Dittrichia viscosa (L.) Greuter – Monograph

Dittrichia Greuter – Genus

Order: Asterales Link

Family: Asteraceae Bercht. & J.Presl

The genus Dittrichia Greuter (1973) belongs to the family Asteraceae and includes only two species: Dittrichia viscosa (L.) Greuter, native to the Mediterranean basin and Macaronesia, and Dittrichia graveolens (L.) Greuter, whose native range extends from the Mediterranean basin to Western Himalaya [POWO].

D. viscosa has four subspecies. Apart from the nominal subspecies (Dittrichia viscosa subsp. viscosa), native to Macaronesia and the Western Mediterranean areas (Albania, Algeria, Azores, Baleares, Bulgaria, Canary Islands, Corse, East Aegean Islands, Egypt, France, Greece, Italy – included its main islands, Sicily and Sardinia – Libya, Madeira, Morocco, Portugal, Spain, Tunisia, ex-Yugoslavia), the following infraspecific taxa are recognized [POWO]:

  • Dittrichia viscosa angustifolia (Bég.) Greuter (syn.: Dittrichia orientalis Brullo & De Marco, Inula viscosa var. angustifolia Bég.), native to the East Mediterranean areas (Cyprus, East Aegean Islands, Egypt, Greece, Crete, Lebanon-Syria, Libya, Palestine, Sinai, Turkey);
  • Dittrichia viscosa maritima (Brullo & De Marco) Greuter (syn.: Dittrichia maritima Brullo & De Marco), localized on a very short coastal stretch of SW Portugal;
  • Dittrichia viscosa revoluta (Hoffmanns. & Link) P.Silva & Tutin (syn.: Dittrichia revoluta (Hoffmanns. & Link) Brullo & De Marco, Inula prostrata Rothm., Inula revoluta Hoffmanns. & Link, Pulicaria revoluta (Hoffmanns. & Link) Nyman), exclusive of SW Portugal, where it occurs mainly in the coastal zones.

Also, hybrids between two subspecies frequently occurs in the respective contact zones.


Dittrichia in botanical history

Finding in the writings of ancient and Renaissance authors clear references to the species currently belonging to the Dittrichia genus is a rather complex operation because, as highlighted by Michele Tenore in his memoir “Dell’erba Baccara degli Antichi” [Tenore], they fall into a group of plants in some way historically connected to the plants Baccara of Dioscorides and Virgil and Conyza of Dioscorides and Theophrastus, and with respect to which botanists, over the centuries, have caused a lot of confusion.

Michele Tenore (1780-1861) states that Dioscorides’ Baccara is Inula odora L. (currently Pulicaria odora (L.) Rchb) and Dioscorides’ Conyza major is Inula viscosa L. (now Dittrichia viscosa (L.) Greuter), but many botanists, especially his predecessors, have provided very different opinions regarding the identification of these plants1. [Tenore, Tenore2]

For example, Pietro Andrea Mattioli (1501-1577) matches the Conyza major of Dioscorides to Pentanema squarrosum (L.) D.Gut.Larr., Santos-Vicente, Anderb., E.Rico & M.M.Mart.Ort., as it can be easily noticed looking at the image sketched in his herbarium and at the Italian (pulicaria) and foreign (German: Geele muntz, Durruurtz2; Spanish: attadegua; French: herba aux puces3) names attributed to the plant, all pointing to Pentanema squarrosum4 (see also [Tenore, Tenore2]).

John Gerard (1545-1612), despite explicitly stating to follow Mattioli and de l’Obel (Lobelius) as well as Dodoens, in his paragraph about Conyza major, rather than referring to Pentanema squarrosum (as Mattioli does), in fact he deals with Dittrichia viscosa, as can be noticed from the description of the plant (“hard, woody, …”, “The whole plant is fatty and glutinous, with a strong, not yet altogether unpleasant smell5 [Gerard]) and from the image (bearing peripheral flowers with well-developed ligules) depicted in his “The Herball6. [Gerard]

Castore Durante complicates the matter even more. According to what appears from the images and descriptions contained in his “Herbario nuovo”, he calls:

