Medicinal Herb - Mullein

     AKA Indian Tobacco, mullein is one of my favorites when I come down with bronchitis or a nasty cold.  This last year, I didn't store enough of it.  A nasty coughing cold went through the extended family. I shared the mullein, and was out when I needed it :-)  I won't be out this year!  Every spring (through summer/fall) I start restocking my medicinal herbs.  I never keep them longer than a year.  The longer they are kept, the more medicinal value they loose. 

It usually grows on disturbed land.
It will get a tall flower stalk on it with little yellow flowers.
Which the bees love.
....and it just happens this one is a few feet away from the beehive.
(oh ya -- my second batch of bees just barely made it!! -- but they're alive!)

Guess what "disturbed the land" where this mullein decided to grow?
This plot of land was formerly known as "Mrs. Fox's" --- an old fox den.
       Mullein is just starting to get some nice size leaves on it around here in Northeast Wisconsin.  I've had my eyes on a couple plants on the property waiting for the right time to pick them.  It's pretty hard to mix mullein up with any other plant.  The  leaves are fuzzy and soft.  (You should get yourself a good herbal book with good pictures for identification). I will hang the picked leaves until they are dry.  Then crush them, take the main "veins" out, and store in a glass jar.

Drying herbs just becomes part of my decorations all summer :-)
Rubber bands and paper clips -- works for me.
Don't wash the leaves -- try to pick nice clean ones.
 Dry them out of the sun.

     To make a tea -- grab two handfuls of dried leaves to 2-3 quarts of water.  Heat to just boiling and turn off.  Remove the pot from the burner, and let it cool.  I then strain it and drink a cup of it 3 or 4 times in the day.  I keep the rest of it in the refrig for the next day.  Just so you know, when I say "drink", well, it's more like "slam" the tea.  It doesn't have a bad taste,  just very "green".

     For me, a cup of mullein tea works extremely well in loosening phlegm.  It will thin the mucous secretions, and ease my harsh cough.  I won't be caught without enough for the winter again!

.....dr momi


Unknown said...

All my 50 years growing up in WI and saw that plant an I didn't know what it could do. DOH! Here in MO I have not seen it at all. Ya well, eh?

dr momi said...

Hi Nancy --- I thought it grew in most places. I could be wrong. -- Watch, now you'll see it all the time :-)

Roxey Lucey said...

I was going to buy some plants. I bet I have some in my yard

dr momi said...

Roxey -- mullein grows everywhere around here. you'll see it on your walks now :-) People do grow them in their gardens sometimes. (LOts, and lots, of seeds though :-) (lots and lots of weeding)

TexWisGirl said...

the plant looks very familiar to me from my Wis childhood - i'd think it was a thistle with the 'bristly' texture. i don't think it grows in our part of texas tho...

Unknown said...

I really could have used some of this last week for my husband. He coughed all night one night and has bronchitis. I'm going to look for some around here! Thanks for sharing the "recipe".

kikiandtheboys said...

You can also steep some thyme tea with honey. My darling hubby swears it saved him from pneumonia. Mullein grows well in upper Arkansas. I always let a few come up where ever they sprout. I've even transplanted it into one of my flower beds! The English prize it as a border plant. So glad to know it's practical too. No wonder I love it!

dr momi said...

Thanks for all the comments everybody! ---- Amy, I've been known to make the tea from fresh mullein, I just don't use as much as with the dried.

Kikiandtheboys --- watch it with mullein in the garden. It is pretty, but, there are so-o-o many seeds. .....and the garden is "disturbed land". The seeds will take root like crazy. :-)
Thyme & honey -- a great combination!

Texwisgirl --- I googled it, -- it grows in Texas :-)

Linda @ Linda's Lunacy said...

Mullein grows wild where I live in Kentucky. I want to transplant one into my herb garden. Thanks for the instructions for the tea.

I'd love it if you linked this post to my Saturday on the Farm linky. :)

Linda @ Linda's Lunacy

Unknown said...

Thanks! I certainly learned something! So, if we didn't dry mullein and don't have access to any now, do you know where to find dried, processed leaves for tea?

dr momi said...

Ronda....Any good Health Food store should have it. If they order from Frontier Herbs, they can get it in bulk. (If you have to buy the whole pound for them to order it. It's worth it.)

pam said...

Nancy, Mullien grows well in MO. Jan Phillips book, Missouri Wild Edibles tells alot about it. Pioneers even used it to line diapers.

dr momi said...

pam....thanks for that info. I'm finding out it grows in more places than we think!