For those suffering from a sore throat, cough, or other symptoms of influenza...aka, the FLU... a herbal treatment of Mullein may be just what "the doctor" ordered.

Mullein is a woolly leafed biennial...meaning the leaves are velvet-like to the touch, and it has a life cycle lasting two seasons. In the first season of growth, the soft leaves form around the base in a circular, rosette pattern. Then, the second season brings the tall center stem that can grow over 4 feet high. On this stem a yellowish flower blooms...and its the stamen of the bloom that is often used for medicinal purposes.

Mullein, like many herbs, has been used historically to treat a much wider variety of ailments than it can really treat. For example, it isn't effective against tuberculosis or the whooping cough...two illnesses it was once used to treat.

However, there are recent studies that lend credibility to the healing properties of the mullein plant when it comes to the sore throats, coughing, and the flu. In fact, two studies have been conducted and the results published that show Mullein has distinct antiviral properties. One study showed it has the ability to suppress the herpes simplex 1 virus, but also influenza strains A and B.

This is good news, because although western medicine has many antibiotics, it has a fewer selection of antiviral medications. It future years, the active antiviral components of Mullein may be isolated, and used to treat viral infections of many sorts.

Application to relieve a sore throat or cough:

The leaves and stamen are often used together to make a tea that has expectorant and cough suppressant properties. However, one of the best applications is to create (or buy) a tincture of 100% pure mullein leaves and flowers. If making the tincture, DO NOT use the seeds...these are poisonous. To use in treatment of a cough or sore throat, use 1 full dropper of the mullein tincture in a tea cup of warm water, and sip it slowly. You can drink 1 tea cup every 4 hours. Although this won't usually cure the cause of a cough or sore throat, it will treat the symptoms well.

Although there are no known side effects, it is always possible to have an allergic reaction, and pregnant woman should avoid any treatment not approved by a doctor. Consult a doctor or medical professional before you try this or any other treatment.

Author's Bio: 

Greg Podsakoff is the editor of - A website dedicated to finding which herbal remedies have the proof and science behind their uses, and which herbal remedies don't measure up.