  • Conyza major the present-day Pentanema squarrosum;
  • Conyza minor (probably) the present-day Dittrichia viscosa7;
  • third kind of Conyza presumably the present-day Pulicaria dysenterica;
  • Conyza minima (Conyza minima vera) a plant whose picture is identical to that of Gerard’s Conyza minor vera (Dittrichia gravolens), but about which he states that “mostly has a single, smooth stem, a cubit and a half tall, with rare leaves, smaller than those of Toad-flax8. [Durante]

While on the one hand the identification of the Baccara of Dioscorides and Virgil is still a debated question, on the other hand contemporary authors generally agree with Tenore in identifying the Κόνυζα (Conyza major) of Dioscorides and the Conyza mas of Theophrastus with Dittrichia viscosa (see, for example, [Caruel, Stokes, Targioni Tozzetti] and also Caspard Bauhin, “Pynax Theatri Botanici”, as reported in [Tenore]).

Below are reported, for some of the plants historically connected in some way to Conyza major, the correspondences of the present-day botanical names with some of the names attributed, over the centuries, by different authors (see [Boerhaave, Caruel, Gerard, Salmon, Stokes, Targioni Tozzetti, Tenore, Tenore2]):

Present-day botanical name

Synonyms and common names

Dittrichia viscosa (L.) Greuter

Conyza major (Dioscorides (Κόνυζα), Dodoens, Clusius, Gerard)

Conyza mas (Theophrastus)


Erigeron viscosum L. (basionym for Dittrichia viscosa)

Inula viscosa (L.) Aiton

Cupularia viscosa (L.) Godr. & Gren.


Ita.: Enula cepittoni, Inula vischiosa, Ceppica; Eng.: False Yellowhead, Woody Fleabane; Spa.: Olivarda

Dittrichia graveolens (L.) Greuter

Conyza fœmina (Theophrastus)

Conyza minor (Dioscorides)

Conyza minor vera (Gerard)


Erigeron graveolens L. (basionimo per Dittrichia graveolens)


Ita.: Enula cespita, Inula fetida, Bistorno; Eng.: Stinkwort

Pulicaria vulgaris Gaertn.

Conyza minima (Dodoens, Moris, Gerard)

Conyza minor (Mattioli)

Conyza minima (Gerard)


Inula pulicaria L.


Ita.: Incensaria fetida, Pulicaria fetida; Eng.: Small fleabane

Pulicaria dysenterica (L.) Bernh.

Conyza media (Mattioli, Dodoens, Fuchs, Moris, Gerard)


Inula dysenterica L. (basionym for Pulicaria dysenterica)


Ita.: Incensaria comune, Pulicaria dissenterica; Eng.: Fleabane, Meadow False Fleabane

Pulicaria odora (L.) Rchb.

Baccara (Dioscorides (Βαχχαρισ), secondo [Tenore])


Inula odora L. (basionym for Pulicaria odora)


Ita.: Incensaria odorosa, Pulicaria odorosa; End.: Mediterranean fleabane

Pentanema squarrosum (L.) D.Gut.Larr., Santos-Vicente, Anderb., E.Rico & M.M.Mart.Ort.

Baccharis monspeliensium (Clusius, Lobelius, Gesner)

Conyza major (Mattioli, Lobelius, (excl. Lobel. Adv.), Tabernaemontanus)

Conyza major vulgaris (Bauhin)

Conyza mayor altera (Dodoens)

Conyza pynax (C. Bauhin)


Conyza squarrosa L. (basionym for Pentanema squarrosum)

Inula conyza DC.


Ita.: Enula baccherina, Inula coniza; Ger.: Dürrwurz; Eng.: Ploughman’s spikenard, Baccharis; Fra.: Herbe aux puces


And, reorganizing:

Historical name

Present-day botanical name


Conyza major

Dittrichia viscosa (L.) Greuter

Dioscorides (Conyza major, Conyza major vera, Κόνυζα)

Dodoens, Clusius, Gerard

Bauhin (Conyza major monspeliensis odorata)

Pentanema squarrosum (L.) D.Gut.Larr., Santos-Vicente, Anderb., E.Rico & M.M.Mart.Ort.

