Now is a great time to take a summer herb walk. Your first aid herbs await. The skies have been so bright blue and warm and the evenings chilled with rain that the plants are overflowing with medicine and vigor.
Our first stop is at the mullein plants. This is one of our favorite herbs. Every few days Doug and I head out to gather the yellow flowers from the top of the stalk which easily pop out in your fingers. These are put in a paper lunch bag with a few holes punched in it that is clearly marked Mullein. Herbs do tend to look alike once dried!
We use the mullein flowers for a couple of different things. They are excellent for lungs. They are anti-viral as well as soothing to the bronchial tract and the lining of the lungs. They are invaluable in asthma remedies and in cold medicine.
They are also a mild pain reliever, especially excellent for animals and children.
The leaves are very soft and when put in an extract or tea form it becomes gelatinous. This effect is called demulcent and acts like a blanket, if you will. Once consumed it helps cover nerve endings that are misfiring for pain (so a great supporting actor in pain medicines), used to settle the stomach and help with ulcers since it creates a covering over the lining of the stomach. Similarly, it also creates a soothing lining on the lungs when a hacking cough arises.
The humble Christmas pine tree holds in its boughs a myriad of medicines. It is a strong pain reliever for strains, sprains, and breaks used topically and also speeds healing.
Yarrow=Blood. Should one fall whilst running through the woods on a fine summer day and obtains a wound will find yarrow to be most helpful. Simply crush the flowers in the hand and apply to the wound to stop bleeding.
Yarrow stops bleeding externally whereas it keeps blood from clotting internally making it a fine heart medicine and ally in varicose vein and other blood related extracts including blood cleansing remedies.
Yucca abounds and is a much desired component in any pain relieving remedy for internal or external use. Yucca root is a wonderful anti-inflammatory.
The leaves and roots can be boiled to release the saponin which is essentially soap. Taken internally as a tea or when used in extracts the saponin cleanses the organs and acts as a tonic while decreasing inflammation and pain from arthritis and other inflammatory diseases.
A Summer Herb Liniment (for strains, sprains, and other aches and pains externally)
Combine in a one quart canning jar a piece of pine 4-6 inches long, 3-4 inches wide. Just shove it in there.
Add a 3 inch long chunk of yucca root
Add 2 Tablespoons of mullein flowers and two smaller mullein leaves.
Add one head of yarrow
And one cup of mint.
These herbs can be dried or fresh.
Fill jar leaving one inch head space with vodka. Replace lid and mark jar with ingredients and date. Place in sunny window. Liniment will be ready in 2 weeks. Should you come across comfrey you can add that too and the liniment will help heal breaks in record time! I do not strain the liniment. The stronger the better. The shelf life is forever thanks for the vodka! Apply with a cotton ball or flat strips of an old cotton t-shirt. This remedy can be used for animals as well as children and adults.
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We had these weird fuzzy cabbages growing next to our driveway early this spring. I did some reading and was so happy to find out it was mullein! We have a total of three on the property, and I’ve been picking the flowers daily and drying them. Our big one is about 8 feet tall! I’m sure our neighbors are sick of it, but it makes me so happy to see those bright yellow flowers every morning 🙂
The mullein this year is beautiful, isn’t it?!
Love this type of post! thanks…. also I have a pine in my yard but how would I be able to tell if its the variety of pine that is not harmful?
Pines are not dangerous but the one with the best cooling effect are spruces or ones that look like Christmas trees!
Do you have a recipe for mullein leaves
What are you wishing to use it for? It becomes somewhat gelatinous in water so using it as tea or in a tea blend with sooth irritated lung tissues and digestive system. In an extract I like to blend elderberries, mullein flowers, mullein leaf, and bear root or Echinacea for a strong cold medicine and antibiotic. I also like to use it with digestive herbs like lemon balm and ginger to help sooth ulcers, help the digestive system remedy itself, or sooth heartburn.
I believe somewhere on the article you had mentioned that Mullen is good for nerve endings I also use bare root or Osha root..thank you for responding bsck
You mean BEAR root! Very important distinction. It is called that by native cultures because bears would dig it up. It is a powerful antibiotic and used in ceremony by most indigenous cultures for protection. I, myself use it as such as a Cherokee and my Hopi roommate does the same. Any demulcent plant (common mallow, marshmallow root, any elm, mullein leaf, et cetera, will help sooth nerve endings. Add it to a nervine, like valerian or poppy, an analgesic, like birch or willow, and an anti-inflammatory, like yucca or rose hips. Lovely.
I am Cherokee Western ban Wolf Clan my people come up out of Missouri I use their room all the time I’m what I’m looking for is for something for nerve damage any ideas would be helpful thank you..wado
Osiyo! Tohiju? I am also western band through Missouri to Texas to Oklahoma. My ancestry on one side was (wayaha) wolf clan. We may be cousins, my friend. The other side of my family was eastern band. The very best herb for nerve damage is St. John’s Wort. Hands down. I use it for Neuropathy and other nerve damage. It cannot be taken if the client is on anti-depressants as the pharma is the same derivative. But if they are not nothing heals it better. Since it is such a “big” herb I do like to blend it with other nervines like poppy, valerian, skullcap, even some mild ones like lavender with the mullein leaf. Really, really effective. Glad to hear you are making medicine. An important craft and gift.
I thinking a tincture yes? ..or a tea for St Johns because I have that in some of my salves for my psoriasis. .I believe we are all related my sister..it is possible
I should mention that I am not an enrolled member. My family was not on the final Dawes rolls.
I I’m not enrolled member either