Mullein: Practice Points – Patient Counselling. FAQ

Mullein flowers have been used since ancient times as an expectorant and anticatarrhal agent in conditions of productive cough and respiratory infections.

• It is most commonly used in combination with other demulcent and expectorant herbal medicines in the treatment of productive and dry cough.

• In vitro studies have identified antiviral and antibacterial activity.

Mullein has not been subjected to significant clinical investigation; therefore, information is generally derived from traditional usage or evidence of pharmacological activity. As such, Commission E approves its use for catarrhs of the respiratory tract.

• Used in the form of a herbal combination ear drop, significant anaesthetic activity has been demonstrated.

Answers to Patients’ Frequently Asked Questions

What will this herb do for me?

Mullein has been used since ancient times as a treatment for productive coughs and catarrhal states. In modern times, it is also used to treat chronic otitis media, and has antiviral action against influenza virus and HSV. Currently, more scientific investigation is required to confirm efficacy for these indications.

When will it start to work?

Ear drops containing mullein within a herbal combination exerted significant anaesthetic effects within 1-2 days.

Are there any safety issues?

Although safety has not been scientifically established, a long history of use suggests that it is a safe substance when used at the recommended doses.