Mullein, a common weed has since long been in use as herbal medicine. It is found useful in many disorders including respiratory disorders and skin irritations. The plant is also used in the treatment of hemorrhoids, burns, bruises, and gout.
Mullein leaves are also boiled in milk to make a decoction which is used as a treatment for tuberculosis.
6 Useful Health Benefits of Mullein
The benefits of mullein are as follows:
Benefits of Mullein in Improving Respiratory Health
The leaves and flowers of mullein herb are rich in saponins which are known for their potent respiratory benefits. It has demulcent, expectorant and astringent properties.
They contain mucilage which coats and soothes the irritated mucous membrane and its expectorant quality help expectorate the congestion from the lungs.
These qualities make it effective in alleviating conditions such as bronchitis, dry hacking cough, whooping cough, cold, flu, and sinusitis. The saponins present in mullein exhibit anti-viral properties which add to its effectiveness against flu.
Mullein is also used to detoxify the lungs after quitting smoking. The tar accumulated in the lungs can be cleared by breathing in steam or consuming its tea. This also helps in cleaning and soothing the bronchial tubes and lungs.
Mullein is Beneficial in Fighting Viral Infections
Mullein possesses powerful antiviral properties.
Few more studies are still required to be done on the human to know the effectiveness of this herb in fighting viral diseases.
Mullein contains verbascoside which is a compound known for its anti-inflammatory action and is helpful in easing joint and muscle pain.
Verbascoside reduces the production of oxygen-free radicals, which are the well-known cause of inflammation.
Superoxide radicals are increased during inflammation by a process called oxidative stress. Mullein reduces the expression of inducible nitric oxide synthase and extracellular O2, thereby reducing the production of superoxide radicals.
Mullein extract is capable of reducing the growth of bacteria such as E.coli and streptococcus pneumonia that cause infections.(2) Pneumonia is a serious condition and doctor should be consulted for the treatment but mullein can be used to clear up the lungs and prevent pneumonia from setting in.
Mullein is also beneficial in disinfecting wounds, soothing burns, and treating hemorrhoids.
Benefits of Mullein in Treating Earache and Ear Infections
A study also found Mullein to be effective in treating ear infections which are caused by bacteria.(3) Another study stated that ear drops containing mullein along with other herbal extracts were effective in reducing earache by 93 %.(4)
The antibacterial, astringent, and anti-fungal properties of mullein play a role in helping get rid of outer and middle ear infections.
Digestive Health Benefits of Mullein
Mullein isn’t just capable of clearing mucus from the lungs. It also is used to remove the mucoid layer from the small intestine.
Excess mucus in the small intestine interferes with the nutrient uptake and delivery of the nutrients into the bloodstream.
It coats and soothes the gut wall and removes the bad mucus. It provides lubrication that enables an easier and smoother bowel movement.
Side Effects of Mullein
There are no adverse effects associated with the use of mullein. Also, it hasn’t been tested for safety during pregnancy, in nursing mothers, in children, and those with a certain medical condition.
It is always good to consult a doctor in any of the above cases if using mullein for any benefit.
Mullein is available in the form of tincture, capsules, lozenges, powder, and ear drops. Never take it as the only treatment for any condition. Delaying or avoiding standard care can have serious consequences. Also, talk to your physician when taking it along with any other treatment.