Mullein was known as the torch flower in the days of the Romans because the soldiers dipped the plant into tallow to make torches. Mullein is common throughout the U.S. It is a naturalized plant, introduced originally from Europe.
The LEAVES and FLOWERS are used but the leaves are preferred. Both have a shght, somewhat narcotic smell, which, in the dried flowers, becomes agreeable. Their taste is mucilaginous, herbaceous, slightly bitter, but very feeble. They impart their medicinal virtues to water by infusion.
Where the effusions and accumulations are desired to be absorbed and carried off, mullein is remarkable in its influence on the absorbents.
The leaves and the flowers are very useful in pulmonary diseases, coughs, consumption, hemorrhage of the lungs, in dysentery, and in diarrhea, the demulcent properties strengthening the bowels. The ordinary infusion may be used. In diarrhea, however, if there is bleeding from the bowels, boil 1 oz. of mullein in 1 pt. milk, sweeten, if desired. Strain and take in 1/2 tea-cupful doses after each stool.
Mullein is one of the most valuable herbs in its influence upon the glandular system, the serous and the mucus structures. It is especially valuable in glandular swellings, hepatization or thickening of lung tissues, phthisis, asthma, hay fever, catarrhal coughs, coughs due to colds, pleuritic effusions, mild catarrhs, pleuritis, cellular and synovial dropsy, scrofulous and other swellings, chronic abscesses, and all forms of dropsies.
In mumps and some severe and vicious glandular swellings, a fomentation of leaves has been most successfully used. For bronchitis or croupy cough, apply the following over the lungs; 2 oz. Mullein, 1/4 oz. lobelia, 1 t. cayenne, simmered in 2 qts. water 15 min. Foment as warm as convenient and take the following: all FE, mullein, poke, elder flowers, life everlasting each 2 Dr. in 4 oz. simple syrup.
The leaves are also employed externally, steeped in hot water in the treatment of sprains, bruises, soreness of the chest, and painful chronic abscesses.
In a case of painful and swollen joints, cover a quantity of mullein (either green or dried) with boiling vinegar. Cover and simmer slowly for 20 to 30 min. Strain and add a little tincture cayenne and FE lobelia. Foment and it will ease the pains and, in almost every case, reduce the. swelling.
- For stiff joints and rheumatism, foment with 4 oz. mullein, 1/2 oz. lobelia herb, 1/4 oz. cayenne, 2 qts. vinegar. Bring to a boil and simmer slowly 20 to 30 min.
- For external irritations and itching piles, apply a fomentation of the leaves in hot vinegar and water.
- In ophthalmia, cover the eyes with a soft cloth wet with 1/2 oz. mullein, 20 gr. golden seal, 1 dr. lobelia herb, and 6 oz. water.
- For nasal congestion and catarrh or throat irritation, place a handful of leaves in an old teapot and cover with hot water. Inhale the steam through the spout.
- For inflamed peritonium apply 3 oz. FE mullein and 1 oz. tincture cayenne.
- For periostitis, apply 2 Dr. each FE mullein, oil sassafras, oil peppermint, tincture ginger, tincture lobelia, and 4 oz. alcohol.
- For dropsied limbs, apply 4 oz. FE mullein, 5/2 oz. tincture cayenne, 1 oz. tincture lobelia, and 1/2 Dr. oil origanum.
- For dysentery use 2 Dr. FE mullein, 3 Dr. each FE catnip, and FE ladies’ slipper in ^2 teacupful tepid water for enema after each stool.
In Europe, an infusion of the flowers, strained to remove the rough hairs, is considerably used in mild catarrhs.
A simple infusion is made of both leaves and flowers, 11. to 1 C. boiling water, taken in 1 or 2 C daily doses.
CAUTION: While Mullein has a very powerful influence on the absorbents and is extremely valuable in mumps, glandular swellings, dropsies, etc., it must NOT BE USED IN CANCERS or any other swellings where it would be injurious to have a deposit absorbed.