Get to Know Mullein
Mullein is a biennial plant that grows practically everywhere. Known for its towering height (approximately 2 meters), bright-colored flowers, and fluffy, hairy leaves, Mullein has been used for centuries as a medicinal plant to treat various pulmonary conditions, rheumatism, and ear infections, as a torch and as a dye for hair and fabric.
Mullein is one herb that is easy to harvest locally, here in California, and it is a good supplement to keep handy for lung health. We use it during wildfire season and when dealing with irritations and infections caused by viruses and allergies. And it is also the herb we use during my fall detox group program. During the Seasonal Fall Restart program we focus on the lungs and the large intestines, since these organs are associated with the autumn season, according to the Chinese system.
Mullein is well known as a traditional treatment for respiratory problems, offering relief with chest colds, bronchitis, and asthma. Both the leaves and flowers contain mucilage, which is soothing to irritated membranes, and saponins, which helps with coughing. The herb has strong anti-inflammatory traits, and some studies indicate that mullein flower infusions have antiviral properties, as well. Some studies also claim that it contains glycyrrhizin, a compound that aids in wound healing.
How it Works
Mullein helps remove excess mucus from lungs while soothing the mucus membranes. People who suffer from symptoms of bronchitis, heavy coughing, chest colds and asthma may find relief from mullein (leaf and flower) tea. It also contains mucilage, a gelatinous substance which soothes any irritated membrane.
Benefits of Mullein
- Respiratory health: soothing respiratory ailments, such as asthma, sore throat, and dry cough
- Ear infections: infused mullein flowers in a carrier oil can be used as ear drops
- Chest infections: speeding up recovery from bronchitis and chest infections
- For smokers, smoking mullein can help detox the lungs and reverse the effects that smoking tobacco has caused over the years.
- Hair care: stimulating hair growth
- Calm bursitis: mullein has anti-inflammatory effects and help with bursitis by applying a tea soaked cloth on the area
- Postent disinfectant: mullein oil is potent disinfectant that can treat both internal and external infections
- Bacteria Killer: the plant’s extracts are effective against several species of disease-causing bacteria
How to Use Mullein
For sore throat, coughs and other upper respiratory issues, brew a strong mullein tea using 1 cup of boiled water and 1–2 teaspoons of dried leaves or flowers. Let the mixture steep for 10–15 minutes. Drink at least 1 cup per day until symptoms improve.
Cold Oil Extraction
Cover the flowers with olive oil in a glass container with a lid, set the container on a sunny windowsill to steep for 3 weeks, strain and store in dark glass bottles.