Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Medical disclaimer: always check with a physician before consuming wild plants, and make positive identification in the field using a good source such as Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West.  Michael Moore also has a glossary of medical terms in his books, and maps in later editions. ) 
#131
Common Name: Mullein, Velvet Plant, Blanket Leaf, Candlewick

Latin Name: Verbascum thapsus
Family: Scrophulariaceae
Range: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=veth All States, all of lower Canada
Photos:
here

Appearance and Habitat: Sunny positions in uncultivated ground especially dry soils. Europe, including Britain, from Norway south and east to Spain, temperate Asia and China. A biennial growing to 1.8 m (6ft).  It is hardy to zone 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September. (1)  The first year the plant forms a rosette of basal leaves and a light colored tap root. In the second year it sends up a single flower stalk, usually but can send up more than one. It is dense and hairy and has yellow sap where it has been bruised. The sap turns black as the sap ages. The stalk is completely covered with flower buds and begins flowering at the base working it’s way to the top. Normally it is a plant of waste places, but in the west it is found between the Juniper-Pinion belts and the Ponderosa belt. It grows generally above 4,500 feet. It is quite common in Northern Arizona and widespread through the Rocky Mountains and other ranges of the west. (2)
Warnings: The leaves contain rotenone and coumarin, though quantiities are not given. Rotenone is used as an insecticide and coumarin can prevent the blood from clotting. Hairs on the leaves can act as an irritant. (3)
Edible Uses: An aromatic, slightly bitter tea can be made by infusing the dried leaves in boiling water for 5 – 10 minutes. A sweeter tea can be made by infusing the fresh or dried flowers.(4)
Medicinal Uses: Great mullein is a commonly used domestic herbal remedy, valued for its efficacy in the treatment of pectoral complaints. It acts by reducing the formation of mucus and stimulating the coughing up of phlegm, and is a specific treatment for tracheitis and bronchitis. The leaves and the flowers are anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, demulcent, diuretic, emollient, expectorant and vulnerary. An infusion is taken internally in the treatment of a wide range of chest complaints and also to treat diarrhoea. The plant combines well with other expectorants such as coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) and thyme (Thymus vulgaris). Externally, a poultice of the leaves is a good healer of wounds and is also applied to ulcers, tumours and piles. Any preparation made from the leaves needs to be carefully strained in order to remove the small hairs which can be an irritant. The plant is harvested when in flower and is dried for later use. An infusion of the flowers in olive oil is used as earache drops, or as a local application in the treatment of piles and other mucous membrane inflammations. This infusion is also strongly bactericidal. A decoction of the roots is said to alleviate toothache and also relieve cramps and convulsions. The juice of the plant and powder made from the dried roots is said to quickly remove rough warts when rubbed on them. It is not thought to be so useful for smooth warts. The seeds are slightly narcotic and also contain saponins. A poultice made from the seeds and leaves is used to draw out splinters. A decoction of the seeds is used to soothe chilblains and chapped skin. A homeopathic remedy is made from the fresh leaves. It is used in the treatment of long-standing headaches accompanied with oppression of the ear.
(5)Collect  the large basal leaves in the second year, wash them off, and dry them in a fold of cheesecloth hung in the shade. If you are planning on smoking them, remove the stem. Remove the flowers and buds from the stalk within the first day of cutting the stalk off. The root can also be processed by spliting it and letting in dry in the shade in a card board box. Mulliens main purpose, is as an herb for the lungs throat. It acts as a mild sedative for the lungs and is useful in the early stages of infection. The flowers are even stronger for a lung infection, they relax bronchial spasms while acting as a mild seditive. You can make a tincture of the flowers, 1 part fresh flower to 2 parts 60% vodka and with dried flowers, 1 part flower to 5 parts of 60% vodka at a rate of 30 to 90 drops up to 4 times a day. But if you don’t have a week for the tincture to cure, use 5 to 10 flowers in a up of boiling water and let steep for at least 10 minutes, and drink slowly. Repeat this as often as needed. For the dried leaves, use 1 part plant to 32 parts boiling water, remove from heat, wait at least 6 hours, return the water level to 32 part, and strain the leaves out. People that are sensitive to the coarse hairs may want to filter any use of the plant, as tea or tincture. To make an earache oil, use equal parts flowers and olive oil place it on a water heater for a week and strain. Warm it slightly and place several drops in the ear canal. This will also help pets with ear mites. The tea from the flowers will help treat herpes simplex virus. The root will help bedwetting and incontinence and is a urinary tract astringent. To use the root, make a tea out of 1/2 teaspoon of the root to one quarter cup of water and drink it before retiring for the night. For hikers and campers, the leaves can also be used as toilet paper in an emergency, they are quite soft.(6)
Foot Notes:
(1, 3, 4, 5)http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Verbascum+thapsus
Foot Notes: (2, 6) Medical Plants of the Moutain West2nd Edition, by Michael Moore, pages 170 – 173; Publisher: Museum of New Mexico Press, Copyright 2003, ISBN: 978-0-89013-454-2
****************************************

