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Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)

Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)

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Botanical name: Verbascum thapsus

Other names: Mullein, Great Mullein, Common Mullein

Family: Scrophulariaceae

Parts used: Dried leaves and flowers

Actions: Expectorant, demulcent, diuretic, sedative, vulnerably, anti-catarrhal, emollient, pectoral

Verbascum thapsus is a species of Mullein native to Britain and Europe.  This herb is best known for its beneficial effects on the  respiratory system and many complaints affecting it.  It acts by reducing the formation of mucus and stimulating the coughing up of phlegm. It tones the mucous membranes, reduces inflammation whilst stimulating fluid production thus facilitating expectoration. It is considered a specific for bronchitis where there is a hard cough with soreness. It's anti-inflammatory and demulcent properties indicate it's use in inflammation of the trachea and associated conditions.

The plant is harvested when in flower and is dried for later use. 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 also strongly bactericidal. A decoction of the roots is said to alleviate toothache and also relieve cramps and convulsions. The juice of the plant and powder made from the dried roots is said to quickly remove rough warts when rubbed on them. It is not thought to be so useful for smooth warts.

Any preparation made from the leaves needs to be carefully strained in order to remove the small hairs which can be an irritant

The plant combines well with other expectorants such as coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara), White Horehound (Marrubium vulgare), Lobelia and thyme (Thymus vulgaris).


Holistic Herbal. Hoffman, D.
Plants for a Future - Mullein 

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