The Mulleins, also known as velvet plants are biennial herbs native to Europe and Asia, with the highest species diversity in the Mediterranean region. It is widely used for respiratory problems. Mullein is composed of mucilage, tannins, saponins, volatile oil, bitter glycosides, gum and flavonoids including hesperidin. Its leaves and flowers are used for therapeutic purpose for the treatment of chest cold, skin diseases, wounds, asthma, bronchitis, cough, kidney infection, ulcers, tumors, and hemorrhoids. The flowers are generally considered more medicinally potent than the leaves because of their bactericidal and sedative properties.
There are not much adverse effects associated with mullein supplementation. However pregnant and breast feeding women should avoid mullein supplements, as not much is known about its effect on them. Cancer patients should consult their physicians before taking Mullein Supplements. Though it is used for the treatment of skin diseases, University of Michigan Health System suggests that mullein supplementation can result in slight skin irritation. The only toxic ingredient is rotenone which obstructs cellular respiration. Some experience difficulty in breathing. Its safety and effectiveness is not thoroughly tested in humans. So it is wise to take advice from a doctor. One should avoid taking mullein supplements if s/he is currently taking aspirin or anticoagulants, as this may increase the risk of bleeding.
Mullein supplements are available in the form of pills, powders and liquid extract.
There is nothing as optimal dose for mullein in adults. Generally 3 to 4 g can be taken daily.