Great mullein has been used since ancient times as a remedy for skin, throat and breathing ailments.
It has long had a medicinal reputation, especially as an astringent and emollient, as it contains mucilage, several saponins, coumarin and glycosides. Dioscorides recommended it for diseases of the lung and it is now widely available in health and herbal stores.
Leaves were also smoked against pulmonary ailments, however, use the plant in poultices of powdered root applied to sores, rashes and skin infections. An infusion of the root is also used to treat athlete's foot. The combination of expectorant saponins and emollient mucilage makes the plant particularly effective for cough. All preparations meant to be drunk have to be finely filtered to eliminate the irritating hairs