Mullein tea is a popular herbal beverage consumed for its high health benefits. Mullein tea is prepared from the leaves and flowers of the mullein plant, scientifically known as Verbascum thapsus. It’s caffeine-free, thus serving a broader variety of consumers with caffeine restrictions.
Mullein tea has been used in traditional medicine for centuries, particularly in European and Native American herbal traditions.
What Is The Plant Mullein Used For? Understanding Its Benefits
The mullein plant has more than 200 species grown mainly in Europe, Asia, and North America. This perennial plant has big, woolly leaves and pretty yellow flowers that bloom from June through September. In the first year, it develops a low-lying basal rosette with woolly large leaves, and in the second year, it comes with a tall stem studded with yellow flowers on top.
The mullein leaves are its most distinctive feature; they are significantly prominent, velvety, and covered with fine hair, giving them a soft, fuzzy texture. The mullein flowers are small, yellow, and densely clustered on a tall spike, which can reach heights of up to 8 feet.
The plant grows in areas with well-dense soil and an arena of abundant sunlight. Mullein is easy to grow and is often cultivated for its ornamental value and preached for its medicinal properties. It is a self-seeding plant that readily spreads in suitable conditions.
Chemical composition of the mullein plant
The chemical composition of the mullein plant can vary depending on various factors such as where it is grown, growing conditions, and harvesting time. Some active compounds in the mullein plant are Saponins, glycosides, flavonoids, essential oils, and minerals. One essential compound is verbascoside, famous for its possible antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antineoplastic properties.
Health Benefits Of Mullein Tea
Various parts of the plant, including the leaves, flowers, and roots, have been used to make herbal remedies for various ailments, including respiratory conditions, skin issues, and ear infections. Let’s dive into how drinking mullein tea may yield health benefits.
1. Treating respiratory conditions
Mullein tea is often used to soothe the respiratory system and relieve symptoms of respiratory conditions such as colds, coughs, bronchitis, and asthma. It is believed to have expectorant properties that can help loosen mucus and make coughs more productive. Moreover, it has anti-inflammatory properties and combats airway inflammation. It can also provide relief from irritation caused while breathing when you are living in a polluted area.
2. Joint and muscle pain relief
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties and active compounds, mullein plant tea helps reduce inflammation in the body. This property is beneficial in providing relief in conditions such as arthritis and inflammatory bowel diseases. The proposed antispasmodic powers of mullein tea can help ease muscle spasms caused by strenuous workouts, wounds, or chronic conditions.
3. Fighting viral infections and flu
Mullein tea has antiviral properties, which are attributed to flavonoids and phenylethanoid glycosides that are present. This enables the fight against viral infections and provides relief in conditions where treatment is ongoing. In clinical studies, mullein extracts have been observed to combat influenza and herpes simplex viruses. However, more research is required to back up these findings.
4. Supporting and strengthening the immune system
Traditionally, mullein tea has been used as an immune booster. So far, we have established that the mullein plant has many compounds that have anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties. These properties help support the immune system by strengthening its shield.
Making mullein tea a part of your wellness routine may improve your body’s natural defenses, enabling you to ward off diseases and stay healthy. Its analgesic properties may help alleviate discomfort. Mullein plant is claimed to have anti-bacterial properties, which studies show helped reduce the growth of certain types of bacteria that cause infections, such as E. coli.
The mullein oil derived from the flowers of this plant is used as an ear drop to treat ear infections. However, a medical practitioner should be consulted for its long-term usage.
5. Improving sleep and relaxation
Mullein is also attributed to its sedative properties, which help relax the mind and body and thus enable quality sleep. This property is mainly associated with the flavonoids present, which may calm the nervous system and foster a sense of tranquillity. People with insomnia, i.e., difficulty sleeping, can try mullein tea to induce sound sleep.
6. Skin health and anti-aging
The anti-oxidant properties of mullein tea are said to protect the body from oxidative stress caused by free radicals, which can accelerate the aging process. This property of mullein tea can help with potential anti-aging and disease-preventing effects. Mullein tea is also sometimes used topically to soothe skin conditions such as burns, bruises, and eczema. Its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties promote skin healing and clearing the epidermal layer.
Note: Although mullein tea is herbal and organic, it is advised to consume it in moderation. Moreover, consult a doctor if you have any medical condition or have been asked to take prescription medicines. This is to avoid any drug interactions or allergic reactions.
How To Prepare And Use Mullein Tea
If reading these benefits, you find mullein tea appealing to you, follow these simple steps to prep this healthy and delicious herbal infusion:
- One teaspoon of dried mullein leaves
- One cup of boiling water
- Sweetener of your choice, optional
- Place dried mullein leaves in your teacup or tea infuser.
- Pour hot water over the tea leaves and let it simmer for 5 to 10 minutes.
- Filter the tea through a fine mesh strainer to discard the tiny hairs from the leaves.
- If you’d like, add a sweetener to your mullein tea and enjoy it!
- This soothing concoction is perfect to take early in the morning, evening, or before bed. It may also help your digestive system and is also suitable if you are on a diet.
Mullein tea is a traditional herbal infusion with anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, and anti-bacterial properties and is rich in antioxidants. These properties help fight respiratory diseases and viral infections, relieve joint and muscle pain, strengthen the immune system, induce sleep and relation, and have skin benefits. Thus, mullein tea is a power-packed tea with various health benefits.
- National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI). Searching for Scientific Explanations for the Uses of Spanish Folk Medicine: A Review on the Case of Mullein (Verbascum, Scrophulariaceae) [Internet]. [cited 2023 Aug 19]. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8301161
- ScienceDirect. Common mullein, pharmacological, and chemical aspects. [cited November–December 2013]. Available from: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0102695X13701261