1st picture: mullein leaves drying  2nd picture: mullein tea  3rd picture: warming and soothing mullein cough syrup  4th picture: mullein plant we found in the wild

Mullein, latin name: Verbascum Thapsus is sometimes called Jupiter’s staff, Jacob’s staff, Aaron’s rod, lamb’s ears, bunny’s ears, flannel leaf, cow’s lungwort, Lady’s foxglove, velvet plant, woolen blanket herb, hare’s beard, and many more…in fact up to 40 different names that this plant has been commonly been named over the centuries.

Mullein is a plant that lives for about 2 years (biennial). The first year it produces long, thick soft hairy leaves within a rosette that forms at the base. In its second year a long, tall spike shoots up from the center bearing yellow flowers.

It grows in just about any type of soil and conditions. It can be found in woodlands, along railroad tracks, meridian of freeways, and can also be easily cultivated in a garden.

In herbal medicine, the root, leaves and flowers are used. The leaves are used for lung troubles and the flowers are made into an oil that is used for ear aches and infections.

For centuries mullein has been used as a healing plant. It has chiefly been used for lung problems. In fact Mullein was considered a very important herb for tuberculosis that plagued much of the population in its time. This wonderful plant is a very beneficial respiratory remedy!

Mullein can be used for spastic coughs, bronchial congestion, chest colds, and any other type of respiratory health issues.

The leaf can be rolled and smoked as a remedy for asthma and coughs.

Mullein has large concentrations of mucilage making it a demulcent (soothes and protects the mucous membranes). It is also a diuretic, anodyne (used for pain), anti-spasmodic (relaxant for spams), expectorant (helps to promote the secretion of sputum by the air passages, used to treat coughs), and vulnerary (used in the healing of wounds).

I’ve included some interesting material on Mullein below for you from famous herbalists writings from long ago and to this present day:

M. Grieve:  the dried leaves are sometimes smoked in an ordinary tobacco pipe to relieve the irritation of the respiratory mucous membranes, and will completely control it, and the hacking coughs of consumption. They can be employed with equal benefits when made into cigarettes, for asthma and spasmodic coughs/ mullein juice and powder made from the dried roots rubbed on rough warts was said to quickly remove them.

Hoffman: mullein is an ideal remedy for toning the mucous membranes of the respiratory system, reducing inflammation whilst stimulating fluid production and thus facilitating expectoration. Its anti-inflammatory and demulcent properties indicate its use in inflammation of the trachea and associated conditions.

Kloss: One of the old household herbs form childhood-burn the root and inhale the fumes- a tea of the leaves is very valuable in asthma, croup, bronchitis, and all lung afflictions

Culpepper: a tea made by using 1 tsp of the powdered leaves to a cup of boiling water , is excellent for most lung complaints, including asthma, bronchitis, and croup

Hildegard of Bingen (a 12th century mystic) those who have a sore throat and hoarseness with pain in their chest cook mullein and fennel in equal parts in pure wine, strain it through a linen cloth, and drink often, and their lost voice will return again:

As you can see this wonderful herb, Mullein is truly a gift, especially during this pandemic time.

Remember when using mullein medicinally, only use mullein that has not been commercially sprayed with chemicals, or found along roads and highways. Only use mullein cultivated in your garden or found in the wild in a place that you know that has not been chemically treated.

I’ve included 2 recipes for you, Mullein tea and a Mullein cough syrup


Mullein Tea:

Place 4 TBSP of dried mullein leaf into a glass mason quart jar and pour just boiled water to the top of jar, cover and let steep for at least 4 hours or overnight. Then strain and drink throughout the day. If you are dealing with a cough or sore throat, drink 3-4 cups daily. May add honey.


Warming and Soothing Mullein Cough Syrup

This cough syrup recipe is an expectorant and has warming and moistening properties for dry, irritated lungs and spastic coughs. You may use the herbs you have on hand, especially if you need a cough syrup now and do not have all of these herbs in your pantry.

You may also add 1-2 cups of forsythia flowers for extra anti-viral support to your cough syrup. Add them after you take the pot off the heat (after the simmering process), then cover and steep.

4 TBSP dried mullein leaf

1-2 cups forsythia flowers (optional)

2 TBSP dried marshmallow Root

1 TBSP licorice root (omit if you have high blood pressure)

1 large piece of fresh ginger root (grated)- about the size of your largest finger/ or 1 TBSP ginger powder

1 TBSP fennel powder

2 tsp cardamom powder or 12 cardamom pods (crushed)

1 tsp cinnamon

3 cups water

1 cup honey

Bring the 3 cups of water to a boil on stove (use glass, ceramic, or stainless steel only). Once water is boiling, turn down heat to a low simmer and add herbs, stir well, and cover pot. On low heat, simmer for 10 minutes and take off heat. Let steep for 4-8 hours or overnight on back of stove. As the water starts to cool, more of the healing and mucilage properties will be released from the marshmallow root.

After steeping time, strain well through cheesecloth and compost spent herbs.

Add honey to strained liquid and place in glass jar in refrigerator. This should keep in the fridge for about 2-3 months because of the amount of honey acting as a natural preservative.

Take 2 tsp- 1TBSP of the syrup as needed.

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