There are a lot of uses for mullein, and many involve the respiratory system. Mullein is a biennial plant (it dies after two years), and even though it’s really common in Missouri, it is not a native plant. Mullein is also known as donkey ears, bunny ears, or bull’s ears because the leaves of the plant are sort of oblong and SO soft. I guess it’s sometimes also called “old man’s flannel” which is just adorable.
Uses for Mullein
- Mullein has been used forever in treating asthma. Native Americans would make a smoking blend of mullein and coltsfoot that was used to help treat asthma as well as bronchitis. As an expectorant, it promotes secretion of the air passages.
- It’s also good for treating congestion, coughs, whooping cough,and hay fever.
- It’s been used to treat tuberculosis and other pulmonary diseases
- Mullein is also used to treat inflammation and wounds. It’s an astringent so it tightens the tissue which can reduce bleeding and oozing.
- It softens skin
- The flowers have been used to create a pale yellow dye and it was used as blonde hair dye
- Mullein was once used to treat leprosy
- The flowers have been used to relieve migraines
- The flowers have also been infused in oil to treat ear infections
- Mullein helps the skin absorb other herbs
- A mullein poultice has been used for arthritis
- Mullein tea has been used to treat diarrhea
- Compresses have been used to treat hemorrhoids
- The stems and leaves were used to create candlewicks at the end of the growing season
The flowers don’t seem to bloom at the same time which is a tiny bit frustrating, just because I don’t have any growing in my yard. If I did it wouldn’t be a problem to go out and collect a few every day. My sister-in-law has a ton of mullein in her front yard, so we stopped on our way to a family reunion to gather some leaves.
We harvested a lot of leaves so we can have them through the winter. My brother (@lifeandlibertytactical) has asthma, and said he would be willing to try a tea blend to see if it helps him.
How to dry mullein
I dried the mullein leaves in my oven simply by turning on the oven light and leaving them in the oven for a couple of days until they were crunchy. I had more than I thought so I need to get a bigger container to store them in.
Have you used mullein before? What is your favorite way to use it? Make your own mullein tea for respiratory ailments here!
- Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants. Steve Brill.
- The American Pharmaceutical Association: Practical Guide to Natural Medicines. Andrea Peirce.
- Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs. Claire Kowalchik.
- The Encyclopedia of Herbs and Herbalism.MalcomStewart.