Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) is a pretty obvious plant to spot. It’s fuzzy and can grow up to six feet tall.

It is a member of the Scrophulariaceae family, whose root word, scrofula, means swollen neck glands. I can’t speak for all members of the family, but at least when it comes to mullein, it is an excellent herb to treat ailments often associated with lymphadenopathy of the neck such as ear infections and coughs.

It is very commonly used in ear infections as an oil infusion to treat otitis media and otitis externa because it is pain relieving and antiseptic.

 As a tea or tincture it is emollient, demulcent and astringent which is a fantastic combination for ailments of the respiratory tract. It is good for both productive and non-productive coughs.

Traditionally it has been smoked or burned as incense to help alleviate asthma. I’m not confident enough to actually promote this method of treatment.

 And in Traditional Chinese Medicine it is used as a yin tonic for the lung by resolving phlegm, coughing and wheezing. It helps to circulate lung Qi and clear wet heat.

Williamson_headshotJen Williamson, ND is a native of Buffalo, New York who earned her Bachelor of Science at Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania and a Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona. While in medical school, she became very involved in the student community, most notably as the President of the Student Government Association. For her service, upon graduation she was given the Outstanding Leadership Award.

In the spirit of Docere, the Naturopathic principle of the doctor’s role as teacher, Dr. Williamson was an adjunct professor in the Complementary and Alternative Therapies program at Daemen College. She has had articles in a variety of publications, includingNaturopathic Doctor News and Review,, local Buffalo magazines and papers, as well as her own newsletter, blog and website. While practicing in Buffalo, she also offered over 30 different classes to the public at various events and locations.

In 2012, Dr. Williamson moved to Vermont to expand her practice of Naturopathic Medicine as well as provide an atmosphere that resonates with her medicine for her son, Victor, and husband, David. As a Primary Care Physician at Avalon Natural Medicine, Dr. Williamson focuses on mental/emotional, gastrointestinal, and endocrine disorders. Most of her treatment plans include a combination of nutritional, herbal and homeopathic remedies, but she has also received additional training in Hair Trace Mineral Analysis and Bowel Nosodes.

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