Sunday, June 24, 2012

Mullein aka Verbascum


Its other names include:
Aaron's Rod, Adam's Flannel, American Mullein, Beggar's Blanket, Blanket Herb, Blanket Leaf, Bouillon Blanc, Bouillon Jaune, Candleflower, Candlewick, Cierge Cotonneux, Cierge de Notre-Dame, Clot-Bur, Clown's Lungwort, Cuddy's Lungs, Duffle, European Mullein, Faux Bouillon-Blanc, Feltwort, Flannelflower, Fleur de Grand Chandelier, Fluffweed, Gidar Tamaku, Gordolobo, Hag's Taper, Hare's Beard, Hedge Taper, Herbe de Saint-Fiacre, Herbe Saint Fiacre, Higtaper, Jacob's Staff, Longwort, Molène, Molène à Grandes Fleurs, Molène Bouillon-Blanc, Molène Faux-Phlomis, Molène Thapsus, Orange Mullein, Oreille de Loup, Oreille de Saint Cloud, Our Lady's Flannel, Queue de Loup, Rag Paper, Shepherd's Club, Shepherd's Staff, Tabac du Diable, Torch Weed, Torches, Velvet Plant, Verbasci Flos, Wild Ice Leaf, Verbascum densiflorum, Verbascum phlomides, Verbascum thapsiforme, Verbascum thapsus, Woolen, Woolly Mullein.
  
  It's a weed in my area, growing on slopes along the highway and popping up here and there in  my garden. I always leave some -- such stately plants.

I know that mullein flowers used to be gathered and sold for use in medicines, but I have no experience of how it might be used in folk remedies. 
According to one site, mullein is used to make medicine for "cough, whooping cough, tuberculosis, bronchitis, hoarseness, pneumonia, earaches, colds, chills, flu, swine flu, fever, allergies, tonsillitis, and sore throat. Other uses include asthma, diarrhea, colic, gastrointestinal bleeding, migraines, joint pain, and gout. It is also used as a sedative and as a diuretic to increase urine output.

"Mullein is applied to the skin for wounds, burns, hemorrhoids, bruises, frostbite, and skin infections  The leaves are used topically to soften and protect the skin."

But wait, there's more! Mullein is used as a flavoring ingredient in alcoholic beverages.

Are any of you familiar with the use of mullein in folk remedies?
 
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23 comments:

Ms. A said...

I've never heard even one of those names used, that I can recall? For a supposed weed, it sure has numerous uses. Wonder why it's considered a weed?

Ms. A said...

Actually, I have heard of Verbascum, just none of the other names you mentioned.

Martin said...

Fascinating. I couldn't say what folk remedies mullein might be used in, but your post made me wonder if you'd be interested in what Robin Harford does.

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Kath said...

Fascinating. More names than a British royal.

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

I know nothing about folk medicine, but I would assume such a prolific bloomer with so many names that people would have come up with ways to use it through the ages. You're presented some interesting ones. I can't get over how many names it has.
Sam

Jean Baardsen said...

Boy, that's a lot for one plant to live up to!!

Brian Miller said...

huh, yeah its got a lot of names...interesting on what it is used for...a healing agent and beer flavorer...two birds with one stone that...smiles...

Terri Buster said...

I've not heard of this- or of it's unique uses- cool!

KarenB said...

I know nothing of its use in remedies, but I do love its lovely soft leaves.

Diotima Mantineia said...

Kiva Rose has a lovely article on its medicinal uses: http://bearmedicineherbals.com/a-golden-torch-mullein%E2%80%99s-healing-light.html

Vicki Lane said...

Martin, thanks for the links! There's some fascinating and useful stuff there.

And following the link Diotima gave, I found that mullein is not native to America but came from Europe -- like many of our familiar weeds. (Ms. A -- some say a weed is just a plant in the wrong place -- I say it's a plant that thrives without pampering and cultivation.)

If you're interested in more about mullein,

http://bearmedicineherbals.com/a-golden-torch-mullein%E2%80%99s-healing-light.html

is QUITE complete.

Thérèse said...

Linked to witchcraft too...
:-)

Tammy said...

Huh...who knew? We've always just called it that fuzzy weed with yellow flowers! I did find out it was mullein many years back though but had no idea it had so many names. I too leave a few of them out in the pastures when I mow because they are rather stately and pretty. I'll have to look more into their uses as a healing plant.
Tammy

June said...

When I was reading recently about milkweed, I thought I read that mullein was poisonous. But poison=medicine in the right hands.

Susan M. Bell said...

Years ago, mullein tea was recommended to me by an FNP at the local health department for my bronchitis and cough. I bought some at the local health foods store and it really did help. I try to keep some in the cabinet at all times. A friend of mine has lots of it growing in her yard and harvests and dries her own for tea and such. It's great stuff.

Inger said...

A flower of many names, or a weed, by another. Still pretty and stately, as you said.

Helene Adams said...

Hey Vickie,
I have never heard of all the remedies you listed, find it fastinating! Thanks! The only thing I have ever heard mullien used for was candle wicks. Now I have never tried it so I cannot say how or even if it works ;) I see some growing in the back so I may just give it a try! I just moved up to your neck of the mountains so I'm still getting used to the wildness of it and it is wild! Mother Nature has freedom here for sure. Waving hi from a peak south of you ;)

Vicki Lane said...

So Susan has actually had experience using mullein medicinally. Interesting.

Hi, Helene -- where are you?

Victoria said...

It grows all over up here, too. Another name I've heard it called is Witches Candle. You're supposed to dip the top part in wax and it burns like a torch. I've never tried this though. By the time I feel it's safe to burn anything up here outside, the Mullein has died back to the ground.

Miss_Yves said...

I know this plant... without knowing all these names!Incredible!

Helene Adams said...

Vickie,I am in the village of
Etowah, between Hendersonville and Asheville. Its so rural up here there is no postal address, never as been. So had to go a PO box in the village.

Vicki Lane said...

I know where Etowah is ... remember some years back visiting a lady there who made hooked rugs -- she lived on Misty Mountain Road, I think.

Merisi said...

The German name for Verbascum is "Königskerze", King's Candle. As far as I know it is a protected plant here, mainly because certain rare butterfly species depend on Verbascum as food plants for its caterpillars.


As Shakespeare would have said, Aaron's Rod is Adam's Flannel is American Mullein is Beggar's Blanket is Blanket Herb is Blanket Leaf is Bouillon Blanc is Bouillon Jaune is Candleflower is .... ;-)