#132
Common Name: Cota, Navajo Tea, Hopi Tea,Colorado Green Thread
Latin Name: Thelesperma filifolium, T. longipes, T. megapotamicum
Family: Compositae
Range: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=THFI
Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi (Thelesperma filifolium)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=THLO Arizona, New Mexico, Texas (Thelesperma longipes)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=THME East of the Mississippi R. – Illinois, Indiana, Michigan- west of the Mississippi R.- All States except Washington, Idaho, Nevada, North Dakota, Iowa, Louisiana (Thelesperma megapotamicum)
Photos: Thelesperma filifolium Thelesperma longipes Thelesperma megapotamicum

Warnings: None (PFAF)
*************************
#132 (a)
Common Name: Greenthread (sub species of T. filifolium)
Appearance and Habitat:
Calcareous barrens and plains – dry soils- central and southern N. America – South Dakota, Missouri, and Nebraska to Colorado, Texas and Mexico. An annual/biennial growing to 1 m (3ft 3in). It is in flower from Jun to September.
Edible Uses: A tea is made from the leaves
Medicinal Uses: The plant has been used in the treatment of children with tuberculosis.
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Thelesperma+trifidum

************************ 
#132 (b)
Common Name: Hopi Tea (sub-species of T. megpotamicum)
Edible Uses: Flower buds. No further details are given. A tea is made from the leaves and dried flowers. The flowers and leaf tips are dried in an oven and then boiled for a very short time. When well made it is delicious, with just a hint of mint in its aftertaste
Medicinal Uses: None

http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Thelesperma+gracile
**************************
#132 (c)
Common Name: Navajo Tea
Appearance and Habitat:
Sandy or rocky prairies and roadsides in Texas. Dry sandy soils in south-western S. Dakota. Western North America. A perennial growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in). It is hardy to zone 9.
Edible Uses: Flower buds. No further details are given. A tea is made from the leaves and dried flowers. The flowers and leaf tips are dried in an oven and then boiled for a very short time. When well made it is delicious, with just a hint of mint in its aftertaste
Medicinal Uses: The plant has been used in the treatment of children with tuberculosis. An infusion of the leaves and stems has been used as a ‘nervous stimulant’. An infusion of the leaves and stems has been used as a treatment for the teeth.
 http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Thelesperma+megapotamicum
*********************************
(Now for Michael Moore who covers them all)

Appearance and Habitat: This plant has threadlike pairs of leaves on either side of the stem, and widely spaced along the stem. The foiliage is blue green and it flowers from July to September. They are all hard to identify unless they are in bloom. Several plants look like this one, but their leaves are bitter, where Cota has a pleasant sweet piney taste. The flowers are about the size of a nickel. Once a stand it found it is distinctive, with hundreds of nodding gold tufts with the blue-green foliage. The plants have a tan small tap root and are usually between one and 3 feet in height. In the west the range is Arizona through Texas, into the plain states, north to Wyoming and Southern Utah. They usually grow at an altitude of 3,500 to 8,000 feet.
Edible Uses: Cota, along with Mormon Tea and Polio Mint are among the best native teas.
Medicinal Uses: The tea is a mild diuetic, helpful in treating water retention. It is also a good treatment for indigestion. It is also mildly antiseptic to the uranary tract. It isn’t a strong remedy, but because the tea is so tasty, it is easy to take. It has been taken in the past for arthritis, kidney and bood complaints.
Medical Plants of the Moutain West2nd Edition, by Michael Moore, pages 97-98; Publisher: Museum of New Mexico Press, Copyright 2003, ISBN: 978-0-89013-454-2

Reproduced, in part, (as well as previous postings under this title) in accordance with Section 107 of title 17 of the Copyright Law of the United States relating to fair-use and is for the purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.
Advertisements