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Lesson 19: Mullein — The Grow Network Community
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Lesson 19: Mullein


  • Lisa KLisa K Posts: 664 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very cool, my mullein is still very small but it is very easy to grow. I cannot wait until it flowers.

  • toreytorey Moderator Posts: 3,072 admin

    I can certainly attest to the flower oil being good for ear infections. It is quite remarkable how quickly it works to relieve the pain. It is also antibacterial and anti-fungal so will address the cause of the pain as well. The anodyne properties make it a good oil to use in combination trauma oils, too.

    It will be awhile before we have flowers ready to harvest.

    As you have said, this plant likes to grow in waste areas. So everyone should make sure to know what was on that waste site before harvesting. Sometimes the best looking plants are right along side the highway or railway tracks. But not the best place to harvest.

    Mullein is on its way north. I found some a few years ago beyond 56°N just off the Alaska Highway. So pretty hardy.

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Moderator Posts: 3,602 admin

    I'm spoiled on mullein in the Appalachian mountains - it grows in all the old pastures, so it is nice and clean.

  • toreytorey Moderator Posts: 3,072 admin

    We didn't comment on the other important use for Mullein, which became part of another TGN discussion at the beginning of the shortages from COVID.

    Toilet Paper! If you have an outhouse, make sure you plant some mullein nearby. :)

  • Monek MarieMonek Marie Moderator Posts: 2,225 admin
    edited June 1

    You can dip the old seed pod top when its going to seed but not tough in wax. It makes a very nice slow burning candle or lighting.

    I just love this plant and all its uses.

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Moderator Posts: 3,602 admin

    Yep, common names are "torch" and "cowboy toilet paper"!

  • MaryRoweMaryRowe Posts: 513 ✭✭✭✭

    Mullein is also a fantastic dye plant, giving very colorfast dyes. It gives intense, bright colors on animal fiber, more muted color on plant fiber, but still more color than most plant dyes will give to plant fiber. A brilliant yellow is the easiest color to get from it, using an alum mordant, but with copper and iron you can get varying shades of green, and chrome gives a screaming hunter orange.

    It is such a valuable medicinal though, and I usually have only a few plants growing on my property in a season, that I rarely use it for dye unless I find a plant growing alongside the road that you wouldn't want for medicine. Even then I wait till after it has gone to seed to make more mullein plants before I harvest it. As a medicinal, I've never tried smoking it, but I do use the leaves in tea for flu and bronchitis, and it always helps more than any over-the-counter stuff.

  • jowitt.europejowitt.europe Moderator Posts: 608 admin

    Now, now... we call it “Königskerze” the Kings candle.

  • MaryRoweMaryRowe Posts: 513 ✭✭✭✭

    Witches' Candlestick and Hag's Taper too--I think those names are British in origin. The Romans had more respect: Jupiter's Staff

  • JodieDownUnderJodieDownUnder Moderator Mid North Coast AustraliaPosts: 897 admin

    @judsoncarroll4 I’ve heard people also get benefit from Mullein by crushing up dried leaves in a paper bag and doing some deep breathing. What are your thoughts? Some people don’t do the smoking thing at all.

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Moderator Posts: 3,602 admin
    edited June 1

    I think that could be beneficial. Tincture and tea work fine/

  • Lisa KLisa K Posts: 664 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JodieDownUnder I like that idea of crushing it up instead of smoking it, I worked for a ventilator company so I am always leery of anything taken in via smoke.

    I wonder if using it like eucalyptus in steam would work?

  • judsoncarroll4judsoncarroll4 Moderator Posts: 3,602 admin
  • MaryRoweMaryRowe Posts: 513 ✭✭✭✭

    Just came across this article on mullein--no main points that aren't already in your video, but a few extra details, particularly on harvesting, so I thought it makes a nice add-on.

  • water2worldwater2world Sherry Jochen Sevierville, TNPosts: 372 ✭✭✭

    Never thought about all of the uses of mullein----I have some dried and love to make tea with it. Thanks for all of the info given on mullein!

  • Lisa KLisa K Posts: 664 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @judsoncarroll4 That makes sense.

  • OwlOwl Posts: 244 ✭✭✭

    I have, what I thought was mullein, but it has white blooms with pinkish and purple centers. Are there different colors in different strains? I love the idea of dipping the bloom spear in wax because they are so beautiful and fragrant!

  • toreytorey Moderator Posts: 3,072 admin

    @Owl I have never seen a white mullein so I looked it up and found one like you have described. Is it like this?

    However, I can't find any info on whether or not it has similar medicinal properties to Verbascum thapsus. Often all species within a genus can be used interchangeably but other times only one specific species is the medicinal one.

  • OwlOwl Posts: 244 ✭✭✭

    Yes, that’s it exactly. The picture doesn’t do it justice. The purple part with the pinkish accents is almost iridescent and one of the most beautiful flowers I have ever seen. Thank you torey!

  • toreytorey Moderator Posts: 3,072 admin

    @Owl Yellow mullein doesn't have much of a scent so I am surprised that this species does. No wonder its other common name is Wedding Candles.

  • nicksamanda11nicksamanda11 Posts: 240 ✭✭✭

    I think only Verbascum thapsus is the medicinal one. Atleast from my research. However, I do believe all plants are medicinal- we just have to have or find the info on it. Here in TN the flowers on my mullein smell amazing!

  • silvertipgrizzsilvertipgrizz Posts: 1,830 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Four years ago..ish.. when I moved into this house the landscape was barren. The next spring I noticed mullein growing..just one stalk.

    The next year there was 3 mullein plants growing..self seeding itself.

    The next year..last year there were a few more plants but they were hiding from me near the elder.

    Early spring of this year it became apparent that mullein had declared itself King of my garden as they are growing in my molasses tubs, in the ground, in my home built grow beds and still embedded in the elder. As I type this I should be outside gathering and drying my blooms for process...bleep bleep, that's all folks lol.


    @Owl is the only thing different about white mullein the color of the blooms or diff in healing aspects?

    @judsoncarroll4 Thanks for posting this.

  • toreytorey Moderator Posts: 3,072 admin

    @silvertipgrizz I couldn't find much about medicinal properties for the white mullein. All medicinal sources refer to the yellow mullein, Verbascum thapsus. However, I did find one study that listed several other species of Verbascum, indicating that each species has its own properties with regards to the different virus' and microbes that might be affected. The only reference to V. chaixii stated that it has strong antimicrobial properties against E. coli, P. aeruginosa, Staphyllococcus aureus and Candida albicans. I would say that this species could be used as a substitute for V. thapsus if it was all that was available, but it might not be as strong or effective for some things as V. thapsus.

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