Mullein: Smokable medicine


Wild Girl holding a mullein leaf & smoking it with lemon balm

You can find mullein in sunny, disturbed waste places like roadsides. Native American tribes historically smoked the dried leaves of the fuzzy plant, known by its Latin name Verbascum thapsus, for an array of healing uses. The Navajo used it to cure fevers; the Hopi as a cure for insanity; the Iroquois for hiccups. Modern herbalists regard it as soothing for the lungs. I like to add it to smoking mixtures because it adds a fluffy, soft, airy texture; tonight I paired it with some lemon balm, a.k.a. Melissa officinalis.

The leaves of Melissa are calming when brewed in a tea, as well as when ignited and inhaled.


Mullein in the urban wilds

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28 thoughts on “Mullein: Smokable medicine

  1. “Native Americans” didn’t “historically” use mullein for anything, since it was never here until the White man brought it here. So why not talk about the historical uses for Mullein in Europe, where we used it for thousands of years.

  2. i love it and i cant belive my eyes thankyou so much for teaching me all that you have god must have sent you thank you again and god bless you

  3. I have been making a concoction from mullein leaves, dandelion leaves, catnip, plantain leaves and some mint. I wash them really good, then put them in a blender and add 1 cup water. Pulverizing them thoroughly, then straining the pulp in a cloth. It makes a really nice green drink that gives you good energy.

  4. For the past years, I could feel my nerves, (either on the right or left side) of my back. It was very painful or uncomfortable, depending on the day. I pulled some fresh mullein leaves from my garden one evening, and made a tea. I woke up, from a good nights rest and had no pain on my right side, (buttocks down to my ankle). I continued drinking the remaining tea that I made, for the next two days, (2 pints). Now I have no pain from my sciatic nerve. APIDTA!
    The tea taste good with no sugar.

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  6. Seed and flower oil of mullein is poisen to insects you say. What about an insect repellant, does it do that or what plant really does? I have used claimed formulas of mixed different essential oils but they do very little good. What did the native americans, and early fronteersmen and women use for mosquitoes, ticks, chiggers and fleas? They had no Deet. Thank you, morris mozarmorez@msn.com

      • Yarrow works well. We have some growing in our yard and on summer nights I pick a flowering head to rub on my arms and legs before sitting on out on the deck.

      • Yarrow works amazing and smells good. Use it all the time. I pick it when flowers are in full bloom then soak flower heads, stems and leaves in an unsented oil… like olive oil… in a mason jar sealed for until the next spring.. Strain and place in smaller containers to carry in your pack and reapply as often as required. You do have to re apply often but works like a charm…

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  8. The mullien plant is one of the first plants i learned to use medicinally..the tribal elder i grew up around got my interest up about this plant (mullien).He asked if i knew of this plant that grew in his backyard mullien an when he showed it to me i said no i new nothing about the plant. I was kind of embarassed cause i though of myself as knowlegable about plants . He schooled me on mullien ,, thats been many years ago maybe 15 or so. I learned to eat wild plants way before i learned the medicinal properties of others. Guess its my up bringing ,, we hunted and we gathered wild plants , fruits, an game..such as fish, deer, rabbits and birds…and we still do.

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    • Sean,

      I haven’t tried Damiana as it doesn’t grow around here. I looked in my plant books and none of them listed it, so I checked Wikipedia and learned that it’s native to Central America instead. Apparently some people say it mimics marijuana in its effects. Do you concur?

  11. There’s a guy who runs a survival school out in Alberta who taught me that a thoroughly dried mullein flower stalk makes a great hand drill for fire-by-friction. Never tried it though. Mullein isn’t that prevalent around here.

      • In the UK we use Mullein for a bow drill on cedar/pine boards. It is extremely dense and will even survive fires intact when everything else has long turned to ashes. It’s an amazing plant for survival :)

    • Yuppers, mullein stalk is one of my fave hand drill stalks. It works super well and it’s relatively easy to find nice long straight ones.

  12. Mullein is one of my favorite herbs. Each summer I’m blessed with a few volunteers in my garden (the plant doesn’t like to be transplanted due to its deep root so it stays wherever it grows, even it it’s in the middle of a bed of carrots). It’s the flowers I like to harvest, leaving some for the bees of course. I dry them a bit, then infuse them in olive oil for a few weeks and either use the oil as is or make it into a salve. The flower oil is soothing and antibacterial. Mullein and garlic oil is great for kid’s ear infections. Mullein oil/salve soothes skin irritations, rashes, scrapes, etc. Mullein, with its second year flower stalk is a beautiful plant.

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