|A young mullein plant in early spring.|
Mullein is a "weed" that's easy to spot in the wild. It's a biennial, taking two years to reach maturity. The first year plant has soft and fuzzy leaves growing in a rosette; in the summer of the second year the plant sends up a tall spike with yellow flowers. This flower spike is easy to spot in fields and along roadsides.
After harvesting, I like to let my flowers set for a couple of hours before preparing the oil infusion. This helps to reduce the moisture in the flowers which also reduces the possibility of mold down the road.
After putting the mullein flowers in the crockpot, I cover them with a high quality oil. I use olive oil in my infusions but there are other oils that would be appropriate if you want to use something different. (For an extra-powerful infusion, add some chopped garlic at this point. Garlic also has antiseptic and anti-infection properties.)
The ratio of plant to oil that I use is 1:2. One cup of flowers would need two cups of oil, or 1/2 cup of flowers would be infused in one cup of oil. You can read about measuring in parts here.
I set the little crockpot on the warm setting and leave the lid off. Letting the oil warm for several hours helps to draw the medicinal properties out of the flowers.
When finished - and there isn't a rule about how many hours you need to let the flowers infuse in the oil, just do it for as long as is practical for you - strain out the flowers from the oil. I like to do this right away while the oil is thin, but the oil is hot so be careful if you do this. I strain it through a wire strainer first to get out the larger material, and then pour it through muslin into another jar. The muslin will catch smaller particles. I let this cool and then squeeze the muslin to get out all of the oil I can.
When needed, it's easy to use this oil to relieve the pain of an earache. Using a dropper, apply a few drops into the ear canal and follow with a bit of cotton to help keep the liquid inside for as long as possible.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. You are responsible for your family's and your own health. If there is discharge from the ear, please see a doctor.
My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a
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