Mullein Herb Benefits

| Modified on Nov 12, 2021
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Mullein Health Benefits

Not only does mullein grow easily with practically no care at all, it is useful for so many health conditions that it is a shame it isn’t more commonly known. This delightful herb is mild in taste yet powerful. It is useful for children, adults, the elderly and even pets.

The mullein plant is a biennial plant. The first year its soft, fuzzy leaves grow in a rosette form. The next year, in addition to the rosette, a stately stalk grows up through the center of the rosette and will bear lovely yellow flowers.

The leaves, flowers, roots and seeds all have medicinal value, though they are not equally easy to find. The leaves, however, are easy to find and have so many applications it behooves nearly anyone to keep it on hand. If you find a need for a particular part of the mullein plant and cannot locate it, do try just the leaves and see how you fare. You may be surprised at the success you experience.

What is Mullein Good for?


Those who are aware of the herb mullein have likely been introduced to it because of its healthful effects on the lungs. Mullein is a wonderful herb to use in treating a cough, even the serious cough experienced in bronchitis and whooping cough. It may even bring some relief to those who suffer with COPD. Mullein tea, sweetened with honey, is a perfect beverage to sip on when you have a cold or the flu. Its taste is mild, but a bit of peppermint can be added for flavor if desired.


Mullein has a relaxing effect, which may be one reason it is useful in asthma. But it is also helpful for pain and insomnia, perhaps because of its mild narcotic action. (Especially the seeds.)

Lymph System

Mullein has quite a helpful effect to the lymphatic system. It can improve lymphatic circulation and reduce swollen lymph nodes. This can be accomplished by using mullein internally or externally. A salve made with mullein leaf can be massaged into swollen glands to bring relief.

Ear Infections

Mullein flowers, infused in olive oil make a great ear oil for infections, though if the flowers are not available, the leaves infused in olive oil make a close second.


The bark of the mullein plant, made into a tincture, is indicated for skeletal pain. The tincture can be taken internally or rubbed onto the skin to be absorbed directly into the joints. This tincture has the power to reduce pain and inflammation and increase synovial fluid, making movement more comfortable.

Trigeminal Neuralgia

Perhaps the most underutilized benefit of mullein is its potential to help trigeminal neuralgia. This extremely painful nerve disease is sometimes called, “the suicide disease,” because it causes so much agony. If you are using mullein to treat trigeminal neuralgia, do make the effort to find a quality mullein root tincture. The tincture can be applied topically and/or taken internally.

How Should I Take Mullein?

A mullein tea is easy to make and easy to take. It can be consumed liberally throughout sickness. If you buy loose mullein leaf, do strain through a coffee filter. Mullein has little hairs that can be irritating.

Mullein is also available in capsule or tincture form.

It can be found in an oil (most commonly for use in the ears) or in a salve (for lymphatic swelling and also for cuts, burns, and wounds.)

If you decide to give mullein a try, do start with small dose to make sure it suits you. While rare, it can cause allergic reaction in some people, (though this is the case with nearly any herb or ingredient on earth.)

Have you tried mullein? We would love to hear about your experience!


2 User Reviews
5 star (2) 

Posted by Flower's Mom (Pueblo of Acoma, NM) on 01/14/2019

Thank you, Earth Clinic, for such valuable information. I recently came down with a sinus infection which progressed into my lungs. The constant coughing was keeping me from getting any deep sleep.

Then I found this page about mullein, which we have growing wild all over. So I went and picked some leaves and made me some tea with honey. The chest congestion and coughing has improved immensely! I got my first 2 nights of sound sleep in about 2 weeks! I brought some to work to add to my regular tea (I drink several cups at day during the winter) and I am feeling so much better.

Such a simple and beneficial solution with quick relief.

Many thanks again!

Flower's Mom

Posted by Mama To Many (Tennessee) on 04/11/2015

I have used Mullein leaf for years and found it helpful. I have used it in a salve I make for coughs. I put it in a tea blend for coughs. And these things are helpful. Some time ago I made a tincture of mullein leaves. I have had it sitting in my cabinet for maybe years. (A vodka tincture will last for years.)

