Aaron's rod, candlewick plant, hag's taper, cow lungwort,
velvet dock; flannel plant; feltwort; shepherd's staff;
torches; Our Lady's Flannel; Blanket Herb; Woollen; Rag
Paper; Wild Ice Leaf; Clown's Lungwort; Peter's Staff;
Jacob's Staff; Shepherd's Club; Beggar's Stalk; Golden Rod;
Adam's Flannel; Beggar's Blanket; Clot; Cuddy's Lungs;
Duffle; Fluffweed; Hare's Beard; Old Man's Flannel; White
Mullein; Mullein Dock; Dziewanna, Dziewanna Lekarska
(Polish); Königskerze, Wollkraut (German); punchon,
A hardy biennial.
Height up to 6 feet;
width: 2-3 feet. Flowers are yellow and 1 inch across, 4
petals, clustered densely around single flower spike.
There are sometimes
smaller side spikes.
Leaves are large ovals up
to 2 feet long, thick and covered with fine, somewhat
They form a rosette, from
which flower stalk grows.
Blooms July to August
beginning in 2nd year.
Grows in sunny and sheltered area
in well drained chalky or poor soil.
Sow in spring or summer.
Self-seeds in light soil.
Thin or transplant to 2
Needs to be staked in
exposed sites or on rich moist soil.
Not suitable for indoor
Collect flowers as
they open and leaves in their first season.
Remove green parts from
flowers then dry gently without artificial heat as the
healing power is connected with the yellow coloring matter.
The Romans called mullein
probably from the Latin
barba, or "beard,"
and the name mullein must have originated with the Latin
mollis, or "soft".
Both describe the fuzzy
The Popular Names of
British Plants says that the it's name was derived from
the Latin malandrium or "malady".
In either case, it later
became the Angle-Saxon word
Another description of the
name is that during the Middle Ages the French used the herb
to treat malandre,
an animal disease that produces boils on horses' necks.
malen, and finally
When in flower it looks
like a large candle and the flower stalk dipped into tallow
and lit made a primitive torch.
Such candles were carried
during ceremonies, especially funerals.
The Romans wrapped figs in
leaves to prevent them going bad. Roman women used the
flowers to dye their hair lighter.
Mullein was given to
Ulysses to protect him from the sorcery of Circe.
Known in Greek as
Flego and Fluma, that is,
"to set on fire."
Latin names were
Navajos called Mullein
"big tobacco" and mixed it with regular tobacco to smoke to
relieve coughing spasms.
Known to the Pennsylvania
Dutch as Wolla Graut.
Amish permitted Mullein
leaves to be smoked for the relief of asthma attacks.
In Europe an extract of Mullein is used in the preparation of
a liqueur called
In Poland it was used in weather
predictions: if the flowers were large and covered the
entire stalk, the winter would be strong with much snow and
vice versa. St. Hildegard swore by mullein for curing
aphonia (the loss of voice caused by disease).
Germans saw mullein
as a benevolent, magical spirit that could help them in
times of danger and distress.
One old German name “Demon
refers to these powers.
People believed that
mullein could banish demons and ward off harmful magic
spells and diseases.
When worn as an amulet,
the root had to be dug up on a certain day to align its
powers with those of the planets.
In rural areas, some
farmers still grow mullein beside their houses and
outbuildings claiming that it keeps lighting away.
These “weathercandles” are
never brought into the house for fear tht lightning will
Saponins, essential oil,
flavonoids (hesperidin and verbascoside), glycosides
bitter, astringent, cool
anodyne, antispasmodic, demulcent, diuretic, expectorant,
vulnerary, sedative, anti-catarrhal, emollient, pectoral
One of the primary herbs for any
lung problem, including whooping cough, asthma, bronchitis
and chest colds.
It was traditionally
smoked for lung conditions.
It is also a diuretic used
to relieve urinary tract inflammation, diarrhea, and
inflammation, colitis, or other bleeding in the bowel.
The flowers extracted into
olive oil make a preparation that is known to reduce the
pain and inflammation of earache, insect bites, bruises,
hemorrhoids, and sore joints.
A distilled flower water
or a poultice has been placed on burns, ringworm, boils and
The leaves are used in
homeopathic products for migraine and earache.
horehound, coltsfoot and lobelia
To use: Infuse 1-2
teaspoons of dried leaves, flowers or roots per cup of
boiling water as a tea for coughs.
Steep 10 minutes and
strain through fine muslin to remove hairs or pollen, which
can cause unpleasant itching in the mouth.
Drink up to 3 cups a day.
Mullein tastes bitter; add
sugar, honey and lemon to improve flavor.
Steep flowers in hot water
until water is yellow, then drink to relieve persistent
coughs, respiratory mucus and hoarseness.
Or combine 2 tablespoons
of mullein flowers with 1 pint of milk.
Heat to the scalding point
and let stand until warm.
Strain and sweeten with
Taken at bedtime it
soothes irritated bronchial passages and relieves coughing.
Also helps relieve
diarrhea in adults.
For hemorrhoids, apply a
compress made with a strong, cooled infusion.
In a tincture, take 1/2 to
1 teaspoon up to three times a day.
Tinctures useful for
chronic respiratory disorders combined with stimulating
expectorants if required.
