I literally have Mullein growing like crazy on my Nature Walk side of the property. The mostly wild and uncultivated and rocky area between the barn and the neighbor’s property, full of raspberry tendrils, and tall grasses, and Garlic Mustard. I love that side of the property!
I’m very happy to see it though, it is a very useful herb for many conditions from removing heat in urinary conditions, an expectorant, sedative, to smoking mullein leaves for soothing inflamed lungs, reducing coughing and helping to reduce inflammation. It promotes productive coughing.
Mullein is a fuzzy leafed (Bi-annual) plant that every two years will sprout a giant stalk with golden/yellow flowers – which I haven’t seen yet but I’m waiting!
Dry mullein leaves flat. They can be crumbled for tea – I highly recommend placing this herb in the heat seal tea bags so that the little fuzzies don’t irritate the throat, or strain using a coffee filter. They can also be dried and smoked to ease respiratory conditions (I know it sounds counter-intuitive but it does work). Mullein can be tinctured just be sure to filter it carefully to remove the hairs.
Because it is nervine and can help soothe nerves, I’ve added it to my own blend of pain tea. So I’m very grateful to see nature’s pharmacopeia in my own yard!
Mullein & Honey Cough Medicine (From WolfCollege.com)
Ingredients for Mullein & Honey Cough Syrup:
- Mullein leaves and flowers **Note: because Mullein loves to live in disturbed areas, we have to be careful to check for pollution or other contaminants before harvesting
- Elderflowers from blue Elderberry, de-stemmed and rinsed
- Organic honey
First, make sure that the plant materials are clean and dry. The Elderflowers should be de-stemmed.
Next, we need to make a hot infusion. In a medium pot, bring water to a boil and steep the Mullein flowers, Elderberry flowers, and the Mullein leaves for 10 minutes.
Alternatively, you can make a cold infusion: 1 oz of leaves and flowers in 1 quart of water for 4 hours.
When ready, strain the infusion through a strainer bag, and place the infusion back on the stove.
On a low simmer, stir in honey until dissolved. The affected person can also stand over the infusion and breathe in the steam for help with congestion and a croupy cough.
Let cool before consuming. Don’t forget to label with the name, date, and ingredients! Store in the fridge.
Dosage: take like a ‘regular’ cough syrup – 1 teaspoon every 3 or 4 hours
I love this time of year, all the great things are coming up in my yard – including Purple Dead Nettle.
Purple Dead Nettle is a prolific weed that seems to be the bane of gardeners everywhere – except me. I gleefully look forward to this plant coming up each year so I can harvest and use its beneficial properties in teas and salves – and even sneak a few small leaves into a salad.
Purple dead nettle (Lamium Purpureum) is common in west coast, eastern and Southern US – and pretty much everywhere else. Its called a ‘Dead’ Nettle because there are no stinging nettles. It is a memeber of the mint family and if you look at the stems you’ll find they are square.
The are high in itamin C, minerals, flavinoids, iron, fibre, although ingest it sparingly as it can be a mild laxitive. The herb is very beneficial for kidneys and liver function.
I start harvesting and drying them as soon in the spring when they come up for use later in teas and salves, saving the tender petals for salad. Be sure to give them a light rinse and pat dry before hanging – or use a salad spinner for a quick and easy dry off.
Because I have polycystic kidney disease, I consider the use of purple dead nettle as a must in my regimine to keep my kidneys healthy.