Alison Freeth-Thomas wrote:
Just as I was about to transplant all my little mullein seedlings to form a 'garden' around our composting loo, I read this ....
"Mullein tea is made from the leaves of a 1st-year plant and is considered a good cough suppressant. A similar tea can be made from the root after cleaning, peeling, and dicing. Although the leaves feel soft and fuzzy they do not make good "wild" toilet paper as the small hairs can get stuck in your skin which is very uncomfortable."
So, user beware! I've changed my plans!
Gordon Hogenson wrote:
This mullein plant is not planted by us. I think it came in with some compost we had delivered a few years ago to start our vegetable garden. We welcomed it! It's growing in rich garden soil normally reserved for our veggies.
V. thapsus is known by a variety of names. European reference books call it "Great mullein". In North America, "Common mullein" is used  while western United States residents commonly refer to mullein as "Cowboy Toilet Paper"
This year I noticed that the second year leaves have less and smaller hairs than the first year leaves...SO I'm wondering, again, if the second year leaves might be used for toilet paper substitute.
Also wondering which leaves to use for tea etc. Since it is biennial, and since the second year leaves are far less hairy, perhaps there is a difference as to the uses of the plants leaves, from first year to second year.
christine lawson wrote:
Yes, those fine hairs can be very irritating, it won't hurt the average gardener's hands, tough as they are, but more delicate areas...I've heard stories. So it's best to strain the tea of the leaves, too, before drinking.
pick the flowers as they bloom and infuse in some olive oil with a clove of crushed garlic. Use a few drops in a heavy loaded wax ear or a very itchy ear.
Red Cloud 31 wrote:
Native Americans used to use the seed spike to thrash the water when fishing. It would temporarily anesthetize the fish who floated to the surface. They picked what they wanted and the rest recovered and swam away.
Yah it is, if you look just at the base of the fence line there is a cement wall that separates it from the neighbors yards, it used to be all hill but had to be walled in and filled with dirt from idont know where. As for trying to use manure we have had success with that but is quite hard to maintain it all every year.
rose macaskie wrote:
That bit of ground looks very dry and hard and plantless. I know that land in hot countries salts up easily from the use of fertilisers or manure where there is not much rain to wash salts through, hopfully into rivers and off to the sea rather than salting up anceint underground lakes and othe rdeposites tha tcould be usefull to us if they stay fresh, but have you tried to dress it with a bit of manure? We had a bit of land where nothign evver grew and my husband put a bit of manure on it and wild plants including mullen grew out of it like crazy, it seems the soil was full of there seed tah only needed some nutrient to germinate. t
As well as being a strip of ground that suddenly got some nutrients, it was also a strip next to a bit we had just concreted over for the car and it seems to me that maybe a lot of moisture gets held under paved areas, maybe helping the plants adjacent to the paved area.
That is the problem with drawing conclusions about what works from observing what has happened in my garden, there are usualy two or three factors that could have caused the change. agri rose macaskie.
another use for the dried mullein stalks, reputedly, is a replacement for candle wicking. My chickens eat all parts of the plant. Birds perch on it, eat the seeds, sing the plants awake. Mary Summer Rain says the seeds are edible for people too. But maybe a lot of work to collect enough. Enjoyable and pretty too.