What is Mullein?
Mullein is not a commonly known herb. Many people have never heard of it. That is unless they have been around me during cold season. It is my go to herb of choice for coughs. I have recommended it for too many people to count. The reason I recommend it? It works, it’s that simple.
Mullein is excellent for the treatment of
- Skin infections
- Sore Throat
- Ear Ache
Mullein is antimicrobial, anti-fungal and analgesic. This means it kills bacteria and fungus while relieving pain.
One of the most promising uses for mullein in modern medicine is for the treatment of TB. Many antibiotics are useless against this deadly disease. Mullein has been used throughout the centuries as a specific for the treatment of TB.
Studies are now showing that the herbalists have been correct all along. Mullein is useful in fighting Mycobacteria which is common in TB and other human and animal diseases.
As recently as 2010 TB was killing approximately 5000 people per day. The World Health Organisation declared an emergency and an increased search for remedies to fight this disease was begun.
Due to the fact that TB can be resistant to antibiotics other avenues needed to be explored.
Researchers began looking back through history and quickly discovered that mullein has been used in many countries for the treatment of TB.
The largest amount of historical information on Mullein comes from Irish history. It has grown in that country for centuries in wastelands such as quarries roadsides and ditches.
Mullein has many nicknames, some of which are:
- Our Lady’s Flannel
- Velvet Plant
- Bullock’s Lungwort
For a comprehensive list go to A Modern Herbal at Botanical.com
Throughout history mullein has been used by Irish herbalists to treat TB, tumours and inflammation of the throat. It has even been used as a food preservative due to its antibacterial properties.
To my Irish friends that have farms, you may want to grow some of this “weed” rather than fight against it.
I have discovered through research and use that mullein works. Quickly and effectively, it takes care of that annoying cough that just never seems to go away no matter how many antibiotics the doctor prescribes.
I generally recommend making a tea from 1 tsp of peppermint leaves and 1 tsp mullein. Have 3 or 4 cups of this daily and the cough will clear up nicely.
I had a case where nothing worked. The person was a friend and I recommended she visit the herbal pharmacy that 2 of my instructors own and have them make a tincture of peppermint mullein. I don’t prescribe usually but in this case she had been coughing for months. The numerous antibiotics she had taken hadn’t helped at all. She tried the tincture and it worked. Within a week or so her cough was gone.
The one recommendation I make when using mullein is that you drink a lot of warm liquids, preferably warm water, in between cups of mullein tea. The reason for this is that mullein will assist in absorbing the pathogens so that they may be excreted through the organs. In order to speed up the results and make it easier on the organs to process, drinking a lot of liquids helps.
There are no known interactions or side effects for mullein but as with most herbs I would advise against using mullein when pregnant until more research has been done.
For an interesting study on mullein go to NCBI (National Institute of Health) and check out “What’s in a Name?”