Tall stems of this herb were once burned as tapers in funeral precessions.

Dioscrorides used mullein for scorpion stings, eye complaints, toothache, coughs and tonsillitis. Traditionally, this herb was also applied in diseases of wasting, such as tuberculosis.

Botanical name : Verbascum thapsus
Common name(s): Mullein
Family: Scrophulariaceae
Part used: Leaves and Flowers

Active Constituents:
  • Mucilage
  • Volatile oil
  • Resin
  • Saponins
  • Flavonoids
  • Glycosides
  • Bitter principle
  • Vitamin A,B,D, minerals Fe, Mg, K, S

Qualities: Cool, moist with 2nd degree drying (Holmes) Tastes salty/minerally (Wood)
Organ Affinities:  Respiratory Tract, Lymphatics, Synovial Fluids, Bones

“…beasts of burden that are not only suffering from cough but also broken-winded, are relieved by a draught” – Pilny, AD 77

  • Expectorant (relaxing)
  • Demulcent
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-catarrhal (LRT)
  • Pulmonary tonic / trophorestorative
  • Externally- vulnerary, emollient

Relaxes lungs and works as a lung tonic.

Liquifies mucous and acts as an expectorant.


  • Bronchitis
  • LRT catarrh
  • Earache with pain and wax in ear
  • Painful and hard coughs
  • Sore throat, tonsillitis, mumps
  • Voice unnaturally high or low due to the inflammation of the pharynx
  • Swollen Glands – Dry atrophy of the lymphatic system with poor absorption through the small intestine and weakness in the lymphatics.
  • Muscular & Skeletal Problems (Wood) – has a moistening, lubricating effect on the synovial membranes – so that it is hydrating to the spine and joints.
  • Set bones in right place when they have been broken or out of place (Wood)
**Specific for Bronchitis with hard cough and soreness**
  • Dry, irritable cough – harsh, racking – ‘shakes the frame’
  • Tuberculosis
  • Pleurisy
  • Asthma
  • Sedative to inflamed & irritated NERVES – sharp nerve pain
  • Topical treatment for earache (in olive oil) – Be sure tympanic membrane is not perforated!

Contraindications: None known
Cautions: None known

Liquid Extract:
3-6ml 1:2/ LE day
20-40ml 1:2 LE / week
Dried Herb Equivalent:
12-24g / day dried leaf (infusion)

  • Marrubium in acute or chronic bronchitis
  • Combine with stimulating expectorants for chronic respiratory conditions – sweet violet, anise, thyme or elecampane


  • FLOWER GARGLE: Use infusion for throat inflammations
  • SYRUP: Made from infusion. Take for coughs
  • INFUSED OIL: Earache, eczema or inflamed eyelids
  • LEAF INFUSION: Strong infusion – 50g to 500ml water – for chronic cough and throat inflammations. Promotes sweating – useful in feverish chills with hard coughs 

References & Links to Articles:

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