By some, Mullein may be considered a weed, but it is actually an ancient and very important medicinal herb that fights respiratory infections, inflammation, sore throat and cough. The blossoms infused with garlic in Olive oil make a great ear drop for ear infections.
The plant has 2 growth phases, making a large and downy rosette in the first year, rising to an impressive flowering wand in the spring to summer of the second year. Plant prefers fertile, disturbed soil, will grow in clay, gravel or loam, likes full sun and requires only moderate water. Makes a showy and unusual garden plant. Attractive to bees and birds. Biennial, 5-7 feet tall. Zone 3-8.
The Greek physician-herbalist Dioscorides (60 AD) was one of the first to recommend its use in curing diseases of the lungs, and it remained thus employed for more than 1,800 years. The dried stalks make great torches, and the leaves are the best 'natural' toilet paper known. Dried leaves can be used as lamp wick. The seeds contain small amounts of rotenone and coumarin; Eaten by fish, they can make the fish inactive enough to be hand-caught, so the plant was used as a fishing aid. -A truly versatile plant, that asks very little, and gives so much.