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Mullein Monograph

botanical name: Verbascum Thapsus

Common Name

Mullein,torches, mullein dock, velvet dock, blanket herb



Parts Used

Leaves, flowers, root

Native To

Central/Southern Europe and western Asia

Harvesting Guidelines

The leaves of both the first year and second year plant may be harvested before the flower stalk shoots up. Flowers may be harvested as they open in the summer. The root is harvested from first year plants.


Western herbalists and doctors, TCM practitioners, Ayurvedic practitioners, and indigenous tribes in North America have used Verbascum Thapsus for old coughs, constipation, convulsions, and toothache. And it has many more uses.

Mullein, a plant with fuzzy leaves and tall yellow flowers, has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for respiratory issues. Both the leaves and flowers can be brewed into a tea, with the leaves having a slightly bitter taste and the flowers being sweeter. It is unclear whether Native Americans or European settlers first discovered the medicinal properties of mullein, but it was widely used by both groups. Native Americans even used the plant's roots, drinking a decoction for coughs or smoking them to treat asthma. Additionally, mullein was used in poultices to treat a variety of ailments, including bruises, tumors, rheumatic pains, and hemorrhoids.

Rich in mucilage and saponins and a specific to the respiratory system, mullein is an expectorant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-spasmodic useful for bronchitis and dry coughing, and as a general tonifying herb for the respiratory system (1).

Mullein, also known as Verbascum thapsus, has been approved by the German Commission E for its medicinal properties in treating respiratory tract issues such as coughs, asthma, colds, and bronchitis. In fact, American Indians have been known to use mullein as a smoking herb to address bronchitis and asthma. This versatile plant has been used for centuries for its healing properties and continues to be a popular natural remedy for respiratory ailments.(2.) and this method is sometimes still employed by experienced herbalists to "clean the lungs."

In addition to its respiratory benefits, mullein has been used to treat other health issues as well. For example, it has been used as a natural remedy for earaches, as a poultice made from the leaves can be placed over the affected ear to reduce pain and inflammation. Mullein oil, made by steeping the flowers in olive oil, has also been used topically to treat skin irritations, wounds, and hemorrhoids.

Mullein is also used in traditional medicine to treat urinary tract infections (UTIs) due to its diuretic and anti-inflammatory properties. It can help flush out bacteria and toxins in the urinary tract, while reducing inflammation in the area.

Mullein is also believed to have mild sedative properties and has been used to promote relaxation and sleep. Additionally, it has been used to relieve digestive issues such as diarrhea, constipation, and stomach cramps. The plant's anti-inflammatory properties may help soothe inflammation in the digestive tract, while its mild laxative properties may help relieve constipation.

Mullein, a herb with sweet, cooling, and pungent properties, has been used in Ayurveda to treat respiratory issues caused by an accumulation of kapha in the lungs and nasal passages. Its cleansing properties help to dispel the excess kapha, promoting healthy bronchial and lymphatic function.(3)

Overall, mullein is a versatile plant with a wide range of potential health benefits, making it a popular choice among herbalists and natural health enthusiasts. However, it's important to note that more research is needed to fully understand the plant's effects on the body and potential side effects.


Adult Dose

Tincture: 2.5-5 mL of 1:5 in 40% three times/day Tea: 2 teaspoons dried leaf or flower steeped for 15 minutes in one cup boiling water, three times/day. Dosage information from Medical Herbalism by David Hoffmann. (4)


Cooling, moistening


Anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, expectorant, lung tonic, sedative, vulnerary


No known side effects. Be sure to strain leaf infusion through cloth or paper strainer to remove irritating hairs.



(1) Hardin, Kiva Rose. (2009). A Golden Torch: Mullein’s Healing Light. Retrieved October 2014 from

(2) German Commission E. (1990). Mullein flower. Retrieved October 2014 from

(3)Frawley, David and Lad, Vasant. (2001). The Yoga of Herbs.

(4) Medical herbalism by David Hoffman

Information offered on Achula and on this page is for educational purposes only. Achula makes neither medical claim, nor intends to diagnose or treat medical conditions. Women who are pregnant or nursing, and persons with known medical conditions, should consult their licensed healthcare provider before taking any herbal product. Links to external sites are for informational purposes only. Achula neither endorses them nor is in any way responsible for their content. Readers must do their own research concerning the safety and usage of any herbs or supplements.


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