Sunday, September 26, 2010


Much of my exploration of herbs has been to help my brother James recover from what has been assessed as "chemical sensitivity", "universal reactor syndrome", and "acute sinusitis". After conventional medicine, with its allergy shots, failed to give long term relief, he had been taking Benadryl just to get by. The side effect was feeling sluggish and drowsy very often. He eventually was taking six pills per a day and was pushing beyond the recommended dosage on the package. I was concerned that this would affect his liver function and have other side effects. By some good luck, I had bought some Green Tea with Cardamom at a Moslem grocery store while living in Minneapolis. The effect of this simple tea was miraculous and would clear his sinus headache within a half hour. When we had moved to Minneapolis, he was only able to drive for about 45 minutes a per a day and was basically a relief person when I was really tired. When we moved back from Minneapolis, he was able to drive more than half of the total trip to Oregon and enjoy driving. We kept filling up the thermos with hot water, stevia, the Green Tea with Cardamom, and a lemon rind. He got healthier and healthier along the way. We eventually ran out of the stockpile of this tea and could not easily find another source to get it. I found that I could make a better brew, though, by grinding fresh cardamom seeds and then boiling them. The Green Tea, while synergistically helpful, was not the crucial ingredient. It was the Cardamom that was the most helpful. We eventually built a medicinal Chai formula around this herb that was more supportive than the just the Green Tea (and had Green Tea within it too).

When I looked up the herb online, we found that nearly everything that Cardamom was known to help was a symptom that my brother had. It seems that Mullein is also similar in this manner. We are adding this to the list of herbs we have found that is helpful to my brother's condition. Among them are Ephedra (just a pinch), Fenugreek, Feverfew (especially for the headache part), Turmeric (generally good anti-inflamatory), Kombucha (for the enzymes and probiotics), Wild Cherry Bark, Slippery Elm, Saint John's Wort, Kava, Valerian, Mugwort, Camomile, Mint (as a synergist to help other herbs work well), Golden Seal, Oregon Grape Root, Andrographis (the last three seem to be anti-candida herbs or anti-systemic infection), Black Seed, and Cinnamon. There are a few synergist sets in the above list. Some are morning herbs and some are evening herbs. Licorice, Cat's Claw, Astragalus, Shatavari Root, Pleurisy, Bedstraw, Yellow Dock, Prickly Ash, Gotu Kola, Ginseng, and Gingko seem to also be helpful, but in a less obvious way.

I wanted to quote some sources that I found regarding Mullein:

From Practical Herbalism:

In more recent times, one of Mullein’s greatest advocates was Dr. John Christopher. He states, “It is the only herb known to man that has remarkable narcotic properties without being poisonous or harmful. It is a great herbal painkiller and nervous soporific, calming and quieting all inflamed and irritated nerves. In wasting diseases (such as tuberculosis or consumption), the weight steadily increases, expectoration becomes easy, cough calms, and the general condition is improved. Mullein soothes and strengthens the bowels and renal system, and is one of the most important for the glands and serous and mucous membranes. It stops the escape of fluids from ruptured vessels, and eliminates toxins.”

Mullein’s gentle nature makes it one of the very best herbs for use with children’s health problems. It combines wonderfully with Chamomile, Catnip, and Lemon Balm where appropriate, and can be used to address a wide variety of childhood diseases.

From The How To Herb Book:

  • Used in all respiratory problems and pulmonary diseases.
  • Loosens mucus and expels it out of the body.
  • High in iron, magnesium, potassium, and sulfur.
  • Calms spasms and is a natural pain killer.
  • Helps to reduce swelling in glandular system.
  • Oil or extract of mullein for ear drops.

Has been used in the following:

  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Coughs
  • Croup
  • Earaches
  • Emphysema
  • Glandular swellings
  • Lungs
  • Joints, swollen, fomentation
  • Pain
  • Mucous membrane
  • Pulmonary diseases
  • Respiratory
  • Sinus
  • Sores

  • From Nutritional Herbology:

    Mullein has a folk history of use that focuses on respiratory ailments. It has traditionally been used to treat coughs, colds, croup, bronchitis, and asthma. Because of its soothing nature, it has also been used to treat hemorrhoids, ulcers, and inflammatory skin disorders. The flowers and seeds contain an essential oil used to treat earaches. Mullein is considered the herb of choice of lung ailments.

    Contain mucilaginous compounds that decrease the thickness and increase the production of mucosal fluids. These compounds also soothe inflamed tissues. Mullein also contains aromatic compounds that increase the flow of urine. The herb has been used to treat bronchitis, coughs, colds, hay fever, dysuria, nephritis and sinus congestion.

    From The Scientific Validation of Herbal Medicine by Daniel B. Mowry, Ph.D., ISBN 0-936361-00-5, page 147:

    Mullein Leaf, a demulcent, is used externally in poultices and internally in capsules to soothe irritated mucous membranes. The leaf yields a peculiar fatty matter that reduces swelling and pain. It was recommended by Dioscorides several hundred years ago, and the technique has survived ever since. Even though the plant was introduced to American soil from Europe, many North American Indian tribes used it extensively, including Catawbas, Choctaws, Creeks, Potawatomis and Menoinees. In India, Mullein has enjoyed good popularity not only as a demulcent, but also as a bacteriostatic. In that country, and a few others, Mullein has been used to treat tuberculosis for centuries. That practice has found substantiation in laboratory tests wherein Mullein significantly inhibited mycobacterium tuberculosis.

    I am planning to experiment primarily with using Mullein as an ingredient in an a medicinal herbal tea. I like that it grows right in the area where I live (Southern Oregon) and can be easily gathered. I am hoping to transplant the herb into my garden and see if it will take.

    I made a tea for my brother James which had Mullein as the main ingredient and was supported by Wild Cherry Bark, Slippery Elm, Stevia, Chamomile, Alfalfa (for the calcium), Pleurisy, Marshmallow, Cat's Claw, Lemon Balm (from my garden) and Saint John's Wort. The focus was to choose synergistic herbs that would help the hemorrhoids. But it seemed that Mullein also mitigated a sinus headache and as a kind of nerve tonic to help relax. It seems whatever helps a person relax also helps to heal (provided it does not knock a person out like a powerful sedative).

    No comments:

    Post a Comment