Is Mullein Good for Your Lungs? – Cleveland Clinic

Everyone has their favorite home remedies to cure the common cold and other respiratory ailments: zinc for a sore throat, vitamin C for immunity boosting, and chicken soup for everything.

The Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit, academic medical center. Advertising on our website supports our mission. We do not endorse any non-Cleveland Clinic product or service. politics

Now you can add mullein to the list. This herb has been used for centuries to relieve respiratory ailments.

But does it really work? Sobia Khan, MD, a functional medicine specialist, shares the benefits of mullein and the challenges of finding a quality product.

What is mullein?

Verbascum thapsus, better known as mullein, is a member of the snapdragon family. It is considered a weed by some and a godsend by others.

Mullein grows in the United States but is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa, and Dr. Khan says different parts of the plant have different beneficial properties. Native Americans and colonists used it for a variety of medicinal purposes, from assisting with coughing and breathing to healing wounds.

They used to have:

  • smoke the leaves
  • Make a cough syrup out of cooked roots.
  • Apply the leaves to the skin in a paste.
  • Rub the leaves over the inflamed skin.

Uses and Health Benefits of Mullein

according to dr Khan still has practical uses for the mullein today. It is helpful for any lung condition that can lead to inflammation or infection. Before antibiotics, it was a popular herbal remedy for:

Today it is more commonly used for less serious conditions, such as:

You can find mullein extracts, capsules, oils, and teas in health food stores. For breathing problems, take mullein orally. People often drink mullein tea — sipping a cup of tea of ​​any kind is calming, and mullein may have health benefits. You can also take a mullein capsule, extract, or oil. Mullein benefits your respiratory system—particularly when it comes to fighting disease—in a number of ways:

1. Dissolves phlegm

Mullein is an expectorant, a substance that thins phlegm (phlegm) and makes it easier to expectorate. Expectorants help break up mucus to help clear it from your system.

“It’s always good to clear mucus from the airways,” says Dr. Khan. “If mucus remains in the lungs, it can form thick clogs that block airflow — and in severe cases, cause the lungs to collapse.”

2. Calms inflammation

If you have lung and throat problems, using mullein may relieve some of your ailments. Its flowers and leaves contain mucus that coats the mucous membranes (the moist linings in your airways) and reduces inflammation.

Ointments and oils containing mullein may also help reduce pain and irritation from skin sores due to its anti-inflammatory effects.

3. Protects cells

Mullein contains antioxidants, including vitamin C and flavonoids (substances found in fruits and vegetables). Antioxidants protect cells from free radicals, unstable molecules that damage your cells.

A research paper highlights this benefit, showing that when combined with alcohol, mullein stem extract was 85% effective in protecting cells from damage. Because mullein has antioxidant properties, it strengthens your body’s natural defenses.

4. Fights germs

Mullein has antiseptic properties, meaning it prevents the growth of pathogens. One study found it to be effective in fighting pneumonia, staph, and E. coli bacteria.

Other research suggests that mullein also has antiviral properties and may even slow down the influenza virus. Taking mullein when you have a cold or flu can help you fight the infection faster.

Using Mullein Tea for Lung Health

You can use mullein tea or other forms of the herb to improve lung health and reduce symptoms of respiratory diseases. It has a long history of use and little to no side effects. But the challenge is finding a source that produces a pure, potent product.

“In the USA, it is not produced in a standardized way like in European countries like Germany,” says Dr. Khan. “That makes it difficult to find effective formulas here.”

What are the side effects of mullein?

If you apply a high concentration of mullein directly to your mucous membranes or to your skin, it can cause skin reactions. “However, when it’s diluted, it doesn’t usually cause side effects,” says Dr. Khan. “To date, there have been no reports of adverse reactions or toxic side effects from mullein.”

The biggest risk is that herbal supplements don’t undergo the same rigorous testing as medicines. Therefore, it is important to ensure that you are using a pure, quality product.

“Look for reputable brands that say they’re third-party tested so you can trust the contents of the bottle,” advises Dr. Khan, “and stick to the product’s dosage recommendations. Most importantly, before taking any dietary supplement, always discuss it with your doctor.”

Comments are closed.