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Verbascum thapsus


Verbascum thapsus


No documentation

Vernacular Name

Candlewick, Aaron’s Rod, Our Lady’s Flannel, Wild Ice Leaf, Rag Paper


Candlewick is a common plant and a subspecies of the Verbascum family is found on nearly every continent. It is thought to be introduced into most areas from Europe is common along roadsides, forests and pastures.  It is known as a weed in many places.

Verbascum Thapsus is most easily identified by its large, felt-like leaves that lead to a flower spike, yielding small, yellow hermaphroditic flowers. This plant flowers between the months of June until September. The plant is covered in velvety hairs that help retain moisture.[1]

Origin / Habitat

Native to Europe this plant can thrive in just about any altitude or habitat. V. Thapsus is found at sea level in Europe and in the mountains of China. It can grow in sandy, loamy areas as well as deprived and depleted soils.

Chemical Constituents

Aluminum, Ascorbic Acid, Beta-Carotene, Beta-sitosterol, Coumarin, Crocetin, Hesperidin, Linoleic Acid, Magnesium, Manganese, Mucilage, Niacin, Oleic Acid, Palmitic Acid, Phosphorus, Potassium, Riboflavin, Saponins, Stearic Acid, Thapsic Acid, Thiamin, Verbascose, Verbascoside, Verbasterol, Zinc.[2]

Plant Part Used


Medicinal Uses







Most Frequently Reported Uses




Dosage Range 

3-4g of crude herb daily.


Most Common Dosage 

2g powdered herb daily in divided doses.


Standardization Dosage 

No standardization known.



The extract of V. Thapsus displays antibacterial activity, according to a 2002 study. This plant inhibited growth of numerous common infective bacteria, including Escherica coli, Staphylococcus aureus and Staphylococcus epidermidis.[3] Additional laboratory studies examined the anti-viral activity of V. Thapsus against the common influenza virus[4] as well as against a herpes virus strain.[5] Both studies demonstrated some anti-viral activity of V. Thapsus the antiviral activity against the herpes viral strain duplicated in a separate analysis.[6]


At this time, there are no clinical studies available on this herb.

Interaction and Depletions

Interaction with other Herbs

No documentation

Interaction with Drugs

There are no reports of interactions with drugs or over-the-counter medications. However, caution should always be used when using any herb in combination with other medications.

Precautions and Contraindications

Side effects

There are no published contraindications or side effects associated V. Thapsus.


Not to be used by pregnant or nursing women.

Age limitation

Not to be used by children.

Adverse reaction

No documentation

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  1)  Native American Herbs


  1. Purdue University. Department of botany. Available from: [Accessed on 22 June 2009].
  2. Duke, James A. Handbook of phytochemical constituents of GRAS herbs and other economic plants. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press; 1992.
  3. Turker AU, Camper ND. Biological activity of common mullein, a medicinal plant. J Ethnopharmacol. Oct 2002;82(2-3):117-125
  4. Rajbhandari M, Mentel R, Jha PK, Chaudhary RP, Bhattarai S, Gewali MB, Karmacharya N, Hipper M, Lindequist U. Antiviral Activity of Some Plants Used in Nepalese Traditional Medicine. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 25 Oct 2007.
  5. McCutcheon AR, Roberts TE, Gibbons E, Ellis SM, Babiuk LA, Hancock RE, Towers GH.Antiviral screening of British Columbian medicinal plants. J Ethnopharmacol. 1 Dec 1995;49(2):101-110.
  6. Zanon SM, Ceriatti FS, Rovera M, Sabini LJ, Ramos BA. Search for antiviral activity of certain medicinal plants from Córdoba, Argentina. Rev Latinoam Microbiol. Apr-Jun 1999;41(2):59-62.

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