Mattioli, Lobelius, (excl. Lobel. Adv.), Tabernaemontanus

Bauhin (Conyza major vulgaris)

Dodoens (Conyza major altera)

Conyza media

Pulicaria dysenterica (L.) Bernh.

Mattioli, Dodoens, Fuchs, Moris, Gerard

Conyza minor

Dittrichia graveolens (L.) Greuter


Gerard (Conyza minor vera)

Pulicaria vulgaris Gaertn.


Conyza minima

Pulicaria vulgaris Gaertn.

Dodoens, Moris, Gerard

What has been stated so far implies that if we intend, for example, to refer to Mattioli’s herbarium we have to bear in mind that the paragraph on Conyza major contains information related to two distinct plants: the first part of the paragraph, being a quotation from Dioscorides, deals with Dittrichia viscosa (L.) Greuter, while the subsequent part, written by the Tuscan author, contains information that is probably related to both Dittrichia viscosa and Pentanema squarrosum. Below is the part of the text reported from Dioscorides:

Conyza is of two species. The smaller is more odoriferous, and the larger is a taller plant, and has broader fronds, and a stronger odor. The fronds of both are similar to those of olive trees, hairy, fat. The stem of the larger one grows to the height of two cubits, and that of the smaller one adds to a foot. The flower is fragile, yellow, and slightly bitter, which splits into volatile flakes, its roots are useless. The entire plant repels the Snakes, that is, scattered on the ground and equally fomented, it repels the Mosquitoes, and kills the Fleas. The fronds are conveniently plastered on snake bites, on boils and wounds. The flowers and leaves are drunk with wine to induce the menses and childbirth, and similarly for the strangury, overflow of gall, and pain in the bowels: when drunk with vinegar they help with falling sickness. The decoction placed in the baths, which are made to sit in, cures the defects of the matrix. The juice applied makes women abort. The herb is efficaciously anointed with oil in case of cold, and tremors. Lightly anointed, the lesser cures headaches. There is a third species, which produces a thicker and more tender stem, and the leaves larger than the minor: not fat, and smaller than the larger one: but with a much stronger and less cheerful smell, although not so valiant. It is found in damp places.” (see [Mattioli])

Presumably, it is also correct to assign also the description of Conyza major made by Galen (and reported by Mattioli) to Dittrichia viscosa, rather than to Pentanema squarrosum:
Conyza major, and minor, similar in faculty and temperament, appear bitter and sharp to the taste. They apparently warms by plastering the fronds with their twigs (because it is a bushy plant) on any member of the body, or by applying the oil in which they have been cooked; because it is seen that this oil heals periodic and circular tremors, and also the cold. Their flowers also have similar virtues, and therefore there are some who give them crushed together with the branches to drink in wine to strongly provoke menstruation and childbirth. There is a third species, which is found in damp and watery places, with a stronger odor and a lesser virtue than the others. But the first ones already discussed heat and dry in the third degree.” (see [Mattioli])

John Gerard in Chapter 131 “Of Fleabane” of Book 2 of his “The Herball” describes ten species of Conyza, including Conyza major (Dittrichia viscosa), Conyza minor vera (Dittrichia graveolens), Conyza media (Pulicaria dysenterica) and Conyza minima (Pulicaria vulgaris). Although he distinguishes them from a morphological and botanical point of view, he reports the same properties for all:

The Temperature.

Conyza is hot and dry in the third degree.


The Vertues.

The leaues and floures be good against the strangurie, the jaundice, and the gnawing or griping of the belly.

The same taken with Vinegar help the Epilepsie or falling sicknesse.

If women sit ouer the decoction thereof it greatly easeth their paines of the Mother.

The herb burned where flies, gnats, fleas, or any venomous things are, doth driue them away.” [Gerard]

Obviously, it is rather difficult for these ten plants to actually share the same properties. Rather, Gerard’s description is at least partially comparable with that of Dioscorides about his Conyza major (Dittrichia viscosa).


Castore Durante writes for Conyza major:

QUALITIES. It heats, & dries in the third order, & is bitter, & sharp.

