About 300 different species belong to the mullein genus. As a medicinal plant come next to the black mullein (Verbascum nigrum) also the small-flowered mullein (Verbascum thapsus), the common mullein (Verbascum phlomoides) and the large-flowered mullein (Verbascum densiflorum) often used.
Profile of the black mullein
- Scientific name: Verbascum nigrum
- Common names: dark cotton herb, dark mullein, wool flower, torch flower, weather candle
- Plant family: Braunwurzgewächse (Scrophulariaceae)
- Occurrence: Europe, Asia, Africa
- Parts of plants used: Leaves, flowers
- ingredients: essential oils, flavonoids, aucubin, catalpol, iridoid glycosides, caffeic acid, phenolcarboxylic acids, phytosterols, mucilages, sterols, triterpensaponins, verbascosaponin, verbascoside
- application areas:
- Respiratory diseases
- Nerve pain
- Kidney disease
- Skin inflammation
The black mullein, whose healing effect almost corresponds to that of the other mullein types, works
- and antispasmodic.
It is most commonly used in tea blends for the respiratory tract. The mucilages contained in the plant lie on the mucous membranes like a protective coat, the saponins help to dissolve viscous secretions. Especially in autumn and winter, when the cold period is in full swing, tea from mullein flowers is advisable.
Black Mullein - application
Mullein tea is drunk for a cold, especially for cough and hoarseness, but also for sore throats and for prevention. As already mentioned, the mucilages cover the mucous membranes as a protective film and protect them from drying out and other pathogens. The mucus is also good for other mucous membranes in the body, such as those in the stomach.
A "barking" cough responds quite well to this medicinal herb. In case of nocturnal coughing fits, drinking mullein tea with a little honey is recommended. The black mullein saponins support the expectoration and thus protect against a secretion jam.
Black Mullein - Tea Recipe
The black mullein occurs mainly in cough tea mixtures. Gladly together with mallow flowers, plantain leaves, fennel or thyme. For tea preparation, a teaspoon of the dried plants is brewed with 250 milliliters of boiling water and strained after seven to eight minutes.
Verbascum nigrum is a hardy plant and prefers dry, sunny locations such as roadsides, rubble places and gravel pits. They bloom from July to September. It is perennial and grows up to one and a half meters in height. The violet stamens contrast with the yellow flower color.
Of all mullein, also of Verbascum nigrum, is said to act as a magic herb against mischief. Hildegard von Bingen recommended Verbascum to those who were sad. She also used the plant against a sore throat and hoarseness. The mullein, astrologically assigned to the sun, is supposed to bring sun back into life. The pastor Sebastian Kneipp prescribed them for heart strengthening and as an addition in a strong soup.
Pedanios Dioskurides, a Greek doctor, mentioned the mullein as a hair dye. Wool and silk became bright yellow.
A legend about Verbascum tells of how a king, together with his little son, visited the catacombs in Rome and was robbed there and left behind in the dark. Both prayed for help and then the mullein that the boy picked at the entrance suddenly began to glow, whereupon father and son found their way out of the catacombs again.
Another story tells of rich fishing, triggered by the nightly scattering of the mullein seeds into the water. An explanation was later given for this: the saponin content of the seeds had a nerve-numbing and anesthetic effect on the fish. This made them easier to fish.
It also served to predict the weather. If the top of the mullein leaned towards the west, rain was to be expected, it pointed to the east, and sunshine was in sight. Furthermore, the hardness and length of the upcoming winter was predicted with the help of the number and arrangement of the flowers.
Mullein in homeopathy
In homeopathy it is not the black mullein, but above all the species Verbascum densiflorum and Verbascum thapsus used. The areas of application include here
- Nerve pain,
- Fainting tendency,
- nervous restlessness,
- and respiratory diseases.
Black mullein as incense
The dried flowers and leaves of the mullein can be used as fumigants. A honey-like, light fragrance fills the room and exudes a brightening effect. The mullein are often offered together with other incense.
In summary, the black mullein has almost the same healing effects as the other species, but is used less frequently. Their main area of application is irritable cough and cough with stuck mucus. (sw)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the specifications of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
- Kindersley, Dorling: RSPB Wildlife of Britain, DK Verlag, 2011
- Vonarburg, Bruno: Homeopathy: Summer Full of Flowers, Volume 2, Karl F. Haug Verlag, 2005
- Wichtl, Max et al .: Tea drugs and phytopharmaceuticals: A handbook for practical use on a scientific basis, Wissenschaftliche Verlagsgesellschaft, 2009
- Herbalism Study Group: Letter to Herbs August 2016: Mullein (Verbascum thapsus), 2016, http: //www.pflanzenheilkraft.de
- Kalinina, Svetlana A .; Elkina, Olga V.; Kalinin, Dmitrii V. et al .: Diuretic Activity and Toxicity of Some Verbascum Nigrum Extracts and Fractions, in: Pharmaceutical Biology, 52/2: 191-8, February 2014, Taylor & Francis Online