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Home :: Mullein :: Herbs

Mullein Herb (Leaf) - Uses And Side Effects

Mullein is also known as Verbascum thapsus. In the 19th century, people smoked mullein's roots or dried flowers to treat respiratory diseases and asthma symptoms-a practice borrowed from the Mohegan and Penobscot Indians. The unprocessed drug comes from the dried leaves and flowers of Verbascum thapsus, a tall biennial of the snapdragon family (Scrophulariaceae). Native to Europe and Asia, the plant grows in the United States. You can spot it easily from its distinctive fuzzy leaves and yellow flower spikes.

Description

Probably everyone has seen Mullein. It is a pretty plant, particularly conspicuous along highways in the city. Mullein is quite tall. It generally grows to about four feet high, but plants of six feet and more are not uncommon.

Mullein is a biennial and in the first year produces a rosette of large, gray-green, feltlike leaves. The following year a tall, rigid stalk grows from the center of this rosette. This stalk (occasionally branched near the top) is clasped along its entire length by smaller leaves which actually merge with the stalk at their bases. The upper part of this stalk becomes the flower spike. As summer advances, it becomes covered with densely packed buds. In the Northeast, delicate yellow flowers open at random along this stalk from late June until September.

Mullein is an Old World plant. It was introduced from Europe, where it was for centuries an esteemed medicinal herb. The colonists planted it in their gardens; it has since escaped and become naturalized throughout the United States.

Common doses of mullein

Mullein comes as:

  • dried leaf
  • capsules (290 or 330 milligrams of leaf) . Flower oil (1 or 2 ounces)
  • liquid extract (2 ounces).

Some experts recommend the following doses:

  • As capsules, two 290-milligram capsules taken orally with two meals daily or as needed.
  • As flower oil, 5 to 10 drops taken orally.
  • As leaves, mix 1 cup of boiling water with 1 to 2 tea spoons of dried leaf. Let steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Drink three times daily.

Uses of mullein

Mullein is a terrific narcotic herb that is not addictive or poisonous. It is used as a pain killer and to bring on sleep. It loosens mucous, making it useful for treating all lung ailments. It also strengthens the lymphatic system. Specifically, mullein may help to :-

  • As an expectorant
  • Asthma
  • Bronchitis
  • Cough
  • Painful urination
  • Skin inflammation
  • To stimulate earwax production

Side effects of mullein

Call your health care practitioner if you experience these possible side effects of mullein:

  • sedation
  • skin inflammation

Interactions

Combining herbs with certain drugs may alter their action or produce unwanted side effects. Tell your health care practitioner about any prescription or nonprescription drugs you're taking.

Important points to remember

  • Don't take this herb if you're pregnant or breast-feeding.
  • Don't give mullein to children.

What the research shows

Preliminary studies suggest certain mullein components may fight tumors and inflammation. However, more tests must be
done in people before medical experts will recommend the herb.

Other names for mullein : -

Other names for mullein include Aaron's rod, bunny's ears, candlewick, flannel-leaf, great mullein, and Jacob's-staff.

Products containing mullein are sold under such names as Mullein Flower Oil, Mullein Leaves, and Verbascum Complex.


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