Mullein or Mullein ( Verbascum thapsus ) is a common weed that has long been used in herbal medicine, especially in remedies that aim to soothe the respiratory tract. These remedies involve the use of mullein flowers and leaves. Mullein is also sometimes used as a flavoring agent in alcoholic beverages. In this article we will detail some questions about Mullein and you will learn from when, how to use it to calm different conditions.

What is mullein for?

Certain compounds in mullein leaves and flowers are believed to act as demulcents or expectorants. Demulcents are substances that soothe irritation or inflammation on the skin or internal parts of the nose, mouth, or throat. Expectorants are agents to stimulate the production or secretion of phlegm.

In some cases, mullein is applied directly to the skin to help treat burns or inflammatory skin conditions. Mullein oil is also used in ear drops to treat ear infections.

In laboratory tests published in 2002, researchers found that mullein helped kill certain types of bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus (the most common cause of staph infections) and Escherichia coli (or E. coli). Herbalists often use mullein to treat the following health problems:

  • Upper respiratory tract infections
  • Cough
  • Bronchitis
  • Asthma

The use of mullein to treat any condition is not well supported by scientific data. However, preliminary research suggests that mullein shows promise for use in treating the following conditions:

In test tube research, mullein has been found to fight flu-causing viruses. However, since the flu can lead to serious illnesses such as pneumonia, it is critical to seek medical attention when experiencing flu symptoms (rather than trying to treat yourself).

Ear Infections In a 2003 study of 171 children with earache (earache), those who used ear drops containing mullein (along with garlic, calendula, St. John’s wort, lavender, vitamin E, and oil of olive) had a statistically significant improvement in ear pain over the course of three days. In fact, those who received mullein ear drops had a better response than those who received ear drops along with amoxicillin.

In turn, despite the fact that there is no necessary scientific evidence, it has been used to treat the following conditions:

  • Wounds
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Colds.
  • The flu .
  • Asthma .
  • Diarrhea
  • Migraines
  • Tuberculosis .
  • Sore throat .
  • Inflammation of the airways (bronchitis).
  • Other conditions.

Possible side effects

Although there are no known adverse effects associated with the use of mullein, it is important to educate yourself on the safety of supplements before using any herb. The supplements have not been tested for their safety and because dietary supplements are largely unregulated, the content of some products may differ from what is specified on the product label. Also note that the safety of supplements in pregnant women, nursing mothers, children, and people with medical conditions or who are taking medications has not been established, so it is advisable to consult with your doctor before beginning to consume mullein.

  • Mullein is possibly safe when applied directly to the ear, in the short term. A specific product containing mullein, garlic, calendula, and St. John’s wort has been used in the ear for up to 3 days.
  • In children , Mullein is possibly safest when applied directly to the ear, in the short term. A specific product containing mullein, garlic, calendula, and St. John’s wort has been used in the ear for up to 3 days.
  • For Pregnancy and Lactation, there is not enough reliable information about the safety of taking Mullein if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Stay on the safe side and avoid use if you are unsure about the side effects it may bring.

Dosage and Preparations

There is insufficient scientific data to determine a specific appropriate dose for mullein. However, in studies, a specific product containing mullein, garlic, calendula, and St. John’s wort has been used in the ear for up to three days. The correct dose for you may depend on factors including your age, gender, and medical condition. Keep in mind that natural products are not always necessarily safe and dosages can be important. Be sure to follow the relevant directions on product labels and consult your pharmacist or doctor or other healthcare professional before using mullein.

How to buy Mullein?

Tinctures, capsules, pills, powders, and eardrops containing mullein are found in many health food stores and / or pharmacies.

Due to limited research, it is too early to recommend mullein as a treatment for any condition. If you are considering using it, speak with your doctor to weigh the potential risks and benefits. Please note that alternative medicine should not be used as a substitute for standard care. Self-treatment of a condition and avoiding or delaying standard care can have serious consequences as it can cause a worsening of the disease in question.

How to grow Mullein for your own use?

The impressive wild grass mullein has been cultivated for centuries, it is native to Europe and Asia. It is an undemanding plant, which also adorns with stunning colorful flowers. Mullein is one of the most important plants preferred by landscapers and garden designers who appreciate the extraordinary beauty of its many hybrid cultivars that come in various colors, from white to yellow and pink to deep purple and light blue. There are about 250 species of mullein, which are biennial or perennial. Here are some recommendations to be able to grow it in your own garden and thus be able to use its medicinal effects from the comfort of your home. Remember to consult your doctor to know the appropriate doses and not to supply this herb on your own as it can have side effects.

It can be propagated from seeds and cuttings. To grow mullein from seed, buy them or if you are collecting them from plants, do so as soon as they appear. Sow the seeds in early spring by spreading them on top of the rich potting soil. They can take about two weeks to germinate. Divide the seedlings and transplant them into a larger pot or into the ground when their actual leaves have grown. Mullein for lush growth prefers full sun with a dry and warm place. Plant mullein near walls or large trees to protect from the wind, to avoid any damage to the plant. 

Particularly taller varieties are planted at a distance of about one meter, shorter varieties are sown 30 cm apart.


We hope this information has been useful to you. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to leave a comment here and we will respond as soon as possible. Remember not to use any medicine without the recommendation of your doctor or trusted pharmacist as it can be dangerous to your health.

Samantha Robson
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Dr. Samantha Robson ( CRN: 0510146-5) is a nutritionist and website content reviewer related to her area of ​​expertise. With a postgraduate degree in Nutrition from The University of Arizona, she is a specialist in Sports Nutrition from Oxford University and is also a member of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.

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