Common name Mullein
Latin name Verbascum Thapsus
Parts used Leaf
Mullein is particularly sympathetic to the respiratory and digestive system. It also finds many applications topically.
Mullein is generally considered a cooling and moistening plant. It is anti-inflammatory, analgesic, emollient, and antiseptic. It is often indicated for the pita and vata doshas.
It is bitter and astringent.
Its affinity for the respiratory tract frequently indicates it for lung conditions such as congestion, asthma, and pneumonia. Its analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties can find application in soothing joint pain and nervous anxiety. As an astringent demulcent it helps tone the stomach and enhance digestion. Its astringent and antiseptic qualities see it used in salves for external applications such as for eczema, acne, burns, wounds, and ear ache.
Mullein was first introduced into the United States in the 1700s when it was used to poison fish in Virginia. Some sources say that this was the plant that Odysseus/Ulysses took to protect himself from Circe’s bewitchment, which she apparently brought about using enchanter’s nightshade.
Mullein can grow just about everywhere that it can get full sunlight and, as such, can be a troublesome weed. It prefers dry, sandy soils.