Mullein leaf is an ancient herb that provides you with several health benefits. (Image via Unsplash/Jamie Philips)

Mullein Leaf Uses, Benefits & Risks

Mullein leaf is a widespread plant that almost everyone has seen growing in their garden.

There're more than 30 species of Verbascum, but the mullein most commonly used by herbalists is Verbascum thapsus. It’s also sometimes called the common mullein or velvet dock, based on its hairy leaves and stems.


Despite its name, mullein is not related to the lily family and instead belongs to the figwort family.

Health Benefits of Mullein Leaf

Effective treatment for bronchial congestion . (Image via Unsplash / Pawel Czerwinski)

1) Effective treatment for bronchial congestion


Mullein leaf has been used for thousands of years and is a herb that has many uses and benefits. However, it can also have side effects and isn't recommended to be taken by pregnant women or people with liver disease.

Mullein leaf may be an effective treatment for bronchial congestion thanks to its antiviral and antibacterial properties. As mullein reduces mucus build-up in the lungs, it can help you breathe more easily when you're suffering from cold or flu.

If you've ever seen a child pull up some dried mullein leaves out of the ground on their way home from school, you know that these plants aren't just pretty — they're also very useful.


2) Reduces inflammation in lungs

You can also add mullein leaf to a hot bath. The herb has anti-inflammatory properties and may reduce inflammation in the lungs, which can help with coughing.

Mullein leaf is also used to treat bronchitis, as well as other lung conditions such as asthma and emphysema.

3) Relieves ear infections

Herbal remedy for other respiratory ailments (Image via Kadarius Seegars)

Mullein leaf has been shown to be effective in treating ear infections. The leaves are steeped in oil and used as an ear drop. Ear drops made using mullein leaf have been found to have antiseptic properties that can help reduce inflammation in the lungs and relieve coughing.

Mullein leaf is also used as an herbal remedy for other respiratory ailments such as asthma, bronchitis, whooping cough and emphysema. It helps open up airways by clearing mucus from them, which helps with breathing easier.

How to Use Mullein Leaf?

Reduces coughing and mucus production. (Image via Unsplash/Kyle Szegedi)

To make tea, simply soak the leaves in hot water for ten minutes and drink. You can also take mullein leaf capsules or tinctures.

Mullein leaf is used to treat a variety of conditions, including:

  • Diarrhea (mullein leaf suppositories)
  • Chronic coughs (mullein sachets)

A small study found that mullein helped reduce coughing better than dextromethorphan (Robitussin), which is used to treat productive coughs that bring up mucus.

Mullein leaf is a non-addictive, herbal remedy that can help reduce coughing and mucus production. It's safe for adults and children over the age of two, but it's best to use mullein as a last resort if other treatments don't work.

What are the Side Effects of Mullein?

Mullein is generally considered safe when used correctly. However, you should always consult a healthcare provider before using any herb or supplement.

Some supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so their actual content may differ from what's listed on their product labels. It's also important to keep in mind that some supplements aren't safe for children, pregnant or nursing women, or people with certain medical conditions.



In conclusion, mullein is a pretty versatile herb that can be taken to treat a variety of issues. The herb dates back to an era when medicinal herbs were more common in everyday culture and often partaken of as preventative measures.

Today, mullein is still effective for treating inflammation, colds and coughs, digestive issues, and skin problems. It's also easy to use in tinctures, poultices, and oil extractions, making it a versatile treatment for many health concerns.


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