Perennial herb growing to a height of 8 in (20 cm) from a rosette of basal leaves. Stems bear single bright yellow flower heads.
Habitat & Cultivation
Mouse-ear hawkweed is common throughout much of Europe and temperate regions of Asia and North America. Found growing in dry pastures and on sandy soil, it is collected when in flower in summer.
Mouse-ear hawkweed contains a coumarin (umbelliferone), flavonoids, and caffeic acid. It is thought to be mildly anti-fungal.
History & Folklore
In his Irish Herbal (1735), K’Eogh summarizes mouse-ear hawkweed’s medicinal benefits: “good against the spitting of blood, all kinds of flow, coughs, ulcers of the lungs, mouth and eyes, and shingles.”
Medicinal Actions & Uses
Mouse-ear hawkweed relaxes the muscles of the bronchial tubes, stimulates the cough reflex, and reduces the production of mucus. This combination of actions makes the herb effective in respiratory problems, including asthma and wheeziness, whooping cough, bronchitis, and other chronic and congested coughs. The herb is used to control heavy menstrual bleeding, and to ease the coughing up of blood. It may be applied as a poultice to heal wounds.