Mullein tea is made from the rich, aromatic leaves of the common mullein (Verbascum thapsus), native to Asia, Africa, and Europe. Mullein tea has a rich aromatic herbal taste that keeps you refreshed, and it is also caffeine-free. It is used in traditional medicine as a sedative, tightens pores and can cure a cold.
It is a flavorful beverage used to treat a wide range of ailments from asthma to chronic coughs. For centuries, mullein tea has been used to treat several diseases. Mullein tea extract may have antibacterial and antiviral properties and could be used to treat respiratory conditions. However, further studies into its effects on humans are needed.
Mullein tea could help treat tuberculosis, sleeping problems, viral and bacterial infections, as it is said to possess antiviral, antioxidant and antibacterial properties.
This article will highlight the various uses, how it can benefit you, and the potential side effects of mullein tea. Let's take a look at the top five advantages of mullein tea.
Top Five Benefits of Mullein Tea
Over the years, mullein tea has been connected to various potential health benefits.
1. May help combat viral infections
Some clinical studies suggest that mullein tea may have antiviral properties to help fight infections. After analysing various species of medicinal herbs, the mullein extract was found effective against the influenza virus.
Other tests also show that the mullein plant extract may also be used to fight pseudorabies (herpes virus). However, further research is needed to confirm these claims.
2. May treat respiratory conditions
For centuries, mullein tea and extract have been used to treat respiratory conditions. It may relieve asthma and symptoms that result from the swelling of the airway. It may also treat shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing. Research on animals and humans has suggested that mullein tea relaxes the respiratory tract muscles and reduces infection and inflammation.
Mullein plant's leaves and flowers possess decongestant properties that can help clear the airway of mucus. This can reduce coughing and relieve irritation in the mucous membrane.
Traditionally, mullein has been used to treat respiratory ailments such as pneumonia, tracheitis, tonsillitis, bronchitis, chills, flu, and tuberculosis, as our ancestors noticed that this herb seems to affect and in many cases improve the health of our respiratory system.
A link that has been identified in multiple studies. While anecdotal evidence is abundant, scientists are still in the process of studying the plant to more accurately prove or disprove these effects on the lungs.
3. Possesses antibacterial properties
Mullein tea possesses antibacterial properties to help you fight and treat bacterial infections. A test-tube study found that mullein extracts repressed several bacteria strains, especially Bacillus cereus, which is found in food and soil.
Another test found the mullein extract to inhibit the growth and spread of certain types of infection-causing bacteria, including the likes of Streptococcus pyogenes, and E. coli.
Although there is limited research conducted on humans, a survey of 180 children showed that the mullein herb might treat ear infections. This is because bacteria is often the cause of ear infections, so it’s not only mullein that would be effective in this case but other antibacterial herbs too.
The three-day study used ear drops containing mullein extract (alongside other herbal extracts) three times daily. The combination reduced ear pain by a significant 93%. However, the mullein extract's specific effect on the ear drops isn't known as it was used in combination with other herbal extracts. This is why additional human research is necessary.
4. May aid tuberculosis treatment
Despite this initial research, several more are needed to prove that mullein tea is a legitimate treatment for tuberculosis.
5. May relieve sleep issues and disorders
Mullein tea has the properties to act as a natural sleep aid for combating sleeping disorders. As insomnia is a prevalent issue among all ages and genders, mullein tea is a go- for anyone experiencing a disrupted sleep.
The flowers, leaves, and roots of the mullein plant all possess sedative properties. This makes it an excellent choice for treating sleeping issues. There's still a need for additional research to better understand how mullein tea helps treat insomnia and sleep disorders.
Although most people can enjoy mullein tea with no significant risk of adverse reactions, a few side effects need to be considered.
What Are The Side Effects Of Mullein Tea?
There are no documented side effects of mullein tea on people, and the few occurrences of reactions are not fatal. Since no research has been conducted on the safety of mullein tea for breastfeeding or pregnant women, it is highly recommended to consult a doctor or a healthcare professional before ingesting it. Other potential side effects mullein tea may cause include:
For some, mullein extract in tea and other forms may irritate the skin. Hence, the need to be extra careful when directly handling the herb. To prevent skin irritation, it is advisable to avoid the extract coming into contact with your skin.
It is essential to thoroughly strain mullein tea before drinking it as the plant's hair can irritate the throat. The leaves' fluffy hairs may get stuck in the throat, which can cause irritation or breathing issues.
Mullein tea is considered to have few side effects and is generally safe. However, it is essential to thoroughly strain your tea before consumption and exercise caution when directly handling it to prevent skin irritation. The side effects are not scientifically documented, so if you notice or feel any adverse side effects after drinking mullein tea, try reducing your intake, stop drinking it, or visit your doctor immediately.
Is Mullein Good for the lungs?
Mullein tea is medicinal, and it is healthy for the lungs, even when smoked. Due to its expectorant properties, mullein tea soothes infected or inflamed lungs and eases congestion in the lungs. It is herbal, has a very light smoke, and is non-addictive. It's the perfect extract for lung cleansing. This has been demonstrated in many studies and covered extensively.
Can you take Mullein tea every day?
While there isn't any clinical evidence to provide recommended and specific dosages of mullein tea, traditional users suggest 2g-3g of dry leaf or 15ml-30ml of fresh leaf and 3g-4g of flowers daily.
Is Mullein Toxic?
Studies report that although mullein leaves and flowers are on the GRAS (generally recognised as safe) list of the FDA with no verifiable reports of fatal side effects, mullein seeds may contain the insecticide and fish poison ‘rotenone.’
While rotenone is considered safe for humans, it poses significant toxic risks. If the mullein leaves are contaminated with its seeds, it may prove hazardous over a lengthy period.
For this reason, nursing or pregnant women and young children or those with severe kidney or liver diseases should not use mullein for an extended period.
Mullein - Pros and Cons
The herbal tea has numerous medicinal properties. The antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties of the mullein plant may help treat viral and bacterial infections, as well as sleeping disorders.
It is recommended to consume it in healthy quantities of no more than 3 cups a day as while there are no documented potential adverse effects of drinking mullein tea – not enough studies have been done on excessive consumption. If you experience any side effects or symptoms, take a trip to your doctor or health care provider.
Mullein Australia - Where to Buy Mullein Tea
I’m sure you’re wondering where you can buy mullein extract in Australia. Fear not, tea connoisseurs! Tea Life has a delectable range of herbal teas including this wellness favourite. Or why not taste the ‘Sore Throat and Lung Recovery’ tea? Featuring Meadowsweet, Eyebright and Elderflower, as well as mullein, this enriching blend has everything you need to heal those restricted airways.
Brewing Mullein Tea
- Add one heaped teaspoon to a strainer. It can go through many strainers so our teabags are recommended. Since the tea’s so light, feel free to compress it.
- Steep for 3-5 minutes with the cup covered, using a standard cup size 250ml.
- If steeping overnight in the fridge, try 400ml instead.
Looking for Australia's finest Mullein tea? Shop here.