Other Names: Adam's Flannel, Beggar's Blanket, Candlewick Plant, Common Mullein,
Flannel Mullein, Flannel Plant, Hag's Taper, Jupiter's Staff, Molene, Great Mullein,
Velvet Dock, Velvet Plant, Woolly Mullin
Habitat: (Verbascum thapsus) Alien, naturalized, biennial herb. Widely
distributed plant, being found all over Europe and in temperate Asia as far as the
Himalayas, and in North America it is exceedingly abundant. Great Mullein is found growing
on hedge-banks, by roadsides and on waste ground, more especially on gravel, sand or
chalk. Sunny positions in uncultivated fields and especially on dry soils. Cultivation:
Great Mullein is an easily grown plant, it succeeds in most well-drained soils, including
dry ones, and prefers a sunny position. Dislikes shade and wet soils. The leaves (first
season) at the base of the stem form a rosette of numerous, large, 6 to 15 inches long and
up to 5 inches broad, but become smaller as they ascend the stem, on which they are
arranged on alternate sides. They are whitish with a soft, dense mass of hairs on both
sides, which make them feel very furry and thick. The root is a long taproot with a
fibrous outer cover and fleshy inside. The flower-spike (second season) has been known to
attain a height of 7 or 8 feet, covered with densely crowded, sulphur-yellow, flowers
about an inch across with five rounded petals. Blooming during July and August. Harvest
the entire plant when in bloom and dry for later herb use.
Properties: Great Mullein has been used as an alternative medicine for centuries,
and in many countries throughout the world, the value of Great Mullein as a proven
medicinal herb is now backed by scientific evidence. Some valuable constituents contained
in Mullein are Coumarin and Hesperidin, they exhibit many healing abilities. Research
indicates some of the uses as analgesic, antihistaminic, antiinflammatory, anticancer,
antioxidant, antiviral, bacteristat, cardiodepressant, estrogenic, fungicide, hypnotic,
sedative and pesticide are valid. An infusion is taken internally in the treatment of a
wide range of chest complaints and also to treat diarrhoea and bleeding of the lungs and
bowels. The leaves, root, and the flowers are anodyne, antiinflammatory, antiseptic,
antispasmodic, astringent, demulcent, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, nervine, and
vulnerary. Great Mullein oil is a very medicinal and valuable destroyer of disease germs.
An infusion of the flowers in olive oil is used as earache drops, or as a local
application in the treatment of piles and other mucous membrane inflammations. This
infusion is a strong antibacterial. The oil being used to treat gum and mouth ulcers is
very effective. A decoction of the roots is used to alleviate toothache and also relieve
cramps and convulsions. It is also used in alternative medicine for the treatment of
migraine headaches accompanied with oppression of the ear. The whole plant possess
slightly sedative and narcotic properties. The seeds are mostly used as a narcotic and
also contain saponins. The dried leaves are sometimes smoked to relieve the irritation of
the respiratory mucus membranes, and the hacking cough of consumption. They can be
employed with equal benefit when made into cigarettes, for asthma and spasmodic coughs in
general. Externally, a medicinal poultice of the leaves is applied to sunburn, ulcers,
tumors and piles. A decoction of the seeds is used to soothe chillblains and chapped skin.
HERE TO FIND MULLEIN INFORMATION AND PRODUCTS!
Other Uses: Dye, Insecticide, Insulation, Lighting, Tinder, Wick. A yellow dye is made
from the flowers by boiling them in water. When used with dilute sulphuric acid they
produce a rather permanent green dye, this becomes brown with the addition of alkalis. An
infusion of the flowers is sometimes used to dye the hair a golden color. The leaves
contain rotenone, which is used as an insecticide. The dried leaves are highly flammable
and can be used to ignite a fire quickly , or as wick for candles.
Folklore: An old superstition existed that witches used lamps and candles
provided with wicks of Mullein in their incantations, and another of the plant's many
names, 'Hag's Taper', refers to this. Both in Europe and Asia the power of driving away
evil spirits was ascribed to the Mullein. Being a sure safeguard against evil spirits and
magic, and from the ancient classics, it was this plant which Ulysses took to protect
himself against the wiles of Circe.
TRY THESE RECIPES
Tea: An aromatic tea can be made by boiling 1 tbls. dried leaves or root, in 1 cup
water for 5 - 10 min. A sweeter tea can be made by infusing the fresh or dried flowers. Or
for children and the elderly use milk instead of water. Sweeten if desired.
Mullein oil: Use flowers, seed, and root. Place in blender or crush, fill jar, cover
with olive oil, set in warm place for 2 weeks. Strain before use.