Mullein: A Traditional Herb for Earache

Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) is an herb native to Europe, Asia and North Africa and has a long history of medical use among various cultures. Early American settlers brought it from Europe because it was known for its ability to help treat ailments such as coughs and diarrhea. Over time, the antiviral and antibacterial properties of mullein have received greater attention in herbal medicine and in preliminary research for its ability to treat infections in the respiratory tract including the mouth, throat, nose and ear. 

Compounds found in Mullein leaves and flowers are classified in traditional herbal medicine as expectorants (promotes the discharge of mucus) and demulcents (soothes irritation or inflammation of mucous membranes). An infused oil of Mullein flowers is a gentle and highly regarded remedy for treating ear infection in adults and children. The mullein is prepared with St. John's Wort and garlic in an olive oil base to help ease pain during acute ear infection (see the recipe in this newsletter).

Two important cautions: never use tea tree oil in your recipe as it's too potent for inside the ear; if a rupture is suspected or you are not sure of the cause of the ear pain, do not use an oil preparation - it can obscure a physician's view of the eardrum. 

Consult with a holistic healthcare professional to make the appropriate preparation of mullein for treating ear infection.

References:

California School of Herbal Studies: http://www.cshs.com/herbsOfMonth/mullein.html

TraditionalRoots.org. Post by, McDonald, J. "Mullein." https://traditionalroots.org/mullein-verbascum-thapsus/

Sarrell, E. M., Cohen, H. A., & Kahan, E. (January 01, 2003). Naturopathic treatment for ear pain in children. Pediatrics, 111, 5, 574-9.

Photo Credit: https://www.medicinetalkpro.org/pt_newsletter_images/aug2019/Aug19_Herb_img.jpg