How to Turn Mullein into Medicine

by Erich

Disclaimer: Consult your doctor first!!

The information contained within this article is no way intended to be taken as medical advice. Be certain to consult a professional before trying this for yourself. The owners of this site will not be held responsible for any lapses in judgment or stupidity when handling, using, or consuming wild plants.

For those of you already subscribed to my newsletter (which you should definitely do ;)) then you already know a little bit about my journey into finding a solution to the concerns I had about the health-care system.

Specifically becoming free from my dependence upon it.

With the way the world is going and given the direction the health-care system is going, I think it’s best for all of us to reduce our dependence upon it as much as possible.

I also shared with my subscribers how I finally found a solution that at first I was skeptical about but as I learned more about it, I totally embraced it.

The answer I found was in herbalism, and the solution was signing up for a fantastic home-study herbalism training program (more on that soon).

Well, without spending too much time on this I wanted to share just a little bit of what I’ve been learning by teaching you how you can turn a common plant found throughout North America (and Hawaii) into an effective medicine for all kinds of respiratory ailments and ear infections. This wonderful plant is Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsas).

How to find and identify Common Mullein

Where to find it

Mullein loves to grow in well-drained soils in a sunny position, so a good place to find it is on slopes that are south-facing. It does not like shade or moist soils, so if you live in a moist area you’ll need to get out in the sunny locations that have drier soils like abandoned fields, roadsides, slopes, and waste places.

What to look for

Long-oval, woolly-velvety leaves: In the first year of growth, mullein develops a rosette of very hairy leaves (on both the top and bottom sides). In the second year, a stalk develops and the leaves grow in an alternate pattern up the stalk. Leaves can grow up to 2 feet long.
Large Stalk: In the second year of growth, a tall stalk (from 2 feet to upwards of 8 feet) will emerge.
5-Petaled, Yellow Flowers: The yellow flowers grow in a dense cluster toward the end of the stalk. They are around 1 inch in diameter and consist of five petals.

How to turn Mullein into medicine

Mullein infusion

Making an infusion is just another way of saying making a tea. There are five steps:

Step 1: Gather and dry out the mullein leaves. On sunny days, I like to use the ledge abutting my rear car window. It typically only takes around a few hours on a good sunny/warm day.
Step 2: Boil some water
Step 3: Remove the water from the heat source and pour 1 cup of water over 1 – 2 teaspoons of dried mullein leaves
Step 4: Steep the plant part(s) in the hot water for around 10-15 minutes
Step 5: Strain out the plant matter and keep the medicinal water

Mullein oil infusion

Similar to a water infusion, an oil infusion is made by steeping the desired plant parts in oil. Typically this is done by submerging the plant parts in oil within a sealed glass jar. This jar is then left in the sun over an extended period of time (depending on the plant).

To make a mullein oil infusion:

Step 1: Ready the container: Prepare a glass mason jar by filling it 2/3 – 3/4 full with semi-dried mullein flowers (semi-dried means just leaving them in a warm spot for about 30 min to get some of the moisture out).
Step 2: Steep the mixture: Pour the oil of your choice (I like to use olive oil) over the flowers until they are completely submerged and the container is full. Be sure to tightly close the jar’s lid. With the jar full of flowers and oil, place it in a warm, sunny location and let it steep for two to four weeks.
Step 4: Strain the infusion: Now that the infusion is complete, the last step is to strain out the plant matter with a cheesecloth (or old, clean t-shirt). This resultant infusion can now be used for medicine

How to use your mullein medicine

Here are the uses of your mullein medicine (broken down by the types you made above):


Mullein infusion (or mullein tea) is an excellent remedy for congestion, dry coughs, and emphysema since it is an excellent expectorant. As an expectorant, it will help loosen phlegm and mucous from the walls of the lungs allowing it to be coughed up.

To administer: Just drink it like any herbal tea. You can also add a bit of honey to improve the taste.

Oil Infusion

Mullein-flower oil infusion is a well known and very effective remedy for ear infections.

To administer: Using a dropper, place 2-3 drops of mullein oil in the ear canal twice daily until resolved.

At home herbalism training

In the next article (on Wednesday) I’ll be going into a bit more detail about the home-study herbalist program I’m doing.

If this subject interests you, check back in a couple days since I’m working on a special deal for my readers with the herbal school. So stay tuned!

Also, if you have any personal experience with or questions about medicinal plants I’d love to hear from you in the comments below.