VIRTUES. Inside. The flowers and leaves are drunk to induce menstruation, and childbirth, and similarly to the strangury, the overflow of gall, and the pains of the bowels; & drunk with vinegar they help against falling sickness; & its decoction made in wine helps with the oppilation of the liver. This herb kills the goats, which eat it.

VIRTUE. Outside. The whole plant repels the snakes when scattered on the ground, and equally fomented, it also repels mosquitoes and kills fleas: its smoke drives away snakes and snails: the fronds plastered draw out the poison of snake bites and purges, & heal all sorts of wounds, applied to the forehead they help the frenzy: pounded & applied to the soles of the feet they stop the fluxes: The decoction placed in the baths, which are made to sit in, cures the defects of the mother. The herb is efficaciously anointed in case of cold, & in the trembling of fevers. The herb placed on wheat preserves it for a long time, & defends it from moths.” [Durante]

Castore Durante also states that the properties of the other kinds of Conyza he describes are more or less similar to those of Conyza major, adding that Conyza minor and Conyza of the third kind are mainly useful in case of dysentery, being drunk “powdered in red, & austere wine” [Durante].


Dittrichia viscosa (L.) Greuter

Primary functionality:


Secondary functionality:



hot and dry in the third degree


aromatic, pungent/acrid, bitter, slightly astringent and slightly salty (leaves)


skin, mucous membranes, pelvis and uterus, urinary system, gastrointestinal system and afferent organs

Humoral actions9:

supplements heat, resolves stagnation of tension, phlegm, blood and melancholy, supports correct tension, eliminates “toxic” damp heat; it moves particularly downwards

Clinical actions:

abortifacient, analgesic, anthelmintic, anti-anemic, anti-bacterial, anti-diabetic, antifungal, anti-hypertensive, anti-inflammatory, antimalarial, antimycotic, anti-parasitic (nematodes), antiphlogistic, antipyretic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, anti-ulcerogenic, anti-viral, astringent, balsamic, blood cleanser, cicatrizing, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, fungicidal, general fortifier, general tonic, hypoglycemic, insecticide, muscle relaxant, nematicidal, reconstituant, tonic, vermifuge, vulnerary

Used parts:

leaves, aerial parts (either flowering or non-flowering), roots



Dittrichia viscosa has been used in medicine since ancient times, so much so that Dioscorides and Galen already mentioned its properties. The use of this plant continues in some traditional medicines, especially in the Middle East and some African countries (e.g. Morocco). In some regions it has been considered one of the most effective medicinal plants for centuries.

According to Rivkah Asoulin, “called ‘the cure for 40 ailments’ by the Arabs, it is almost easier to list what Inula viscosa is not used for.” [Asoulin]

This notwithstanding, it is now quite forgotten as a medicinal plant, at least in the Western Mediterranean countries. Indeed, very few modern herb books mention this plant.

In Spain, the plant has been used as a tobacco substitute and is part of a whole group of plants known as “arnica”, which obviously also includes Arnica montana. [Obón, Palacin]

This association already suggests that D. viscosa has anti-traumatic properties. In fact, the plant is mainly known, in all traditions, for its effectiveness in the treatment of wounds and trauma (bruises, hematomas, sprains) in both humans and animals [Obón, Palacin].

The plant, in fact, has hemostatic, cicatrizing and antiseptic properties which make it an all-round vulnerary. In case of wounds, even when open and bleeding, the leaves (fresh and bruised; cooked; dried and reduced to powder, possibly plastered with oil), the decoction of the flowering or non-flowering aerial parts, or the macerate obtained by infusing (traditionally for a month) the flowers in oil can be applied to the affected part. In all these cases, the plant acts as a vulnerary and antiseptic, promoting the correct healing of damaged tissues and preventing the appearance of infections. [Aleo, Dioscorides, Palacin, Parolin, Qasem, Salhi]

D. viscosa also has antiparasitic (nematodes and helminths) [Abbas, Al-Dissi, Asoulin, Darias, Parolin, Talebi], antifungal [Askarne, Asoulin, Cohen, Mahmoudi, Mrid, Parolin, Rhimi, Talebi, Wang], antiviral [Parolin] and antibacterial activities [Parolin, Mahmoudi, Mrid, Qasem, Rhimi, Talebi].

