Herb Spotlight: Mullein
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Hey there, new vegans! Welcome to the first edition of our new herb spotlight series! Each month, NVH will explore, examine, and sometimes review a different medicinal herb! Why, you ask? Well, we truly believe that there are readily available, natural forms of relief for most, if not all, ailments that can be found out in this world. Hopefully, while exploring some of these herbs with us, you may be able to reduce the dependency you or someone you know has on major pharmaceuticals. In reality, most commercial drugs are derived from the very herbs we will talk about here, so we want to explore their efficacy and take a closer look at how they work in their natural state, without the added chemicals and dangerous side effects.
For the month of May, we will be discussing Mullein. But, before we dive in, please read the following disclaimer.
The comments made in this post are the opinion of the author and should never substitute sound medical advice from a licensed professional. The authors at NVH are not healthcare providers and do not directly recommend trying any product on this site without consulting a physician.
OK, Here we go...
What is Mullein?
Mullein, also known as the "Velvet Plant," is a perennial flower that is native to Europe and Asia. It has only recently been discovered in the modern United States; however, studies have shown that early Native Americans also used this plant (because early Native Americans were freakin' geniuses when it came to utilizing natural remedies). The most common species of Mullein, used in most obtainable herbal supplements on the market today, is the Verbascum Thapsus, cultivated for its leaves.
What can it do?
There are many different ways this herb can be used medicinally. Mullein has been known to help treat:
- Bronchial Inflammation
- Ear Infections
- Other Wounds
- Pulmonary Distress Symptoms
- Sinus Infections
- Sinus Pressure
- Sore Throat
Researchers have been reviewing historical European studies of this plant to understand its effect on Tuberculosis. Though some think Mullein may just be the "silver bullet" to discovering the next anti-Tb agent [source], the research shows that its power comes from its anti-mycobacterial properties, especially toward gram positive bacteria such as Staphylococcus Aureus, which means it can be highly useful in many different areas. Mullein has also been shown to have anti-fungal, anti-viral, and anti-tumor properties, according to laboratory studies conducted at Clemson University [source].
Today, you can find reviews of users claiming it has helped or cured such ailments as persistent-nagging-cough, some flu-like symptoms, chronic pneumonia, and MRSA-infected wounds. There have also been many studies that indicate that Mullein is highly effective in treating ear infections [source].
Is Mullein right for you? If you suffer from any of the symptoms listed above, it may be worth checking out! Again, we do advise you speak with your healthcare provider before starting or stopping any medications.
My Personal Review
I started taking Mullein twice a day about three weeks ago. I purchased a tincture of this herbal wonder and I add one full dropper to my protein shake in the morning and one to my Matcha tea in the evening. I started taking this supplement after experiencing some sinus headaches and a mild sore throat that I just could not shake. Very quickly, I noticed that my headache lessened and the sticky/dry feeling that was in the back of my throat cleared up in about 24 hours. I also feel like I'm breathing better when I'm exercising and I'm not getting as winded during my cardio. Now, I don't suffer from any serious ongoing ailments such as asthma or chronic cough (knock on wood), so I can't personally attest to its efficacy on higher level conditions. But, I have experienced some mild improvements after taking Mullein and I will most likely continue to include it in my daily routine. It's also an immunity booster of sorts (given its anti-viral properties), so that can't hurt! Adding a few drops to food or drinks is a really easy way to secure a little extra protection and peace of mind.
Some other ways to consume Mullein include:
- Drink Tea from Mullein Leaves
- Apply Topical Salves
- Take Mullein Tablets (Pills)
- Smoke/Burn Leaves
- Vape Oil
*WARNING: It should be noted that medicinal Mullein is derived from the leaf of the Mullein plant and not the seeds. Mullein seeds may contain toxic levels of Rotenone [source]. It is important to verify all sources to ensure the extract is not contaminated with seeds. Always look for Organic Herbal substances to reduce any exposure to pesticides and insecticides.