February 8, 2019


Verbascum thapsus

INTRO: Mullein is a fuzzy-leaved, weedy plant that has a rich history of use dating back to the greeks (Dioscorides wrote about it!). The leaf is most often used, and it is known mostly for its action on the lungs, and can even be smoked. It is incredibly abundant in Washington, and is a fantastic and gentle medicine. I have put together a description of Mullein viewed from a Chinese medicine framework, and the unique insights that can be gained from that approach. I have attempted to use language that is accessible to those without a background in Chinese Medicine. I have also included some information on western usage. Enjoy!

PREPARATION: Hot water infusion of leaf is preferred, tincture is also used. When making the tea, be sure to strain carefully as the hairs often get into the tea and can irritate the throat. 

HABITAT: Mullein grows in eastern and western Washington, enjoying the side of the highway, abandoned vacant lots and former forest fire ar...

January 27, 2017

Have you ever gone to take your shoes off after a walk in the park to notice that the soles are covered with orange sticky buds? Those are cottonwood buds, and they a medicinal favorite. Incidentally, those are also the trees that release a ridiculous amount of fluff in the spring that accumulates in the gutters to look like snow. The season for harvesting those wonderfully sticky buds is here yet again, and I am currently brimming with enthusiasm for the indispensable medicine they offer.

Finding and Identifying:

Scan the skyline and look for incredibly tall, naked, white barked trees. The bark will have black scars on it. Also, inspect the ground to see if there are large, waxy heart shaped leaves. Finally, the branches should have fat buds. The buds should smell very aromatic. If you pull a bud from the tip of a branch, there should be orange resin inside (note that not ALL buds contain resin, only the leaf buds do).

Cottonwood is a common name which refers to some members of the ...

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Adiantum School Blog

A blog about herbal medicine, wildcrafting and natural health.