Pilosella officinarum

Pilosella officinarum

The Mouse-ear hawkweed (Pilosella officinarum Vaill., 1754) is a herbaceous species belonging to the Asteraceae family.

Systematics –
From a systematic point of view it belongs to:
Eukaryota Domain,
Kingdom Plantae,
Subarign Tracheobionta,
Spermatophyta superdivision,
Magnoliophyta Division,
Magnoliopsida class,
Subclass Asteridae,
Asterales Order,
Asteraceae family,
Subfamily Cichorioideae,
Cichorieae tribe,
Subtribe Hieraciinae,
Genus Pilosella,
P. officinarum species.
Over time, different nomenclatures have been proposed for this species. Below is a list of the most frequent synonyms:

  • Hieracium albofloccosum (Nägeli & Peter) Prain;
  • Hieracium kemulariae Üksip;
  • Hieracium melanops (Peter) J.Weiss;
  • Hieracium paradoxum Kem.-Nath.;
  • Hieracium pilosella L.;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. aclados Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. acuminatissimum Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. albofloccosum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. albomicans Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. albulae Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. amauron Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. angustellum (Norrl.) Hamb.;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. angustissimum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium ilo sella subsp. angustius Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. argenticapillum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. argentisetum Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. athesinum Dalla Torre & Sarnth.;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. atripileolum Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. australe Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. averianum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. barbisquamum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. brachiadenum Belli;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. brachymelanops Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. brachytrichodes Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. brachytrichum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. brevipes Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. bruennense Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. calabrum N.Terracc.;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. cingulatum Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. circumvelatum Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. coloratulum Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. dasycephaloides Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. dasycephalum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. dasyphyton;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. dilatatum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. ermineum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. euroalpinum Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. euronotum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. euryphyllum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. fulviflorum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. grisellum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. herabdotum;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. holoskense Rehmann;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. kiebleri Käser & Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. impexum Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. inalpestre Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. inalpestriforme Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. legendrei Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. leucosphaericum Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. leucotegeum Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. linearilanceum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. megaladenium Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. melanocephalum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. melanocomum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. melanops Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. micradenium Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. micradenophorum Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. microcephaloides Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. microcephalum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. micropachylodes Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. minuticeps Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. minutissimum Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. multisquamum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. mediofurcum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. nigrescens (Fr.) Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. nigrovirescens K.Malý & Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. nivescens Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. obscurisquamum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. pachyanthoides Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. pachyanthum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. pachycephaloides Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. parviflorum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. parvulum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. pedemontanum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. pernigrescens Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. pervirescens Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. plantaginiforme Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. pravipes Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. prenitense Hayek & Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. pseudobellidiforme Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. pseudomelanops Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. rigidipilum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. rigidistolonum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. sedunorum Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. sericeum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. sericomastix K.Malý & Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. serpens (Nägeli & Peter) Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. stenodes Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. stenomacrum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. stenophyllophorum K.Malý & Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. stenophyllum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. subcaulescens Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. subglobulatum Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. submacranthum Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. submelanops Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. subobscurellum Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. subparviflorum Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. subvirescens Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. subvirescenticeps Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. subvulgare (Nägeli & Peter) Zahn;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. tenuistolonum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. transalpinum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. trichocephalum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. tricholepioides Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. tricholepium Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. trichophorum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. trichoscapum Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. trichosoma Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. urnigerum (Norrl.) Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. varium Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. virescens (Fr.) Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. vulgare (Tausch) Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium pilosella subsp. zagrabiense Nägeli & Peter;
  • Hieracium tricholepium (Nägeli & Peter) Prain;
  • Hieracium trichosoma (Peter) J.Weiss;
  • Pilosella angustella Norrl.;
  • Pilosella melanops (Peter) Dostál;
  • Pilosella micradeniophorum (Zahn) Dostál;
  • Pilosella officinarum subsp. micradenia (Nägeli & Peter) P.D.Sell & C.West;
  • Pilosella officinarum subsp. tricholepia (Nägeli & Peter) P.D.Sell & C.West;
  • Pilosella tricholepia (Nägeli & Peter) Dostál;
  • Pilosella urnigera Norrl..

Etymology –
The term Pilosella is the diminutive of pilosa hairy: pelosetta, due to the basal leaves with characteristic sparse elongated hairs.
The specific rum workshop epithet is the plural genitive of medieval workshop workshop: of laboratories, for use in pharmaceuticals, herbal medicine, liquor, perfumery and the like.