Use a gargle of flowers
for throat inflammations.
Infused flower oil good
for earaches---First make mullein oil by placing fresh
flowers in a clean glass jar and cover with just enough
olive oil to submerge all the flowers.
Stir the flowers to
release any air bubbles and place in a warm location for
about 3 days.
Pour through a fine
This can be used alone or
in combination with garlic vinegar and glycerin (1 oz oil, 1
oz vinegar, 1 teaspoon glycerin).
Put 2 drops of comfortably
warm oil in each ear and gently rub the outside of the ear
to work the drops in.
Mullein essence helps the
individual at those times when it must wrestle with its own
It can be extremely
beneficial for those who lack moral fortitude, and who may
resort to dishonesty or deficient in conducting the affairs
of daily life.
Through Mullein the soul
awakens to its inner voice and develops the capacity to
listen and respond to its true Self.
This remedy can be
especially helpful when one must take a stand for personal
authenticity, despite social pressure or confusing social
The essence assists the
soul in achieving greater moral uprightness, infused with
qualities of Light and Truth.
Flowers are used in a cream or
facial steam to soften and soothe skin.
Make a strong infusion to
brighten fair hair.--handful of flowers in 2 pints of
boiling water and allow to stand for 20 minutes before
Mullein water, to which a
few drops of oil of rosemary have been added, is an
excellent hair restorative if rubbed into the scalp daily.
Ashes were once made into
soap for a hair tonic.
Quaker rouge was another
common name. Quaker ladies, unable to use cosmetics due to
their religion, would rub the downy mullein leaves on their
cheeks to make them red.
Ruled by Saturn and associated
with fire. Gender: cold.
Used as torches in Hallows
An herb of protection,
wear or hang up as an amulet to exorcise evil spirits and
neutralize hexes. Sometimes used in rituals for women.
Carry to keep wild animals
away from you while walking in the wilderness, camping,
Wear to instill courage.
Powdered leaves are known
as "graveyard dust" and are acceptable to use when such is
called for in old recipes.
Mullein leaves were worn
as charms to ensure conception and was used in love
A girl sought out a
mullein plant and named it for her lover.
She then bent the stalk
toward her home and visited it from time to time to observe
how it grew.
If it remained bent toward
her house, he was faithful; if not, he was untrue.
to smudge the house with its sacred smoke.
The fine hairs irritate
Mullein plays a primary
role in the ancient practice of herb blessing.
The period between August
15th (Mary’s Ascension) and September 8th
(Mary’s birthday) was referred to as “the 30 days of women,”
long considered an auspicious time for herb gathering.
This period began with the
church blessing of a ritual bunch of herbs on August 15th.
The number of herbs was
precisely dictated, always 9, 15, 77, or 99, ritual numbers
that can be traced to ancient Babylonian and Assyrian
The herbs were also
Mullein was the center of
a bunch of nine.
Plants groups around it
were St. John’s Wort, Centaury, yarrow, German
Chamomile, Wormwood, Valerian, Peppermint and Arnica.
The bunch was kept in the
house and a pinch of it was thrown into the hearth fire
whenever thunder and lightning threatened.
On Epiphany, herbs were
burned in a metal pan
some people's skin, producing rashes…..in case one wishes to
use the leaves as "natural toilet paper".
Mullein seeds are toxic
and may cause poisoning.
Flowers make a pale
Verbascum pollen and
nectar attract bees to gardens.
Leaves can be placed in
shoes when soles become thin.
1/3 cup alum
1 Tbsp cream of tartar
4 gal water
1 lb wool
Chop up a potful of
mullein, including all parts of the plant except the root.
Cover it with water and
boil it for an hour.
Strain out the plant
material and add enough water to make up the 4 gallons.
Dissolve the cream of
tartar in the bath, and then the alum.
Heat the wool in
successively hotter rinses or warm it up in a pot on another
Then transfer it to the
Hold it there for about ¾
Cool and rinse until the
water runs clear.
All four mordants give
very slight variations of the same color. Color: Yellow
City Herbal, Maida Silverman, Alfred A Knopf, 1977
The Complete Book of Herbs,
Lesley Bremness, Viking, 1988
The Complete Medicinal Herbal,
Penelope Ody, Dorling Kindersley, 1993
Cosmetics From the Earth,
Alfred van der Marck, 1986
Natural Way, Frances E. Mustard, 1977; ISBN: 0-915498-68-5
Flower Essence Repertory, Patricia Kaminiski and Richard Katz, Flower Essence Society, 1996;
The Healing Herbs,
Michael Castleman, Rodale Press, 1991
The Herb Book, John Lust, Bantam Books, 1974
Herbs for Health and Healing,
Kathi Keville, Rodale, 1997
The Illustrated herb Encyclopedia,
Kathi Keville, Mallard Press, 1991
Magical Herbalism, Scott Cunningham, Llewellyn, 1982
Master Book of Herbalism,
Paul Beyerl, Phoenix Publishing, 1984
Medicine of the Earth,
Susanne Fischer-Rizzi, Rudra Press, 1996; ISBN:
Modern Herbal, Mrs. M. Grieve, Dover, 1971 (1931)
Michael Tierra, Lotus Press, 1988
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