As with most herbs, mullein has been used for healing since ancient times. Every part of the mullein plant can treat various illnesses, such as coughs, inflammation, diarrhea, asthma, and skin irritation. It can be used as a tea, oil, tincture, poultice…even smoked! Since mullein is so versatile, mullein tincture should be in everyone’s therapeutic arsenal! Mullein tincture is a staple in our household! I keep it in my purse and diaper bag because you just never know when you’ll need it, especially when you have little ones.
Note: this is not meant to be taken as medical advice, please consult with your general practitioner before starting any new supplements.
What is Mullein?
Mullein is a tall biennial plant with large, velvety leaves and pale-yellow flowers that can be found all over the U.S. and Canada, as well as in Europe and Western Asia. It flourishes in diverse environments such as meadows and forests, and because it grows well in rocky soil, you may have even seen it by the side of the road. It commonly grows up to 10 feet tall and has one thick stock.
Medicinal Mullein Benefits
Mullein is a medicinal powerhouse. It’s no wonder I get so many questions about mullein tincture benefits!
So, what makes Mullein so beneficial? Well, research on mullein has found that it contains the following active compounds:
- Flavonoids—anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
- Saponins—pain-relieving, anti-tumor, expectorant, and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Phenylethanoids—antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties.
- Iridoids—anti-inflammatory properties.
Mullein also contains around 3% mucilage, which is believed to be the reason for its use to soothe the body’s mucous membranes.
- Demulcent (relieves inflamed mucus membranes)
- An astringent
- A disinfectant (for internal and external infections)
Mullein is an effective treatment for:
- Staph infections
- E. coli
- Respiratory infections
- Urinary tract infections
- Herpes simplex virus
- Bird flu virus
- Sore throat
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Ear infections (I use this oil for my kids)
- Inflammatory illnesses
- Vaginal yeast infection
Mullein leaf is sold in a variety of forms, including teas, extracts, oils, powders, capsules, creams, and elixirs. I buy my mullein to make tinctures HERE.
Mullein Tincture Benefits
Tinctures are made from dried herbs mixed with alcohol or apple cider vinegar. There are several reasons why I prefer tincture over tea. First, they are so easy to make at home using whatever combination of herbs is needed. Secondly, they enter the bloodstream much faster than tea because you place a small amount under your tongue, so it absorbs quickly without having to go through your digestive tract. This means you can start treatment as soon as symptoms appear. The last reason I love tinctures is because they are easier to use with kiddos. My kids don’t want to drink gallons of medicinal tea when they aren’t feeling good, but they will hold still for a few drops of a tincture every few hours.
Mullein tincture can be used for all the illnesses listed above, including flu, tummy upset, and respiratory infections, which is what I most often use them for in my household.
Mullein Tincture Recipe
I mentioned earlier that tinctures are a breeze to make, and now I’m going to prove that. Here’s the mullein tincture recipe I use. I always keep some on the go so I never run out. It can last up to a year or more when kept in a dark bottle in a dry, cool location. THESE are the jars I use to infuse my tinctures.
It's easy to make your own mullein tincture. You only need two ingredients to make this healing liquid.
- Fill your jar ¾ full of dried mullein.
- Pour the alcohol or vinegar over the mullein until it is completely covered.
- Seal the jar with the lid and set the mixture in a sunny spot to allow the infusion to get started quickly. (Not all tincture-makers do this, but I find it speeds up the “curing” process, so I don’t have to wait as long to use it.)
- Shake the jar every day for four-six weeks.
- When the tincture is ready, use cheesecloth to drain the tincture from the spent herbs and pour the liquid into amber glass dropper bottles. I use THESE.
- Tinctures are most often extracted in alcohol because it’s the most potent solvent. Some herbs don’t release their medicinal properties in a less powerful solvent like apple cider vinegar. Alcohol is also a fantastic preservative, so alcohol-based tinctures have a practically indefinite shelf life if you store it in a cool, dark location. There’s no need to refrigerate an alcohol-based tincture.
- If you want to use alcohol for tinctures to ensure you get the highest release of medicinal properties from the mullein but prefer a non-alcoholic product, just put the required drops of tincture into a small amount of hot water and allow it to sit for 5-10 minutes. The hot water will dissipate the alcohol content and leave only the herbal matter and water. This method is even safe for children.
- Some people prefer to take a tincture by drinking it in a small amount of water or other liquid. This is especially helpful if the burning sensation you get from placing an alcohol-based tincture under your tongue is bothersome.
How Much Mullein Tincture to Take
Adults can take two droppers full of mullein tincture two or three times a day.
Two droppers full is the equivalent of drinking one cup of tea.
Go here to see a breakdown of how much to give to children under the age of 12.
Mullein tincture isn’t recommended for women who are pregnant or nursing.