The King’s Candle To Treat
A wildflower, known to treat respiratory diseases, diarrhea, and hemorrhoids, is called “mullein”. The name is based on German which means the “king’s candle”. This is because it is shaped like a scepter and grows straight like a candle. In the Greek mythology, “Odyssey”, the mullein was the plant used by King Odysseus to protect himself from Circe’s ploys.
Mullein (scientific name is Verbascum thapsus) is a biennial that grows abundantly in Europe and Asia. It can also be grown in fields, pastures, roadsides, abandoned places, and just about anywhere. Some can grow up to eight feet. The texture of the stem is similar to that of flannel, and its flowers are yellow.
The “king’s candle” has two kinds of flowers; the upper flowers have anthers that are short and hairy; and the lower flowers have anthers that are long but without hair-like structures. The chemical assay of mullein showed that it contains resin, saponins, aucubin glycoside, flavonoids such as hesperidin and verbascoside, choline, mucilage, tannins, volatile oils, and carotene. It also contains elements such as iron, magnesium, potassium, sulfur, calcium, and phosphorus.
The mullein leaves and flowers are the parts of the plants that are often used in traditional medicine. The seeds are avoided because it has coumarin, a toxic substance. In fact, these seeds were once used by Native Americans to paralyze fish, making them easier to catch. The stalks are used by Asian Indians to relieve cramps, migraines and fevers. The leaves are used as an astringent, an antibacterial agent, an expectorant, and as a demulcent.
A demulcent is anything that can soothe irritated mucous membranes. The flowers are used as an antispasmodic, an emollient, and as a sedative. These are also used to treat irritating coughs and bronchial congestion. It may even alleviate asthma and pneumonia. If soaked in olive or mineral oil, flowers can be used as earache drops. Both leaves and flowers are used to cure hemorrhoids.
The leaves can be made into a poultice, that is a softened mass of it is placed in a cloth and heated. The moist and hot poultice is then applied on the hemorrhoids. Since leaves have shown abilities to fight inflammation, it is effective in soothing and healing the hemorrhoids.
A decoction may be made out of the flowers. That is, the flowers are boiled in water, forming a medicinal mixture. When taken orally, it improves the functions of the liver, the stomach (to fight ulcer) and the gallbladder. It also relaxes the spasm of the anal sphincter that may have caused the hemorrhoid. Externally, the flower decoction can soothe burns, bruises, and irritated tissues.
Finally, if you don’t have any of the illnesses mentioned here, you
may still use the mullein leaves as lamp wicks. When the leaves and stems
are dried, they burn easily. This is why mullein also earned the nickname “candlewick
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