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Looking for your ideas on uses of Mullein — The Grow Network Community
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Looking for your ideas on uses of Mullein

bcabrobinbcabrobin Posts: 228 ✭✭✭
edited October 2020 in Herbal Medicine-Making

I was able to forage Mullein from a bank of a tar and chip roadway in a rural area. I know it was been mowed off that least 2 times this summer so not sure if it is 1 or 2 yrs, but the roots are small. This is very clean not dusty at all. most of the leaves are small only 5-6" at most. Most 2-3" long.

I pulled the leaves off and have it on dehydrator trays to wilt, now what can I make? I have LOTS. So please give lots of ideas!


  • KimWilsonKimWilson Posts: 198 ✭✭✭

    I have heard that you can actually inhale smoke from the burning mullein leaves for asthma complaints. I would be interested in hearing if anyone has done this, how exactly they did it, and how well it worked.

  • @KimWilson I have used mullein smoke for a very bad chest cold and it helped relax my lungs and stop the spasming. I had some dried leaves I had collected. I just lit one over an incense tray (any fireproof dish would work) and then wafted the smoke to me to breath it in. It will only keep smoking for a short time, or mine did. I relit it a couple of times and did this 2-3 times a day for a few days and then I no longer needed it. Since it did help with the spasming that was making me cough I would think it holds promise for asthma but I know asthma can be tricky.

  • SherryASherryA Posts: 313 ✭✭✭

    A naturopath recommended I take mullein (tea or tincture) for Covid-like symptoms in my lungs, even after I was pretty much well. I figure it's a very good thing to have on hand these days!

  • Denise GrantDenise Grant Posts: 1,699 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It can be used in salves.

    When you are lucky enough to get full sized plants you can use the tall mullein seed staock for a candle. Cut it off and dip it in wax.

  • FergFerg Currently United States, Appalachia. Previously Great Lakes, GNYMA, Germany.Posts: 290 ✭✭✭

    mullein oil is really nice for those annoying ear infections; I mix it with garlic oil for those.

    Not to be confused with swimmers ear, for that a 1:1 mix of alcohol and vinegar.

  • vickeymvickeym Posts: 701 ✭✭✭✭

    Does anyone happen to know what zones mullein will grow in? I would love to have mullein in my yard but I think I am probably in too cold of an area. Zone 3b

  • LaurieLovesLearningLaurieLovesLearning Moderator Manitoba, Canada 🍁 zone 3, PrairiesPosts: 3,771 admin

    @vickeym It grows in my zone!

    It isn't wild here, but can be grown in gardens. The lady I had got mine from said that it can spread easily. I am not sure if that comment was from personal experience or if it had been what she read or was told.

    Your conditions could still be different from mine with soil type & certain other factors, but I would encourage you to try it.

  • vickeymvickeym Posts: 701 ✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning Thank you for letting me know. Will have to try and get seeds for spring. I have wanted it not only for its health benefits but since many here in rural Alaska still have outhouses, it could be valuable for the next TP shortage. lol

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,769 admin

    @vickeym Mullein is on its way north. I found it growing near Hudson's Hope (zone 3b) so very close to the start of the Alaska Highway. I'm sure the next time I am up that way it will have spread nearly to the Yukon Border.

    I'm sure it will grow for you if you get some seeds. Let me know if you find seeds or not. I can try to smuggle some in an envelope to you.

  • karenjanickikarenjanicki Posts: 612 ✭✭✭✭

    I keep seeing Mullein growing along the roadsides and highways in our area. It breaks my heart since I was taught not to harvest from alongside roads, to see it so close and yet be so far! It seems so many of the beautiful plants I have been hankering to harvest only seem to grow in areas they recommend we not forage from haha. So I purchased some seeds and God willing next season I would love to get one going in a large planter. They really are beautiful and I want to utilize the entire plant so I figured that is probably my best option.

  • vickeymvickeym Posts: 701 ✭✭✭✭

    @torey Thank you for letting me know. That is great news. I will try to get my hands on some seeds for spring.

