Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)

Mullein, Verbascum thapsus, is well known for its use in healing the lungs and for treatment of ear infections.  Personally, I have found mullein to have a much wider range in it’s healing actions.

I was introduced to this plant by my Grandaddy Edwards when I was 13 years old. He used to smoke it for bronchial congestion, and he kept a little patch of it in his garden.

Mullein is a great tonic for the respiratory system. The (well strained) tea soothes bronchial spasms and can clear lung congestion, according to Gail Edwards. It’s also a great support, I’ve found, in nervine tea blends, especially for people who have a tendency to experience extreme nervous tension or who feel irritated when overheated. Like moi.

It’s also indicated for irritated, overactive bladders. Mullein tea and/or Marshmallow root cool and soothe the bladder.

Mullein Leaves

It’s a very important ingredient in my lymphatic blends, and I also am experimenting with it in my muscular and joint pain blends, and I really like how it helps calm irritated and inflamed nerves. You can also make a poultice with the leaves to place on muscle spasms, inflamed joints, and painful and swollen breasts. A friend of mine reports that she steeps the larger leaves and has them placed along her spine when she has painful flare ups from a nerve condition and it soothes her tremendously.

Mullein flowering tops oil

Several years ago, I made an infusion of flowers in extra virgin olive oil to treat my cat’s ear infections; this year I am experimenting with infusing both flowers and the flower heads; I simply pulled the flower heads from the stalk (they peel easily) and added them to extra virgin olive oil. I will use a low heat method to infuse the oil because the flower heads were not completely dry.

Mullein Roots

These large second year roots will be dried and used for ceremonial purposes. From a plant spirit / energetic perspective, I’ve experienced Mullein as a “gentle guardian” plant. I work with Mullein when I need clarity, when I feel overwhelmed, or when I feel scattered and unable to rest peacefully. I am working with this medicine to help watch over me during dreamtime as well.

How do you work with Mullein? I’d love to hear your experiences with this plant.

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About Dana Tate Bailey

I am an Integrative CranioSacral therapist, Earth Medicine practitioner, and ceremonial herbalist, specializing in integrative mind-body therapies, and I work and teach at the Holistic Center in Tupelo, MS.
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