Mullein is a wild medicinal plant that can help the body to fight against the constant exposure to air pollution and other stressors which can cause inflammation and discomfort. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory properties, mullein supports the proper functioning of the respiratory tract. What’s more, it’s popular for the soothing effect it brings when applied on the skin.
What is Mullein?
Mullein is a biennial plant from the Scrophulariaceae family, known under the scientific name Verbascum thapsus. It is a tall plant with beautiful yellow flowers and fluffy leaves – also known under the names “velvet plant”, “flannel plant”, and “candlewick plant”. It is native to Europe, Asia, and Africa, but it has been brought to other parts of the world such as North America. For thousands of years, it has been used for its amazing health benefits.
Why is Mullein good for your respiratory system?
Because of its numerous health benefits, Mullein is well-known in numerous regions of the world. It is mostly appreciated for its anti-inflammatory properties, which make it ideal for people with respiratory conditions like asthma and bronchitis. Consuming mullein can help alleviate the symptoms of respiratory problems by reducing inflammation in the respiratory tract. Mullein also has antiviral properties that can help the immune system to get stronger and lower the risk of getting viral infections.
Acting as a natural expectorant, mullein helps clear the upper respiratory system, soothes discomfort, eases breathing, and calms cough, which can be of great help in the cold season when we deal with cold and flu, but also in the warm season when allergies intervene.
A natural antibiotic
Together with other natural antibiotics like basil, thyme, and chamomile, mullein can be used for alleviating mild infections. Mullein may help strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation. This can be beneficial in supporting the body’s natural defences against infection. Ear infections, for example, have been treated naturally with mullein for centuries.
How to use Mullein?
Mullein is a versatile plant that can be applied topically or consumed as a tea or supplement in order to help internally with a range of medical conditions.
∙ Mullein Tea
The flowers and leaves of the mullein plant can be dried and made into a tea for consumption. After drying, the flowers are placed in covered jars or tin cans with water vapour-absorbing substances, as the plant is hygroscopic.
The tea can be consumed hot or cold – the taste might not necessarily be pleasant, so you can use a natural sweetener of your choice. Mullein tea is a popular remedy for respiratory conditions like asthma and bronchitis. The tea can also be used to calm an upset stomach, reduce body inflammation, and strengthen the immune system. Because other parts of the plant can be harmful, it is essential to use only the leaves and flowers when making mullein tea.
∙ Mullein supplement
If you want to introduce Mullein supplements in your diet, there are many ways to do it. Pills, capsules, and liquid extracts that you can simply add to your drinking water daily. Liquid extracts without alcohol, like Nature’s Answer Mullein Leaf Extract, facilitate a better absorption of the nutrients by the body and can be more effective. It can be consumed by adding it to drinking water, fresh juice, or smoothie for a better taste.
∙ External use
Mullein can be used for skin conditions like dermatitis, eczema, and psoriasis. Natural emollients in the plant help to soften and moisturise the skin, reducing the appearance of dry, flaky skin. Also, mullein contains cell reinforcements that protect the skin from external pollutants.
The flowers of the mullein plant can be applied to the skin after being soaked in oil. The soothing properties of oil, combined with the anti-inflammatory properties of the plant work as a natural analgesic, and fight infections, making it a natural solution for superficial infections and infections of the ear.
How to grow your own Mullein?
Mullein can thrive in a variety of soils and is relatively simple to grow. The plant should be placed in a sunny area with soil that drains well and should be sown in the early spring or fall. The plant can grow up to six feet tall and can sprout from June to September. While developing mullein, you should remember that the plant is biennial, meaning it will bloom at regular intervals.
The flower is harvested in the morning, after dew has dried, by pinching the corolla with stamens, without calyx, as the flowers open. It is advised to wear gloves and long sleeves, as the plant’s tiny bristles can cause irritation. Also, the flowers with purple stamens are not to be consumed.
However, a discussion with the doctor is strongly advisable before using mullein either internally or externally.