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Mullein - Verbascum thapsusSoothing support for the respiratory system; promotes free breathing; supports healthy lung function; soothes & coats throat; supports healthy sinus and bronchial passages; clears mucus; allergies/hay fever.
In modern herbalism, Mullein is classified as one of the top herbs when it comes to soothing respiratory health. This is especially so in Europe, where Mullein flower is a major ingredient in many throat and bronchial formulas, and is still listed in several medicinal guides. NOTE: Mullein flowers and leaves are both used for respiratory health; however, some herbalists believe the flowers are more calming. For maximum benefits, combine both in equal parts.
The Mullein has very markedly demulcent, emollient and astringent properties, which render it useful in pectoral complaints and bleeding of the lungs and bowels. The whole plant seems to possess slightly sedative and narcotic properties. It is considered of much value in phthisis and other wasting diseases, palliating the cough and staying expectoration, consumptives appearing to benefit greatly by its use, being given in the form of an infusion, 1 OZ. of dried, or the corresponding quantity of fresh leaves being boiled for 10 minutes in a pint of milk, and when strained, given warm, thrice daily, with or without sugar. The taste of the decoction is bland, mucilaginous and cordial, and forms a pleasant emollient and nutritious medicine for allaying a cough, or removing the pain and irritation of haemorrhoids. A plain infusion of 1 OZ. to a pint of boiling water can also be employed, taken in wineglassful doses frequently.
Dioscorides first recommended the plant 2000 years ago, against pulmonary diseases, and this has remained one of its primary uses, especially against cough. Leaf decoctions or herbal teas were used for expectoration, consumption, dry cough, bronchitis, sore throat and hemorrhoids. Leaves were also smoked against pulmonary ailments, a tradition that in America was rapidly transmitted to Native American peoples. They used the non-indigenous plant to make syrups against croup. The combination of expectorant saponins and emollient mucilage makes the plant particularly effective for cough. All preparations meant to be drunk have to be finely filtered to eliminate the irritating hairs.
Traditionally used as a tea, and is frequently combined with other herbs in mixtures for treating cough. May be taken as an extract is fresh material was used, and is very rarely found in capsule form. The fresh flowers are used to make an oil infusion for external use.
Oil from the flowers was used against catarrhs, colics and, in Germany, earaches, frostbite, eczema and other external conditions. Topical application of various V. thapsus-based preparations was recommended for the treatment of warts, boils, carbuncles, hemorrhoids, and chilblains, amongst others. Recent studies have found that Great Mullein contains glycyrrhizin compounds with bactericide and potential anti-tumoral action. These compounds are concentrated in the flowers. Different extracts have varying levels of efficiency against bacteria.
In the first season of the plant's growth, there appears only a rosette of large leaves, 6 to 15 inches long, in form somewhat like those of the Foxglove, but thicker - whitish with a soft, dense mass of hairs on both sides, which make them very thick to the touch. In the following spring, a solitary, stout, pale stem, with tough, strong fibres enclosing a thin rod of white pith, arises from the midst of the felted leaves. Its rigid uprightness accounts for some of the plant's local names: 'Aaron's Rod,' 'Jupiter's' or 'Jacob's Staff,' etc.