Its powerful anti-fungal properties make D. viscosa useful also in the treatment of plant fungal disease, like citrus fruit blue mold, downy mildew of grapes, and foliar diseases induced by pathogens from Oomycetes, Ascomycetes, and Basidiomycetes families. [Askarne, Cohen, Talebi, Wang]

In Moroccan Traditional Medicine, D. viscosa is also used as an expectorant, a diuretic, an anti-anemic, and its decoctions are employed to treat hypertension and diabetes mellitus. [Talebi]

The whole plant is a powerful emmenagogue and for this reason it is used to “strongly induce menses, and childbirth” (Galen, as reported in [Mattioli]). Indeed, it has also important abortive properties [Al-Dissi, Dafni, Dioscorides, Parolin, Talebi] which manifest even just by putting the juice in contact with the vagina [Dioscorides], inserting the leaves into the anus or practicing steam baths with an infusion of the leaves [Dafni]. Anti-implantation, mid-term abortifacient, and luteolytic activities have been experimentally demonstrated [Al-Dissi].

The oil macerate made by cooking the leaves in olive oil is used topically to treat hemorrhoids and various gastrointestinal disease. This oil makes a great aromatic salve that can also be placed over the lungs, on the chest or back, to combat upper respiratory infections of all sorts and to strengthen the heart and cardiovascular system. [Asoulin]

According to Bashar Saad, the roots are used against cough and catarrh, as an antiseptic and expectorant, which loosens phlegm and supports mucus membranes. [Saad]

It keeps fleas at bay: fresh leaves can be made into a tea or vinegar and sprayed on animals, or made into a bath; powdered leaves can be sprinkled on animals or added to a dust bath. [Asoulin]

According to Khadija Laghrifi, the fresh and dried flowers are frequently used in traditional Mediterranean cuisine as an additive. They have a bitter, astringent taste, which complements a wide variety of foods. They are extensively used in cooking, and a distinct mustard smell gives off while they are burned, therefore, they are often used to flavor foods while barbecuing. [Laghrifi]

In rare cases, the fresh plant, tincture or oil preparations can cause sudden allergic reactions. Powdered leaves are significantly less allergenic. [Asoulin]



Several studies have been carried on D. viscosa composition and the plant has been found to contain flavonoids, among which rhamnocitrin, methylaromadendrin and hispidulin (a benzodiazepine receptor ligand which possesses antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, antineoplastic, anti-osteoporotic, anxiolytic and pro-cognitive, liver protective properties, an estrogen-like activity and an antiepileptic profile), phenolics (mainly chlorogenic acid and caffeoylquinic acids), several aliphatic (farnesol and nerolidol derivatives), eudesmane (α-costic, β-costic, isocostic and ilic acids and derivatives), germacranolide (tayunin), guaianolide and secoguaiane (tomentosin) sesquiterpenes, sesquiterpene lactones (inuviscolide and the already mentioned tomentosin), a digalactosyl-diacylglycerol (inugalactolipid A, that showed notable effects in a murine-chronic-dermatitis model), and an essential oil. [Abrham, Ceccherelli, Dor, Gökbulut, Grauso, Kavvadias, Máñez, Patel]

The composition of the essential oil appears to be quite variable according to the provenance of the plant. For example, the main component appears to be:

  • an oxygenated carboxylated bicyclic sesquiterpene (12-carboxyeudesma-3,11(13)-diene or α-costic acid) when the oil is extracted from plants harvested in Apulia (Italy);
  • the monoterpene alcohol borneol when the plants come from Turkey; or
  • the allylic tertiary alcohol fokienol when the plants come from Spain (see, for instance [De Laurentis, Madani, Pérez‐Alonso]).

D. viscosa is rich in epicuticular flavonoids, and more than 20 flavonoid aglycone structures were found in foliar exudates, including some flavanones. The flavonoids’ spectral profile shows maxima in the harmful UV-B (280-320 nm) region, with a peak at 290 nm [Parolin].

A high-boiling fraction of seven azulenes, two of them identified as 1,4-dimethyl-azulene (about 50%) and chamazulene (32%), has been identified [Lauro].


