Mostly known as a respiratory herb but she has many other uses. Read on to learn about Mullein’s common names and the reasons behind them:
Quaker’s Rouge – the hairs on the leaves are an irritant. Quaker women would rub their cheeks with the hairy leaves to create a red irritation or as they saw it – rouge.
Cowboy Toilet Paper – the leaves are used as loo roll – wipe in the directions of the hairs otherwise your bum may be sore.
Candlewick Plant, Hag’s Taper, Witch’s Taper – Mullein was used as a wick for candles before cotton was used.
White Man’s Footsteps – the leaves were placed inside shoes to keep feet warm.
Torchwort – the stems were dried and stripped, dipped in tallow to make torches. This dates back to Roman times.
Another use but this one doesn’t get a nickname – the seeds were thrown into water to stun fish to make them easier to catch for food.
Mullein in ancient times was the plant to ward off evil and protect against curses. Well this kind of makes sense as in these times sickness was attributed to magic and evil spirits. Now, Mullein can help you fall asleep as it is mildly sedating but some say it encourages lucid and prophetic dreams as well as astral travel.
To this day I had not heard of Astral travel before – I thought it sounded like travelling in space in a rocket or something!! How little I know! It’s more interesting than that – it means out of body experiences.
To find out more about Mulleins modern day health uses, see the Mullein Monograph.