Common names: mullein, velvet plant
Orange mullein is a biennial plant belonging to the figwort (Scrophulariaceae) family. In the first year, the plant develops a basal rosette consisting of 20-30 cm long, spear-shaped, pointed leaves with sinuate margins. Its pentagonal, 1.5-2 m long stems appear in the second year. The stems develop alternate leaves. The flowers are arranged in spikes located on the top of the stem. Its vivid yellow flowers grow individually or in groups of 3 to 5. It blooms from June to August, in the early morning.
Orange mullein grows on pastures, roadsides, in dry weed associations. It is a drought and cold-tolerant plant requiring much sunlight.
The drug is obtained from the flowers of the orange and denseflower mullein (V. densiflorum) (Verbasci flos), from which only the petals are harvested. The leaves (Verbasci folium) also contain active ingredient. The flowers must be collected on the day they begin to bloom, in dry weather and in the morning. They are very sensitive to pressure. Harvested flowers must be sun-dried or placed into an artificial dryer until they become friable.
The main active ingredients of the mullein flowers are the mucous substances and the saponins. In addition, the plant also contains sugars, flavonoids and carotenoids.
Mullein flowers are used for their cough-relieving, expectorant, anticatarrhal, sudorific effects. The plant reduces coughing, is a common ingredient of mucolytic or expectorant tea blends. The plant has antiviral and mild antibacterial effects. Due to its anticatarrhal, expectorant, sudorific effects, it is also commonly used in traditional medicine to treat cold. The cosmetics industry uses the plant to make shampoos for blond hair.