The use of the mouse ear hawkweed, despite having begun in the Middle Ages, is not widespread. Perhaps it is because it loses its medicinal properties once the plant dries.
Mouse Ear Hawkweed Scientific Facts
- Scientific Name – Hieraclum pilosella L.
- Other Names – Hawkweed, Pilosella.
- French – Piloselle.
- Spanish – Vellosilla.
- Environment – Meadows and sunny bushes all over Europe, exception made of the Mediterranean coastline. It also grows along the Atlantic coastline of North America.
- Description – Vivacious plant of the Compositae family, with a rose of hairy leaves in its base, from which a leafless stem grows from 10 to 20 cm high. On the tip of this stem, there is a yellow flower chapter.
- Parts of the plant used medicinally – The entire plant, when fresh.
The mouse ear hawkweed plant contains a high amount of tannin, which gives it strong astringent properties; flavonoids, an essential oil with diuretic and depurative properties, mucilages with anti-inflammatory properties, and a coumarin substance which is a derivative from the umbelliferone, with antibiotic properties. Its indications are as follows:
Edema, nephrosis albuminuria, kidney insufficiency – Besides increasing urine volume, it promotes the elimination of urea and reduces kidney inflammation.
Brucellosis – Its antibiotic components act in a particular way against Brucella mellitensis, a bacteria which is the causative agent of Malt fever or brucellosis. It has been proven that cattle eating in pastures where mouse ear grows never suffer from brucellosis. It decreases fever and stops the typical perspiration of this disease. The plant must be taken for several months.
How to use Mouse Ear
- Infusion with 50 to 69 grams of fresh plant per liter of water. Drink from 3 to 5 cups daily, sweetened with honey.
- Nose packing – With a gauze or a piece of cotton soaked in the infusion mentioned above, however slightly more concentrated (100 – 150 grams per liter).
- George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. “Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants.” George D. Pamplona-Roger, M.D. Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants. Ed. Francesc X. Gelabert. vols. 2 San Fernando de Henares: Editorial Safeliz, 2000. 504. Print. [mouse ear hawkweed]