Geographic Distribution and Habitat –
The Mouse-ear hawkweed is a plant with European – Caucasian or even Eurosiberian origin.
In Italy it is common throughout the territory, including the Alps and excluding the islands. On the various reliefs connected to the Alps it is found in the Vosges, the Jura Massif, the Central Massif, the Pyrenees, the Balkan Mountains and the Carpathians.
Its typical habitat is that of arid meadows, moors and stony slopes; but also the ruderal environments, the areas near streams, the rocky outcrops and quarries, pine forests and junipers. The preferred substrate is both calcareous and siliceous with neutral pH, low nutritional values ​​of the soil which must be dry.
These plants are found in an altitude range up to 2300 m a.s.l. (maximum 3000 m a.s.l.).

Description –
Pilosella officinarum is a perennial herbaceous plant up to 30 cm tall.
It has a rhizomatous, creeping root that emits non-rooting epigeal stolons with small leaves.
The flowering stem is erect, pubescent, aphillus and monocephalus.
The leaves are all in basal rosette, whole, oblong-lanceolate or oblong-oboval, with a whitish-tomentose underside due to dense stellate hairs, dark green upper side with long bristly hairs.
The inflorescence has a flat and solitary flower head, with all ligulate, hermaphroditic, pale yellow flowers, with serrated ligules at the apex, the peripherals streaked with purple red on the outside, almost globular envelope with linear greyish bracts, covered with starry hairs and dark glandular hairs.
The fruits are achenes (cypseles) of about 1,5-2 mm, ± cylindrical, longitudinally striated, with a ring at the apex from which the pappus of rigid whitish hairs starts, arranged in a single row.

Cultivation –
The Mouse-ear hawkweed is a plant that grows spontaneously and easily hybridizes, polymorphous.
It grows in dry and sunny pastures.
This plant does not tolerate shade and grows well on dry, low-nutrient soils and does not tolerate shade.

Customs and Traditions –
Pilosella officinarum is a plant known in popular tradition as “mouse ear” or “cat’s tongue”, due to the shape of the basal leaves.
According to folk medicine, this plant has the following medicinal properties:
– astringent (limits the secretion of liquids);
– cholagogue (facilitates bile secretion towards the intestine);
– diaphoretic (facilitates skin transpiration);
– diuretic (facilitates the release of urine);
– expectorant (favors the expulsion of bronchial secretions);
– tonic (strengthens the organism in general).
This plant is essentially a powerful diuretic, which doubles the volume of urine, and therefore in phytotherapy it is used in the treatment of cellulite blemishes, swelling of the ankles, edema of the lower limbs, water retention, especially if resulting from eating disorders or drug treatments.
Thanks to this draining action, it promotes the elimination of toxins, useful in case of hypertension, high blood urea and rheumatism.
In fact, this plant is also recognized for its ability to promote the excretion and outflow of bile (it has a choleretic and cholagogue action), which contributes to liver detoxification. The plant is particularly useful in the presence of uric stones and helps to purify the blood from the excesses of a diet rich in animal proteins.
The antiseptic action of the urinary tract is performed by umbelliferone, a hydroxycoumarin with antibiotic properties against microbes and bacteria that cause cystitis, urethritis, urogenital tract infections, including brucellosis (or Maltese fever). Furthermore, by promoting diuresis, it facilitates the elimination of pathogens through the urine. Coumarins, flavonoids and triterpenes promote reparative and protective processes at the level of the bladder mucosa and of the tissues of the urinary tract. infectious.
Among the contraindications there may be interactions with synthetic diuretics, as there may be disorders in the hydro-electric exchange and an enhancement of drugs.

Preparation Method –
With this plant, you can prepare an infusion for internal use that is prepared with 1 level spoonful of aerial parts of the Pilosella, 1 cup of water.
Pour the parts of the Pilosella into boiling water and turn off the heat. Cover and leave to infuse for 10 min. Filter the infusion and drink it between meals.
You can use 500-750 mg of dry extract in capsules or tablets administered 2 times a day between meals.
In addition, 30-40 drops of mother tincture can be used, 2 times a day between meals.

Guido Bissanti

Sources
– Acta Plantarum – Flora of the Italian Regions.
– Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
– Useful Tropical Plants Database.
– Conti F., Abbate G., Alessandrini A., Blasi C. (ed.), 2005. An annotated checklist of the Italian vascular flora, Palombi Editore.
– Pignatti S., 1982. Flora of Italy, Edagricole, Bologna.
– Treben M., 2000. Health from the Lord’s Pharmacy, Advice and experiences with medicinal herbs, Ennsthaler Editore.

Warning: Pharmaceutical applications and alimurgical uses are indicated for informational purposes only, they do not represent in any way a medical prescription; therefore no responsibility is taken for their use for curative, aesthetic or food purposes.




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