Mullein

Sometimes the land will surprise you.

This year it’s given me little but trouble: plagues of pests, endemic blackberry brambles, swampy bogs, poor growing conditions, ivy and black locust. And pests. And did I mention pests?

But it’s also given me plenty of wild onions, a few unexpected wild blueberry and elderberry bushes, and this:

Mullein, Verbascum thapsus. Adam’s Flannel, Beggar’s Blanket, Candlewick Plant, Flannel Plant, Hag’s Taper.

It has been used for centuries (all the way back to the Greeks) as a treatment for coughs and colds due to its expectorant and anti-inflammatory properties. It can be used as an antifungal remedy, an antihistamine, a hair dye, as a treatment for eczema. It is used for candle wicks and torches and toilet paper, and can also produce yellow and green dyes.

Its leaves even contain rotenone, an insecticide.

Perhaps Mother Nature’s apologizing for the past year?

One Response to “Mullein”

  1. debbie swickard Says:

    Awww, don’t be too harsh on Ma Nature. She just wanted to be sure you weren’t some fly-by-night farmer wannabe. She was testing you to see if you have True Grit. Seems you do. Congratulations! You’re rewards have only just begun…

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