Important Facts That You Should Know About Mullein
“The mullein flower is a biennial plant native throughout Europe, Northern Africa, including Egypt and “Ethiopia, and temperate Asia as far as the Himalayas. The plant is mainly cultivated in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Egypt.
There are actually three major species of plants that share the common name of mullein. These are the great mullein or Verbascum thapsus, the orange mullein or Verbascum phlomoides, and Verbascum densiflorum or large-flowered mullein.
The mullein flower is a biennial, which means that it lives for two years. The first year, it grows a rosette without a flower stalk. This survives through winter until the flower stalk grows in the second year. After the second year, the mullein flower dies.
The rosette leaves of the mullein flower plant are large and soft. Bluish-green in color, they grow up to 12 inches long and 5 inches wide. The soft surface of the leaf has been compared to felt by many people and for good reason.
The mullein flower is colored yellow and bearing five petals. About an inch wide, they are generally in bloom from June to September.
Mullein Health Benefits.
As a weed, the mullein flower is nothing but a fragile plant found along the roadsides of Asia and Europe. As a medicine, however, the mullein flower receives far more credit than that. It has long been used by folk healers to soothe irritated skin and treat respiratory problems.
When the first European settlers came to America, they brought the mullein flower with them for its medicinal aspects. The Native Americans quickly absorbed the plant, finding another purpose for it. They used the dried roots and flowers of the plant and smoked it to relieve asthma and bronchitis with apparently successful results. In fact, the mullein flower was even regarded as a remedy for tuberculosis at one time in history.
Today, smoking the plant is generally advised against. Some scientists say it is too risky. The lungs are after all a sensitive organ and easily get infected. However, health authorities in Germany approve the use of the mullein flower in various forms, such as fluid extract, tincture, or tea. It has been reported that preparations of mullein flower can help clear congestion due to colds and coughs. Moreover, sipping the tea can encourage the production of phlegm, thus reducing the occurrence of painful, dry coughs.
Another use for the mullein flower is as an astringent. The plant is said to contain some soothing compounds that help relieve pain. A decoction from the leaves and flowers of the herb has gained a reputation for soothing earaches and has been used traditionally as a treatment for painful infections. The mullein flower’s astringent qualities also explain why it has been used internally as a treatment for diarrhea. Also, the plant was used as a salve to encourage healing in wounds and hemorrhoids.
In Germany, the plant was added to the list of herbs under the German Drug Codex. It is a common component of a various cough and bronchial tea medicines. The mullein flower is said to work quite well and synergistically with other herbs. For instance, cough tea mixtures usually contain 40% althea root, 20% licorice root, 20% coltsfoot leaf, 10% mullein flower, and 10% anise seed.