What Is Mullein Tea? Benefits, Side Effects, and More


Mullein tea is a herbal infusion made from the leaves and flowers of the mullein plant (Verbascum thapsus). This plant, also known as common mullein or great mullein, has a long history of use in traditional medicine for various ailments. In recent years, mullein tea has gained popularity for its potential health benefits and soothing properties. In this article, we will explore the benefits, side effects, and more about mullein tea.

The History of Mullein Tea

The use of mullein as a medicinal herb dates back centuries. It has been used in traditional medicine practices in Europe, Asia, and North America. Native Americans used mullein for its expectorant properties to help with respiratory issues, while Europeans used it to treat coughs, colds, and other respiratory ailments.

In addition to its medicinal uses, mullein has also been used for practical purposes. The soft leaves of the plant were historically used as toilet paper due to their gentle texture.

The Benefits of Mullein Tea

Mullein tea offers several potential health benefits. Here are some of the key benefits:

1. Respiratory Health

Mullein tea is commonly used to support respiratory health. It has expectorant properties that can help loosen mucus and phlegm, making it easier to expel. This can be beneficial for individuals with conditions such as bronchitis, asthma, or a common cold.

Research has shown that mullein contains compounds with anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties, which may further contribute to its respiratory benefits.

2. Soothing Properties

Mullein tea has soothing properties that can help alleviate various discomforts. It is often used to relieve sore throat, cough, and congestion. The tea’s warm and comforting nature can provide relief and promote relaxation.

Additionally, mullein tea is sometimes used topically to soothe skin irritations, such as rashes or burns.

3. Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Studies have suggested that mullein possesses anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a natural response by the body to injury or infection, but chronic inflammation can contribute to various health issues. Mullein tea may help reduce inflammation and alleviate symptoms associated with inflammatory conditions.

4. Pain Relief

Mullein tea has been used traditionally as a natural remedy for pain relief. It is believed to have analgesic properties that can help reduce pain and discomfort. Some individuals use mullein tea to alleviate headaches, joint pain, or muscle aches.

5. Skin Health

Topical application of mullein tea or its extracts may benefit the skin. It is believed to have moisturizing and emollient properties that can help soothe dry or irritated skin. Some people use mullein tea as a natural remedy for conditions like eczema or psoriasis.

Possible Side Effects and Precautions

While mullein tea is generally considered safe for most people when consumed in moderation, there are a few precautions to keep in mind:

1. Allergic Reactions

Some individuals may be allergic to mullein or other plants in the same family (Scrophulariaceae). If you have known allergies to these plants, it is advisable to avoid mullein tea.

2. Interactions with Medications

If you are taking any medications, it is important to consult with your healthcare provider before consuming mullein tea. It may interact with certain medications, including blood thinners, sedatives, or medications metabolized by the liver.

3. Lung Conditions

While mullein tea is often used to support respiratory health, individuals with pre-existing lung conditions should exercise caution. It is recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before using mullein tea as a treatment.

How to Make Mullein Tea

Making mullein tea is a simple process. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Harvest or purchase dried mullein leaves and flowers.
  2. Boil water in a pot or kettle.
  3. Place 1-2 teaspoons of dried mullein leaves and flowers in a tea infuser or teapot.
  4. Pour the boiling water over the mullein leaves and flowers.
  5. Let the tea steep for 10-15 minutes.
  6. Remove the tea infuser or strain the tea to remove the leaves and flowers.
  7. Serve hot and enjoy.


Mullein tea is a herbal infusion with a long history of use in traditional medicine. It offers potential benefits for respiratory health, soothing properties, anti-inflammatory effects, pain relief, and skin health. However, it is important to exercise caution and consult with a healthcare professional, especially if you have allergies, are taking medications, or have pre-existing lung conditions. Making mullein tea is a simple process that can be enjoyed for its potential health benefits and comforting properties. Incorporating mullein tea into your wellness routine may provide a natural and soothing addition to your daily life.

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