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Comment by Susan
2012-06-11 10:40:49

I loved the concise manner in which you offered the steps to making ones own infusions. Your pictures are really good! Great detail and composition! Thanks so much. I have lots of Mullein in my yard, just for the purpose you mention. Also, Comfrey is a good home remedy, you might like to look into, as well.

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2012-06-11 10:58:24

Thanks so much Sue. I’ve been studying/using edible plants for years now but have only touched upon medicinal ones so I’m really excited to finally start on this journey.

Thanks for the tip on Comfrey, I’ll definitely look into it. I’ve seen it growing not far from my house but haven’t used it yet.

Comment by Connie
2012-06-11 11:06:09

Loved this! The information is perfectly concise and the layout was perfectly logical. I would love to have permanent access to a data base like this when everything hits the fan–which means offline too. Herbalism is an area I have so far avoided simply because I’m so busy with everything else and this seemed like too big a chunk to bite off. Well, I haven’t avoided it completely–I just haven’t embarked on a serious study of it or any attempts at application. Hmm, that’s not totally correct either–I did grow and dehydrate calendula last year! Now I need to try doing something with it…

I’m looking forward to seeing what you come up with. Maybe I can persuade someone nearby to tackle it! At some point, too, I’ll post about this on my little preparedness blog.

Many thanks!

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2012-06-11 11:50:37

Great to hear Connie. Let us know what your blog is!

Comment by goatlady
2012-06-11 11:18:05

Been an herbalist for 30+ years. Glad to see you are on the right track!. One of the best uses for mullein is as a a pollen allergy symptom reliever. A strong cup of the tea before going outside will alleviate/prevent those runny, itchy eyes, stuffy nose and scratchy throat for hours. Any herbal tincture is the most medicinally potent form of herbal “medicine” as it concentrates the medicinal properties of the herb used AND will keep those properties preserved for years.

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2012-06-11 11:51:30

Goatlady (love the name btw),

Thanks for the awesome info!

Comment by Lisa
2012-06-11 12:38:04

I belong to and have learned a ton about herbs and healing. It is a wonderful go to community! Thanks for the above article!

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2012-06-11 21:12:25

Hi Lisa,

Yeah, is a great resource (run by a great guy named John Gallagher). Thanks for the reminder!

Comment by Kathryn
2012-06-11 12:44:26

While researching comfrey, beware of the warnings against using it internally – they are a sham. Yes, there are chemical components in comfrey which can harm the liver and, if you were to isolate these components and ingest them in large doses, it would likely cause liver damage. If you are using the comfrey leaves and roots for tinctures and infusions (or even dried and powdered in capsules) you will not be harmed. This is one of the most healing and beneficial herbs on the planet… that alone should tell you why the FDA and other drug/pharmaceutical agencies want to keep people from using it.

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2012-06-11 21:48:38


You are absolutely right.

One of the things I’m learning right now is how these “studies” do not truly represent the whole herb since (like you said) they isolate only specific chemicals from the herb and study that one chemicals effect on the body. They fail to include in the studies how the other chemicals in the plant will provide a buffer to the “toxic” chemical, rendering the herb safe for consumption.

As a result, you have the FDA not approving excellent healing plants like Comfrey for medicinal use (too much competition to the drug companies’ engineered drugs).

Comment by Kathryn
2012-06-11 12:48:19

Also, a great place for purchasing herbs and gaining even more herbal information is: I have had only great experiences with them!

Comment by Murray
2012-06-11 13:15:01

Being the eldest one of our Survivor group, I let the young bucks do most of the running around in the woods. I have been designated to be the planner and Director of Operations….I think adding Herbalist to my resume and being able to take care of most of the ailments that may arise in both the adults and kids would be fantastic…I can still take care of business but physically it will be difficult to get out and do all those hard chores but contributing every way I can will help the group in rough times…so if you can get us a discount on the courses I would be very excited about signing up for it…thanks so much for the great info and keep up the good work….Murray

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2012-06-11 21:09:42

Will do Murray,

Be sure to check back on Wednesday. I should have a final word from those guys about the deal I’m working out with them…

Comment by Watermama
2012-06-11 13:30:18

Thank you for the info – I have been using medicinal herbs my entire life (thanks mom) so I know their value. Lately I have been interested in learning about the ones that grow wild and close to home as well as growing some in my backyard garden as opposed to ordering them from a catalog since that may not always be available. This post is great on Mullein and especially the pictures are wonderful – now I have a much better idea of what to look for while foraging. Not many books have good pics – at least from what I have found, so this is very helpful.

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2012-06-11 21:08:35

Thanks Watermama!

