Wildcrafting is the term given to going out and gathering herbs that grow naturally in your area to store for medicinal and nutritional needs later.
Last week my boys and I went out and gathered mullein leaves. A fuzzy broad leaf that helps with runny/stuffy noses and coughs in the winter. I taught a class that mentioned it two weeks ago that roused a lot of curiosity. Maybe this will satisfy it!
Mullein likes dry rocky areas. I often find it where soil was disturbed in the last few years, along creek beds and dirt/gravel roads that don’t get a lot of traffic (VERY LITTLE). The first year plant leaves are very soft and can be used for country girl toilet paper if need be. The second year plants grow a tall stock out of the middle that produces yellow flowers. These leaves feel about the same but I don’t suggest using them for tp. They will make you ITCH (trust me, I know).
Ideally you would gather in the morning after the dew has left the plants. But due to schedules we didn’t get out until afternoon. Work with your schedule! Don’t let ‘supposed to’ keep you from doing what you need to.
The ones we found were quite sand splattered so we took them home and rinsed them.
Then we laid them out on a cookie sheet (You can use cardboard flats, a table, etc).
Another way is to tie a bunch together and hang them upside down to dry. Laying them out if you have space, is the lazy way ;). Once they are dry, put them in an airtight glass container and store it in a cool, dry, dark place for when you need it. Go find some mullein!
If you cannot find any around you or you are concerned that the properties of the plant could be compromised due to location/environmental pollutants (busy road side) you can get organic Mullein here.
Coming soon will be how to use this fuzzy friend for sniffles and coughs!