Sunday, June 15, 2014

Time to Collect Mullein!

When the cold season is upon you in the middle of winter, you will be grateful that you took the time to collect the leaves of this amazing plant called mullein.

Mullein is a biennal plant. The first year plant (shown above) produces a rosette of large velvety green leaves. These plants persist through the winter and the following spring, will produce a central spike that will grow a foot or more above the plant and end with a flower stalk with random five petal yellow flowers.

The 2nd year plants are just beginning to flower here in Portland, Oregon. Back home in Wisconsin it will probably flower in about another two weeks. There small yellow flowers will pop out randomly on a tall stalk that rises from the center of the plant. You can collect and dry the leaves from the first or second year plant for the decongestant medicine it produces. Before I came to know this plant, my colds if I got one, would go to my lungs and produce copious amounts of mucus. This wonderful plant prepared as a tea acted almost immediately to relieve any congestion I had and made short order of the cold itself.

To make the tea, collect and dry the leaves then put them in a sealed container. I refresh my supply yearly to make sure the medicine is as strong as possible. When you need the tea, crumble a tablespoon of leaf into a tea holder and pour 2 cups of hot water over the mullein and cover the cup. If you do not have a tea holder, you will have to strain the leaves out before drinking your tea. You do not want to get the leaves in your throat as they have tiny hairs that could irritate your throat. You should always cover your tea as the medicinal properties of the plant are volatile and your medicine will be less potent.

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