How to Make Delicious, Soothing Mullein Cough Medicine

This article describes the plant Mullein and its medicinal uses and provides instructions on how to make your own Mullein cough medicine.

Mullein puts on a spectacular floral display, about chest height (girly chest) with downy large leaves with spikes of beautiful yellow flowers from about late June. It contains volatile oils (antibacterial), saponins and rutin.

Laboratory tests have shown that it ís anti-inflammatory, with antibiotic activity, and that it inhibits the tuberculosis bacillus. The American Indians smoked dried mullein and coltsfoot cigarettes for asthma and bronchitis.

Mullein tea is also an astringent and demulcent. It’s good for diarrhea, and it’s been used in compresses for hemorrhoids since it was recommended by Dioscorides centuries ago. It is also supposed to help other herbs get absorbed through the skin. Pliny the Elder of ancient Rome, Gerard in sixteenth century England and country folk around the world, have used the heated leaves in poultices for arthritis.

Mullein is also great for making Cough Syrup, particularly for dry coughs. It possesses a soothing demulcent for the respiratory system. ‘Demulcent’ means a herb rich in mucilage that is soothing and in this case is also delicious!

When you feel the leaves of Mullein they feel wonderfully soft and silky which is a sure sign that the leaves contain mucilage. Mucilage, although it sounds disgusting, is great stuff as it coats and protects mucous membranes lining the gut and respiratory system.

These are the instructions to make Mullein cough medicine:

Wash, dry and sterilise a jam jar. The best way to do this is to put the clean jam jar into a cold oven and turn the oven on to 200C and leave it in there for about 15 minutes until the oven is hot. Turn the oven off and leave the jar in there until it is cold. (Don’t try and take it out and burn your fingers and don’t pour cold liquid in there otherwise it will crack).

Pick as many mullein flowers as you can. Sprinkle onto a tray and leave for a few hours to allow any insects to leave. They seem to sense what is happening and will fly away leaving the clean flowers behind. Layer these in the by now, COLD jam jar with granulated sugar, about 3 cms at a time. Store it with the lid on, on a sunny window ledge.

As this compresses down over the next few days you can keep topping up the jar, but pick fresh flowers every time.

When the jar is full just leave it in sunlight for at least three weeks. At the end of this time you will have some very sorry looking flowers but a beautiful deep yellow/brown syrup. Strain the syrup through a piece of clean cloth into another clean jam jar and keep it somewhere dark (cupboard) and cool until you need it in the winter for a cough.

One teaspoon three or four times a day will soothe the cough.

Don’t forget if the cough is persistent, to go and see your doctor.

If you are on any other medications or suffer from allergies please do not self medicate, but go and see a qualified herbal practitioner or your doctor.