The mullein flower has about 250 different species and is native to Europe and Asia. This plant is typically used as an ingredient in herbal tea. It has been proven to help respiratory issues, the overall immune system, and inflammation. It has also been proven to help bladder, kidney, and digestive issues.
The medicinal parts are the herb at the beginning of the flowering season, the flowers, and the root.
Flower and Fruit
The large, yellow flowers with a diameter of 30 to 35 mm are in apical spikelike racemes. The calyx is divided deeply into 5 sections. The corolla is rotate, has a short tube and a 5-lobed, uneven margin. There are 5 stamens of uneven length. The 3 upper ones are lanate and have long anthers. There is 1 superior ovary. The fruit is a 2-lobed capsule.
Leaves, Stem, and Root
The plant is biennial. It has petiolate basal leaves and is up to 2 m high. The stem is erect, undivided, or lightly branched above. It is tomentose like the leaves and calyx. The leaves are alternate, turned downward and finely crenate. The lower ones are lanceolate or oblong lanceolate; the upper ones, ovate.
The flowers have a honeylike fragrance and an almond-like taste. The leaves are slimy and bitter.
The plant is widespread in Europe, temperate Asia and North America.
Mullein flower consists of the dried petals of Verbascum densiflorum and/or of Verbascum phlomoides.
Not to be Confused With
Other Verbascum species.
Aaron's Rod, Adam's Flannel, Beggar's Blanket, Blanket Herb, Blanket-Leaf, Candlewick Plant, Clown's Lungwort, Clot-Bur, Cuddy's Lungs, Duffle, Flannelflower, Feltwort, Fluffweed, Golden Rod, Hare's Beard, Hag's Taper, Hedge-Taper, Jacob's Staff, Torches, Our Lady's Flannel, Woollen, Rag Paper, Shepherd's Club, Shepherd's Staff, Torch Weed, Velvet Plant, Wild Ice Leaf
Actions & Pharmacology
Mucilage (3%): including among others, arabino galactans, xyloglucans
Triterpene saponins: chief components verbascosaponine (0.007%)
Iridoide monoterpenes: including among others, aucubin, 6beta-xylosylaucubin, catalpol, isocatalpol, methyl catalpol
Caffeic acid derivatives: verbascoside (acteoside)
Flavonoids (0.5-4.0%): including among others, rutin, diosmin, quercetin-7-O-glucoside, hesperidine, apigenin-7-O-glucoside, kempferol-7-O-glucoside
Invert sugar (11%)
Mullein alleviates irritation and has an expectorant effect due to its mucin and saponin content.
Indications & Usage
Approved by Commission E:
Mullein is used internally for catarrh of the respiratory tract, bladder and kidney conditions, enteritis, rheumatism, coughs, flu, intestinal pain caused by colic, asthma, cystitis, hemorrhoids, dermatoses, and painful diarrhea. The plant is used externally for earache, ear furuncles, eczema of the auditory canal, middle ear infection, inflammatory skin diseases with itch, burns, eczema, weeping eczema, dermatitis, insect bites, and itching in the anal and genital regions.
Precautions & Adverse Reactions
No health hazards or side effects are known in conjunction with the proper administration of designated therapeutic dosages.
Mode of Administration
Whole, cut, and powdered drug is available in the form of teas and other galenic preparations for internal and external use.
- Liquid — 250 mg/mL, 285 mg/mL
- Liquid Extract — 1:1
To prepare tea, pour boiling water over 1.5 to 2 g finely cut drug and strain after 10 to 15 minutes (1 teaspoonful is equivalent to 0.5 g drug).
To make an oil preparation, pour 100 g of olive oil over a handful of fresh flowers. Leave the mixture outdoors in the sun, stirring several times a day, then filter after 3 to 4 weeks.
To prepare a tincture, add 20 g cut drug to 80 gm of 70% ethanol and leave to draw for 10 days.
The daily dose is 3 to 4 g of drug. The tincture dose is 20 to 30 drops taken several times a day.
Mullein must be protected from light and particularly from moisture to prevent the drug from changing color to brown or dark brown due to the iridoid content.