Mullein boasts an illustrious history as a favored herbal remedy and, consequently, has found use in various disorders. Its traditional uses generally have focused on the management of respiratory disorders where it was used to treat asthma, coughs,tuberculosis, and related respiratory problems
Saponins in dried mullein flowers help make coughs more productive. Native Americans drank a decoction made of roots and smoked the dried roots and leaves to help with asthma. Cherokees rubbed the leaves on the skin to treat prickly rash and made poultices of the leaves and applied them to bruises.
For congestion and dry cough, adults should take a dropperful of tincture in warm water every four hours; for ear infections, a few drops of mullein oil, slightly warmed, directly in the ear and plug loosely with cotton. You can add garlic for extra effectiveness.
Native Americans would put mullein leaves into their moccasins to keep their feet warm. They would also smoke dried mullein leaves as a tobacco substitute to relieve asthma. The therapeutic uses for mullein have expanded since then; it is now administered in teas, and oil extracts are made from its flowers. often prepared as soothing leaf tea or an ear oil made of the infused flower Mullein, like so many herbs of European origin, were introduced by the colonists and then incorporated into the Native American healing tradition. The root was made into a necklace for teething infants by the Abenaki tribe, the Cherokee applied the leaves as a poultice for cuts and swollen glands, and other tribes rubbed the leaves on the body during ritual sweat bathes.
Additionally, the flowers were used internally as teas and topically as poultices. The Navajos smoked mullein, and the Amish were known to partake as well.
Dioscorides, a Greek physician pharmacologist and botanist, practicing in the 1st century in Rome, who authored the herbal De Materia Medica, was one of the first to recommend mulleins use in lung conditions around 2,000 years ago. It was used as a hair wash in ancient Roman times; the leaf ash to darken hair, and the yellow flowers for lightening it. The leaves were dried, rolled and used as wicks for candles and the entire dried flowering stalks were dipped in tallow and used for torches, hence the names 'candlewick plant' or 'torches'
Its magical qualities were numerous, going way beyond simply warding off evil but also was thought to instill courage and health, provide protection, and to attract love. In fact, it was believed that wearing mullein would ensure fertility and also keep potentially dangerous animals at bay while trekking along in the wilderness.
Magickal uses of Mullein include protection from nightmares & sorcery, courage, cursing and invoking spirits. Mullein as a single-stalked plant literally is the Hag’s taper. It belongs to the crossroads, to Saturn, and to the underworld. It it Hecate’s torch and Lucifer’s staff. It is a key and a door. Mullein resembles a torch with it’s tip covered in bright yellow flowers with orange and red pollen mimicking flames.
Perhaps Hecate’s saffron robe was dyed with rich yellow Mullein flowers instead of actual saffron. The flowers were once used in ancient Roman dyes and pigments. Add the flowers to a recipe for a yellow magical ink – perhaps steeped in vodka with turmeric and saffron heated with frankincense or pine resin. Use for drawing prosperity sigils, sigils of the sun, wealth, success, and strength.
Witches can use the soft leaves as candle wicks or soak the dried stalk in beeswax or tallow to make a torch for rituals of necromancy. Mullein is used to see manifestations of spirits, to see into the otherworld, and to commune with the spirits and deities who dwell there.
It is used for divination and dream work or a combination of the two prophetic dreaming. Mullein protects you in your sleep helping to combat both evil spirits and nightmares. As it helps one to fall asleep when ingested, Mullein makes an excellent tea to encourage prophetic dreams and as an aid in lucid dreaming or astral travel while asleep.