Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) is a biennial plant that is native to Europe and Asia, but can now be found throughout the world. It is also commonly known as “torch plant” or “cowboy toilet paper” due to its tall stalk and soft, fuzzy leaves.
Mullein has been used for centuries as a natural remedy for a variety of health issues, including respiratory and digestive problems. Its leaves, flowers, and roots all contain medicinal compounds that are believed to have various health benefits.
Mullein’s Digestive Benefits
Mullein has been used as a traditional herbal remedy for digestive issues for centuries. Some of the ways that mullein can support digestive health include:
A. Soothing inflammation: Mullein contains mucilage, a gel-like substance that can help to soothe and protect the lining of the digestive tract. This can be particularly beneficial for individuals with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
B. Reducing diarrhea: Mullein has astringent properties that can help to reduce diarrhea and loose stools. This is because the tannins in mullein can help to tighten and tone the intestinal walls.
C. Relieving constipation: While mullein can help to reduce diarrhea, it can also help to alleviate constipation. This is because it has a mild laxative effect that can help to stimulate bowel movements.
D. Alleviating stomach cramps: Mullein has antispasmodic properties that can help to relieve stomach cramps and other digestive discomfort.
E. Addressing digestive infections: Mullein has been shown to have antimicrobial properties that can help to fight off bacterial and fungal infections in the digestive tract.
How to Prepare Mullein Tea
One of the easiest and most popular ways to use mullein for digestive health is to prepare mullein tea. Here’s how to do it:
* 1-2 teaspoons of dried mullein leaves or flowers
* 1 cup of boiling water
Place the dried mullein leaves or flowers into a tea ball or infuser.
* Pour boiling water over the tea ball or infuser, and let steep for 10-15
* Remove the tea ball or infuser, and enjoy your mullein
You can drink mullein tea up to three times a day to support digestive health. However, it’s important to note that mullein tea has a somewhat bitter taste, so you may want to sweeten it with honey or another natural sweetener if desired.
Other Ways to Use Mullein for Digestive Health
While mullein tea is the most common way to use this herb for digestive health, there are other ways to incorporate it into your diet. Some options include:
A. Mullein tincture: A tincture is a concentrated liquid extract that can be added to water or other beverages. Mullein tincture is a convenient way to use this herb for digestive health on-the-go.
B. Mullein capsules: Capsules are another convenient way to use mullein for digestive health, particularly for those who don’t enjoy the taste of the tea.
C. Mullein oil: Mullein oil can be applied topically to the abdomen to help soothe digestive It can also be used to address ear infections, which can be related to digestive issues.
D. Mullein poultice: A poultice is a type of herbal compress that can be applied topically to the To make a mullein poultice for digestive health, you can mix dried mullein leaves with hot water to create a paste. Apply the paste to the abdomen and cover with a cloth or bandage for several hours.
Precautions and Side Effects
While mullein is generally considered safe for most people, there are some precautions and potential side effects to be aware of.
First, if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, you should avoid using mullein as there is not enough research to determine its safety during these times.
Additionally, mullein may interact with certain medications, including blood thinners and medications that are processed by the liver. If you are taking any medications, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider before using mullein for digestive health.
Finally, while mullein is generally well-tolerated, some individuals may experience mild side effects such as stomach upset or skin irritation. If you experience any side effects after using mullein, discontinue use and speak with your healthcare provider.
Mullein is a natural herbal remedy that has been used for centuries to support digestive health. Its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and antispasmodic properties can help to alleviate a range of digestive issues, including diarrhea, constipation, and stomach cramps. While mullein tea is the most common way to use this herb for digestive health, there are other options such as tinctures, capsules, oils, and poultices. However, as with any herbal supplement, it’s important to speak with your healthcare provider before using mullein for digestive health, especially if you are pregnant, breastfeeding, or taking medications.
* Boukli-Monnier, A., Bouayed, J., & Mérillon, J. M. (2017). Mullein (Verbascum thapsus L.): recent advances in research on phytochemical constituents, pharmacological activities, and biotechnological studies. Plants, 6(4), 42. doi:10.3390/plants6040042
* Grieve, M. (1971). A modern herbal: The medicinal, culinary, cosmetic and economic properties, cultivation and folk-lore of herbs, grasses, fungi, shrubs, and trees with all their modern scientific uses (Vol. 1). New York, NY: Dover Publications.
* Mills, , & Bone, K. (2005). The essential guide to herbal safety. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone.