- Mullein is weedy and thus widely available, the only major thing to consider is that harvesting is best in areas that are free of pollutants. Collect the large basal leaves that are close to the ground at most any time of year, and collect flowers in the summer, mid-morning after the dew has dried.
- The silvery green leaves and bright yellow flowers of mullein have been utilized for thousands of years in herbal traditions. This gentle herb has been used extensively in European and North American folk medicine and thus has a plethora of folk tales associated with it. Presently, mullein can be found at health food stores often prepared as soothing leaf tea or an ear oil made of infused flowers.
- Mullein is a biennial herbaceous member of the Scrophulariaceae family, bearing silvery green and extremely fuzzy leaves, and growing up to eight feet in height. In the first year, it appears as a basal rosette of leaves, and in the second year, it sends up huge flower spikes with many bright densely clustered yellow flowers which only open for one day. Its generic name, Verbascum, is thought to be derived from the Latin word ‘barbascum’ with ‘barba’ meaning beard and referring to the hairy leave
- It has over 200 hundred species including V. nigrum and V. blattaria, many of which can be used interchangeably. It is native to northern Africa, the Canary and Madeira Islands, many regions in Asia and Europe, and is now widely naturalized throughout the world and growing as a weed in disturbed soils. It will grow in compacted poor soil.
- The deep root helps to help break up the soil and then when the leaves die, the dead foliage adds nutrients the soil. Interestingly enough, often it improves soil, making it good enough for other plants to thrive, and then moves on and quits growing there.
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