11 Impressive Health Benefits Of Mullein Tea + How To Make

Once you try this beverage, you will wonder why you never considered it before.

Reviewed by Mayuri Aavula, MSc (Nutrition)
By Sindhu Koganti, Certified Health & Nutrition Life Coach

Mullein tea is a caffeine-free herbal beverage known for its sedative and astringent properties. This herbal tea is made from the leaves of the flowering plant mullein (Verbascum thapsus), which is native to Europe and Asia. The health benefits of mullein tea are due to its antioxidant, antibacterial, and antiviral properties.

Mullein tea is also known for its refreshing and aromatic taste. Its intake may help treat many respiratory conditions, fight viral infections, relieve sleeping issues, and aid tuberculosis treatment.

In this article, we have discussed the health benefits of mullein tea, how to make it, where to buy it, and its side effects. Keep reading!

Health Benefits of Mullein Tea

1. May Treat Respiratory Conditions

Mullein tea for respiratory conditions


Mullein tea may help combat several respiratory ailments like cold, cough, and bronchitis. It can also offer relief from sore throat. The antibacterial properties of mullein may help treat inflammation and infection in the respiratory tract (1).

Mullein tea may help relieve asthma, which causes swelling in the airways and results in shortness of breath, wheezing, and coughing (2), (3). Mullein is said to possess expectorant, mucolytic, and demulcent properties that promote sputum secretion. This reduces cough, helps with the clearance of mucus from the airways, and relieves irritation of the mucous membranes (1).

Its flowers and leaves are used for treating a wide range of respiratory ailments, such as chills and flu, tuberculosis, bronchitis, pneumonia, asthma, tonsillitis, and tracheitis (4). However, more human studies are needed to prove these claims.

2. May Help Fight Viral Infections

Mullein tea is said to have antiviral activity and may help fight certain viral infections. In one study, mullein extracts showed antiviral activity against influenza virus (5). Another study conducted by the National University of Rio Cuarto found that the methanolic extracts of mullein may fight against the pseudorabies virus (6).

Alcoholic extracts of mullein were found to exhibit antiviral activity against pseudorabies virus (7). However, more long-term research is required to understand this benefit of mullein in humans.

3. Exhibits Antibacterial Properties

Mullein tea may exhibit antibacterial properties. A study conducted by the Islamic Azad University found that the ethanolic extract of mullein has antimicrobial and antioxidant properties. They act against certain bacterial strains, including Bacillus cereus (8).

Since ancient times, mullein has been used as an effective remedy to treat infectious diseases. Another study conducted by the Jundishapur University of Medical Sciences found that aqueous-alcoholic extracts of mullein possess some antibacterial effects (9).

4. May Relieve Issues With Sleep

Mullein tea for sleeping problems


Insomnia is a growing issue among men and women belonging to various age groups. Mullein tea may act as a natural sedative and help relieve sleeping problems (1).

The roots, leaves, and flowers of the mullein plant also possess sedative properties that help treat issues with sleep (10). Experts believe that there is a compound in this tea that acts as a natural sedative and helps induce sleep. More research is needed to understand this compound and its mechanism.

5. May Aid Tuberculosis Treatment

Several studies state mullein to be a potential treatment option for tuberculosis. It could also help in the treatment of skin disorders and leprosy (11), (1).

However, more studies are needed to establish its potential as a treatment for tuberculosis.

6. May Improve Digestive Health

Mullein tea for digestive system health


The consumption of mullein tea may help improve a number of digestive issues.It may provide relief from diarrhea and constipation by clearing the digestive system (4), (12). It may also help cope with bowel related problems and help your body eliminate toxins easily.

7. May Soothe Skin Conditions

Mullein tea possesses anti-inflammatory properties that help treat skin problems. You can also use the oil to get relief from a variety of skin infections.

The tea may help heal blisters, wounds, and small cuts. The oil made from the mullein flowers can be applied externally on affected areas in the case of eczema and other inflammatory skin conditions (13). You may also topically apply mullein leaf extract on sores and wounds. Anecdotal evidence suggests that it can have a calming effect on the skin.

