Many years ago I gathered seeds from a tall flower stock growing wild along side the bumpy, dirt road leading to our favorite fishing hole and planted the tiny seeds on the farm. Mullein grows wild along most of the major roads here in the west. It is a tall, striking plant that blooms in the summer. The flowers are small and nondescript and bloom in secession along the tall stalk. Gather the fresh flowers to make an infused oil for ear aches, and dry them for tea to help sooth a cough and clear up congestion.
We let mullein grow where ever it wants on our farm. It is quite drought resistant, but enjoys frequent watering.
EAR ACHE OIL
Gather 2 cups of mullein flowers. Place in a quart jar and cover with 1 cup extra virgin olive oil. Set in a sunny window for 1 week. Shake often. Strain our flowers. Gather more flowers and pour the strained oil over top. Let steep another week in a sunny window. Strain. Bottle in dark glass bottles. I keep this in the fridge. For an ear ache, place several drops on a cotton ball. Gently heat the mullein oiled cotton ball by placing it in on a hot stove cooking burner for several seconds. Place in infected ear. Use caution and do not burn your ear. Change every few hours.
----add beeswax to the oil infusion for a wonderful healing balm--------especially good for diaper rash
TEA FOR COLDS, COUGH, AND CONGESTION
Dry the flowers on a large window screen out of direct sunlight. Store in a dark glass container. To 1 cup of boiling water add 2-4 tablespoons of crushed, dried, mullein flowers. Let steep covered for 10 minutes. Strain flowers and add lots of real honey and fresh lemon juice. This is a bitter tea, but will help sooth the throat and clear congestion. This tea has been used for thousands of years. In addition to it's expectorant action, it has bactericidal proprieties that helps stop the muscle spasms that trigger coughs. It is also good to use at the first signs of the flu.
The dried leaves may also be used, but you must strain the tea extremely well to remove the tiny hairs that grow on the leaves.
Disclaimer:: Please see your doctor for serious symptoms, I'm just an ole granny who has found this to be beneficial for me and my family
the mullein is a biannual
it sends out large fuzzy leaves the first year
and produces a tall flower and seed stock the second year