How to Make Mullein Flower Oil for Earache Relief

Mullein flower oil is a natural remedy for painful earaches.

Some years ago our son had an earache, and on his way home from work he stopped to buy something that would give him some relief. He picked up a brand that included natural ingredients, and one of them was mullein flower.

Mullein flowers have antiseptic, infection-fighting and pain-relieving properties. Oil infused with mullein flowers have long been used to relieve the pain of earaches, and it's easy to make your own.

A young mullein plant in early spring.
A young mullein plant in early spring.
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Mullein is a "weed" that's easy to spot in the wild. It's a biennial, taking two years to reach maturity. The first year plant has soft and fuzzy leaves growing in a rosette; in the summer of the second year the plant sends up a tall spike with yellow flowers. This flower spike is easy to spot in fields and along roadsides.

Mullein plants send up a tall flower spike in their second year. The flower spikes are easy to spot in the wild.

If you are fortunate enough to find some two-year-old mullein plants in a place where you can forage - don't use plant material that grows along the road, under power lines or in other areas where herbicides might have been sprayed - you'll probably find that these flower spikes only offer a few flowers every day. If you find a good-sized patch you can harvest some from each of the plants; otherwise you might have to come back a few times to pick enough flowers. Please be ethical in your harvesting: don't take all the plant material, leave enough for the bees and to make seeds for next year. A good rule of thumb is to harvest no more than 30% of any plant material.

It can take awhile to gather enough flowers to make mullein oil. Remember to harvest ethically!

Mullein grows nearly everywhere, but if you can't find any you can order dried flowers from Mountain Rose Herbs or from Amazon (affiliate link). If you want to plant your own mullein patch, you can gather the tiny seeds while you're foraging for flowers or you can buy seeds from Amazon (affiliate link).

After harvesting, I like to let my flowers set for a couple of hours before preparing the oil infusion. This helps to reduce the moisture in the flowers which also reduces the possibility of mold down the road.

I use a small crockpot like this (affiliate link) to infuse oils. Mine has a "warm" setting that's perfect.

After putting the mullein flowers in the crockpot, I cover them with a high quality oil. I use olive oil in my infusions but there are other oils that would be appropriate if you want to use something different. (For an extra-powerful infusion, add some chopped garlic at this point. Garlic also has antiseptic and anti-infection properties.)

The ratio of plant to oil that I use is 1:2. One cup of flowers would need two cups of oil, or 1/2 cup of flowers would be infused in one cup of oil. You can read about measuring in parts here.

I use this small crockpot with a "warm" setting to infuse herbs in oil.

I set the little crockpot on the warm setting and leave the lid off. Letting the oil warm for several hours helps to draw the medicinal properties out of the flowers.

When finished - and there isn't a rule about how many hours you need to let the flowers infuse in the oil, just do it for as long as is practical for you - strain out the flowers from the oil. I like to do this right away while the oil is thin, but the oil is hot so be careful if you do this. I strain it through a wire strainer first to get out the larger material, and then pour it through muslin into another jar. The muslin will catch smaller particles. I let this cool and then squeeze the muslin to get out all of the oil I can.

Store your mullein oil in a brown bottle in a cool, dry and dark place for maximum longevity.

Use a brown glass bottle to store the mullein flower oil and store it in a dark cupboard. Oh, don't forget to label it. Infusions look alike once they are strained, and they can be hard to tell apart. Don't ask me how I know that.

When needed, it's easy to use this oil to relieve the pain of an earache. Apply a few drops into the ear canal with a dropper and follow with a bit of cotton to help keep the liquid inside for as long as possible.

I am not a doctor. You are responsible for your family's and your own health. 
If there is discharge from the ear, please see a doctor. 

The images below are affiliate links. Read my full disclosure here.


Mullein flower oil is a natural remedy for painful earaches. Here's how to make your own mullein-infused oil.

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