Mullein, Verbascum thapsus, is a healing weed that grows in fields and along roadsides. Native Americans have used mullein as a health aid for centuries. Due to its mucilage content, mullein has been used topically by herbalists as a soothing emollient for inflammatory skin conditions, itching, eczema, and burns.
Mullein softens and soothes irritated skin. It also has astringent properties and is useful in healing wounds and shrinking hemorrhoids. The flowers were also valued for the yellow dye they yield, an aspect fashionable Roman ladies appreciated.
When mullein flower stalks were burned as torches, the ashes were collected and used to produce shampoo. Common mullein was brought to America by the Puritans, who used the plant as a medicinal herb.
In hair care, mullein relieves scalp irritations and provides moisture and slip which helps detangle hair.