drying mullein for herbal infusions

back at the end of june i harvested some mullein near a local trail. i cut four stems, each about 4-5' tall, and hung them upside down from the curtain rod in my office. they needed to be in a dark-ish place to dry, and my office doesn't get direct sunlight, so it was perfect. it had the added bonus of looking totally awesome, and made me feel special and witchy to have huge herbs hanging over my desk.

today i took the mullein down and crunched the dry leaves into two quart jars for storage. if i had really crumbled the leaves it probably would have all fit into one jar, but i was lazy about it. i had to wash my hands and arms afterward (and the counter, too) because mullein's fuzzy hairs are a bit irritating to the skin.

the funny thing about mullein is that its most prominent feature - its fuzziness - causes irritation to the throat and skin if ingested/touched. but when it's used as an infusion or salve, and those fuzzy hairs are filtered out, it's incredibly beneficial to the throat, lungs, and skin. pretty weird, huh?

anyway. i'm excited to have harvested and dried my first batch of mullein. the bit that i harvested back in the spring is now a beautiful, deep-colored tincture, sitting in a dark drawer. i don't know what i'll use that for yet.

one day hopefully i'll harvest a bunch of mullein flowers, and make an infused oil out of them. mullein flower oil is really great for ear infections and general ear health. yeah, you actually put it in your ear! i bet that feels super strange.