Herbs & Plants

The Benefits of Mullein Leaf

Mullein Leaf also known as Verbascum thapsus, is a herb which has been used medicinally for thousands of years.  My fascination of this herb initially came about when I was one day suffering from a very sore throat.   I had originally purchased this herb so that I could use it as a base for some herbal blends I was working on.  One night while up late doing research my throat started hurting.  Knowing my body pretty well, I knew a sore throat was a sign that I was getting sick.  Since I was already doing herbal research, I looked up what herb was beneficial for sore throats and lo and behold found out Mullein Leaf was good for colds and sore throats!  I made some tea with the leaves I had purchased.  Before I could finish my tea my sore throat was completely gone!

What is Mullein Leaf?

One of the best sources I’ve found doing research on Mullein Leaf comes from Redroot Mountain.  According to Redroot Mountain, Mullein Leaf  can stand up to 10 feet tall with yellow flowering stalks. The leaves are very soft giving it the nickname “Flannel Leaf”.   And according to Live Science in ancient times the leaves were used for lamp wicks, toilet paper and even placed inside of shoes for warmth and softness.

Mullein leaf is a biennial plant, unlike a perennial that blooms for several years a biennial plant blooms in its second year and then dies.  This plant can grow virtually anywhere there’s an annual rainfall of 3 to 6 inches and 140 days growing season.  Mullein leaf grows in pretty much any soil but prefers alkaline soil.

After mullein leaf was brought over to the America via the colonists, Native Americans found many ways to use this herb, listed below.

  • Coughs, colds and flu symptoms.
  • Rheumatism.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Reduce Swelling (mullein leaf poultice)
  • Management of respiratory illnesses, like asthma  (dried leaves rolled and smoked).
  • Mucous reduction.
More recent research concerning Mullein shows the flowers can be made into a tea or tincture producing positive effects on the herpes simplex virus.  Dr. Axe’s Food is Medicine website, has a great chart on Mullein and even more useful information related to this native plant.

My Personal Experience with Mullein Leaf

I have personally tried Mullein Leaf tea and know for sure it works on sore throats.  I’ve also rolled mullein leaf and smoked it.  In the tea form, the tea is very lovely and I drink it without honey or sugar.  I don’t feel it needs sweetener and in my opinion would defeat the medicinal purpose of the herb.

As a herbal cigarette (and keep in mind I’m not a smoker) the taste was a little tobacco like.   I felt like my nasal passages were really clear after smoking.  And after taking a deep inhale with the cigarette it made me feel a little calmer…hmm interesting.  With all that being said and because I’m not a smoker, I much prefer the tea over the herbal cigarette.

An interesting note, since I’ve been drinking Mullein Leaf tea, I have noticed a significant reduction of mucous build up in my body.

How To Use Mullein Leaf

So onto to where to get it and how to use it!  You can try your local health food store to see if they have it or go online to look for an herbal supplier.  Once getting it home, you should store in a glass container in your cabinet.

For my mullein leaf tea I use 2 teaspoons of tea to about 8 ounces of spring or purified water.  Steep for 10 minutes.  Here’s a quick tutorial on steeping tea, Life Hack-Steeping Tea.  I like to make my own tea bags but you can also use a tea filter.  Mullein leaves do expand so I do not recommend the tea infuser balls.

Mullein Leaf is definitely a herb people should try as well as keep as a staple in their cabinet for medicinal use.  Please keep in mind everybody is different and what helps some people might not help others, I can only share with you my own experiences, research and what has helped me.  I will say that as I go along my journey researching and delving deep into indigenous herbs and their uses, I’m completely amazed as to how we can heal ourselves and the people we care about all by using what has been provided to us by nature.