Treat Lungs, Earaches, and Bronchitis With Mullein

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Preparations made from mullein leaves and flowers date back for thousands of years as treatments for asthma, coughs, TB, and some bacterial infections. Infusions, powders, and tinctures can be taken orally,  in capsules or used topically. An oil made from steeping the flowers in oil can soothe earaches when a few drops are applied. Poultices of wrapped leaves can aid in healing burns and minor wounds. Native Americans and the Amish smoked the dried leaves to relax the lungs when respiratory coughing was uncontrollable, or breathing became too difficult. Often just making a smudge of the leaves would suffice.


Photo: Flickr/ukgardenphotos

Mullein is also known as Aaron’s rod, Indian tobacco, Bullock’s Lungwort, and Lady’s Foxglove. Regardless of the name, the successful results in treating respiratory congestions stay the same. It specifically removes mucus from the lungs with proper dosages and use.

Mullein is easily identifiable. Its silvery green leaves are soft, fuzzy, and large. The base of the plant has several leaves that spread out on the ground, then, the stem rises from the center, sometimes as tall as eight feet. The huge flower spikes, near the top of the stem, are densely covered with bright yellow flowers that are open for only one day. If harvesting, make sure that the plants are free from pollutants and the morning dew has dried. The leaves and flowers are traditionally what are harvested and dried.


Photo: Flickr/Dan Allison

If you decide to make your own concoctions from mullein, which is easy to do, make sure that you strain all your product through a very fine sieve to remove the hairs from the leaves. These hairs are what most people find irritating if they have allergies.

Mullein must always be heated thoroughly before being ingested due to the saponins which are rather toxic, especially to aquatic creatures. After being heated, mullein is fine for humans.


Photo: Flickr/Tanya Impeartrice

As always, be sure to consult your physician before using any natural remedies or before changing your healthcare regimen, especially if have allergies, are currently experiencing health problems, or are taking any medication.