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Originally published January 6 2010

Use Mullein Verbascum to Heal Ear Aches and Ulcers

by Melanie Grimes

(NaturalNews) The Verbascum or Mullein family of plants is one of the oldest known medicinal plants. They have been used in herbal medicine around the world for inflammation in many parts of the body, including the lungs, the ears, the kidneys and the pelvis. The plant originated in Europe and was brought to North America by early settlers, who relied on its healing properties to treat both cough and diarrhea. It now grows in the wild, in fields and along roadsides across America.

The plant has been used to treat everything from sunburn and toothache, to rheumatism, tuberculosis, ulcers, eczema, deafness, hay fever, hemorrhoids, herpes, cystitis, and warts. Mullein is thought to be antibacterial and antiviral and even to have anticancer activity. It is a diuretic, expectorant, astringent, sedative and a demulcent.

The Latin names for the medicinal plants in the mullein family are Verbascum Thapsus, Verbascum pholmoides, and Verbascum thapsiforme. It has many colorful folk names, such as candlewick, beggar's stalk, our lady's flannel, flannel leaf, Peter's staff, velvet plant, wild ice leaf, rag paper, wooly mullein, and shepard's club.

Mullein can be applied externally to aid in the healing of tumors, hemorrhoids, and ulcers. A powder made from the roots can be sued to remove warts. Though much research has not confirmed mullein's claims on healing, many mothers know the soothing balm of mullein oil drops to calm earaches in otitis media. The oil is created by an infusion of the mullein flowers placed into olive oil.

Mullein has been used as a flavoring and is approved as such by the FDA as of 2005. There are no reports of any side effects from ingesting Mullein, but the plant does contain coumarin and a sapotoxin called rotenone which is an insecticide. Because of these ingredients, mullein is not recommended for those taking anticoagulants. Some people are allergic to the Scrophulariaceae or (figwort) family, of which mullein is a part.

Concerns about the effect of coumarin on the liver and potential liver toxicity have been sited, but evidence is lacking. Instead, there are the hundreds of years of recognized healing benefit brought by this mighty family of herbs.

About the author

Melanie Grimes is a writer, award-winning screenwriter, medical journal editor, and adjunct faculty member at Bastyr University. She also teaches homeopathy at the Seattle School of Homeopathy and the American Homeopathic Medical College.
A trained homeopath, she is the editor of the homeopathic journal, Simillimum, and has edited alternative and integrative medical journals for 15 years. She has taught creative writing, founded the first Birkenstock store in the USA and authored medical textbooks.
Her ebook on Natural Remedies for the Flu is available at:
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