Mullein grows everywhere and is hard to miss. Yet few encounter the velvet leafed weed with its rod like stem and striking yellow flowers appreciate its place in herbal healing as a treatment for some respiratory complaints.
Colonists introduced mullein into North America, and the Indians quickly adopted it for coughs, bronchitis and asthma. The accepted way to take it in early America was to smoke it.
This herb contains a substance called mucilage, which swells and becomes slippery as it absorbs water. This probably accounts for its soothing action on the throat. It also contains tannins, which are astringent. One study showed it also contains anti-inflammatory properties as well. Mullein has been known for centuries to provide a variety of health benefits.
Mullein seeds are toxic and may cause poisoning; however, there has been no reports of adverse effects from the leaves, flowers and roots.
The FDA includes this herb on its list of herbs generally regarded as safe. As with all herbal nutrition supplements, mullein supplements should only be used in amounts typically recommended for medicinal purposes and you should always consult with a health professional first, especially if you are pregnant, nursing or taking prescription medications.
CHEMICAL & NUTRIENT CONTENT:
Aucubin, choline, hesperidin, iron, magnesium, PABA, potassium, saponins, sulfur, verbaside and vitamins B2, B5, B12 and D.
Mullein is a hardy biennial that grows almost anywhere in temperate climates. During its first year, it produces a rosette of large, hairy, tongue shaped, greenish white, six to fifteen inch leaves; hence, many of its common names.
In its second year, mullein sends up a fibrous stem that reaches three to six feet. A striking cylindrical spike of small, dense, yellow flowers develops atop the stem.
It grows easy from seeds in light, sandy soil under full sun. Sow seeds in spring after danger of frost has passed.
Harvest up to one third of the leaves during plants first year. Harvest the rest the following year before the flowers bloom. Pick the flowers as they open. Harvest roots during autumn.
Other herbs containing anti-catarrhal actions include black cohosh, cinnamon, coltsfoot, comfrey, eyebright, garlic, gotu kola, mint, saw palmetto and thyme.
NATURAL REMEDIES FOR PETS:
Mullein leaf tincture common uses include congestion, lung ailments, lymphatic and nervous cough.
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