Mullein scepter (Verbascum thapsiforme Shrad.)

Mullein scepter is a 2-year-old herbaceous plant from the family Scrophulariaceae. Other names: High mullein, royal scepter, bear’s ear, divina


Tall (jo 1.2 m) biennial herbaceous plant, densely pubescent with yellowish felt of branched hairs. The stem is strong, erect, winged from avoiding upper and middle leaves. Leaves entire, alternate, woolly-felt on both sides; basal – elongated-elliptical, narrowed at the top into a long petiole, lower stem – on a short, narrow-winged petiole, middle and upper – sessile, descending along the entire internode with wide wings. The flowers are quite large, from 2.5 to 4 cm in diameter, pubescent on the outside, golden yellow, almost sessile, collected in bunches of 3-4, at the top of the stem forming a more or less thick, dense, intermittent spike-shaped brush at the bottom. Corolla wheel-shaped-five-lobed, stamens 5, with yellow filaments, 3 upper stamens are shorter and densely covered with white hairs, 2 lower stamens with bare filaments, twice as long as the long descending anthers. The fruit is a broadly ovoid capsule. It blooms from July to August. The scepter-shaped mullein grows in sandy places, in wastelands. On the territory of Belarus, there are two more similar types of mullein, the use of which is permitted by the Pharmacopoeia of the VIII edition –Verbascum thapsus L. – bear’s ear mullein and Verbascum phlomoides L. – hairy mullein . The flowers are no different. Hairy mullein blooms in June-July. It grows in pine forests, along sandy hills, slopes, sometimes in wastelands and waste places. Bear’s ear mullein (Verbascum thapsus)differs sharply from the 2 previous species in the smaller size of the corolla (1-1.5 cm in diameter), somewhat funnel-shaped; the filaments of 2 longer stamens are 4 times as long as the shortly descending anthers. Blooms in June-August. The bear’s ear mullein grows on sandy soils, in forest clearings, and in fallows as a weed. Found throughout the country.

Harvesting, description of raw materials:

In medicine, the flowers of the mullein scepter – Flores Verbasci are used. At the beginning of flowering, easily removable corollas of flowers are collected, along with which the stamens attached to the base of the corolla are also torn off. Since the flowers are one-day, the collection is made every day in good sunny weather. Corollas moistened with dew or rain, also crumbling, turn brown when dried. Dry in a warm, darkened room or on stoves. Dry flowers are stored in glass jars tightly closed with stoppers, or in tins, since mullein flowers are very hygroscopic and, when moistened, quickly deteriorate. The raw material consists of bright yellow corollas with stamens, without a green calyx. When folded, the diameter is within 1 cm, when open – within 2 cm. The smell is slightly fragrant, the taste is sweetish, slimy.

Contains active substances:

The flowers contain up to 2.5% mucilage, traces of essential oil, some saponins, dye crocetin, coumarin, carotene and flavonoids.

Medicinal use:

In medicine, mullein scepter is used as an expectorant and emollient in the form of infusions and collections. In folk medicine, an aqueous decoction of mullein flowers is drunk for colds, heart disease, pulmonary tuberculosis, nervous system disorders, asthma, kidney disease; with diathesis, they bathe babies and give them to drink, make lotions on wounds, bathe babies who are not gaining weight well; a decoction of the herb is given to children with epilepsy, they drink it for headaches, for women’s and sexually transmitted diseases, they give children from a runny nose, they use it for bleeding; fresh mullein leaves are applied to boils, from worms in livestock. 

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