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Did You Know These Health Benefits Of Mullein?

Scientifically termed as Verbascum thapsus, mullein is generally known as Verbascum. Mullein is, in fact, the general name used to describe the large genus of flowering plants. The flowers, leaves and fruit of the plant are widely used in folk and ancient medicine. Since ages, the leaves of the mullein plant have been used in herbal medicine, due to its extremely effective medicinal quantities [1] .

One of the major uses of the plant is that they help treat and manage respiratory issues, where the leaves and the flowers of the plant are used. Apart from this, mullein is used as a flavouring agent in alcoholic beverages [2] . Mullein leaves contain compounds that possess the properties of demulcents or expectorants, substances that possess anti-inflammatory properties [3] .

The active ingredients in mullein contain unique compounds, such as verbascose and verbasterol, as well as coumarins, ascorbic acid, saponins, and other antioxidants which make the herb beneficial to be ingested and applied topically. In some places, the leaves of mullein are smoked to relieve respiratory issues - which in fact seem counterintuitive [4] .

Health Benefits Of Mullein

1. Improves respiratory health

One of the major benefits possessed by mullein is its ability to cure respiratory such as asthma, sore throat, and dry cough. The anti-inflammatory and soothing properties of the herb work wonder points out a lab study conducted in 2002 [5] .

2. Treats ear infection

Apart from respiratory health, the other major health benefit possessed by mullein is treating ear infections. According to a 2003 study, it was asserted that applying crushed paste or ointments with mullein content can help cure ear infections [6] .

3. Detoxifies body

Mullein herb possesses the ability to get rid of unwanted chemicals and other toxins present in your body. Brewing the leaves into a tea or tincture can be extremely beneficial as well as effective for disinfecting your body [7] .

4. Cures chest infection

As mentioned before, mullein acts wonder in curing respiratory issues. In the same line, the herb is used for treating chest infections and help in speeding up the recovery process in bronchitis and chest infections [5] .

5. Treats inflammation

Mullein possesses amazing and effective anti-inflammatory properties. It has been widely used in soothing inflammation caused by gout and migraines [8] .

6. Improves heart health

Although lacking in definite scientific proof, a number of studies have asserted that mullein helps in improving your heart health by reducing inflammation of blood vessels [9] [10] .

7. Manages stomach issues

Packed with anti-inflammatory properties, along with various other beneficial properties, mullein can be used for treating stomach problems. Consuming mullein can help in getting relief from stomach upset, constipation, and diarrhoea [11] .

Apart from these major health benefits, mullein is asserted as being beneficial [12] for hair care, treating wounds (due to it's antiseptic, antiviral, and antibacterial property), calming bursitis, haemorrhoids, colds, flu, migraines, tuberculosis, pneumonia, croup, sore throat, cough etc.

Uses Of Mullein

The leaves, seeds and flowers of the plant can be used for various purposes [13] .

  • Dried leaves are used for brewing tea.
  • Leaves are used for extracting the essential oil.
  • Dried and crushed leaves are used for smoking.
  • The leaves and flowers can be made into a tincture.
  • Seeds can be crushed mixed with water to make an anti-inflammatory paste.

Healthy Mullein Recipes

1. Basic mullein tea

Ingredients [14]

  • 1 - 2 teaspoons dried mullein flowers and leaves
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • honey to taste


  • Pour 1 cup of boiling water over the dried mullein flowers and leaves.
  • Steep for 10 - 15 minutes.
  • Pour the liquid through a filter to strain out the plant's tiny hairs.
  • Add honey for taste.

2. Cough soothing tea


  • 2 teaspoons dried mullein leaves
  • ¾ teaspoon dried marsh-mallow plant
  • ½ teaspoon dried liquorice root
  • ½ lemon
  • 1 teaspoon honey


  • Pour one cup of boiling water over the herbs and steep for 15 minutes.
  • Strain tea with a filter.
  • Add the juice of a ½ lemon and 1 tablespoon honey.
  • Drink two to three cups daily for cough relief.

Side Effects Of Mullein

  • Pregnant and breastfeeding women should not consume the herb [15] .
  • Some people may develop allergic reactions to being used topically.
  • Children below the age of 5 should not consume mullein or its supplements.

Note: Consult your doctor before incorporating mullein into your daily diet.

View Article References
  1. [1] Rodriguez-Fragoso, L., Reyes-Esparza, J., Burchiel, S. W., Herrera-Ruiz, D., & Torres, E. (2008). Risks and benefits of commonly used herbal medicines in Mexico.Toxicology and applied pharmacology,227(1), 125-135.
  2. [2] Riaz, M., Zia-Ul-Haq, M., & Jaafar, H. Z. (2013). Common mullein, pharmacological and chemical aspects.Revista brasileira de farmacognosia,23(6), 948-959.
  3. [3] Parry, J., Hao, Z., Luther, M., Su, L., Zhou, K., & Yu, L. (2006). Characterization of cold‐pressed onion, parsley, cardamom, mullein, roasted pumpkin, and milk thistle seed oils.Journal of the American oil chemists' society,83(10), 847-854.
  4. [4] Myers, K., Pelger, C., Rieman, D., Troy, T., & Landis, S. (2017). FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO VARIATIONS IN MULLEIN ANTI BIOSIS AND ANTI-INFLAMMATORY ACTIVITY.The Ohio Journal of Science,117(1), A9-A9.
  5. [5] Pelger, C., Motz, V., Landis, S., Rieman, D., Abdullatef, R., Milks, A., ... & Bowers, C. (2018). MULLEIN OVER ETHNOBOTANICAL USE OF VERBASCUM THAPSUS.The Ohio Journal of Science,118(1), A7-A7.
  6. [6] Li, Z., Zhang, H., & Li, G. (2019). Characterization of phytotoxin and secreted proteins identifies of Lasiodiplodia theobromae, causes of peach gummosis.Fungal biology,123(1), 51-58.
  7. [7] Myers, K., Pelger, C., Rieman, D., Troy, T., & Landis, S. (2017). FACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO VARIATIONS IN MULLEIN ANTI BIOSIS AND ANTI-INFLAMMATORY ACTIVITY.The Ohio Journal of Science,117(1), A9-A9.
  8. [8] Colligan, M., Greiner, D., Moore, S., Stone, K. E., Portal, P., & Forms, P. Health Library Mullein.
  9. [9] Clover, W. I. R. Red Clover Benefits for Menopause, Bone Health, & More.
  10. [10] Wharton, N. Tag Archives: health.
  11. [11] Press, S. (2015).Do-It-Yourself Herbal Medicine: Home-Crafted Remedies for Health and Beauty. Arcas Publishing.
  12. [12] Ma, Z., & Zhang, H. (2017). Phytochemical constituents, health benefits, and industrial applications of grape seeds: A mini-review.Antioxidants,6(3), 71.
  13. [13] Turker, A. U., & Camper, N. D. (2002). Biological activity of common mullein, a medicinal plant.Journal of ethnopharmacology,82(2-3), 117-125.
  14. [14] Southern Forager. (2013, April 25). The Soft and Fuzzy Mullein [Blog post]. Retrieved from,
  15. [15] Gaby, A. (2006).AZ guide to drug-herb-vitamin interactions: improve your health and avoid side effects when using common medications and natural supplements together. Harmony.
Story first published: Monday, June 24, 2019, 18:45 [IST]