Mullein Salve Recipes: A Natural Remedy for Respiratory Ailments and Skin Irritations

Mullein is a medicinal plant that has been used for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. The leaves and flowers of the mullein plant contain compounds that have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties. Mullein can be prepared in several ways to harness its healing abilities. One popular way is to make mullein salve, which can be used to treat respiratory congestion or skin irritations. This article will provide an overview of mullein salve, its benefits, and easy recipes to make it at home.

Benefits of Mullein Salve

Mullein salve is an oil-based preparation that contains mullein flowers or leaves infused in a carrier oil for several weeks. Beeswax is later added to thicken the salve into a semi-solid consistency for topical application. The mullein-infused oil extracts and preserves the therapeutic compounds in the leaves or flowers so they can be absorbed through the skin. The beeswax also allows the salve to form a protective barrier over irritated skin or mucous membranes.

Here are some of the top benefits of using mullein salve:

  • Soothes dry, irritated skin and minimizes skin inflammation
  • Helps heal minor cuts, burns, scrapes by promoting new tissue growth
  • Alleviates cough and chest congestion when rubbed on throat and chest
  • Reduces muscle or joint pain when applied topically
  • Calms skin irritation from eczema, psoriasis, or hemorrhoids
  • Acts as a protectant and moisturizer for chapped lips
  • Minimizes earache pain and swimmer’s ear as an ear salve

Overall, mullein salve has soothing, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial properties that make it useful for many common ailments. It’s gentle enough for regular use but also provides fast-acting relief for respiratory congestion and skin irritations when needed.

How to Make Mullein Salve – 3 Easy Recipes

Making homemade mullein salve only requires a few simple ingredients and steps. Here are three easy recipes to try:

Simple Mullein Flower Salve


  • 1 cup dried mullein flowers
  • 1 cup olive oil or sweet almond oil
  • 1 oz beeswax pastilles
  • 8-10 drops essential oil (optional)


  1. Place mullein flowers in a glass jar and cover with olive oil by 1-2 inches. Cover jar tightly.
  2. Let jar sit in a cool, dark place for 4-6 weeks, shaking occasionally.
  3. After infusing, strain oil through a cheesecloth and squeeze flowers to extract all liquid. Discard flowers.
  4. In a double boiler, melt beeswax into the strained oil. Once melted, quickly mix in essential oils if desired.
  5. Immediately pour salve into containers or tins before it solidifies. Allow to completely cool and harden.
  6. Apply small amounts of the salve to affected areas 1-2 times per day. Store excess in an airtight container for up to a year.

Healing Mullein and Plantain Salve


  • 1⁄2 cup mullein leaves, chopped
  • 1⁄2 cup plantain leaves, chopped
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 oz beeswax pastilles
  • 5 drops tea tree oil
  • 3 drops lavender oil


  1. Place chopped mullein and plantain leaves in a glass jar and cover with olive oil by 1-2 inches.
  2. Infuse for 4-6 weeks, shaking jar every few days. Strain leaves out through a cheesecloth.
  3. In a double boiler, melt beeswax into strained oil. Remove from heat and mix in essential oils.
  4. Pour into containers and allow to fully harden before use.
  5. Spread small amounts onto affected skin areas 1-3 times daily.

Soothing Ear Oil and Salve


  • 1⁄2 cup mullein flowers
  • 1⁄2 cup garlic, chopped
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1 oz beeswax pastilles
  • 3 drops lavender essential oil
  • 3 drops tea tree essential oil


  1. In a glass jar, combine mullein flowers, garlic, and olive oil. Cover by 1-2 inches of oil.
  2. Infuse for 4-6 weeks, shaking occasionally, then strain through a cheesecloth.
  3. In a double boiler, melt beeswax into the strained oil. Remove from heat.
  4. Quickly mix in lavender and tea tree oils before pouring salve into containers.
  5. To use, warm a teaspoon of the salve slightly and apply around ears and just inside the ear canal.
  6. Apply 2-3 times per day to relieve earaches and swimmer’s ear.

How to Use Mullein Salve

Mullein salve is easy to incorporate into your health routine. Here are some tips for using it:

  • For respiratory congestion, rub a small amount on your chest and throat. Cover with a warm towel and relax as it penetrates.
  • Dab on blemishes, non-healing wounds, hemorrhoids, or areas of skin irritation 2-3 times daily.
  • To help ear pain and infections, warm salve to body temperature before massaging around ear and just inside the canal.
  • Mix with a carrier oil and use as a daily moisturizer to prevent chapped lips and soothe skin.
  • For coughs, place a small dollop of salve on your finger and allow it to slowly dissolve in mouth.
  • Rub on sore, overworked muscles and joints to relax them.

