Medicinal Benefits Of Mullein
Mullein it was one of the first plants that I came to know early on in my herbal studies. I saw it growing rocky areas throughout a nature preserve that I went to frequently. I noticed that some years it had large velvety leaves and stayed low to the ground, while other years it grew a large shoot from it’s leaves that became full of beautiful yellow blooms. I later learned that this plant has a two year cycle, fascinating! What a beautiful delight in nature, two cycles each with their own medicinal benefits!
In the first year, the low lying leaves can be harvested for respiratory issues, and in the second, the yellow flowers can be harvested and made into an oil for issues related to the ears. The leaves can also be made into a poultice and placed on the skin as a first aid remedy for bug bites or minor burns.
Pick leaves from the top and middle of the Mullein plant. Use leaves that look healthy and vibrant. Avoid dirty leaves or those with insect bites. Lay the leaves flat on the screen so that the air can dry them. Once dry, break the leaves into small pieces or grind them so that they could be used for tea.
Your nose may start running and you may sneeze A LOT while working with dried Mullein. This is because the leaves have tiny hairs that can be inhaled and cause irritation. When using Mullein as tea, be sure to strain it very well before drinking to catch the tiny hairs.
Mullein has been my go to herb for dry respiratory conditions and lung issues. It soothes the lungs and helps with things like a dry cough and congestion in the nasal passages into the lungs. It works well for “dry smoker's cough”. Because it is an expectorant, it helps bring things up from the lungs and move it out which is particularly helpful for colds and congestion in the chest. It also helps alleviate swollen glands when applied as a poultice or compress externally on the swollen area.
Mullein leaves can also be smoked to soothe the lungs, counterintuitive I know, but it can help!
Ear Pain & Infection
Mullein Flower oil is an effective remedy for ear infection because it can help ease the pain, remove ear wax and speed recovery time. However, it is not recommended swimmer's ear (which I recently encountered with my son). For swimmer’s ear I have had success with a rubbing alcohol & lavender essential oil mix. Fill a 1oz bottle with rubbing alcohol and add 3 drops of Lavender essential oil. Drop 3-5 drops into the affected ear several times a day.
How to Make Mullein Ear Oil
- Pick healthy, vibrant Mullein Flower blooms
- Cut the flowers into small pieces and place them in a glass jar
- Cover the flowers with olive oil (organic oil preferred)
- Use a wooden chop to mix, push and mash the flowers making sure to remove air from the jar
- Add more oil (completely cover the flowers in oil)
- You can also add fresh minced Garlic into the oil to increase the antimicrobial action of the oil and Vitamin E oil to sooth the ear tissue
- Cover tightly and shake the jar. You may need to add more oil after shaking or over the next few days as the flowers absorb the oil
- Cover the Jar with a paper bag and let sit for 6 weeks, shake often
- Strain the flowers out of the oil (be sure to get them all!)
- Place oil in a dark colored glass jar and store at room temperature
You can also buy a really nice Mullein Ear Oil here.