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How to Make Mullein Tincture & Why You Should

Updated: Feb 10

How to Make a Mullein Tincture

Chances are you’ve seen mullein growing, possibly in your yard or by the roadside. It’s possible you’ve even considered this fuzzy plant to be a weed. But if you take the time to get to know the properties of mullein, you may find that it’s one of the most useful plants in the yard, particularly during the cold and flu season or if you suffer from lung issues.

I’ve been working hard this year to change my mindset with regard to weeds. I’m choosing to view them as plants I haven’t discovered the use/purpose of because when you get right down to it, each and every plant has a purpose. For instance, the dreaded thistle, considered a noxious weed by most, it actually functions to repair compacted soil, and it happens to be edible. Another great example is the dandelion. Long before it got ruled a weed, it was once a highly desirable source of both food and medicine.

Dandelion Tincture

A Quick Disclaimer

Before we start, let me remind you that while I prefer to treat simple ailments on my own whenever possible, I am in no way suggesting that you should fail to seek medical advice when needed. Just because something is natural doesn’t automatically mean it’s safe for every person. Certain herbs can be harmful to pregnant or nursing mothers. Others can have adverse interactions with existing medications. Always do your research, and speak to a professional regarding any major concerns.

What is Mullein Good For?

Mullein has been used in herbal medicines in Pakistan and Turkey for centuries. It is most often thought of as a herb to support lung or bronchial health, but other uses include cough, congestion, bronchitis, asthma, constipation, pain, inflammation, headaches, and gout. Medicinally, mullein has expectorant, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antioxidant, antibacterial, and anticancer properties.

It can also be applied directly to the skin to help treat burns or wounds, and it has been used in eardrop formulations to treat ear infections. But, today we are here to talk about mullein as a tincture.

What is a Tincture?

Tinctures have been around for millennia, and these simple-to-make concoctions are a key component of traditional herbal medicine. Tinctures are nothing more than concentrated herbal extracts made by soaking the medicinal parts of plants in a solvent like alcohol or vinegar. This process extracts a greater spectrum of the plant, concentrates them as a liquid, and preserves the medicinal qualities longer than an infusion or a decoction.

Alcohol is the most commonly used solvent for tinctures because many plants have medicinal properties that are not water-soluble. Alcohol can also quickly enter the bloodstream, making your medicinals much faster-acting.

What Kind of Alcohol Is Used?

Both vodka and Everclear are popular for tincture making. But any brandy, rum, or gin will work as long as the alcohol content is between 40-60% ABV (80-120 proof). Everclear can be hard for some people to take, so vodka is the most common choice. However, if you’re working with tough roots, Everclear may be a better choice.

Stocking the Home Apothecary

Ethically Harvesting Mullein

As with any foraged plant, it is imperative that you use ethical harvesting practices. To sustainably wild harvest mullein, start by selecting leaves from near the bottom of the plant or flowers from the top of the stalk. Remember never to decimate a single plant, and always leave the roots intact so that the plant can return next season. Mullein is a biennial plant, meaning it grows small the first year. Then in its second year, it will grow larger and flower. (If mullein doesn't grow near you, you can also purchase wild foraged mullein from our apothecary.)

Making Mullein Tincture

Making mullein tincture is a very simple process requiring only a few ingredients or supplies. All you need is freshly harvested mullein, vodka, and a sealable jar.


  • Enough mullein leaves to fill your desired jar ¾ of the way full.

  • Enough Vodka or Everclear to completely cover your plant matter


  • Thoroughly wash, and pat dry your mullein leaves

  • Tear or crush the leaves as you work to place them in a clean glass jar pressing them down well.

  • Fill the remainder of the jar with vodka or Everclear, making sure the leaves are fully submerged.

  • Put a lid on the jar and place it in a cool dark place for about one month, giving the jar a shake every now and then.

  • At the end of a month, when the tincture is ready, strain the plant matter from the vodka using a fine sieve or strainer.

  • Put the strained tincture into a clean dark glass jar, label it, and store it in a cool dark place.

How to Use Mullein Tincture

Mullein tincture is a useful home remedy for a lot of different ailments, but here are some general dosing guidelines for use during the cough and cold season.

  • For cough and lung issues - ¼ teaspoon 2-3 times a day

Cautions and Side-Effects

Mullein is generally considered safe and is well tolerated by most adults when consumed in moderation. There is some evidence to suggest that the seeds may be toxic, so avoid the seeds when collecting flowers.

Pregnant or nursing women are advised to avoid the use of mullein as there haven’t been enough studies or research into their long-term safety, and of course, avoid it if you’re allergic.

As with any herbal remedy, always discuss its use with a healthcare provider to avoid any drug interactions with current medications.

Home Apothecary Log

Mulling Over Mullein

What do you think? Are you ready to stop seeing Mullein as a weed and embrace the healing power of this big wooly plant? If you decide to make this tincture, tell us all about it in the comments below! And as always, until next time,

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Making Mullein Tincture

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