Last week, a couple of my children came down with a fever and cough. The cough was the relentless type. Cough salve was helping. Garlic oil, as always, helped a lot. But they really don't like the garlic oil (I put it on their back and/or chest, over the lung area.) I really prefer using things that are pleasant to them if at all possible. I decided to try some mullein tincture. I also had some tincture of olive leaf (which is an antiviral/antibacterial herb). My daugther, 12, was 2-3 days into the sickness when I started to use the tinctures. I would give her 1 teaspoon each of mullein and olive leaf tincture in 5 ounces of water (She is the size of a small adult.) It helped her a lot! I dosed her at least 4 times a day, sometimes more.

When two of my little boys (6 and 9) began to come down with the sickness, I immediately started them on the mullein and olive leaf tinctures. I gave each of them 1/2 teaspoon of each tincture, in 3 ounces of water. I gave them this 4 or 5 times a day. They were sick for just a day! The cough is still around some and I will continue to give the tinctures a couple of times a day.

My daugther, 11, was beginning to feel like she was getting sick. She started on the two tinctures right away. While she took a nap one day (which she never does) she never had a fever and never was down from it.

Mullein is sometimes called, "Great mullein." And indeed, it is great! It is a gentle but powerful herb. I love when a humble plant is such a wonderful medicine. It is even growing wild in fields near me.

Mullein Tincture Recipe

  • 2 ounces of fresh mullein leaf (chopped fine) or 4 ounces of dried mullein leaf (I get mine from Mountain Rose Herbs.)
  • 16 ounces of 100 proof vodka

Place herb into a mason jar. Pour vodka over it. Leave on the counter and shake daily for 2-6 weeks. Strain out the plant material with a coffee filter. Store the tincture in a cool dry place in a glass container.

~Mama to Many~

Replied by Betty

What is the best way to prepare Mullein Tea? Coffee pot, french press. Anyone have a step by step process to remove the leaf hairs out completely?

Mama to Many

Dear Betty,

When I am making mullein tea I put the dried mullein leaf in a canning jar. I pour freshly boiled water from the tea kettle over it. I let it steep for 5-15 minutes. Then I strain it through a coffee filter into a mug or another jar.

I don't know if a French press would remove all of the hairs. And a coffee pot might not let the tea steep long enough.

~Mama to Many~


Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!

Respiratory Issues

Posted by Michael (New Zealand) on 11/14/2016

I became interested in the herb "Mullein" whilst seeking treatment for persistent inner ear congestion. Apparently it has the following beneficial properties worthy of consideration by someone suffering from respiratory problems generally. There may possibly be other benefits but respiratory issues appear to be the main ones including ENT ones. The Native Americans apparently smoked the leaves for the relief of coughs! Who said that smoking causes coughing? Stand up that person! The following is a quotation from "Nature's Sunshine" products. (I have been taking their Alfalfa Capsules for ENT off and on for years and they really do loosen up the mucous terrifically well. This is important as you get older as some of us are inclined to do. We gradually become "not-so-moist"! I may start growing the sprouts).

"Mullein has been used for centuries to treat a variety of respiratory problems and help alleviate irritations in the lungs and throat. Mullein acts as a pain reliever, diuretic, antiseptic and antibacterial agent. It contains high amounts of iron and is a good supply of vitamin A, vitamin B2, vitamin B12 and niacin"

"Mullein contains a substance called mucilage, a saponin that helps lubricate mucus membranes soothing raw irritated tissues. As an expectorant, mullein helps expel excess phlegm from the lungs. The tannins in mullein are beneficial for reducing swollen and inflamed respiratory passages, making it a popular treatment for asthma, bronchitis, swollen glands and breathing difficulties".

"Mullein has also been known to relieve constipation, counter-act sleeplessness, protect the kidneys, and help ease nervous tension".

Buy it as a tea or in capsule form. One could make one's own tea by crushing the leaves too. Some people regard it as a spreading weed.

Cheers, Michael from New Zealand