Mullein, a common roadside wildflower that may reach 6 feet in height, has large, velvety leaves and small, dense, yellow flowers. Owing to its astringent or binding action on tissue, it is useful in treating diarrhea and hemorrhoids. As an expectorant, it helps the body remove excess mucus from the lungs and is used to treat bronchitis and coughs. The dried leaves, flowers, and roots all serve as remedies. Mullein is sometimes called the candlewick plant, because it burns easily when dried and was used to make candlewicks before the introduction of cotton.
Taken internally for:
Applied externally for:
Over the counter:
Mullein is available as tinctures and as dried leaves, flowers or roots.
Tea: 1 to 2 tsp. dried leaves, flowers or roots per cup of boiling water steeped for 10 to 15 minutes.
Compress: A tea made of vinegar and allowed to cool; dry bandages soaked in the tea and applied to ulcers, tumors or hemorrhoids.
Inhalant: Fresh leaves boiled in water and inhaled the steam to relieve coughs and congestion.
Combinations: Used with elder and red clover to ease painful coughing. Mixed with gumweed for asthma. Used as an extract in olive oil to apply to external ulcers, hemorrhoids, and tumors, and for ear problems. It also combines well with white horehound, coltsfoot, and lobelia for treating bronchitis.