Comment by BENNIE
2012-06-11 14:34:31

Thanks for the free info…I have been thinking exactly like you in terms of the medical treatment for my family…that is one vestige of society that seems hard to break from and I thank you for your help

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2012-06-11 21:07:36

No problem Bennie,

Be sure to check back in on Wednesday. I should have an update from the school I’m taking the home-study herbalist program from (just trying to work out a deal with them for you guys).

Comment by Silas Longshot
2012-06-11 15:50:22

I remember this stuff! Grew wild all over the place on our old farm. My granddaddy, who had really bad emphesema(?) breathing problems, had me gather a bunch of flower stalks of mullein and put ’em in jars on the front porch rail. The flowers & stem seeped out oils or whatever that he used to help his breathing.

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2012-06-11 21:05:17

That’s great that you remember that Silas. It sounds like he had you make the oil infusion I describe above.

Comment by vncent
2012-06-11 22:59:22

u can grow the plants that u want to use for meds using aqua ponics and u can allwasy have the plants u need and a sorce of food

Comment by Honora
2012-06-12 03:23:21

thanks, Erich. Very informative especially on how to make the oil infusion. Woolly mullein grows all over the world too. We have it growing all through the back country here in New Zealand.

Comment by Tactical Intelligence
2012-06-12 14:36:18

Thanks Honora. What a beautiful country you have out there.

Comment by rebecca
2012-06-12 07:40:17

This has worked well for my husband and I, its been a bad year for allergies. We also are using sage which helps dry things up. I’d like to learn about the tincture and how long the oil lasts.

Comment by Steve
2012-06-12 20:37:56

Mullein is a wonderful plant! In addition to its medicinal properties, the leaves are “napped” and are quite stiff when rubbed one direction (like a scouring pad) and very soft (like a washcloth) when rubbed the other. The dried leaves provide a smooth, rich smoke, providing a fairly tasty tobacco substitute.

Comment by Nancy
2012-06-12 21:17:59

I was taught by my mother to use our wild black cherries, mullien leaves, lemon juice, honey and a bit of whiskey to preserve for cough syrup. It works very very well. I use about a qt. of cherries, and cook with a bit of water until they pop easily. Add a whole mullien leaf and turn off the heat. Let sit for ten minutes or so. Then strain. Add about a cup of honey, a quarter cup of lemon, and a quarter cup of whiskey. Blend well and store in the refridge.

Comment by Ricardo Allgaier
2013-06-19 18:04:45

The ear canal is very sensitive and can easily become damaged. The ear should heal on its own without treatment, but it can take six to eight weeks for a perforated eardrum to heal. If you have a perforated eardrum, eardrops can be used with caution . -,..:

Newest write-up on our personal blog site http://picturesofherpes.codw Ricardo Allgaier

Comment by Pat
2013-12-10 21:23:13

A great plant to help with arthritis is stinging nettle. Pick the three to four foot tall stalks with gloves and long sleeves. Once dry the sting is gone. Makes a great tea. I use it every day for my arthritic joints. I cannot believe the difference in just three months. You can also use stinging nettle for pesto or my favorite, make your own pasta that is a beautiful bright green color.

Comment by Robert
2015-02-16 11:26:44

I love Mullein tea!!!

Comment by Louise
2015-06-22 12:28:56

I would love to know what online program you’re using. I want to learn!

Comment by Janet
2016-06-24 14:22:15

I just found this plant and am thrilled to hear it has medicinal qualities! How can it be overlooked, it’s beautiful!

Comment by equilibrium
2016-10-06 18:54:43

I know this web page offers quality depending content and
other stuff, is there any other website which presents such information in quality?

Comment by trish
2017-07-13 13:50:22

hi! after making the infusion, how long does it last? weeks? months? years? do you need to refrigerate? keep in lighted area? dark? etc. thanks so much!

Comment by
2017-10-01 15:12:49

Some of the important things in this article I can’t accept.

Really we in the 2017. Certainly there are plenty of scientists in the business, and most
of them are earning good wages to do the work. Just how is this keep taking place?
Just because no one care.

Comment by Nancy Sigmon
2018-07-04 18:44:31

Comfrey is not to be taken internally like Mullein. Comfrey is only to be used externally, for example as a skin compress. Read about it carefully before using. I enjoyed your Mullein article. I knew a woman who made cough drops (hard candy) using Mullein infusion as the base, so I may try that. I guess you could use leaves and flowers for the infusion?

Comment by Kate
2020-07-09 20:20:09

Comfrey is amazing. Iā€™m about to make some Mullen tinctures from the Mullen that grows all over the river beds here… the leaves are almost cute šŸ˜‚šŸ‘

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