Mullein assists with respiratory problems. Both the leaves and flowers contain mucilage, which is soothing to irritated membranes and saponins. Research has shown that the herb has strong anti-inflammatory activity, and lab studies suggest that mullein flower infusions have antiviral properties as well. Many of mullein’s traditional uses were similar throughout the Old and New World, but whether European settlers learned to use the herb from Native Americans or vice versa is open to debate. Besides using mullein leaf and flower teas to asisst with respiratory problems, some Native Americans also used the plant’s roots. The Creek Indians drank a decoction of the roots for coughs; other tribes smoked the roots or dried the leaves to treat asthma.
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