Mullein - Verbascum Thapsus – Flower
Blending Note: Middle
Main Benefits: Expectorant, Anti-inflammatory.
Properties: Expectorant, Anti-Inflammatory Analgesic, Antiseptic, Disinfectant, Diuretic,
Febrifuge, Relaxant, Tranquilizing
Other Producers: Asia, Central America, South America
Allergy Warnings: None on Record.
The down on the leaves and stem makes excellent tinder when quite dry, readily igniting on the slightest spark, and was, before the introduction of cotton, used for lamp wicks, hence another of the old names: 'Candlewick Plant.' An old superstition existed that witches in their incantations used lamps and candles provided with wicks of this sort, and another of the plant's many names, 'Hag's Taper', refers to this, though the word 'hag' is said to be derived from the Anglo-Saxon word a Hedge.
The name 'Hedge Taper' also exists - and may imply that the sturdy spikes of this tall hedge plant, studded with pale yellow blossoms, suggested a tall candle growing in the hedge, another of its countryside names being, indeed, 'Our Lady's Candle.' Lyte (The Niewe Herball, 1578) tells us 'that the whole toppe, with its pleasant yellow floures sheweth like to a wax candle or taper cunningly wrought.' 'Torches' is another name for the plant. Both in Europe and Asia the power of driving away evil spirits was ascribed to the Mullein. In India it has the reputation among the natives that the St. John's Wort once had here, being considered a sure safeguard against evil spirits and magic, and from the ancient classics we learn that it was this plant which Ulysses took to protect him against the wiles of Circe.
The Cowslip and the Primrose are classed together by our old herbalists as Petty Mulleins, and are usually credited with much the same properties. Both the flowers and leaves of the primrose, boiled in wine, as a remedy for all diseases of the lungs and the juice of the root itself, snuffed up the nose, for megrim. All the various species of Mullein found in Britain possess similar medicinal properties, but V. Thapsus, the species of most common occurrence, is the one most employed. For medicinal purposes it is generally collected from wild specimens, but is worthy of cultivation, not merely from its beauty as an ornamental plant, but also for its medicinal value, which is undoubted. In most parts of Ireland, besides growing wild, it is carefully cultivated in gardens, because of a steady demand for the plant by sufferers from pulmonary consumption.
Its cultivation is easy: being a hardy biennial, it only requires sowing in very ordinary soil and to be kept free from weeds. When growing in gardens, Mulleins will often be found to be infested with slugs, which can be caught wholesale by placing in borders slates and boards smeared with margarine on the underside. Examine in the morning and deposit the catch in a pail of lime and water. Mullein essential oil is extracted by steam distillation of the leaves, flowers and buds. The colour of the oil is pale yellow and the consistency is thin. The aroma is strong, spicy with a nutmeg-like character.
Bronchitis, Inflammation, Headache, Sinusitis, Fever, Wounds, Skin, Ears, Nose, Kidneys, Asthma, Congestion, Catarrh, Anxiety, Depression, Stress, laryngitis, pharyngitis, Whooping Cough
Repellent, Inhalation, Lotion, Massage