top of page

Wild Wednesday: Discovering the Versatility of Mullein

Mullien (Verbascum densiflorum)

Welcome to another exciting edition of Woodsrunner Wild Wednesday, where we delve into the world of wild plants, trees, and weeds to unlock their secrets for survival. This week, we set our focus on Mullein (Verbascum densiflorum), a remarkable botanical ally that holds the potential to be a lifesaver in a survival situation. Join us as we explore the many uses of Mullein, from natural remedies to unexpected applications like using its seeds as a fish poison.

Meet Mullein: Nature's Healing Wonder

Mullein, scientifically known as Verbascum densiflorum, stands tall and proud in the plant kingdom. Recognizable by its distinctive appearance, Mullein boasts a tall stem crowned with vibrant yellow flowers, creating a striking presence in open spaces and meadows. It's unique characteristics and diverse properties make it a cherished companion for wilderness survival enthusiasts seeking to harness its power.

The Healing Touch of Mullein: Nature's First Aid Kit

Respiratory Comfort: One of the standout uses of Mullein lies in its ability to soothe respiratory discomfort. The leaves, when dried and brewed into tea or smoked, offer relief from coughs and congestion, providing solace during challenging times.

Ear Elixir: Mullein's leaves can be transformed into an oil that brings relief to earaches and discomfort. Its anti-inflammatory properties make it an invaluable addition to your survival toolkit, addressing ear-related concerns.

Wound Care: Mullein's leaves, possessing mild antimicrobial properties, make for excellent wound dressings. They protect wounds from infections while allowing proper air circulation for healing.

CAUTION: When foraging wild plants for consumption, remedies, or first aid, caution is paramount. Proper identification is vital to avoid mistaking toxic plants for safe ones.

A Unique Approach: Harnessing Mullein Seeds for Fish Poisoning

While many are acquainted with the customary uses of Mullein, its seeds hold a remarkable hidden potential. Centuries in the past, the practice of employing crushed Mullein seeds as a potent fish poison was well-known. Even though this method is now considered unlawful, its historical significance reveals the diverse and unexpected capabilities of Mullein.

The Science Behind the Strategy: Unveiling Fish Poisoning with Mullein Seeds

Mullein's crushed seeds release a blend of various chemical compounds into the water, including saponins, glycosides, coumarin, and rotenone. These chemical elements work together harmoniously to incapacitate fish, causing them to rise to the water's surface, making them more accessible to capture.

Historical Roots of Mullein as a Fish Poison

Commonly referred to as mullein or common mullein, this plant has been employed as a fish poison or piscicide for an extensive period. The historical record dates back to Aristotle, who documented the use of mullein as a fish poison. This unique application was among the reasons why our ancestors ensured to carry mullein seeds in their belongings during their journeys to the New World.

Early Settlers' Fish Sting Technique

In the Blue Ridge Mountains, European settlers once harnessed mullein to catch fish through a process known as "fish sting." The seeds were ground into a fine powder and introduced into a pond or slow-moving stream. The chemicals present in the seeds diffused into the water, entering the fish's gills and causing respiratory difficulties. Consequently, the affected fish would float to the water's surface, facilitating easy collection for sustenance.

WARNING: Using the seeds of a mullein plant as a piscicide, commonly referred to as "Fish Sting," is deemed illegal in numerous regions due to environmental regulations. This is because of the potential harm it could cause to aquatic ecosystems, leading to its prohibition. Engaging in such actions may lead to legal repercussions and ecological damage, emphasizing the significance of practicing responsible and sustainable interactions with nature.

The Power of Knowledge and Preparedness

In the world of wilderness survival, knowledge, and skills hold immeasurable weight. Mastering the identification, harvesting, and utilization of plants like Mullein empowers you to tap into nature's gifts. As you gain proficiency, you transition into a self-reliant explorer capable of leveraging the resources around you.

Closing Thoughts: A Natural Ally in Survival

Mullein's rich history and diverse properties make it a living testament to nature's potential to heal and aid in survival. From respiratory comfort to wound care, and even an unconventional application as a fish poison, Mullein's versatility is truly awe-inspiring. Embrace the wisdom of the wild as you navigate its offerings, and let Mullein be your steadfast companion, connecting you to the wild.

Join us as we continue to unravel the mysteries of wild plants, trees, and weeds that hold the keys to our survival narrative. As you embark on this journey of discovery, remember that the more you understand and respect nature's offerings, the better equipped you become to embrace the art of mastering survival. – Stay Safe, enjoy the wilderness, and together, we’ll RUN THE WOODS!

I hope this information helps out if the time comes to ever need it, and If you like what we are doing at the Woodsrunner School. Show your support, by sharing our content.

Joshua Barnes

Founder & Director of Operations

Woodsrunner School, LLC

16 views0 comments


bottom of page