  • KimWilsonKimWilson Posts: 198 ✭✭✭

    @seeker.nancy - Central Texas Yes I think that it is an anti-spasmotic. It should help with a variety of respiratory/lung ailments.

  • KimWilsonKimWilson Posts: 198 ✭✭✭

    I believe that mullein really des like to grow in land that has been "disturbed" such as roadsides etc. I am lucky because I have found sources such as a closed off roadway that has not been used for the past 20-30 years. I also found an old abandoned golf course (you would never know that what it was at one time unless someone told you). Mullein grows there prolifically.

  • bcabrobinbcabrobin Posts: 228 ✭✭✭

    @karenjanicki are you able to go on any back roads or little traveled roads. I get a lot of my stuff from those areas, the only problem I have is the dust. It sticks to EVERYTHING! We are in a drought so this year is REALLY bad.

    If your feet are still on the road, you are still in the right a way, so can take anything you can reach, but be careful if you see any trees, posts, etc with purple paint or posted signs, it's best to not take anything from those areas. If you see someone in the ask, if it's ok to take some. In my area, they will shot you if you enter their land, so just stay safe, feet on road.

  • toreytorey Posts: 2,769 admin

    Mullein is a hyper-accumulator of heavy metals. It is one of the plants being studied for its use in phytoremediation because of this property. In particular, Cadmium and Barium. Cadmium is found in roadside plants because it is in tires.

    Use great caution wherever you harvest your mullein. It does tend to grow in areas that have been damaged. In my area it is prolific along railway tracks, despite their use of chemical warfare. Our snow plough trucks here have a huge spray zone, reaching more than 40 feet from the road. They also use a variety of chemicals for snow & ice control. In the spring, there is a sweeper that comes along to remove the winter excess and the dust cloud that creates drifts a long way, too. Any of the chemicals used to create asphalt can easily leach into the soil or ditches.

    It is law here, that when chemical pesticides or herbicides have been sprayed, signs must be posted but I don't think that applies in all jurisdictions. Check to see what kinds of herbicides your county, municipality, etc. may be using for roadside weeds.

    I have seen herbalists recommend a 40 foot no pick zone from roads but for me, I would make it quite a bit more than 40 feet. At least for mullein and some of the other accumulators. From my reading, Artemisia species are also hyper-accumulators.

  • Merin PorterMerin Porter Editorial Director Southwest Colorado (Zone 6a)Posts: 741 admin

    Not sure of the range. We are in Zone 6a (although we're really colder than that -- more like Zone 5b) in SW Colorado, and it grows wild in my yard. I have a friend who uses it in tinctures and I'm pretty sure it's a pain reliever for earaches, but I'd have to confirm that with her.

  • karenjanickikarenjanicki Posts: 612 ✭✭✭✭

    My concern is more about the potential for toxins that have bioaccumulated in the plants along roadsides. That's why I avoid them primarily but I'll tell you it's hard to find them other places it seems. That's where they seem to like to grow haha. Although a dirt road is less travelled and may be a better option.

  • karenjanickikarenjanicki Posts: 612 ✭✭✭✭

    Yes that's a primary concern for me. I was trained never to harvest plants along roadsides, around foundations, beside railroad tracks or under power lines. These days it seems we have to go deep into the wild, at least where I am to avoid them. And some plants accumulate so much dangerous material from the earth It's almost frightening to get them from an area you aren't intimately familiar with. I feel like it makes for slim pickings.

  • WendyWendy Posts: 132 ✭✭✭

    I harvest mullein throughout the summer and dry it for winter usage. I add it to my calcium tea as it is a good source of magnesium. If you use it for tea, please strain it through a cloth, as it has miniscule hairs that can irritate the throat.

    Mullein is great as a steam for inhaling, it moistens and clears the breathing passages. Add a few torn leaves to a pot of water and bring it to boiling. Lean over said pot and breathe deeply through your nose and mouth.

    I am in Vermont and mullein is everywhere!

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