Are There Any Side Effects of Mullein?

Individuals taking mullein herbal plant (either leaves or flowers) for treating minor health ailments or for general good health promotion, then you must also be aware of possible side effects that are associated with this herb. In this article, there is a brief discussion on the side effects of Mullein. Read on to know more Side effects of mullein

Mullein tea side effects:

Mullein tea is the medicinal drink brewed from the dried flowers and leaves of Verbascum Thapsus wildflower. Drinking mullein tea helps to reduce the symptoms associated with the common cold, asthma or a sore throat and is recommended by the health professionals. Consult your medical professional before taking this herb as a natural treatment.

There are no known side effects which are associated with drinking the tea prepared from mullein. Some of the possible side effects of mullein include the following:

  • Skin irritation:

    Individuals who prepare mullein leaves on their own, instead of purchasing them which are already dried, need to be careful of the little hairs present on the leaves. These hairy leaves when it comes in contact with the skin may cause skin irritation which results in red, itchy or inflamed skin.

  • Mullein seed toxicity:

    The seeds of mullein contain rotenone. It is a potentially toxic substance which may cause adverse side effects if it is ingested, especially it these seeds are consumed on a regular basis. Reports according to the PAN Pesticides Database show that ingesting rotenone might induce convulsions, diarrhea, abdominal cramps or vomiting. Thus, it is necessary to check for the presence of seeds on the mullein plant flowers before using them in the mullein tea. Women who are nursing or pregnant should avoid drinking tea of this medicinal herb mullein on a regular basis due to its potential dangers.

Mullein leaf side effects:


  • Skin irritation:

    Generally, mullein leaf is a safe herbal supplement for individuals to take on a regular basis. But, some studies suggest that the use of mullein can cause skin irritation. Using the mullein herb available in the form of liquid extract or lotion as a topical application can cause skin rash, skin irritation or other severe skin conditions. Further research needs to be done to know the possible side effects associated with these skin irritations.

  • Breathing problems:

    Mullein lead based products might cause difficulty in breathing in some individuals. Some of the side effects of mullein leaf related to respiratory system include difficulty inhaling, tightness in the chest, tightness of the throat and chest wall inflammation. There are a few documented cases that exist relating to the adverse reactions of mullein leaf, one must consider the alternative treatment program particularly if you are suffering or receiving preventive treatment for the breathing disorder.

  • Additional general effects:

    Certainly, mullein leaf products can cause other side effects in the individuals using these supplements, but none of them have been documented as being dangerous or severe in nature. Some of the additional side effects of mullein leaf use or consumption includes fatigue, inflammation of the lungs or skin and confusion associated with the hypnotic effects of this herb. However, it has been suggested that no major adverse drug interactions or health risks have been documented.

Medicinal Uses of Mullein:

  • Mullein has cough suppressant and expectorant properties which make it useful for symptomatic treatment of cough and sore throat. The decoction made of fresh leaves of Mullein taken thrice a day allays cough and removes the pain and irritation of hemorrhoids.
  • The smoke of dried leaves can relieve the irritation of the respiratory mucus membranes and completely control the whooping cough of consumption. They can be employed with equal benefit if made into cigarettes, for spasmodic coughs and asthma in general.
  • Leaves are applied topically to soften and protect the skin. The oil derived from the flowers is recommended for earache and discharge from the ear, and for any eczema of the external ear and its canal.
  • Poultices and fomentations of the leaves have been found serviceable in treating haemorrhoidal complaints.
  • Mullein is said to be of much value for diarrhea, from its combination of demulcent with astringent properties, by this combination strengthening the bowels at the same time. In diarrhea ordinary infusion is generally given, but when any bleeding of the bowels is present, the decoction prepared with milk is recommended.
  • A conserve of the flowers is used on the continent against ringworm, and a distilled water of the flowers was long reputed a cure for burns and erysipelas.
  • Mullein oil is a destroyer of disease causing germs. The fresh flowers of mullein steeped for 21 days in olive oil, are said to make an admirable bactericide.


  • Pregnancy:

    The safety of the use of mullein is not enough known. It is better to be on the safe side and avoid its use during pregnancy as it can cause adverse effects on the growing fetus.

  • Breast-feeding:

    Breast-feeding women must avoid the use of mullein herb during breast-feeding.

The above article discusses about the side effects of mullein herb.

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