Mouse-ear is used to cure a number of health conditions. For instance, this herb soothes the muscles of the bronchial tubes, encourages the cough impulse and, at the same time, lowers mucus production. Such a mishmash of exploits of mouse-ear makes the herb useful in every respect while treating respiratory problems, such as wheezing, asthma, bronchitis, whooping cough as well as different persistent and congested coughs. This herb has diuretic and astringent actions, which aid in neutralizing mucus production, occasionally all through the respiratory system. In addition, mouse-ear is also employed to treat excessive menstrual bleeding as well as to provide relief in case a patient is coughing up blood. Moreover, this herb may also be employed externally in the form of a poultice to speed up the healing of wounds. An herbal tea prepared from the whole mouse-ear plant is used internally as well as externally. This tea may be used in the form of a gargle as well as a skin wash or salve. Nevertheless, extremely insufficient research has been done with this herb and none of their findings corroborate these uses of mouse-ear. Chemical analysis of mouse-ear hawkweed has revealed that this herb encloses umbelliferone, a chemical compound that is comparable to coumarin and a familiar antibiotic to treat brucellosis. Frequently, this compound also forms an active ingredient in several sunscreen lotions. In addition, mouse-ear is also a very strong diuretic. Traditionally, mouse-ear has been employed internally as well as externally for treating hemorrhages and since it also comforts the muscles of the bronchial tubes, it is helpful in encouraging coughing as well as lessening catarrh production. Mouse-ear also augments the flow of bile as well as its release from the body and had been employed to encourage perspiration in fevers. The herb has also been used in the form of a tonic and diuretic. Earlier, herbalists also used mouse-ear to patients enduring enteritis and flu, while the infusion prepared from the herb was administered to treat cystitis. It may be noted here that John Parkinson (1567-1650), who served as the pharmacist (apothecary) to King James I of England as well as King James VI of Scotland had stated that provided the horses were given this herb prior to going to the blacksmith for being shoed, they were unlikely to kick out at the blacksmith.
Mouse-ear is widespread all over most parts of Europe as well as parts of northern Asia having temperate climatic conditions. Over the years, this plant has been naturalized in North America and is found growing by itself in arid meadows as well as on sandy soil. This herb is collected during the summer when the plant is in bloom. Mouse-ear has a preference for arid and sunlit areas. This plant flourishes when grown on sandy soil as well as soil types that are comparatively less fertile. Mouse-ear produces stolons that give rise to new rosette at the extremity of the plant. In addition, every rosette of the plant has the potential of growing into a new genetic copy thereby forming thick mats in the open grounds. In addition, mouse-ear is also spread by its seeds.
Mouse-ear contains a coumarin (umbelliferone), fIavonoids, and caffeic acid. Mouse-ear is thought to be mildly antifungal.
Medicinally, mouse-ear is used in the form of an infusion as well as a tincture. Infusion: To prepare the infusion from mouse-ear add one to two teaspoonfuls of the dehydrated herb in a cup (250 ml) of boiling water and allow it to permeate for about 10 to 15 minutes. For optimum results, this infusion ought to be drunk thrice daily. Tincture: The tincture prepared from mouse-ear ought to be taken in dosage of 1 ml to 4 ml thrice every day.
Mouse-ear is generally gathered between the period of May and June when the plants are in flowering season.