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Mullein for Respiratory Health

If you suffer from any respiratory issues including ear, nose, and throat, then you may want to try the herb, Mullein (Verbascum Thapsis).

Mullein has a long, interesting history. It was used by the ancient Romans as torches. They coated the stalks with tallow and then lit them. Later the ancient Greens used the rolled, dried leaves as lamp wicks. Mullein is not native to America, but is native to Europe, the Mediterranean, north Africa, and Asia. However, the Puritans in the 1600s brought mullein seeds from Europe to American to use in their medicinal gardens. Then mullein spread from there; in fact, mullein is very, very invasive. You can find it almost anywhere, so there’s no need to plant mullein seeds. I live in the high desert, and although there’s no mullein here, I can find it in the nearby mountains. So, it was the early settlers who introduced mullein to America; and Native Americans soon began to use it. The soft, velvety leaves were used to line their moccasins. They also used the leaf as a poultice for abscesses, bruises, sprains, rashes, burns, skin infections, and many other ailments.

Many cultures around the world have used mullein tea for sore throats, as a cough suppressant, and as a lung tonic. It’s also an anti-inflammatory and analgesic. In fact, cattlemen have used mullein to treat their cattle’s respiratory conditions. One of the most common uses of mullein leaves was to smoke it for respiratory ailments. It was sometimes mixed with tobacco to ease coughs and to expel excess mucus.

So today, we still use mullein in these various ways. I offer mullein extracts (Mullein Leaf Tincture and a no alcohol Mullein Leaf Glycerite) as well as mullein flowers infused in oil (Mullein & Garlic Ear Oil) for sinus and ear congestion or irritation. However, don’t use mullein internally if pregnant or lactating; and if you take medications, speak with your physician first.


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