8. May Help Relieve Joint Pains And Muscle Spasms

Mullein tea for joint pain and muscle spasms


Mullein tea has anti-inflammatory and analgesic-like properties due to the presence of a compound called verbascoside. This compound has been proven to exhibit anti-inflammatory properties and the ability to ease muscle and joint pains. Mullein tea’s anti-inflammatory properties may make it ideal for use in treating joint pain (12). This herb may reduce inflammation. The antispasmodic effect of this herbal tea may help treat muscle spasms (14).

9. May Treat Thyroid Issues

Anecdotal evidence suggests that intake of mullein tea may improve thyroid-related problems. The tea may help treat an overactive thyroid gland (a condition called hyperthyroidism). A formula created by a noted doctor had mullein as one of its constituents. This formula was specifically targeted to treat thyroid issues (15). However, research in this aspect is limited. We need more studies to substantiate the therapeutic effects of mullein tea for thyroid issues.

10. May Treat Headache

Mullein tea for headache


The leaves and fruits of the mullein herb have been effectively used for several years to treat migraines. A study conducted by the Abant Izzet Baysel University found that the herbal extracts of mullein may help relieve headaches (16).

11. May Help Treat Ear Infections

Mullein leaves have been used to treat ear infections. Those with ear ailments may try the remedy after consulting their doctor. A study conducted by the Tel Aviv University on 171 children found that ear drops containing mullein extracts may help treat ear-related infections (17).

Did You Know?

Multiple Native American tribes were known to drink mullein tea to treat coughs and colds.

If you want to learn how to make mullein tea, you can check out the following recipe. You can brew the tea with either dried or fresh leaves.

How To Make Mullein Tea

  • Dried leaves of mullein
  • One cup of water
  • Raw honey or sugar (for taste)
  1. Add a small handful of dried leaves to a cup (240 mL) of boiling water.
  2. Steep them for 15–30 minutes.
  3. Use a strainer or cheesecloth and remove as many of the leaves as possible to prevent throat irritation.
  4. You can add raw honey or sugar for taste.
Stylecraze Says
You can also add to the mullein tea 2 tablespoons of dried mullein flowers along with the leaves. The flowers impart a sweeter taste to the otherwise slightly bitter tea (bitterness that is caused by the leaves).

Where To Buy Mullein Tea

You can find mullein dried leaves, tea bags, extracts, tinctures, and capsules in health food stores. You can also procure them online.

Though mullein tea is generally safe for consumption, it does have a few side effects that you need to keep in mind. Check them out in the next section.

What Are The Side Effects Of Mullein Tea?

Mullein plant tea does not have any documented potential risks on humans. The few reactions that may occur in some users are not fatal. Studies do not show any side effects on pregnant women as well. However, anecdotal evidence suggests expectant mothers avoid prolonged use of any compound that contains mullein. Other potential adverse effects mullein tea may cause include the following:

  • Skin Irritation

Some individuals have reported skin irritation after using mullein extracts in tea and other forms. Avoiding the extract may cure the skin irritation in such people.

  • Breathing Issues

Mullein leaves are fluffy and hairy. If they get stuck in the throat, they may cause breathing issues. This usually happens when you make the tea and do not strain the mixture well. In some isolated cases, people taking the tea have reported difficulty inhaling and inflammation of their chest walls. However, medical intervention is not required in most instances.

The side effects are not backed by research. Hence, if you experience any of them, visit your doctor right away.

The benefits of mullein tea go beyond its delicious flavor. This nutritious beverage has natural anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties that may help soothe respiratory problems and ear infections. In addition, mullein tea may help promote digestive health. It is also good for relieving pain and spasms, thyroid issues, and headaches. However, excess intake may lead to skin irritation or breathing issues. If you experience any adverse effects, limit its use and seek medical advice.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many cups of mullein tea should I drink?

You can have 3 to 4 cups of mullein tea per day at regular intervals. It is generally considered safe to consume and has no documented side effects. However, limit or stop its intake if you notice any skin irritation or breathing difficulties.


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Sindhu Koganti is a certified health and nutrition life coach and has over 5 years of experience in writing on... more

Mayuri Aavula

(MSc (Dietetics))
Mayuri Aavula is one of the top nutritionists in Hyderabad, India, and has won several awards and accolades. She started... more