The Mullein herb is native to Europe and Asia, however found even in North America. The herb has over 360 different species. The botanical name of the species is Verbascum, while V. Thapsus, V.densiflorum and V.phlomides are some of the most commonly mentioned species. It is a perennial herb which is found to grow anywhere including ditches and fields.
The herb is weedy, biennial (i.e. grows twice a year), unbranched and can grow to a height of about six to seven feet. The herb is soft and hairy, while the leaves are oblong, wide and range from 2 inches to one feet in length. Flowers are densely arranged and yellow in color.
The herb can grow on all kinds of land surfaces i.e. hard dry to moist and marshy. The herb requires full sunlight for its growth. The leaves of the herb are to be harvested in the fall of the first year of the growth, as they have very high value.
Medicinal Properties Of Mullein Plant
The herb has potential healing abilities, however it is important to harvest the leaves, roots and flowers at appropriate times in their life cycle to yield the maximum benefits,
- The leaves are used to treat respiratory disorders and ailments. The freshly harvested leaves should be boiled and then filtered, to be consumed as a tea. This can help reduce pulmonary congestion and help clear the lungs. Remember to filter the tea carefully, as the tiny hair on the leaves can cause irritation in the throat and stomach.
- Mullein flowers are considered to have strong cleansing properties and are beneficial for the skin. When the flowers are used as a wash, they not only treat scrapes and wounds but are also help manage nappy rash or diaper rash. You can also prepare a mullein balm by infusing the flowers with olive oil and beeswax.
- Mullein roots are considered to be very useful in treating urinary tract infections.
- Mullein is also considered to be very important to indicate the level of chemical contamination of the soil. A vigorous and straight stalk indicates low levels of contamination, while a crooked stalk indicates high levels of chemical contamination of the soil.
Health Benefits Of Mullein Herb
The herb is very beneficial not only in treating a host of ailments but is also useful to verify the contamination levels in the soil. Some of the important benefits of the herb include,
- Used to treat a wide range of lung disorders including bronchitis, emphysema, asthma, allergies and pneumonia.
- It is a strong anti-inflammatory agent and treats sore throats, coughs, osteoarthritis and other inflammatory conditions.
- The herb is considered to stimulate endocrinal functions, especially the thyroid gland.
- The herb is beneficial in improving functions of the lymphatic system and enhancing immunity. It has also been considered to be beneficial to reduce tumor size.
- It has potential benefits on the skin and helps in improving skin tone, texture and treat boils and blemishes.
In general the herb is considered safe for internal and external use; however occasional reports of skin irritation have been recorded.