Every year we have mullein that pops up wild in our garden. Years past, I didn't pay much attention to it, just noticed it was an interesting looking plant. As I learned more about herbs, though, I became more interested in mullein. Over the winter I found a recipe to make herbal ear oil with the mullein flowers. So, when the seasons shifted and the garden started to grow, I waited for a mullein plant to pop up. I knew one would pop up somewhere, and it did. It grew and grew until it was towering above our heads. Then, starting in August, as the little yellow flowers came, we gently harvested them and spread them on screens to dry. Then I saved the dried flowers in a jar.
I took these pictures throughout the summer and fall, to share with you.
Harvest after harvest we brought in to dry. At first I harvested some mullein flowers every day. Then slowly harvested less often, until finally being finished harvesting for the season. The flowers are quite small when they are fresh, but when they dry they shrink into tiny little things. My jar full of dried mullein flowers was not filling up very fast. But I knew a little could go a long way.
Making mullein garlic ear oil is incredibly simple.
In 'Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health.' she writes about garlic-mullein flower oil:
"This is a wonderful remedy for ear infections; it relieves the pain and helps eliminate the infection. The flowers of mullein are often difficult to purchase, so gather some in the summer and fall. You can also buy this oil ready-made in most natural food stores."
Garlic Mullein Ear Oil
A few tablespoons fresh-pressed garlic
A few tablespoons dried mullein flowers
Extra virgin olive oil, enough to cover herbs
You can heat the blend gently on the stovetop or let them infuse in a jar in a warm place for awhile.
I strained them through fabric (t-shirt-turned-rag) and squeezed the oil out.
I placed the oil in a glass jar with a dropper.
It will keep in the fridge for a long time.
To use, take out of fridge and let warm to room temperature (you want to use it warm.)
It smells so good and feels delightful and soothing in the ears (in my opinion.)
Drop a few drops of oil in your ear, when needed.
We put cotton balls in our ears for awhile afterward to soak up the extra oil that comes out.
We've used it when our ears just felt like they needed some "soothing." We haven't needed it for ear infections, but it is a wonderful remedy to have on hand. (Side-note: the best explanation I've ever found on ear infections is in the book 'Gut and Psychology Syndrome' by Natasha Campbell-McBride.) This oil feels good when ears are somewhat itchy and uncomfortable from allergies. If you don't have mullein growing in your area or any mullein plants to harvest from, you can purchase mullein flowers from Mountain Rose Herbs (though they are often "out of stock.") Oh yes, one more thing: Jeff and I created that top picture especially with Pinterest in mind, so you can pin it to easily find it later.
Here's to Happy Ears!