Parts used medicinally: Aerial parts
Mullein is a typical respiratory herb and is traditionally used for productive and dry coughs, catarrh and influenza. It has soothing demulcent properties so good to use where there is damage to the airways.
Mullein is a biennial herb that is native to Europe, Africa and Asia. It has large ear-like leaves – hence one of its common names bunny's ears – and a tall stem that blooms with a beautiful spike of yellow flowers. It is soothing just to look at! The whole plant is covered in tiny hairs, giving it a whitish-greyish appearance and a velvety felt texture.
This herb is very beneficial to the respiratory system, so we could all benefit from it at this time of the year when it turns colder, and respiratory problems are on the rise. It is a great expectorant, which means it facilitates the loosening and removal of mucus from the respiratory tract, and thus is an excellent remedy for ailments such as colds and flus, bronchitis and asthma.
The plant also has a high mucilage content, so it has a soothing, anti-inflammatory effect on the mucous membranes. This is why it's so useful for any irritation of the respiratory, digestive and urinary tracts.
Other common names for mullein include flannel-leaf, candlewick plant, velvet dock, Aaron's rod and blanket herb, just to name a few.
Did You Know?
- Mullein is specifically indicated for cases of bronchitis, especially when there is a harsh cough and soreness present.
- Mullein can be used topically for chronic ear infections and inflammations.
Mullein & Me
- An oil can be made by infusing mullein flowers in some olive oil for a few weeks and then straining through a muslin cloth. The oil can be used in the case of earache and irritations of the external ear canal.
- A simple infusion/tea can be made and taken daily for those with chronic bronchitis or other conditions presenting with coughing and mucus.
If you are pregnant/breastfeeding or on drug medication, be sure to consult with a professional before trying these remedies.