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Orange mullein

Orange mullein

Varbascum phlomoides – Orange mullein, woolly mullein, clasping-leaf mullein
Scrophulariaceae – Figwort family
The raw material is the orange mullein corolla (flower) – Verbasci corolla, Verbasci flos (Corolla verbasci, Flos verbasci), harvested in the second year of vegetation as the flowers develop, on warm and dry days, dried in a single layer in natural conditions (shaded and ventilated), or in drying rooms, initially in a low temperature and gradually increasing up to 35° C (otherwise it darkens).

Orange mullein – appearance and origin:

The plant originates from Southwest Asia, grows in nearly the whole of Europe, in North Africa, North and Central America; in Poland in wastelands, roadsides in the lowlands and foothills. It has no specific soil requirements but should be grown in sunny spots. In the first year, a rosette of basal leaves forms, in the second a stem up to 1.5 m. The leaves are alternate, crenate, with clearly visible veins on the bottom. The flower head is spiky, the flowers are large, dorsiventral, the corolla is light yellow. It blooms from July to September. Melliferous.

Orange mullein – effects and use:

The raw material contains mucus (approx. 2.5%), triterpene saponins (verbascosaponin), iridoids (aucubin, catalposide), hesperidin-derived flavonoids, phenylpropanoids (verbascoside), carotenoids (crocetin which lowers cholesterol), sugars (around 20%).

It has expectorant (saponins), protective and coating (mucus) activity and also counteracts influenza A2 and B viruses. The orange mullein flower, thanks to its saponin content, increases mucus production in the respiratory tract and promotes expectoration. The mucus has a coating effect, protecting the respiratory mucosa from irritants. That is why the orange mullein flower is most commonly used for common colds with throat hoarseness, persistent cough (dry – protects the irritated mucosa; wet – helps to expectorate the mucus).
It was also proven to have antiviral activity, making it an aid in treating flu.

Orange mullein is also used as protective medicine in inflammations of the stomach and bowels.
The plant is used externally in the form of decoctions for gargling the throat and mouth (tonsillitis, common cold), and as a poultice for lesions (wounds, bruises, ulcerations, burns, bedsores, frostbite and allergic reactions). Currently, the flowers are used in cosmetics for lightening hair and making it glossy.