by Kris Vaughan, CH
You may have seen the tall flower stalks and soft furry leaves of the plant called mullein when you have been outdoors in Northern Arizona. This plant invites you to touch its delightfully soft leaves. Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) has been a favorite remedy used by traditional herbalists and Native American cultures for centuries.
Traditional herbalists often recommend mullein leaf tea or extracts to soothe irritated mucous membranes during bouts of asthma, bronchitis, or the common cold. The leaves are anti-inflammatory, expectorant and moistening; helping to thin excess phlegm in the lungs. The leaf extract is a favorite remedy also for soothing and strengthening the tissue in the digestive tract. The leaves of this plant are unmistakable with their soft wooly texture and are known to outdoorsman as “nature’s toilet paper” and early Cherokee would use the flannel-like leaves as inner soles of moccasins or for making cushions. The flowers of the mullein plant are often infused into olive oil to make soothing ear oil for earaches. You may also make a tea of the flowers and leaves to use as a wash for wounds and skin irritations.
Plants were the first form of medicine all over the world. Many of our contemporary medications were developed from the active chemicals in plants that were known to be medicinal. Herbal medicine is often used today to support and strengthen the body during other treatments or for supporting overall wellness. Many people find their way to the use of herbs when choosing to live a more sustainable and less toxic way of life. If you have an interest in beginning to use herbs, be sure to consult a trained herbalist prior to beginning any herbal remedies in order to use them safely and effectively.
The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not meant to replace the guidance of a qualified health care practitioner. Kris Vaughan is a certified clinical herbalist and herbalism educator in Prescott Valley. Kris is the Founder and Program Director of Herbal Wisdom Institute, teaching traditional herbalism for a modern world. (928)239-5117 www.herbalwisdominstitute.com