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Mullein Leaf

Veterinarian Reviewed on June 6, 2012 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in Uncategorized

Mullein Leaf

The Mullein plant is one of the oldest remedies for different medical conditions. Despite being a wild weed that grows almost anywhere, it has incredible health benefits.


The Mullein plant is one of the oldest medical herbs ever known. It was said to have been brought by European settlers, who had been using the Mullein leaf against cough and diarrhea, to North America. The plant is widely available in the infertile areas, fields and roads in the U.S..

Its medical use dates way back to the ancient Greek times. The first record of its use was as treatment for breathing problems prescribed by the great Greek physician Dioscorides. This respiratory remedy has been used and trusted up to this day. The Mullein plant has been included in various Greek and Roman stories depicting its long history of medicinal and spiritual uses.

Ancient Uses

The uses of Mullein leaf has appeared in many ancient records, even in some folklore, telling about their effective powers against evil spirits and sickness. Since one’s sickness was often blamed on evil spirits or magic in ancient times, the use of the Mullein plant to counter evil presence proves that people have relied on it to cure sickness. Native Americans used the poisonous seeds of this plant to paralyze fish for easier catching. Along with other esoteric beliefs and practices of using Mullein, this plant has surely left a long lasting mark on ancient lore.

The mullein leaf also has a good history of being used as herbal medicine. It was often used to treat asthma, tuberculosis, Coughs, tonsillitis and other respiratory problems. The other plant parts have also been effective treatments for burns, bruises, hemorrhoids and gout. There are several ways to treat conditions using this plant, too. The Native American Indians ingest, smoke or use them as topical ointments.

Modern Uses

The Mullein leaf has been a reliable alternative medicine for a very long time; however, it was only included in the National Formulary from 1916 to 1936. The main use for Mullein is for treatment of problems in the respiratory system such as Asthma, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, and other complications in breathing. It is even being used in making cough syrups because of its good reputation as an expectorant. It effectively clears the respiratory tracts of phlegm or mucus and helps in opening them up.

The leaf is also a good treatment against muscle pains and Headaches. It is an effective sedative that helps relax muscle tension while helping the user sleep soundly. It is also very efficient as an antispasmodic aiding in the relief of stomach cramps and other muscle pains. The presence of tannins in the plants minimizes inflammation in the intestines and that is why it has been used to treat diarrhea and dysentery even during ancient times. As it is useful in reducing inflammation, it can also be used to treat swollen muscles, throats, arms or joints.

The Mullein leaf also has antibacterial functions. This is the reason it has been used in making mouthwashes and other antiseptic formulations. It is also a good treatment against urinary tract infection. As a topical ointment, it is very effective treating wounds. It has a soothing effect to swollen or burned skin and works for insect bites and bruises.

Side Effects

The seeds of the Mullein plant are poisonous so using them must be avoided. Also, pregnant or nursing mothers should avoid this herb or any commercial supplements of Mullein unless otherwise advised by physicians.

Read also: Spilanthes Flower

Our Expert

Paulina Nelega, RH
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan

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