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Mullein, Nature's Best Wipe


by Debi Pearl of No Greater Joy Ministries

July 2000

Mullein is considered the herb of choice for relieving lung ailments. It is also a strange looking plant. Once you have this herb pointed out to you, you will never confuse it with another plant. In the spring is grows close to the ground with large leaves growing out of a rosette. The leaves are so soft, thick, and velvety that until the invention of toilet paper, it was considered to be nature’s best wipe. Those living close to nature still use mullein for good hygiene.

As summer wanes, mullein sends up a large stick like growth out of the center of its rosette. By the end of the summer, the stock can be up to 8 feet tall and 2 or 3 inches in diameter. The top 12 to 18 inches of the stalk is covered with clusters of yellow flowers. In the late fall, once the freeze has come, the tall stalk dries and turns brown.

Historically, the British have used the flower stalk as a torch. Since the dried mullein stock is full of essential oils, it will burn for a long time. Thus, the stalk has lighted our paths at night while the leaves provided us with a good wipe before we returned. But, I have only just begun describing the merits of this wonderful herb.

Today, for those of us living in the modern world, mullein is best known for its treatment of bronchial and lung ailments, such as coughs, colds, croup, bronchitis, asthma, and even whooping cough. It is also used to treat earache. It is a mucilaginous herb that contains properties similar to marshmallow root.

To make a tea of mullein, steep 1 or 2 teaspoons in a cup of water for about 10 minutes, and then carefully strain. The little fuzzy hairs of the leaves can irritate the throat; so remove them by straining through a cloth. To make it more palatable, you can mix it with a little peppermint, and sweeten with raw honey to taste.

To make a cough syrup, gently boil a cup of dried leaves in a cup of water until half of the water is gone. Strain through a cloth, pushing all the liquid out. While it is still warm, add 2 tablespoons of raw honey and mix well. This remedy can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month. Use it like a regular cough syrup, taking 1 teaspoon every 3 or 4 hours.

I have inhaled the steam from boiling mullein to clear my lungs and break up heavy chest congestion. To prepare this remedy, I boil a cup of the leaves in a quart of water. After removing the boiled liquid from the stove, I lean over with my face right over the pot. Then, I place a towel over my head and breathe in the mullein steam. Use caution when doing this as the pot and liquid are very hot.

Mullein has been used very effectively for many generations to relieve earache. Soak a teaspoon of the leaves in 2 tablespoons of warm olive oil for 5 minutes or so; the leaves will absorb all the oil. After it cools, add a small amount of fresh, grated garlic. Mix well, and squeeze the oil out of the herbs through a fine cloth. Put just a few drops of this oil into the ear. It is soothing and healing.

With its mucilaginous properties, Mullein has also been used as a soothing wash on hemorrhoids, ulcers, and inflammatory skin disorders.


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