Most everyone is familiar with mullein, Verbascum thapsis, the “flannel plant”. Even if you don’t know what it is, it’s rather conspicuous with it’s basil rosette of big, grayish green, downy, feltlike, ovate leaves, or it’s 2nd year flower spikes, sometimes towering 5 to 6 feet tall, with yellow flowers blooming cylindricaly at the top.
Mullein is found from the Atlantic coast west as far as Kansas and South Dakota or even farther. It grows in clearings, fields, pastures, waste places, road and ditch banks.
This is another plant with an entire medicine cabinet to it’s credit. It has been used as a diuretic, expectorant, for coughs, hoarsness, bronchitis, and whooping cough. The flowers steeped or boiled in vinegar have been used for nasal congestion and other upper respiratory conditions. An oil infusion of the leaves is supposed to be a very good earache remedy, and the leaves are said to be an excellent poultice for difficult sores and wounds.
I can personally vouch for effectiveness of the tincture as a bronchitis relief medicine, as I have used this for myself on several occasions.