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Mullein Uses

Amruta Deshpande
The traditional uses of the mullein plant include the treatment of respiratory disorders such as asthma, cough, and tuberculosis. The following story provides information about the various benefits of this plant.
Mullein belongs to the genus of the figwort family, Scrophulariaceae, that includes about 250 distinct plant species. Native to Europe and Asia, this plant is now found in many parts of the world.
It can easily adapt to various environmental conditions, and grows on barren lands or waste grounds. Verbascum thapsus, is the most popular species of this genus, which is used by humans for a variety of purposes.
The common mullein plant is found as a weed in open areas such as neglected pastures, industrial areas, and roadsides. It is characterized by silver gray leaves and tall flower spikes. The entire plant is covered with fine hair that give it a soft velvety texture.
The plant has also been used as an alternative medicine for a number of health conditions throughout the world. Coumarin and hesperidin are the two main constituents of this plant that have healing properties.

Medicinal Uses

  • The herb is effective in the treatment of respiratory disorders such as bronchitis and tracheitis.
  • It has been used for centuries to treat cough and congestion. The leaf extract is used as an expectorant to promote the discharge of mucus, and also as a demulcent to soothe the irritated mucous membranes.
  • The plant has anti-inflammatory properties that help in reducing inflammation and stimulating fluid production in the mucous cells. It serves as a perfect remedy for dry coughs in conditions like asthma, bronchitis, whooping cough, and tuberculosis.
  • It is used to treat several urinary tract and bladder infections.
  • All parts of the plant possess sedative and narcotic properties.
  • Tea made from the flowers and leaves of this plant is a strong and soothing sedative, which is effective against several conditions such as migraines, sore throat, chest pain, colds, coughs, and kidney infections.
  • Consumption of fresh leaves boiled in milk is beneficial in case of tuberculosis. This mixture can also be used as a poultice to cure boils, hemorrhoids, carbuncles, chilblains, and skin ulcers.
  • The leaf extract helps in treating problems like painful urination and constipation.
  • The oil obtained from the plant is very effective against several harmful infections and diseases.
  • An infusion of mullein flowers in olive oil could be used to treat earaches, gum and mouth ulcers, piles, and inflammation of mucous membrane, because of its antibacterial properties.
  • A decoction made from the roots of the plant is used to alleviate toothaches, and it also provides relief from cramps and convulsions.
  • An infusion of this herb, if consumed, helps in the treatment of chest pain, diarrhea, and bleeding of the lungs and bowels.
  • A poultice made from the leaves is used for the treatment of minor burns, rashes, swellings, and sunburns.

Other Uses

  • The leaves contain a compound known as rotenone, which is commonly used as an insecticide.
  • Dried leaves are highly flammable and can be used to make wicks of candles.
  • Mullein flowers are boiled in water to make a yellow dye, and a permanent green dye can be produced when dilute sulfuric acid is used.
  • The seeds of this plant can also be used as piscicides (substances that are poisonous for fish).

The plant is considered safe for use, however, it may have some minor side effects, especially when taken in large doses.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this story is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.