My Dirt Time The Adventures of Tom Sciacca

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Common Mullein

My Dirt Time This is me standing next to a mullein plant. Now that i know what they are, I see them often. Marty Simon says they're good for several survival needs including toilet paper ( the leaves are very soft and hypoallergenic). Check out his video here

Wildman Steve Brill says "Mullein is a biennial: The first year the leaves form a basal rosette, with strikingly large, flannel-like, velvety-woolly, long-oval, gray-green, leaves nearly two feet long. When I bring this plant to school classes, the children first think itís artificial.

The second year, the basal leaves precede a stout, erect flowerstalk that may reach six feet in height."

  • The larger pic is the second year plant and this small pic is the first year plant.

    According to Steve Brill "Mullein grows in old fields, roadsides, and disturbed habitats throughout the United States It does well in dry, sandy conditions, especially in alkaline soil, so itís especially common near the seashore. Archeologists sometimes look for Indian sites where thereís lots of mullein, because the lime from the Indian shell piles increases soil alkalinity, encouraging this plant to proliferate.

    Mullein tea provides vitamins B-2, B-5, B-12, and D, choline, hesperidin, PABA, sulfur, magnesium, mucilage, saponins, and other active substances.

    People use the tea as a beverage, but itís best known as one of the safest, most effective herbal cough remedies. Mullein is an expectorant, and a tonic for the lungs, mucus membranes, and glands. An infusion is good for colds, emphysema, asthma, hay fever, and whooping cough. Strain the infusion through a cloth, or the hairs may get stuck in your throat and make you cough even more. Laboratory tests have shown that itís anti-inflammatory, with antibiotic activity, and that it inhibits the tuberculosis bacillus. The Indians smoked dried mullein and coltsfoot cigarettes for asthma and bronchitis, and indications are that itís effective: Iíve observed it working for bronchitis.

    The tea is also an astringent and demulcent. Itís good for diarrhea, and itís been used in compresses for hemorrhoids since it was recommended by Dioscorides centuries ago. Itís also supposed to help other herbs get absorbed through the skin. Pliny of ancient Rome, Gerard in sixteenth century England, the Delaware Indians, and country folk in the South used the heated leaves in poultices for arthritis.

    A tincture of the flowers is used for migraine headaches. An oil extract of the flowers, which contains a bactericide, is used for ear infections, although you should consult with a competent practitioner first, to avoid the possibility of permanent hearing loss if the herb doesnít work.

    Roman ladies used them to die their hair blonde. Roman soldiers dipped the flowerstalks in tallow to make torches.

    Women who were forbidden to use make-up for religious reasons rubbed the rough leaves of this rubrifacient on their cheeks, to create a beautiful red flush. People who spend time in the woods are attracted to mulleinís large, velvety leaves when they run out of toilet paper, again creating a beautiful red flush on their cheeks."

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