It reminded me of my oldest son who has asthma. Mullein is a huge relief for him. With a cup of mullein tea each morning he was able to get off of his medications and only rarely needed his rescue inhaler. He went as far as doing an experiment for a high school project. He charted his breathing and use of his rescue inhaler without his mullein tea and with it. The project lasted over three months and the difference was significant.
Mullein is considered a weed by most. It is found in fields, pastures, along roadsides and in waste areas from Maine to Minnesota. But, as the sign in my studio states a plant is only a weed if you do not know what to do with it. All plants serve an ecological function for their environment. Mullein will blanket the land where fire has cleared forests. It appears to be invading the land at this point but after a year or two, new plant species emerge and diversity expands. The mullein acts as a balm for the earth covering its internal burns and helping regenerate new growth; this is what it does for your lungs in a way.
|Mullein - Verbascum thapsus|
I call mullein the phallic symbol of the garden. Its soft fuzzy leaves grow wide and low and then the flower stalk grows straight up reaching as high as six feet producing tiny yellow flowers. It is the leaves that are good for the lungs. The flowers can be collected steeped in olive oil and used for ear infections and eczema of the external ear and its canal.
The leaves are demulcent, antispasmodic and an expectorant. They are beneficial for coughs, especially dry , hoarse coughs which occur chiefly at night, and bronchitis and tracheitis. They will reduce mucus formation and stimulate the coughing up of phlegm. They are also slightly sedative. I believe this really helps with the stress and panic my son would have when having an asthma attack. It also tones the the mucus membranes of the respiratory system and reduces inflammation. As a daily tea and can be used indefinitely.
The soft mucilaginous leaves although soothing to the skin and mucosa when prepared as a tea or poultice are actually irritating when fresh. The leaves should be picked in mid summer before the leaves turn brown and dried in the shade.