Mullein is a biennial, native to Europe, that produces a leafy base during its first year, and then a single stalk sprout from the base in the spring of the second year. At the top of the upright stalk, a thick head of self-pollinating yellow flowers appears; but each lasts for only a day. There is a thick coat of fine, soft hairs on the light green leaves and stem that make the plant appear grey. The leaves are large and range from 6-8 inches in length. Internally, Mullein leaves have historically been smoked to support bronchial congestion and chest colds. Tinctures of the root were also used as a bladder tonic. Native Americans often made Teas and tinctures of the flower to prevent and fight infections, including ear infections. Externally, they made poultices of the leaves for boils, bruises, insect bites, and swollen glands.
History and Folklore:
Mullein leaves were smoked by Native Americans for pulmonary ailments. In medieval Jewish medical practice, it was considered one of 23 important healing herbs.
Cultivation and Harvest:
The leaves and flowers should be gathered at different times. The leaves are best gathered during the first year, the flowers in the summer of the second year. The leaves at the base of the plant can be gathered at any time. Pick only the smallest new leaves, which can be as large as 6 inches long. Always leave enough leaves behind to avoid endangering the health of the plants. If harvesting roots, it should be done in the fall of the first year or spring of the second year. Fresh leaves can be used in poultices externally, and made into teas and decoctions for internal use. Dried leaves, roots, and flowers are good for making a bitter tea or for smoking.
Do not use while pregnant or nursing. The seeds of the plant should not be consumed, as they are somewhat toxic. Do not use in the ear if the eardrum is damaged.
Traditional Herbal Actions:
Antispasmodic, Expectorant, Astringent, Demulcent
Aaron’s Rod, Great Mullein, Common Mullein
Tincture Ingredients: Mullein Leaf (Verbascum thapsus)
*These statements have not been verified by the FDA and is only referenced here as a fun fact and/or for historical commentary, is not to be used as medical advice in any way. Consult your doctor before ingesting any herbal product.
None of these items or statements are approved by FDA. Consult your physician before taking any supplement. Do not take herbs or tinctures during pregnancy without consulting your healthcare provider. This product is not intended to diagnose or treat any disease. All information here is for entertainment and educational purposes only.