How Mullein Benefits your Lungs

Everybody has their own favorite remedies for the common cold and other respiratory ailments: vitamin C for immunity, zinc for sore throats and chicken soup.

Mullein can now be added to this list. Mullein has been used for centuries to treat respiratory conditions.

Is it possible to make it work? Sobia Khan MD, functional medicine specialist shares her thoughts on mullein as well the difficulties in finding high-quality products.

Mullein: What is it?

Verbascum Thapsus, commonly called mullein or verbascum thapsus (also known as snapdragon), is a member the snapdragon family. Some consider it a weed, while others see it as a blessing.

Mullein is a plant that grows in America, but was originally found in Europe, Asia, North Africa and Europe. Dr. Khan claims different parts have unique benefits. Native Americans used the plant for many medicinal purposes. They were used by colonists to treat coughs, breathing problems and heal wounds.

Then they did:

Mullein's Uses And Health Benefits

Dr. Khan says that mullein has many practical applications today. Mullein is useful for lung conditions that may lead to inflammation, infection or other complications. It was the first herbal treatment for any condition that could lead to inflammation or infection before antibiotics.

Pneumonia. Tuberculosis. Whooping cough. It's used less frequently these days for conditions that are not as severe, such as:

Mullein oils, teas, capsules and extracts can be found in most health food stores. You can take mullein in your mouth to treat respiratory conditions. Mullein is often consumed as a tea. It can be soothing to sip mullein-infused tea. Mullein can be consumed as a capsule, oil or extract. You can get many benefits from Mullein, particularly when it comes to your respiratory tract.

1. Loosens mucus

Expectorants are substances that thin mucus and make it easier for you to cough. Expectorants break down mucus and help you get rid of it.

Dr. Khan says, "It is always good to get your mucus out from your airways." If mucus is left in the lungs it can block airflow and cause severe lung damage.

2. Calms inflammation

Mullein can help with your throat and lung problems. The mucilage in the flowers and leaves of mullein reduces inflammation by coating mucous membranes, or the moist linings, with a thin film.

Mullein's anti-inflammatory qualities can be used to soothe irritation and pain in skin cuts.

3. Protects cells

Antioxidants include vitamin C, flavonoids and other substances found in vegetables and fruits. Mullein is rich in antioxidants. Protect your cells against free radicals and other unstable molecules, which can cause cell damage.

A research paper demonstrates this benefit. It shows that alcohol and mullein stem oil combined were 85% efficient in protecting cells from injury. Mullein is an antioxidant that boosts the body's natural defenses.

4. Fights germs

Antiseptic properties of Mullein mean that it stops the growth and spread of harmful germs. One study found that it was effective at fighting pneumonia, staph and E. coli bacteria.

Another study has shown that mullein also has antiviral qualities and can slow down the spread of influenza viruses. Mullein may speed up the recovery from a cold.

Using Mullein Tea For Lung Health

Mullein tea, or any other form of this herb can improve your lung health and decrease symptoms associated with respiratory disease. Mullein tea has been used for many years with little or no side effects. Finding a reliable source is the key to obtaining a product that works well.

Dr. Khan explains that the U.S. does not produce it in a standardized manner like European countries, such as Germany. It is difficult for us to come up with effective formulas in this country.

What are the Side Effects of Mullein?

You may experience a reaction if you use mullein on your skin or mucous membranes at high levels of potency. Dr. Khan says that mullein can be diluted to avoid side effects. Mullein has never been associated with any side effects or negative reactions.

There is a risk that herbal supplements may not be subject to the same stringent testing and scrutiny as prescription medications. It is important that you only use high-quality, pure products.

Dr. Khan suggests looking for brands that have had their products tested by third parties to make sure you are able to trust the information inside. She also recommends adhering strictly with the manufacturer's recommended doses. Most important, consult with your doctor before using any supplements.