Verbascum. Verbascum thapsus.

Botanical name: 


Mucilage, volatile oil, fat, sugar.


Specific Verbascum. Dose, from five to sixty minims.

A preparation may be prepared extemporaneously by breaking off the upper portion of the blossoms of the mullein and putting them into a glass jar and allowing them to stand in the sun for a few days. The mass is then strained through muslin. The juice extracted by the above or other process is called an oil or mulleined oil, but does not possess all the properties of an oil.

Therapy—The most direct use of this agent is in the treatment of simple uncomplicated cases of deafness, or in the early stages of progressive deafness where the cause is not apparent. In these cases, from, two to five drops in the ear, three or four times each day, will stop the progress of the disease, and will cure many simple cases. In its local influence, it softens and facilitates the removal of hardened secretions, stimulating the nerve structures at the same time. It has positive anodyne properties, and is curative in a large number of the ordinary cases of earache in children, acting often more quickly than other and better 'known' agents, and is used with perfect safety, as it has no irritating or toxic properties.

Used in the treatment of ulcerations of the ear, where there are fetid discharges, it is of much value in allaying pain and promoting the action of other antiseptic and healing remedies. In the treatment of the simple car troubles of childhood, it accomplishes alone that for which complex formulae are otherwise necessary.

Mulleined oil has a wider influence, however, than its use in the disease of the ear. It has been used in rheumatic conditions to an extent, and I am of the opinion that properly developed in this line, it will be found a serviceable remedy. Internally, the specific medicine or the infusion exercises a diaphoretic and diuretic influence, and is soothing to the nervous system.

This agent is often used in irritation and inflammation of the urinary apparatus, acting in harmony with hydrangea, gelsemium or other antispasmodics in stricture from irritation. It is useful also in acute catarrh, either of a specific or lion-specific origin, in catarrhal cystitis, and in some cases of pyelitis and catarrhal nephritis. It has been used also in bronchial irritation and in asthmatic bronchitis. In uncomplicated asthma, especially the paroxysmal form, mullein leaves, mixed with stramonium and potassium nitrate and smoked through a pipe, will often give prompt relief. The smoking must be suspended if vertigo supervenes.

The agent has long been a domestic remedy in the treatment of rheumatism. A fomentation is prepared from the leaves or the steam from a decoction is confined to the part, or compresses are wrung from a strong infusion of the leaves, and applied.

One-half drop doses of the mulleined oil four times a day has overcome some dribbling of the urine. This remedy seems to be serviceable as an external application to inflamed glands.

Dr. Mathews says that this is an excellent agent in the treatment of conditions where there is persistent acridity of the urine, especially if it produces pain or strangury.

Verbascum is useful for the treatment of orchitis. It can be used internally and externally.

The American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy, 1919, was written by Finley Ellingwood, M.D.
It was scanned by Michael Moore for the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine.