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Lambs ear??

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MsRosie blog
Joined: 2/12/2008
Location: East TN
Posts: 2
Posted: Mar/02/2008 12:52 PM PST

I have the usual "Lambs ear" plant in my flower bed. A new plant has appeared in a nearby field, it feels like lambs ear, it's almost the same color, but it's in the shape of a "cabbage head". What on earth is it? Can anyone identify this plant?
told2b blog photos
Joined: 9/12/2006
Location: Northern, NJ
Posts: 10376
Posted: Mar/03/2008 1:08 AM PST

Google for pictures of Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)
imalittlebumblebee photos
Joined: 2/06/2008
Location: zone3 North Dakota
Posts: 26
Posted: Mar/03/2008 10:26 AM PST

a friend of mine had a few of them in her garden...she used miricle grow on them and they got huge!!!
lilmac442 blog photos
Joined: 10/29/2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1687
Posted: Mar/03/2008 7:10 PM PST

I actually bought what I thought was a lambs ear at a local nursery years ago. It grew into a very huge tall yellow flowering thing-Verbascum thapsus . A common weed here. I was so disapointed...and too embarrassed to take it back.
bensmom98 blog photos
Joined: 7/26/2006
Location: Lake Champlain Valley
Posts: 9121
Posted: Mar/06/2008 2:07 PM PST

Originally posted by lilmac442
I actually bought what I thought was a lambs ear at a local nursery years ago. It grew into a very huge tall yellow flowering thing-Verbascum thapsus . A common weed here. I was so disapointed...and too embarrassed to take it back.

ROFL!!! We have those all over the place, too. Why on Earth was the nursery selling them?
garden98011 blog photos
Joined: 1/15/2008
Location: Bothell
Posts: 1717
Posted: Mar/06/2008 10:19 PM PST

Could it be: _details.asp?item_no=S14164. I had something similar years ago, but it was eaten, never to return again~Andrea
ilovemy13goats photos
Joined: 7/23/2008
Location: Willis
Posts: 1
Posted: Jul/23/2008 1:32 PM PST

Ahhh....the lowly Mullein has been used medicinally for centuries as an expectorant and anti-viral agent, treating inflammation of the respiratory tract membranes and for coughs and sore throats. (and apparently is now backed by scientific evidence) People use the leaves and flowers (it flowers the second year) to make a tea or infusion. (Tea: boiling 1 tbs. dried leaves or root, in 1 cup water for 5 - 10 min. A sweeter tea can be made by infusing the fresh or dried flowers.) Mullein flowers have a degree of activity against strains of influenza virus and herpes simplex virus. Used externally to sooth skin and help heal wounds. A poultice of the leaves can be applied to sunburn, ulcers, & tumors.

"Some valuable constituents contained in Mullein are Coumarin and Hesperidin, they exhibit many healing abilities. Research indicates some of the uses as analgesic, antihistaminic, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, antioxidant, antiviral, bacteristat, cardio-depressant, estrogenic, fungicide, hypnotic, sedative and pesticide are valid.

An infusion is taken internally in the treatment of a wide range of chest complaints and also to treat diarrhea and bleeding of the lungs and bowels. The leaves, root, and the flowers are anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, demulcent, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, nervine, and vulnerary.
Mullein oil is a very medicinal and valuable destroyer of disease germs. An infusion of the flowers in olive oil is used as earache drops, or as a local application in the treatment of piles and other mucous membrane inflammations. This infusion is a strong antibacterial. The oil being used to treat gum and mouth ulcers is very effective. A decoction of the roots is used to alleviate toothache and also relieve cramps and convulsions. It is also used in alternative medicine for the treatment of migraine headaches accompanied with oppression of the ear.

The whole plant possess slightly sedative and narcotic properties. The seeds are considered toxic. They have been historically used as a narcotic and also contain saponins."

And you thought it was a useless weed!!!!!
Aurora blog photos
Joined: 4/24/2008
Location: Chesapeake VA
Posts: 1954
Posted: Jul/23/2008 1:36 PM PST

WOW! I need to start growing those
alswilling blog photos
Joined: 11/11/2008
Posts: 1
Posted: Nov/11/2008 8:52 PM PST

In response to the post about the medicinal properties of mullein, I have some first-hand information.

