Mullein Infusion and Mullein Milk can be used to relieve acute lung problems, such as bronchitis, pneumonia, SARS, even coughs, to strengthen the lungs, or to restore health to lung tissues after "assaults" such as tobacco smoke or radiation and to relieve allergies and asthma.
Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) is a stately fuzzy-leaved plant frequently found on roadsides and other sunny open places. This common weed is one of the world's best lung allies. You can buy dried mullein, or harvest your own.
No other wild plant looks like it: its large (a foot or more) fuzzy (used for candlewicks) leaves and the upright (five feet or more is common) stalk of yellow flowers (a famous ear oil is made from them) make it easy to recognize.
To harvest, I cut the entire stalk of plants just beginning to flower and hang them, upside down, in a shady place to dry.
To brew mullein infusion, I fill a quart canning jar about half full of cut and crushed mullein leaf and stalk pieces. (If using commercial herb, I use one ounce by weight.) I fill the jar to the top with boiling water, cap tightly, and let it sit at room temperature for four hours, or overnight.
Mullein leaves are fuzzy, and mullein infusion can be too. To protect my throat, I always strain my mullein infusion through tightly-woven cloth (like a handkerchief) before drinking. The dose of mullein infusion is 1-4 cups a day.
Mullein infusion will last for 5-6 days refrigerated. It brews up to a dark brown liquid with a smoky flavour that I find quite appealing, especially with milk and honey. (More on milk below.)
To relieve acute lung problems, such as bronchitis, pneumonia, SARS, even coughs, 2-4 cups of mullein infusion a day, plus elecampane, echinacea, and/or poke root tinctures are consumed until health has returned. To strengthen the lungs, or to restore health to lung tissues after "assaults" such as tobacco smoke or radiation: 1-2 cups of mullein infusion daily for six weeks is suggested. To relieve allergies and asthma, 2-4 cups of mullein infusion every day for 6-8 weeks is amazingly effective.
Organic whole milk is, despite rumours to the contrary, one of the best foods you can eat to help your lungs. You don't have to drink milk to get its benefits. Eating raw milk cheeses and yogurt counts too.
I've been told the milk produces mucus. This idea was begun by Arnold Ehret who decided that milk and bread were "mucus forming" by slashing his arm open and looking at his blood after eating one food alone for three days. Not very scientific, to say the least. In a recent study of mucus production in the respiratory system, on a scale of one to ten, with ten being the most, water scored zero, milk one, and orange juice ten.
Organic whole milk has been considered the optimum food for mending and protecting the lungs for thousands of years. A friend just recently sent me a long article on the milk cure (especially effective for lung complaints) written in 1926. I have personally seen milk (and yogurt) help women cure themselves of Krone's (Crohn's) disease, severe animal hair allergies, severe asthma, osteoporosis, and life-threatening food reactions. I prefer to use goats' milk, but any organic milk or dairy product can be helpful to the lungs.
Modern milk production leaves a lot to be desired, it is true. That's why I prefer organic. That's why I get milk from a local farm where I can easily see whether or not the animals are well tended. That's why I support integrated organic farms - ones with animals.
Herbal tradition has it that mullein infusion should be mixed half and half with whole milk to effect the greatest benefit for the lungs. Breathe deeply. Worry and anxiety deplete the immune system.
Wise women through the centuries have kept themselves and their families safe from contagious diseases.
If we are actively dealing with infection, especially lung infections, these three powerful roots stand ready to help us: elecampane, echinacea, and poke.