Mullein is a genus of plants with about 2,500 species. It originates from northern Africa, western and central Asia, and Europe. However, today it also grows in North and South America and Australia.
Verbascum Thaspus is a species of mullein thought to have certain medicinal properties. The medicinal properties of mullein come from phytochemicals. Phytochemicals are chemicals that are naturally found in plant.
Mullein is an expectorant, which means it helps the body expel excess mucus, usually by helping make your coughs more productive, to bring up mucus that may be settling in the chest or in the throat. It is also a demulcent. Studies show that demulcents create a soothing anti-inflammatory coating over mucous membranes. Mullein flowers and leaves can be used to make cigarettes, oils and tea. Benefits include antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
Mullein contains many different phytochemicals that may benefit human health. Besides the anti-inflammatory benefits, mullein extracts may have the following medicinal properties:
- pain relief
- sedation and hypnosis
“Mullein improves the lubrication of the connective tissue in joints, hence improving the health of cartilage. It releases synovial fluid into the bursa and disperses internal fluids into the surrounding tissues, lubricating joints, muscles, bones, and ligaments. It is thus a remedy for complex fractures, where the bone needs to be lubricated to be returned to its place. It is also indicated in spinal dryness, inflexibility, and pain, and nerve pain along pinched or irritated nerve tracts”: Excerpted from: The Earthwise Herbal, A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plants
Most uses of mullein for medical reasons utilize its anti-inflammatory properties. Some uses include:
- skin conditions such as rashes, acne, and eczema — extract is used directly on the skin
- eye and ear inflammation
- symptoms of arthrosis and other inflammatory conditions or injuries
The side effects of using mullein depend on how a person uses it. Applying mullein to the skin may result in irritation.
When drinking mullein in tea, some people may report the following:
That said, more research into the benefits of mullein for asthma and the best way to use it is necessary. Before trying mullein, one should consult with their physician to ensure it is safe to do so.