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Quick fix: earache.

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Mullein oil is extremely fast in getting that earache to subside.

So your kid has an earache? Or even you?

Way back when, a hundred years ago (and 25 years ago, in places in Finland), they used to sell olive or almond oil by the ounce, in pharmacies, for earaches.

You just put a drop or three into the aching ear and the problem is gone.

And that's all very nice and good, but if you want to stop that earache from recurring - strengthen the mucous membranes of the ear, as it were - you want to make your own mullein flower oil.

The usual way as found in herb books is, "pick single flowers off a large-flowered mullein one by one by one by one, put them into a glass jar, and put that into a sunny window. In a few days (or weeks) you'll have a clear mullein oil".

Now I don't know about you, but I have lots of things to do, and picking single flowers one by one by one by one by one simply isn't one of them.

No, I lop off mullein flowerstalks underneath the lowest flowers /seedpods / flowerbuds, and let them dry, hanging in bundles in a shady spot. Once they're completely dried out (7-10 days) I put on my gloves and pull everything off that flowerstalk - that's what I call "mullein flowers". Then I make a normal herb oil on a waterbath, using the dried mullein flowers (check the salves category for how-tos on herbal oils (and salves)). All parts of mullein (including the flowers) are covered in itchy hairs, so after straining the oil through cheesecloth you better let it run through a coffee filter, too. If you don't, well, your earaches will be gone, but your ears will itch like crazy.

Mullein is a nice anti-inflammatory, and the oil is very good for earaches and for muscle and joint pains. Try it, you'll be glad you did!

Related entries: Mullein itches - The midnight earache - Earaches in kids - Ech for earaches - Yellow flowers: Mullein


oh man, i have to say: this winter i really struggled with my ears, for the first time in a while. (not that it's much of a surprise - i had tubes and the whole nine yards as a kid). anyway, the thing that did it for me, even faster than the oil, was onions. i haven't [taken a moment to] figure out the mechanism whereby it works, but slice a nice thick round slab of onion and saute it gently until it's soft (or, if you feel too lousey, just let your husband burn it to a crisp: it seems to work anyway!), then wrap it in a soft cloth and put it on your ear. do one for both ears. i'm tellin' you - it really works! must be a volitle oil thing, is all i can figure. just a hot water bottle doesn't seem to have the same effect.

Well, yeah, the time factor certainly comes into play, but I rather like picking mullein flowers...

They make an exceptional fresh tincture; good as an antiinflammatory, good as a lymphatic, good to ease pain. I like combining it with red root, and have used this for swellings/abcesses in the ear and for a diagnosed case of meniere's disease, which resolved completely and hasn't returned in several months now. This was an early case, just beginning to manifest, and another person, who's had meniere's for years, has been trying it out, but no luck yet.

Some people find mullein flowers rather notably sedative, but I think they're only ever so mildly so...

Thanks Katja - it's nice to have another remedy in the arsenal.

And thanks Jim - but have you tried the "everything off the flowerstalk" approach in your fresh tincture? I'd be interested in how it would compare to the fresh flowers only tincture.

nope, haven't yet. I'd guess it'd certainly be less... elegant. Don't know about mullein stalks up your way, but here they're insect highrises, and they tend to attract multitudes of tiny critters; don't know how I'd ever seperate them from the mullein stalk debris.

Also, I'm still uncertain of the degree to which mullein seeds are "toxic". I think this is due to the Rotenone they contain, but as this also occurs in the leaves, I'm not sure if its just an issue of concentration or what. But, my point is, till I'm sure about this, or at least have some sort of grounded notion, I probably wouldn't be encourageing the internal use of a preparation containing a (likely large) quantity of mullein seeds.

I haven't seen any bugs in my mulleins - not aphids, not spiders, nothing.
Dunno about the saponins in the seeds, though. They're about as bad as eating soap ... see, fish get stunned by the saponins because these saponins remove the water tension. Humans will get stunned from saponins as soon as we grow gills.
And how high a dose of your fresh herb tincture? Drops? NO problem.

yup... less than 10 drops. I like 7; such a nice number...

You've never seen bugs in mullein stalks? Really? That's amazing...

Do you get a gazillion bugs in your red clover? we do, ya got to leave them out for a bit so the tenants can vacate before you bring them in to dry, otherwise you keep waving your hands around in the air, wondering wher the open window is...

Mullein has more crawling black specks than flying critters...

Nope, no black specks on the mullein flowers. I don't remember any of the yellow-loving beetles on mullein either; you know, the ones that are abundant on dandelion flowers and SJW, but which move off if you leave your take in the shade for a while.

I don't remember if the red clover is inhabited; by the time the harvesting basket is at home the clover is pretty clean.

Jim I think maybe this could be a real difference in global location of the Mullein. I too have always noticed a ton of insect activity in mullein tops ...but then again , we are both in Michigan ! And that is also funny Henriette about your beetles on dandelion flowers cause I usually find those to be pretty clean over here. This all reminds me of a co-worker of my husbands' who came here for a 2 year term from Italy. He had copious allergies to everything outdoors there, but when he came here he felt like he was reborn! No allergies at all...different plants , different insects and different rules for his immune system I guess. So it could make some sense that insects would react differently to plants in various locales ...

And possibly those black specks have ferocious predators up here, or can't survive our winters, eh? And that Italian guy allergy thing is very interesting, thanks!

Got all excited about harvesting my mullien flowers this year, turned my back for a couple of days and they are covered in big yellow and black caterpillars (every plant!) the stems are almost bald. I will surrender my crop to them and see what they grow into.

Owie. Perhaps the mullein flowers will come back? They do if you just chop off the flowerstalk - it takes a few weeks.

I have niece that has a earache and now woke up with a black eye,Doctor said it was swimmers ear two days ago . Just wondering if anyone has seen or heard of this,and if yes what fixed it.