Mullein is a tall plant with bright yellow flowers. The leaves and flowers have been used to ease cold-like symptoms and to improve breathing. It can be taken as a pill, powder, or extract. Mullein can also be applied as a salve or made into a tea.


There are no advised doses for mullein.

What Research Shows

May Be Effective

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

Mullein is likely safe to use on the skin and may be safe to take orally for a short period. You might develop a skin rash.B1, B2 Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period. It is not known whether mullein is safe to use by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.


Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.


A. Otitis Media

A1. Sarrell EM, Mandelberg A, et al. Efficacy of naturopathic extracts in the management of ear pain associated with acute otitis media. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2001 Jul;155(7):796-799.

A2. Sarrell EM, Cohen HA, et al. Naturopathic treatment for ear pain in children. Pediatrics. 2003 May;111(5 Pt 1):e574-579.

B. Safety

B1. Castro AI, Carmona JB, et al. Occupational airborne dermatitis from gordolobo (Verbascum densiflorum). Contact Dermatitis. 2006 Nov;55(5):301.

B2. Flores Echaiz C, Al Ali A, et al. Simultaneous contact dermatitis caused by Asteraceae and Verbascum thapsus. Contact Dermatitis. 2017 May;76(5):316-318.

Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
Last Updated: 6/29/2020

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