Always do a small skin test before applying any herbal salve to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction. Discontinue use if any irritation occurs. Properly stored, mullein salve can keep for up to a year but it’s best used within a few months.

Additional Tips for Making and Using Mullein Salve

  • When making mullein salve, use fresh or dried leaves and flowers. Ensure plant parts are finely chopped to release beneficial compounds.
  • Olive, sweet almond, or sunflower oil have the optimal extraction power but coconut or grapeseed oil can also be used.
  • Use a double boiler to gently heat the oil and beeswax mixture. Don’t overheat or certain healing constituents may be destroyed.
  • Essential oils like lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint, and tea tree boost the therapeutic effects and help preserve the salve.
  • Store the finished salve in small tins or jars away from direct light and heat to maintain potency.
  • To extend shelf life, experiment with adding vitamin E oil, rosemary extract, or grapefruit seed extract as natural preservatives.
  • When using for ear issues, first consult your doctor and discontinue if ear pain worsens. Never place salve deep into ear canal.
  • For maximum cough relief, apply salve to feet and chest and cover both areas with socks and a towel to increase absorption.
  • Mullein salve can also be used to help heal sunburn, frostbite, mouth sores, and insect bites when applied topically.

The Benefits of Mullein as an Herbal Remedy

Mullein has a long history of use dating back to ancient Roman and Greek times. Today, it remains a popular natural remedy due to its many benefits:

Respiratory Health

The compounds in mullein help loosen mucus, fight inflammation, and constrict airways. This makes mullein an excellent remedy for coughs, bronchitis, colds, and even asthma.

Skin Soothing

Both the leaves and flowers of the mullein plant contain anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial abilities that help heal skin irritations from eczema, burns, cuts, and hemorrhoids. The mucilage content also moisturizes dry skin.

Pain Relief

Applied topically, mullein has mild analgesic effects and can reduce joint or muscle pain. The salve also relieves painful ear infections.

Antimicrobial Activity

Mullein has been studied for its ability to fight certain bacteria like E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Klebsiella pneumoniae. This helps protect against infection.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Compounds like verbascoside, mucilage, and flavonoids found in mullein exhibit potent anti-inflammatory activities which can reduce swelling and redness.

Sedative Properties

Mullein contains compounds like glycosides, alkaloids, and coumarins that have a sedating effect and can help induce sleep.

Wound Healing

Mullein stimulates new cell growth while fighting microbes. This promotes faster healing of wounds, burns, or skin ulcers.

With mullein salve, you can easily harness these beneficial properties. Just be sure to consult your doctor before using herbal preparations if you take any medications or have a medical condition.

Potential Side Effects and Precautions

When used appropriately, mullein salve is very gentle with minimal side effects. However, certain precautions should be kept in mind:

  • Discontinue use if skin irritation or rash occurs and do a patch test before reusing.
  • Avoid getting mullein salve in eyes or open wounds as it can cause irritation.
  • If pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before using herbal preparations.
  • Be cautious using mullein salve alongside blood pressure or blood sugar medications due to possible interactions.
  • Don’t apply mullein salve over wounds or broken skin without first consulting your doctor.
  • Use the smallest amount needed for relief to avoid any potential skin sensitization over time.
  • Mullein can cause contact dermatitis so do not use if you have environmental allergies or sensitivities.
  • Never ingest mullein salve or use it internally unless under medical supervision. It is for external use only.

With some care and common sense, mullein salve can be safely used to treat a variety of respiratory ailments, muscle and joint discomfort, and skin irritations. Trust your body and discontinue use if any worrisome reactions occur.


For centuries, mullein’s wooly leaves and yellow flowers have been transformed into therapeutic salves, poultices, and tonics. With its stellar safety record and stellar safety record, mullein has rightfully earned its place in every herbalist’s medicine cabinet. The simple mullein salve recipes shared here can be whipped up with minimal effort. Harnessing mullein’s natural anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and analgesic abilities, these salves can provide safe, effective relief for earaches, skin irritations, coughs, and more minor ailments. Whether you make a large batch for your family’s medicine chest or give homemade mullein salve gifts to friends, you’ll appreciate having this herbal ally on hand to soothe common health issues. Trust in mullein’s gentle but powerful healing touch.