Spring is springing! So many herbal friends are popping up in the garden beds and fields this month. One that I am particularly happy to see again is Mullein (Verbascum thapsus.)
All parts of Mullein are medicinal. Energetically the leaves and flowers are cooling and moistening while the roots tend to be more warming and drying. The leaves have a special affinity for the lungs, the roots for the bladder, and the flowers for the ears and infection. The whole plant supports the Lymphatic System and I include it in all of my blends that Love on Lymph!
I use the leaves most often in my Apothecary. They are nourishing and support long term lung health and acute situations. They are also demulcent making them a top choice for dry, irritated cough. During last year’s wild fires I had all my family members living in the Southwest drinking copious amounts of Mullein tea to counter the impacts of smoke. In my region, I reach for Mullein as soon as I have to begin sweeping the pollen from my car, ha! It helps me through these tough weeks of seasonal allergies.
Mullein is a bit of a trickster in the garden. It closely resembles Lamb’s Ear in its first year of growth. Only during the second year does it develop the tell-tale stalk and yellow flowers. Only a few flowers bloom at a time and will close by mid-afternoon. They are a favorite of pollinators and downy woodpeckers. Mullein is a highly adaptive plant capable of thriving in varied conditions. It pulls and stores heavy metals from the earth and has been studied for its impact on soil remediation in areas of environmental contamination. (Although these would NOT be the plants you then use for medicine making, yikes!)
Magically Mullein is strongly associated with protection. Worn around the neck it’s believed to safeguard a person from wild animals; when hung in the home it safeguards against evil spirits.
I wish you all a fantastic April and invite you to get outside and see what plants are growing around you. Perhaps you too will be blessed with Mullein!