over 40 pages of detailed instructions on how to make herbal medicines including infusions (oil and water) salves, tinctures, poultices and more! It will also cover 10 basic medicinal herbs (including Mullein!) with directions on how to grow them, harvest them and use them medicinally. It is filled with many of my favorite medicinal recipes! You will also be given a special email address where you can reach me for 30 days - I will be available to answer questions and give you support as you begin this wonderful journey into the world of herbal medicine!


  1. What a great idea for your first ebook!! Congradulations!!


  2. Oh good. My daughter and I sent you an email asking this very question. I guess we should have been patient one more day.


  3. We have that plant growing wild all over the farm. Never knew it was good for anything.

  4. Same here as Scott's, it's all over the place, even by electric fence gates in the way. Now I'll see it in a different light!

  5. Lisa,
    Thanks so much!

    Scott and Tom,
    It is wonderful to have it growing wild - although it is native here we don't have it growing wild on the farm so I plant it myself. They also used to harvest the stalk, dip it in tallow and use it for a torch :)

  6. Oh, the download of the herb class sounds great! I will be watching for it! :D

  7. thanks for explaining mullein in such a easy delightful way to understand. I wasn't sure what it looked like or its uses. I grow and use herbs but am a beginner in all but the easy basic that everyone grows.

  8. Michelle,
    I am hoping to finish by the end of this month :)

    You are so welcome...herbs are such a blessing of God...I hope you continue your study and begin to use your herbs more and more.

  9. It's growing wild for Tom and Scott, and I'm desperate to get my hands on some plants down here! Am I whining? ;-)

    Can't wait for your herb class- I'm keeping my eyes on your sight. There's always something new to learn. Sometimes I feel like I'll never get it all in my head, but I keep at it. It is so interesting, and to think that God gave us all of this, and so many of us were completely ignorant about it. He is merciful and patient with us isn't He!


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