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How to use Mullein

Updated on October 28, 2007

Mullein is a velvety soft, very large plant that grows almost pastures, scrub lands, along railroad tracks etc. It is known by many names such as velvet plant, flannel plant, Juniper's Dock, and more.

Mullein is known for its ability to soothe coughs and relieve chest congestion. It works well in bronchitis-usually presenting harsh painful cough and the inability to expectorate the mucus. When mullein tea is used, most people find it extremely soothing, though not particularly tasty. It works as an expectorant, helping to liquefy the mucus, making it easier to cough it out. It also reduces the inflammation in the airway---reducing the irritation and the pain. People using the mullein tea usually recover faster than those who don't.

Infusing mullein in olive oil has been used for many years in the treatment of ear aches in children and adults alike. It soothes the pain and inflammation of ear infections. Do not use in the case of a ruptured or perforated ear drum. Signs of this are liquid-drainage coming from the ear. It may be clear, yellow, or even blood tinged. You may see this on your child's pillowcase. If this happens, see your physician as antibiotics may be needed.

To infuse mullein at home, use only dried herbs as fresh can harbor bacteria. Fill a sterilized jar with dried mullein, pour olive oil over all. Cover. Place in a sunny window and leave for two weeks. Strain, discarding only the herb, saving the oil. When needed, place 2 drops in affected ears.

To make a medicinal tea, take 1 to 2 teaspoons of dried mullein to each cup of boiling water. Allow to steep for ten minutes. Mullein is quite bitter so most people add sugar or honey. Some people find adding lemon helps also. Drink three cups per day.

Fresh mullein leaf has also been used to sooth minor irritations such as scrapes and insect bites. Just crush the leaves, and apply them as a poultice. They feel quite soothing. The early pioneers even put them in their shoes when they were getting blisters.

Mullein is not just a beautiful plant, it is a helpful herb to have in the medicine chest....especially during cold and flu season.


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      Michelle L 

      6 years ago

      I had bought mullein tea a few months ago for my son and forgot to use it. I came down with a severe cough and congestion. I made it today and drank it, along with oil of oregano for my sinus pressure. I have not coughed all day and have been able to breathe without wheezing. Omg! I am going to have to keep this tea on hand.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I've just started using mullein and find it tastes quite pleasant (I added brown sugar and fresh squeezed lime juice.) That could be because prior I was drinking bitter chinese herb tea without any sugar at all and got entirely used to the taste!) A friend who told me about mullein said she has lost a lot of weight from her hips and thighs since taking it but I just want to see if it works on breaking up my chest cold.

    • profile image

      secret creek 

      7 years ago

      I've never found the tea ( wild crafted loose leaf)to taste bitter...more like how hay smells. Honey helps make it smooth and sweet tasting.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      I use mullein with my daughter. As of now she is 9.5 months old and has asthmatic symtoms due to contracting RSV at 2.5 weeks. It works great! It's easier to give it to her now since she just learned to use a straw. Luckily I find it growing on my parents' property, and it smells so good.

    • loseweightmama profile image


      7 years ago from Maine

      I'm using mullien now for lingering bronchitis. It does help with easing the congestion.


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