Common mullein, Verbascum thapsus, is a European plant that has made its way all over the world. The USDA plant distribution maps show it in all the U.S. states and all but Arctic Canada. It is a member of the Scrophulariaceae, the snapdragon family.
The name mullein may be from mollis, Latin for soft, a description of the big hairy leaves, but it is possibly from the Latin malandrium, a disease of cattle, for which mullein was a remedy.
Perhaps the majestic appearance of the mature plant up to 21 m (7 ft) tall, with candelabra-like flowering spikes - earned it this respect, or perhaps its use as a source of light: Greeks fashioned mullein fibers into lamp wicks or used the dried leaves, and Romans dipped the whole head of the plant into tallow and carried this natural torch in funeral possessions.
Like many plants of European origin, mullein was credited with power over witches and evil spirits. It was considered one of 23 important healing herbs in medieval Jewish medical practice. Mulleind large stalk was used as a ceremonial torch as far back as ancient Rome.
Statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and are not intended to treat or diagnose any disease or health condition. The information on this website is intended for informational purposes only. It is recommended that patients check with their doctors before taking herbs, to ensure that there are no contraindications with prescription medications.