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Mullein Leaves

Posted by Martin Birkhead on

The mullein plant has been around for thousands of years. The plant is found in many parts of the world, and has more than 200 species.

Mullein Leaves

The most popular type commercially used is common mullein (Verbascum thapsus). The leaves are harvested near the bottom of the plant and used either fresh or dried to make various products.

For centuries, mullein flowers and leaves were used on animals and people for a variety of issues, including:

  • cough
  • congestion
  • bronchitis
  • asthma
  • constipation
  • pain
  • inflammation
  • migraine
  • sleep
  • gout

By the late 1800s, mullein became a popular treatment for people with tuberculosis in Europe, and the United Kingdom.

Keep in mind that many of the benefits of mullein are based on anecdotal experiences. More human clinical studies are needed to understand the benefits of this herb.

There are many different Verbascum species, and studiesTrusted Source show many have polyphenols. These compoundsTrusted Source can have antioxidant and anti-inflammatoryTrusted Source properties.

Some active compounds of mullein include:

  • saponins, which have anti-inflammatory, pain-relieving, and antitumor properties
  • flavonoids, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
  • phenylethanoid glycosides, which have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antiviral properties
  • iridoids, which have anti-inflammatory properties

Antiviral properties

Some lab studies have shown Verbascum species to have antiviral activity against influenza A and herpes.

One laboratory study found combining the medication amantadine with mullein increased antiviral activity against influenza.

Antibacterial properties

Studies have shown mullein leaf has antibacterial properties in both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria, including:

  • Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • E. coli
  • Staphylococcus aureus


Some naturopathic physicians and herbalists recommend mullein for respiratory and inflammatory conditions, but currently there’s not enough scientific evidence of its effectiveness.

More human studies are needed to confirm the efficacy of traditional uses.

Based on anecdotal evidence and published studies, there are no reports of major side effects from mullein. The plant does contain tiny hairs on the leaves which can cause throat and skin irritation.

Some species of mullein may cause contact dermatitis, a skin reaction that can cause itching, rash, and irritation. If you have sensitive skin or are prone to allergic reactions, be sure to do a patch skin test before using mullein on your skin.

There’s no information on safety for use during pregnancy, while breastfeeding, or in infants and very young children. Talk to your doctor before considering mullein leaf if any of these apply to you.

Bacterial or viral infections can pose serious health risks. Before self-treating these infections with mullein leaf, consult your doctor.

If you have any serious chronic health conditions, talk to your doctor about the safety of mullein leaf for you.

Buying Mullein Leaves.

You can purchase Mullein Leaves direct from The UK Loose Leaf Tea Company. If you already shop with us, consider adding some to your next order, all delivered direct to your doorstep and with orders over £35.00 you will get free delivery too. You can purchase Mullein Leaves from as little as packs of 100g (Ideal for sampling), 500g and 1000g bags. You can also save money with our subscribe and save option.

To shop for Mullein Leaves.


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