Common Mullein

common mullein, credit: Mallory Vanier/Ontario Nature

Identification

  • First year of growth produces soft woolly leaves similar to lamb’s ears
  • Second year of growth produces a flowering stalk up to 1.8 m in height with yellow flowers

Location

  • Dry, sunny disturbed areas such as roadsides, open fields and areas near railways

Harvesting Time

  • July to September

Uses and Related Information

  • Leaves and flowers can be used in salads or teas, though teas must be strained to remove seeds
  • Teas made with flowers and leaves are said to be useful in treating colds and diarrhea, while teas made with the stalks are said to be useful in treating cramps and fevers
  • Some people use the leaves in a poultice to treat ulcers and hemorrhoids
  • Mullein contains a variety of vitamins and nutrients essential for healthy growth and development
  • Campers know this plant as “cowboy’s toilet paper”, but when used as such it may irritate sensitive skin

Cautions

Before consuming tea made from mullein, strain out the seeds, as the seed hairs may irritate the throat

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