Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) leaf is the best tea for a cold that brings congestion, cough, a sore throat, and inflammatory pain. The plant’s soft, wooly leaves contain moistening constituents that reduce painful inflammation, soothe a sore respiratory tract, expel stagnant phlegm, and fight harmful pathogens. Mullein leaf tea is an effective, time-honored remedy for respiratory infections that don’t require antibiotics, like colds, flus, bronchitis, tonsillitis, and non-acute asthma and pneumonia. NutraTea’s Mullein Leaf and Thyme tea blend is perfect for banishing colds. NutraDefence is another blend containing mullein that strengthens immunity and helps the body fight viruses. NutraThroat is a blend that targets symptoms in the upper respiratory tract and soothes a sore throat.

Mullein’s active constituents are:

  • Flavonoids
  • Mucilage
  • Saponins
  • Tannins
  • Iridoid compounds
  • Calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, vitamins B1, B2, B3, and C


When you catch a cold, blood vessels in your respiratory tract dilate to make room for infection-fighting white blood cells. Your nose and throat are the usual battlegrounds; they become hot and puffy from increased blood flow. Quercetin, one of mullein’s antioxidant flavonoids, reduces painful inflammation.


Mucilage and Saponins

Coughing and sneezing irritate the mucus membranes of the respiratory tract. Mullein leaves are composed of 3% mucilage, a gelatinous substance. Mucilage forms a lubricating coat on mucus membranes, acting as a demulcent and providing relief from painful inflammation. Furthermore, mullein possesses saponins, which are glycosides that reduce inflammation and relieve pain.  

A runny nose and thick mucus are evidence of the white blood cells fighting infection. Perhaps counterintuitively, mullein’s mucilage doesn’t add to congestion-causing mucus. Its saponins make it an expectorant herb. It loosens mucus and phlegm and helps you cough productively, clearing your lungs and airways so you can breathe freely. Mullein leaf is equally useful for resolving dry, unproductive coughing that just won’t go away.

Antibacterial and Antiviral

Mullein’s antibacterial properties effectively fight pneumonia, staph, and E. coli bacteria. The tea helps treat tonsillitis. Flavonoids and iridoid glycosides exert antiviral actions, inhibiting replication of the coronaviruses and influenzas. Tannins, iridoid glycosides, and saponins inhibit pathogens thanks to antimicrobial properties. Also, the vitamin C in mullein may shorten the duration and lessen the severity of a cold.


More About Mullein

Native to Africa, Asia, and Europe, mullein now also thrives in the Americas. It is a biennial plant. In its first year it grows as a rosette of soft, gray-green fuzzy leaves. In its second year it towers as a six-to-eight-foot-tall, yellow-flowering stalk with a deep taproot. Its leaves are harvested in the Spring or early Summer of its first year. Mullein is derived from the old French moleine meaning “the soft-leaved plant”, which is derived from the Latin mollis, meaning “soft.” You really must seek out this plant and feel for yourself the velvety leaves, which have earned the plant the nickname “bunny’s ears.” It grows in recently disturbed and rocky soil, such as on construction sites and along roadsides. Seeds can remain dormant and sprout even after one hundred years!

NutraTea Mullein Leaf and Thyme

Our respiratory and immunity tea blend is composed of 80% mullein leaf and 20% thyme. Thyme’s free-radical scavenging powers lower inflammation and protect your cells from damage. Thyme adds a warming effect to mullein leaf’s moistening, soothing actions. Both herbs are rich in antioxidants, combining to fight the inflammation that makes colds so painful. If you’re suffering from a respiratory illness with coughing, mucus, congestion, post-nasal drip, and inflamed throat, lungs, and nasal passages, this tea blend is your friend. Let this healing potion steep and reuse each teabag up to three times throughout the day. Let the herbs get to work and feel your congested chest loosen as you cough up that phlegm. Breathe deeply of the steam from your cup as the inflammation subsides and the pathogens are vanquished. Feel your mucus membranes soothed by mullein’s mucilage. Thank you, mullein leaf and thyme!


NutraDefence is another tea blend that harnesses mullein’s immunity-boosting, virus-fighting powers.

Mullein tea