Mullein: Uses, Benefits, and Side Effects

Mullein has amazing health benefits, especially in tea form. So if you want to get the most of this wild herb, knowing which particular ailment it can positively contain is best.

mullein plant

Mullein may be a common weed but its health benefits could make you jump on your feet for joy. It’s true. It’s easy to be fooled by Verbascum, common name mullein. This plant grows like any other weed by the wayside. Overall, mullein represents a genus of 360 species under the figwort family. Indeed, you could pass those bright yellow flowers as ordinary.

Mullein Overview

Commonly seen swaying to the wind,  the shrub with its dense leaves at ground level is eye-catching to some extent. However, bite your tongue. For far beyond the outside charm of Aaron’s Rod (a.k.a. mullein) lies a host of distinct health uses. Unique to the plant and truly advantageous to humanity – your family including.

Right from the get-go, know that mullein carries many other names  – perhaps too many to mention. As confusing as it may sound, the following names refer to the same genus of plants: candleflower, Aaron’s Rod, Beggar’s Blanket, Gordolobo, Fluffweed and of course the German-sounding mullein. For years, the plant has been used in herbal medicine. With great success. For instance, its ground seeds have been used to paralyze and kill fish – thanks to the active ingredient rotenone found in abundance in the plant. For the uninitiated, rotenone is instrumental in treating head lice and other parasitic mites which torment both humans and pet animals. That’s just the tip of the iceberg though.

Below details how you can maximize on mullein to bring greater good into your everyday life. Read on.

Practical Uses

The active ingredient rotenone in mullein has plenty of uses. By nature, it is effective in small-scale sampling of fishes. It has become a fave amongst researchers because you need but small quantities to get needed result. Traditionally, indigenous people utilized the natural chemical in catching fish. The process is simple. Rotenone-active plants like mullein are crushed and directly soaked into the body of water. After some time, affected fishes rise to the surface finding it increasingly hard to breath.

As effective as this active ingredient is, rotenone is a popular organic pesticide. Its killing action is so powerful that it destroys just about any insect in your garden – from worms to bettles.

Verbascum flowers have been a go-to herbal treatment in Europe – Austria most significantly – for years now. It usually is taken in as tea. On the other end, it is also an effective external treatment as an ointment or aptly utilized in baths. Usually it’s used to heal complications of the respiratory tract and the GI (gastrointestinal) tract.

Mullein’s stem has also been used as a fire starter. You just have to dry it to make use of it as a friction fire initiator.

Health Benefits

In ancient times, the Greeks used mullein tea to treat the common cold. The people of Athens also made an effective astringent and a powerful sedative out of the shrub.

It’s not surprising that Europeans have a long history with the herbal plant as it is native to their place. It found its way to the US becoming a popular medication through the years. Its widespread use can also be attributed to its sturdiness. The powerful plant grows just about anywhere. From abandoned fields to the sides of highways.

However, the tea from mullein, which invariably comes from its flowers, not only combat colds. It also is effective in fighting other respiratory ailments – bronchitis including.  Moreover, it has strong anti-bacterial properties making it useful against infection and inflammation.

It is effective in treating cold as it helps discard unwanted mucus from affected nasal passages. To do this, you can drink the tea. Or alternatively, simply gargle it twice daily to contain sore throat.

Another great use for mullein is for sleeping. Stress can bring in insomnia and countless sleepless nights. Instead of popping your regular OTC pills to hit the sack, you can count on the powers of the mullein tea to get you going. It has been proven effective in battling insomnia – thanks to its natural sedative properties. Which calms you down and sooth your nerve naturally.

And then Some

Now, drinking the tea from Verbascum may be timely when you’re experiencing digestive issues. The Greeks have used it to treat constipation and diarrhea. What they found out was the wild plant’s ability to eliminate with ease pesky toxins out of the body. So the next time you encounter problems with bowel movement, taking on a cup of mullein tea should be wise.

Thanks to its unique active ingredients, mullein is at the forefront of keeping your skin as healthy as can be. We’re talking about common incidents like small cuts and wounds. In fact, over the years the tea has worked wonders on blisters. Showing you there’s a lot to this wild herb than meets the eye.

To get the best results for your skin problems, add olive oil to your mixture of mullein tea. It should give you the quick relief you need for your skin.

On another end, people with asthma would do well to make a habit of drinking tea from mullein. There are 2 proven ways to get this going. First, via the usual tea drinking route. This is pretty convenient for anyone. Secondly, you could also choose to inhale the vapor from the plant leaves immersed in hot water. This method is very effective when it comes to nasal congestion. Some have even tried making Verbascum cigarettes – getting a puff from rolled dried leaves of the wild plant. The good news is this instant cigarette is not only harmless but also largely beneficial as a herbal option to commercial puffs available in the market today.

Further, you can use the tea to treat headaches. It’s so effective that you may find yourself throwing those over-the-counter drugs you’ve relied upon all these years. Historically, leaves as well as the fruits of  Aaron’s Rod have been effective to soothe migraine.

Mullein Side Effects

It’s always wise to know harsh side effects of any health treatment – herbal or not. Fortunately, mullein has no noteworthy severe side effects documented. Though some users complain of some adverse reactions. These were largely minimal and therefore immaterial.

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