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5 Medicinal uses of mullein (plus 4 ways to prepare it)

Mullein has been used for centuries as a medicinal herb. There are over 200 species of mullein, and they can be found around the world, including the United States. Here are five medicinal uses of mullein, as well as four ways you can prepare it. (h/t to


Mullein oil is a powerful disinfectant that can be used to treat many infections. Research suggests that mullein can also help kill certain types of bacteria, such as Klebsiella pneumonia, Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus.

Ear infections

Mullein oil has been used as a remedy for ear infections and ear aches for centuries. According to studies, using ear drops containing mullein and other ingredients, such as garlic, olive oil and vitamin E, can help relieve ear pain. Mullein oil is also safe for animals and can be used to treat ear infections in dogs.

Urinary tract infections

Mullein root is a natural remedy for urinary tract infections (UTIs) as well as urinary incontinence. Taking mullein root can help enhance bladder function and reduce inflammation in the bladder.


Bursitis is a condition wherein the bursae – small fluid-like sacs that help cushion the muscles, bones and tendons near your joints – become inflamed, causing redness and pain with every movement. Fortunately, mullein is a natural remedy for bursitis.

To treat bursitis with mullein, prepare a warm cup of mullein tea and soak a piece of dry cloth with. Apply this to the affected joint to reduce inflammation. Keep doing this until the inflammation subsides.

Respiratory illnesses

In the 19th century, mullein became a popular remedy for tuberculosis in Europe and the United States. (Related: Understanding pulmonary tuberculosis (TB): TB symptoms, prevention, and the difference between latent and active TB.)

Mullein tea is also an effective natural remedy for upper respiratory problems, such as dry cough, tonsillitis, sore throat and hoarseness. Mullein leaves can help get rid of mucus and soothe inflammation in the throat, thanks to their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Mullein can also be smoked to help treat chest congestion. However, this should be done with care, as smoking mullein could trigger even more problems, especially if you have an underlying health condition like asthma.

Now that you’re aware of what you can do with mullein, here are four ways to prepare mullein for use.


Grind dried up mullein flowers and leaves into a fine powder and add some water. Mix until you create a thick paste and apply the poultice to the affected area. Cover the area with a plastic wrap or gauze after application.


Your local health food store should have some mullein tea in stock. If not, you can make it at home by pouring a cup of boiling water over one to two teaspoons of dried mullein leaves or flowers. Let it steep for 10 to 15 minutes before drinking.


Making mullein tincture is easy but will take a lot of time. Fill up a jar with vodka and soak dried mullein in it for three to four weeks. Leave the jar with the soaking mullein in a cool, dark place. Strain the mixture after three to four weeks. You can take your mullein tincture three to four times a day.


Mullein oil is perhaps the most popular way the herb is used. You can obtain mullein oil using either hot oil extraction or cold oil extraction.

Cold oil extraction takes a lot of time. To do this, get a glass container and fill it with a cup of dried mullein flowers. Pour olive oil then cover the jar and place it on a windowsill where it can receive a lot of sunlight. Let this solution steep for a week or at least 10 days before straining. Store the oil in a dark-tinted glass bottle.

For hot oil extraction, you will need one cup of mullein flowers and half-a-cup of olive oil. Mix these in a glass boiler and put the boiler over a low flame. Heat the olive oil for three hours then strain using a strainer or a cheesecloth. Storing the oil in a dark-tinted glass bottle.

The world is filled with medicinal herbs that can help you out with almost any medical ailment. Learn more about mullein and other medicinal plants at

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