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A place for my Workings, my Weavings ...
oh, and my more mundane crafts as well.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Herbalism: Mullein leaf Draught for the Respiratory System - Pt1

Being that the bug Kara caught has succeeded in settling into her chest (where she has a congenital weakness due to having been born 2 months premature) I'm going to be making an herbal draught of Mullein leaf today.

Mullein is a wonderful plant which has a multitude of uses ... you can infuse the little yellow flowers and it's tiny black seeds in oil to create an anti-microbial and pain relieving infusion that works wonders with ear infections (especially in children who are so prone to them) ... you can dip it's long candle-like flower stalk in wax to create a natural torch (strongly recommend sticking the torch in a bucket of sand to avoid being burned by dripping wax) ... and the leaves can be tinctured in alcohol or infused as a draught.

DO NOT ... I repeat do NOT make the mistake of using the large, woolly, grey-green leaves as TOILET PAPER if you find yourself  out in the wild and in need of some. As soft as these leaves feel to the fingers, they have some very unpleasant fiberglass-like guard hairs that will make things very uncomfortable for anyone foolish enough to draw them across sensitive mucous membranes. Often people will make this mistake due to the fact that the plant is commonly referred to, mainly in the USA, as "Cowboy Toilet Paper".
(No, I haven't experienced this first-hand and I have no wish to ;-p )

I have some Mullein leaf brewing as a tincture but, being that a tincture takes 6 weeks before it is ready to decant, it's not going to be ready in time to be of use for Kara's current situation.

Therefore, I opt for the draught. Now, when I was living up on the acreage where the Mullein grew aplenty, I wildcrafted and prepared my own draught regularly. Being somewhere between moderately and severely asthmatic, I found the draught brought a great relief to my breathing and the amount of mucous my lungs created allowing me to forego my cortisone inhaler.

Making it is really easy ... you simply need:

  • dried Mullein leaf - 28 grams (1 dry ounce)
  • water - 1 Litre (34 fluid ounces)
  • a glass container like a large Mason jar
28g of Mullein leaf and you just see my assortment of
brewing tinctures in the top right of the shot,
on the far side of  the blue honey pot.
Put the Mullein leaf into the glass container and boil the water. Once the water is at a rollicking boil, pour it into the glass container and then cap and set aside to steep for 12 hours. This will cause the water to turn a dark brown colour as the mullein is infused into it.

Sadly, being that a good 97% of my things are in storage, I don't have any large Mason jars to work with. The only thing I have that will hold everything is my 1L Thermos pitcher, which does not allow you to see what the beginning infusion looks like. However, if you know me on Facebook, you can go into my Crafting photo album there and see what it looked like when I was making it at the acreage.

Filled Thermos pitcher ready for capping.

A closer shot of the opening of the pitcher, so you can
see the Mullein and water inside it.

Tightly capped and having been given a good shake, I'm now
leaving it to steep for 12 hours.
I'll come back and post Part 2 when the infusion is ready for the next stage.

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