Medicinal Herbs used in Wildcrafted Herbal Products' Therapeutic Creams and Compounds

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Medicinal Herb: Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)

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Introduction

Verbascum thapsus (Linn.), the Great Mullein, is a widely distributed plant, being found all over Europe and in temperate Asia as far as the Himalayas, and in North America is exceedingly abundant as a naturalized weed in the eastern States. It is met with throughout Britain (except in the extreme north of Scotland) and also in Ireland and the Channel Islands, on hedge-banks, by roadsides and on waste ground, more especially on gravel, sand or chalk. It flowers during July and August. The natural order Scrophulariaceae is an important family of plants comprising 200 genera and about 2,500 species, occurring mostly in temperate and sub-tropical regions, many of them producing flowers of great beauty, on which account they are frequently cultivated among favourite garden and greenhouse flowers. Of this group are the Calceolaria, Mimulus, Penstemon, Antirrhinum and Collinsia. Among its British representatives it embraces members so diverse as the Foxglove and Speedwell, the Mullein and Figworts, the Toadflax and the semi-parasites, Eyebright, Bartsia, Cowwheat, and the Red and Yellow Rattles.


 

 

Mullein

Biological Name:
Verbascum thapsus

Family:
Scrophulariaceae

Other Names:
Mullein, Aarons Rod, Great Mullein, velvet plant, white mullein, verbascum flowers, woolen blanket herb, bullock's lungwort, flannel flower, shepherd's club, hare's beard, pig taper, cow's lungwort

Parts Used:
Dried leaves and flowers

Active Compounds:
flavonoids such as verbascoside and herperidin
mucilage
saponins
tannins
volatile oil

Traditional Applications in Herbal Medicine:
Expectorant, demulcent, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, nervine, anti-spasmodic, vulnerary, alterative, astringent.

Mullein is a good respiratory remedy. Also for toning the mucous membranes of the respiratory system, reducing inflammation whilst stimulating fluid production and thus facilitating expectoration. It is considered a specific in bronchitis where there is a hard cough with soreness. Its anti-inflammatory and demulcent properties indicate its use in inflammation of the trachea and associated conditions. Externally an extract made in olive oil is excellent in soothing and healing any inflamed surface or easing ear problems.

Combinations : In bronchitis it combines well with White Horehound, Coltsfoot and Lobelia. In painful coughing, Priest & Priest recommend combining with Elder and Red Clover, and for asthma with Gumweed.

Other indications include:
  • Anodyne, antifungal. Flowers are antiseptic.
  • Reduces respiratory inflammation. Used in expectorant mixtures for coughs and bronchitis.
  • Tea of the flowers helps to relieve pain and induce sleep.
  • Used for nasal congestion (a handful of flowers is added to hot water and the steam inhaled).
  • Tea or fomentation used externally for skin conditions and wounds.
  • The infused oil is used for earache. Leaves and flowers are used for respiratory and ear infections.
  • Infusion of flowers used as cold compress for tired or inflamed eyes.
  • The plant is also used by boiling leaves in milk when beneficial to the condition being treated.
  • Dried leaves are smoked in a pipe for a hacking cough.
  • Used to clear out lungs and used for bronchitis, asthma, dry coughs, bronchial catarrh, and tuberculosis. Combined with elderflowers to treat fevers of respiratory origin.
  • Used to treat infections and inflammations.
  • Infusion used as eyewash and gargle.

Dosage:
Infusion: Pour a cup of boiling water onto 1-2 teaspoonfuls of the dried leaves or flowers and let infuse for l0-l5 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day.

Tincture: Take 1-4ml of the tincture three times a day.

Safety:

No information available. Some herbs are known to react with your medication. Please consult your physician before starting on any herb.

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