Archive for August 9th, 2010

Moth Mullein – Verbascum blattaria

Moth Mullein Flowers

The common name of Moth Mullein refers to the fancied resemblance of the flowers to moths; although I don’t see it myself. It has also been called flannel plant, candlewick plant, or velvet plant

This plant repels insects. In days past it was noted that women from New England used to pack this plant away with the winter woolens for the summer to keep moths out. It has also been strewn indoors to keep cockroaches from invading.

Moth Mullein has been used as a dye. Using the leaves, flowers, and stalk a range of colors are possible depending on mordant use and fabric dyed. The fabrics traditionally dyed are wool and silk. The colors produced on these fabrics are including yellow, gold, bright yellow, moss green and dark yellow-green

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Mullein – Verbascum thapsus

Common Mullein Flowers

I have, in the past made up Kinnikkinnik, a Native smoking mixture. I always add mullien to the mix for its soothing abilities. If the mix is for someone attempting to quit smoking topbacco, then it is a must for the formulae!

This is a biennial plant. The first year the plant is a rosette of leaves that hug the ground. The second year it puts up a stalk on which the flowers grow.

It can be used in an infused oil for ear infection in children. You would infuse the flowers (dried or fresh) in olive oil. To use you would warm the oil and place one to five drops into the ear canal. Block the ear with cotton.

Native Americans used the smoke for the treatment of asthma. As an infusion it was taken for a wide range of chest complaints, diarrhea, and bleeding in the lungs as well as bowels.

Warning: The seeds are believed to be poisonous, so use care in their use