The silvery green leaves and bright yellow flowers of mullein have been utilized for thousands of years in traditional medicine to soothe the upper respiratory tract and appease and repel evil spirits. This gentle herb has been used extensively in European and North American folk medicine and thus has a plethora of folk tales associated with it. Presently, mullein can be found at health food stores often prepared as soothing leaf tea or an ear oil made of the infused flowers.
sedative, diuretic,6 expectorant, astringent, demulcent,10 emollient2
catalpol, coumarin, hesperidin, rotenone, saponins, verbascoside, verbasterol
Products With Ingredient
Mullein has been used as a piscicide (a substance that poisons fish) and was even mentioned in the novel by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Love in the Time of Cholera, for its use as such.15 It was traditionally put in water to paralyze fish so that they could be easily caught. 2,9 Apparently, the saponins (phytochemicals that are present in many plants and have a foaming properties) present in mullein are quite toxic to various water dwelling animals and insects, but are generally fine for humans especially when cooked.2,15
Specific: Small hairs on mullein leaf may cause mechanical irritation in the mouth or throat if not filtered out of extracts prior to consumption.
General: We recommend that you consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner before using herbal products, particularly if you are pregnant, nursing, or on any medications.
- United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service, Beltsville Area Germplasm Resources Information Network (GRIN).
- Grieve M. A Modern Herbal. New York: Dover Publications, Inc.
- Silverman, Maida (1977). "Mullein". A City Herbal: Lore, Legend, & Uses of Common Weeds. Ash Tree Publishing. pp. 99–104. Accessed at http://www.ashtreepublishing.com/Book_City_Herbal_Mullen.htm on August 4, 2014.
- Wetherwax, M. (1993). "Verbascum thapsus L.". Jepson Manual online. University of California at Berkeley.
- Wheaten, P. “Mullein: Heal The Earth With Cowboy Toilet Paper” — http://www.permies.com Mullein (mullan, Verbascum thapsus) Accessed at: http://youtu.be/4putIxHsNCk on August 4, 2014.
- Moore, M. (2003). Medicinal plants of the Mountain West (No. Ed. 2). Museum of New Mexico Press.
- Cunningham, S. Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs. Woodbury: Llewellyn Publications; 2000.
- Moerman, D.E. 1998. Native American Ethnobotany. Accessed at http://herb.umd.umich.edu/ on June 9, 2014.
- Felter, H.W. and J. U. Lloyd. King's American Dispensatory. Eclectic Medical Publications, 1898. Accessed at http://www.henriettes-herb.com/ on July 10, 2014.
- Blumenthal M, Goldberg A, Brinckmann J, eds. Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs. Austin, TX: American Botanical Council; Newton, MA: Integrative Medicine Communications; 2000.
- First Ways Blog. Accessed at http://firstways.com/2011/12/07/five-surprising-uses-for-mullein/ on August 4, 2014, citing García Márquez, G. (1994). Love in the Time of Cholera.
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.