Friday, November 16, 2012

PHARMACY FRIDAY - Mullein for Bronchitis

For many, MANY years now, I have dealt with chronic bronchitis. This time of year is when it really begins to flair up. I have had to take many synthetic medications over the years for it and I have really started worrying about their side effects and what they might be doing to my body.  And then sometimes they still don't work and I end up with a bout of pneumonia. No fun!

So I have started looking more and more into natural bronchitis remedies. When I learned that this beautiful plant growing wild in my yard was a great remedy for bronchitis, I got excited! I love these plants. They are absolutely beautiful! And I love to run my hands over the soft, fuzzy leaves. It was also interesting to learn that there are several ways that it can be used. Dave and I have each tried a different way, each with great results.

Once upon a time, Mullein was extensively used throughout North America and the European countries to relieve respiratory ailments. It really bothers me that, as I read about herbal remedies, I consistently read things like "they were once widely used" ... meaning we have now gotten lax and want to simply pop a synthetic pill because it is so much easier. It certainly isn't better for our bodies, though.

The flowers and the leaves of the Mullein plant are both used, either fresh or dried. (Do not use the seeds as they are toxic in some Mullein varieties.) One very effective way (the one I have tried) is to simmer some Mullein in a pot of water, then cover your head with a clean towel, lean over the steaming pot and breathe in. Be very careful so as not to burn yourself! For me, this really opened me up.

Another method claimed to be very effective for bronchitis, is to dry the Mullein leaves, then smoke them as you would tobacco to open the bronchial tubes. I have never smoked, so I have not tried this, but sometimes, when I get so congested, the consideration crosses my mind.

One more great method is to make a tea to drink. This is done by pouring boiling water over fresh or dried Mullein leaves. MAKE SURE YOU STRAIN IT thoroughly through a fine strainer before you drink it! The tiny fibers on the Mullein leaves are very irritating. It tastes good, too, but sweetening with a little honey makes it taste even better and may even add to its effectiveness.

Here is some more great information at Livestrong on using Mullein one of the above ways.

Around here, Mullein grows very well in the spring, then dies out in the summer. Then again in the Fall it often comes back up. I seem to have a good supply of it growing right now. I hope our recent freezing temps haven't harmed it, as I would like to put some away for use throughout the winter.

You can find more great information for using Mullein as a natural bronchitis remedy at the following links:

Now, to figure out if I can use it on this congested, snoring cat sitting here by me as I type. If you have every used Mullein as an herbal remedy, we would love to hear about your experience!

Disclaimer: Please remember, these posts are for informative purposes, only and the opinions expressed are our own. The information here is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any disease or illness. It is always a good idea to check with your health care provider before beginning any kind of new remedy/treatment.


  1. I use elderberry extract. It works great. I'm now trying medicinal, organic loose leaf tea. I pray the government leaves our natural remedies alone.

  2. I have been hearing quite a bit lately about elderberry juice and extract being used medicinally, but haven't read up yet on what all it is actually for. I would love it if it was great for bronchitis, too. I will definitely have to check into that. Thanks for adding your valuable information!
    I have the same concerns, as well, about being able to continue to use our natural remedies. Yes, I also definitely hope and pray that the government leaves all of that alone! In some ways, they are already making it difficult.

  3. The question is “ is bronchitis contagious “ So chronic bronchitis isn't contagious, but it's a severe health issue that needs a doctor's concern. Acute Bronchitis is contagious, which can last for 1 to 3 weeks? It's usually caused by cold or flu viruses. Since these viruses are contagious, acute bronchitis usually is, too.

    1. You have a very good point. Thank you, Nofal, for adding your great information. I suffer from chronic bronchitis, but I have also had the contagious bronchitis in the past. You are right, they are different. And yes, people with either type of bronchitis should consult their health care professional. I am trying to make sure I add that now to my new posts. Thank you again for your nice input.

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