Herb Spotlight - Mullein
Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)
Part Used: Aerial Parts
Flavor/Aroma: Sweet, Bitter
Energetics: Cooling, Moistening
Mullein has been noted as the go to ear and lung remedy, especially when pollen is in abundance during those seasonal shifts. Luckily, this herbal ally has been used since ancient Egyptian times and has remained relevant ever since. Mullein provides a multitude of applicable uses, not limited to just respiratory and immune balance.
The Mullein plant is an herbaceous biennial herb with a deep tap root. It bears sizeable, wooly textured leaves and will produce a towering stalk of yellow flowers in its second year of growth that can reach heights of ten feet tall. Its stems are covered in soft hairs as well.
Cultivation and Harvesting:
Mullein is native to most of Europe, Northern Africa in areas such as Ethiopia and Egypt, temperate regions of Asia as far north as the Himalayas. It also is commonly grown for commercial use in India, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, and Egypt.1 The large, fuzzy leaves make great tinder when dried, and they can also be added to smoking blends to aid in post-fire season, respiratory relief.
Southern Oregon Cultivation:
Mullein can be easily identified in the wild spaces of Southern Oregon. It is commonly found on roadsides, the edges of parking lots, along riverbanks, and on almost every hillside. Its tall, erect blooms are hard to miss, especially when the yellow flowers begin to express and attract a variety of pollinators and foragers.
History and Folklore:
Ancient Roman Uses: Mullein preparations were used to remedy a variety of ailments including lung diseases, skin disorders, various types of coughs and respiratory infections, bronchitis and atopic conditions.1
The stems and leaves were often collected and used as candle wicks, earning Mullein the nickname ‘Candlewick plant”; its soft textured leaves have also earned it the nicknames or “bunny ears” and “flannel leaf”.4
American Native Uses: The Cherokee were noted to have used Mullein in a variety of topical applications for treating rheumatic pains, tumors, bruises, hemorrhoids, and swelling, while a decoction of the root was consumed to relieve respiratory infections such as tonsillitis and bronchitis.4
Mullein has been indicated to support those with chills, respiratory infections1, productive coughs, and sore throats. It has also been shown to remedy dry, spasmodic coughs, influenza and colds, herpes, staph infections, and to relieve general ear and throat irritations. It has also shown to be useful in supporting diarrhea, bronchitis, gastrointestinal bleeding, migraines, and sleep disorders.3,1,2
Uses and Preparations:
Dried Herb Tea Preparation:
2 Tablespoons of herb per cup of water.
Using a reusable tea bag or tea ball, immerse the loose dried herbs into boiling water and allow to steep for 5-10 minutes, preferably covered, in order to release the maximum amount of herbal goodness. Some herbal tea can carry a strong flavor. We recommend organic honey as a sweetener which preserves the beneficial herbal compounds.
5-7 mL up to 3 times daily.1
Some herbal tinctures can have a strong flavor on their own. Adding your tincture to a glass of 6-8oz of water is one easy way to help, should you wish to dilute the flavor.
1 cup of Mullein flowers in 2 cups of high-grade oil; infuse over low heat.
It is important to remember that some bodies may react differently than others when using herbal products. Our recommended usage amounts are designed to be an average dosage only. If you have specific concerns about the usage amount or interaction with other medication, please consult with your doctor or health care practitioner prior to using our products.
We recommend consulting with your practitioner if you are pregnant, or plan to become pregnant, or if you are using any other medications.
- Mullein. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://cms.herbalgram.org/expandedE/Mulleinflower.html
- Mahdavi, S., Amiradalat, M., Babashpour, M., Sheikhlooei, H., & Miransari, M. (2019, August 28). The antioxidant, anticarcinogenic and antimicrobial properties of Verbascum thapsus L. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31456524
- Rodriguez-Fragoso, L., Reyes-Esparza, J., Burchiel, S. W., Herrera-Ruiz, D., & Torres, E. (2008, February 15). Risks and benefits of commonly used herbal medicines in Mexico. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2322858/
- Ogden Publications, Inc. (n.d.). Herb to Know: Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)
For educational purposes only. This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.