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Earthnotes
Herb Library

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DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.



MULLEIN
(Verbascum thapsus)
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CAUTION! Leaf hairs are irritating; always strain well through fine muslin before using.

PROPAGATION: By seed and will readily self-sow. Biennial.
NEEDS: Full sun but will tolerate partial shade and average soil and water.
HARVEST: Leaves from 1st year plants. Flowers from 2nd year plants.
FLOWERS: Yellow on large spikes from July onward.

USES

MEDICINAL:
Anodyne, antifungal. Flowers are antiseptic.
Reduces respiratory inflammation. Has been used in expectorant mixtures for coughs and bronchitis.
Tea of the flowers helps to relieve pain and induce sleep.
Has been used for nasal congestion (a handful of flowers added to hot water and the steam inhaled).
Tea or fomentation has been used externally for skin conditions and wounds.
The infused oil has been used for earache. Leaves and flowers are used for respiratory and ear infections.
Infusion of flowers has been used as cold compress for tired or inflamed eyes.
The plant has also been used by boiling leaves in milk when beneficial to the condition being treated.
Dried leaves have been smoked in a pipe for a hacking cough.
Has been used to clear out lungs and used for bronchitis, asthma, dry coughs, bronchial catarrh, and tuberculosis. Combined with elderflowers to treat fevers of respiratory origin.
Has been used to treat infections and inflammations.
Infusion has been used as eyewash and gargle.

OTHER:
Infusion used as insect repellant.

HISTORY:
The downy leaves were once used as tinder. The stalks dipped in tallow were used as torches. The seeds were used as fish poison.



©1999 by Ernestina Parziale, CH