I'm half Tsa-La-Gi (Cherokee), and my parents and ancestors have used mullein as medicine for lung infections and earaches almost from the time mullein was brought to this country.

Recently, a near-lethal allergic reaction to iodinated contrast medium given to me before a CT scan left me with cerebral edema (swelling of the brain) and a suppressed immune system. I cleared up the cerebral edema with a combination of Marshmallow root, dandelion root and leaves, apple juice, and parsley--all diuretics, with the marshmallow root being an osmotic diuretic, which is the same treatment doctors use for the problem. Shortly after clearing up the cerebral edema, I developed pneumonia. Not having insurance or the money to go to a doctor, I had to treat myself as best I could. Fortunately, I knew about mullein.

Since mullein is common in this part of the country, I gathered the equivalent of one large plant to use for the pneumonia and to have onhand in case of a relapse. I cured the pneumonia in the following way:

Taking one medium-large leaf (about 4"x8"), I boiled about a quart of water in a sauce pan on the stovetop. When the water came to a rolling boil, I took it off the heat and put in the mullein leaf and allowed it to steep for about three minutes. I set the pan on a pot holder on the kitchen table, got a towel, and draped it over my head, with my face over the pot. I deeply breathed the vapor for approximately 15-20 minutes, until the liquid was too cool to produce vapors.

Within 30 minutes, the congestion in my lungs began to break up. By the next day, the congestion had almost cleared; but there was still a little congestion deep in my lungs. I repeated the treatment the following afternoon, and by the time I went to bed, the congestion had completely cleared.

Along with the pneumonia, I also had developed a sinus infection and infection of the Eustachian tubes that connect the inner ears to the throat. As the mullein cleared the lung infection, it also cleared the sinus and Eustachian tube infections.

My grandmother used a tincture of the mullein flowers to cure ear infections. She dropped the tincture into the ear canal.

In addition to its antiseptic and antibiotic properties, mullein also seems to have some antiviral properties.

Used to treat ear, sinus, and lung infections, it is perfectly safe. I have never seen anyone treated with mullein who required more than three treatments, i.e., one treatment per day for three days.

While an excellent medicinal plant, mullein should not be eaten or taken internally any more than is necessary. It should be confined to breathing the vapors or using tincture of the blossoms for ear infections, because the entire plant contains small amounts of coumarin and rotenone. Ingesting the cooked leaves or stalk of the plant in quantities that one would ingest of cooked greens such as cabbage, kale, or turnip greens could be sufficient to poison a human being, especially small children.

Provided they are filtered to prevent the irritating hairs on the leaves from being ingested, cough syrups and teas are safe, as are tinctures used to treat earaches.

While the leaves, stalk, and blossoms of the mullein plant are very good medicine and are safe to use, mullein seeds contain a very high concentration of coumarin, a blood thinner used in the treatment of blood clots--and also used in rat poison--and rotenone, which is an active ingredient in pesticides and is used by fish hatcheries to kill unwanted fish.

Native Americans once used mullein seeds to make a solution which they poured into the water to paralize fish, which would float to the top of the water. The fishermen would then just gather the fish and take them home to cook and eat. The solution made from the mullein seeds were enough to paralize the fish but not toxic to humans. The rotenone was absorbed quickly into the fish's blood stream through their gills, but the concentration was too low to be harmful to humans.

Mullein can be dried in a dark place inside a brown paper bag or wrapped in brown paper. The freshly cut leaves can also be frozen. Dried mullein will retain its medicinal properties for one year, until the plant is in season again. If wrapped to prevent freezer burn, frozen leaves will retain their properties for about 18 months.

Follow the Native American example when gathering medicinal herbs of any kind: Never take the entire plant. If there is only one plant to be found, only take part of the plant. If there are several plants, never take them all. Take only what you think you will need to get you through the winter to the next growing season. That will ensure that mullein will be available again next year for you or someone else who might need it.


witt blog photos
Joined: 3/28/2008
Location: Lancaster, SC
Posts: 16643
Posted: Nov/12/2008 5:15 AM PST

Very interesting. Thanks for the info!
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