This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
MEDICINAL PARTS. The leaves and flowers.
Description. -- This biennial plant has a straight, tall, stout, woolly, simple stem. The leaves are alternate, oblong, acute, and rough on both sides. The flowers are of a golden-yellow color; calyx, five-parted; corolla, five-lobed; stamens, five; and fruit, a capsule or pod.
History. -- Mullein is common in the United States, but was undoubtedly introduced from Europe. It grows in recent clearings, slovenly fields, and along the side of roads, flowering from June to August. The leaves and the flowers are the parts used. They have a faint, rather pleasant odor, and a somewhat bitterish, albuminous taste, and yield their virtues to boiling water.
Properties and Uses. -- It is demulcent, diuretic, anodyne, and antispasmodic, the infusion being useful in coughs, catarrh, bleeding from the mouth or lungs, diarrhoea, dysentery, and piles. It may be boiled in milk, sweetened, and rendered more palatable by aromatics for internal use, especially bowel complaints. A fomentation of the leaves in hot vinegar and water forms an excellent local application for inflamed piles, ulcers, and tumors, mumps, acute inflammation of the tonsils, malignant sore throat, etc. A handful of them may be also placed in an old teapot, with hot water, and the steam be inhaled through the spout, in the same complaints.