Dittrichia viscosa in agrosystems

The plant can be a useful reservoir of aphid parasitoids. Its flowers are infested by Myopites stylata, which causes gall formation and whose larvae are parasitized by the generalist parasitoid Eupelmus urozonus associated with D. viscosa, and which overwinters in the larvae of M. stylata on D. viscosa. Since E. urozonus is also one of the main parasitoids associated with the olive fruit-fly (Bactrocera oleae), this parasitic complex is very valuable to control this pest of the olive crop. [Parolin]

D. viscosa also exerts an allelopathic effect. The seasonal peak in the concentration of the active material occurs exactly in the period when most Mediterranean plants germinate, when the autumn rains set in and the allelopathic substances are washed into the soil. Leaf epicuticular substances were shown to be strong allelopathy agents for N2-fixing soil cyanobacteria, decreasing dramatically the photosynthetic assimilation of CO2 and increasing the heterocyst-to-vegetative cell ratio and most likely the assimilation of N2 of the cyanobacteria. [Parolin]

D. viscosa strongly inhibits spore germination and mycelial growth in a variety of hystopathogenic fungi. Downy mildew of grapes was controlled by extracts of D. viscosa. The phytotoxic effect is differential and tissue specific with concentrations in the following decreasing order: leaf > flower > stem > root. The fungistatic activity of the plant extract increases with plant age, while high temperatures drastically reduce the antifungal effects of D. viscosa. Disease control efficacy of leaf extracts was similar from material collected from May to October, suggesting that, for practical use, harvests can be conducted during most of the growing season. Dried leaves of D. viscosa stored at room temperature for one year or for 4 years produced an extract as effective as that from newly harvested dried leaves. [Cohen, Parolin]

D. viscosa may also act as insectary plant, which attracts and possibly maintains, with its nectar and pollen resources, a population of insects which are natural enemies of plant parasites, therefore playing an important role in the conservation and/or increase of predator populations in agro-ecosystems. For example, it can be a useful reservoir of aphid parasitoids, phytoseiid mites, predators like Eupelmus urozonus, or the mirid predator Macrolophus caliginosus, just to name a few. [Parolin]


Dittrichia viscosa as a bioaccumulator

D. viscosa has a high ability to grow on soils with high nickel, magnesium, or arsenic concentrations and was proposed as bioindicator plant of these elements in the soil. Moreover, it has a high potential as a bioaccumulator. On contaminated mine-tailing soils in Sardinia, the leaves of D. viscosa contained the highest concentrations of trace elements. It displayed very high metal concentrations in aboveground biomass (average metal contents were Zn: 1680 mg/kg, Pb: 420 mg/kg, Cd: 28 mg/kg). In a Mediterranean salt marsh polluted by mining wastes it had the highest metal and arsenic concentrations out of 21 plant species analysed (~270 mg/kg Pb, ~640mg/kg Zn, ~23 mg/kg As). D. viscosa showed a high transfer factor – i.e. the ratio of heavy metal concentrations in shoots to that in roots, a good index of translocation in a plant – for all the studied elements and plant species. [Parolin]



Temperature and taste

Hot and dry in the third degree (D. viscosa e D. graveolens; Galen, as reported in [Mattioli]).

The leaves have an aromatic, pungent/acrid, bitter, slightly astringent and slightly salty taste.





Tissue Phases



Actions and indications

Humoral actions

Being a hot plant, it has the ability to significantly increase the heat of the organism as a whole or of its districts, to set fluids in motion and unblock/support organic activities. It therefore resolves tension stagnation and supplements the correct tension (antispasmodic, antihypertensive, healing) and, moreover, resolves “oppilations” (stranguria, urination prevented by the presence of stones, cholestasis, amenorrhea/dysmenorrhea, hemorrhoids). It has the ability to “strongly move the blood” in the pelvic region, thus stimulating menstruation and childbirth (to the point of also inducing abortion). Being dry in the 3.rd degree, it is able to resolve conditions characterized by dampness: in particular, it is suitable for resolving hot and damp conditions (fermentations, putrefactions).



Skin, mucous membranes, pelvis and uterus, urinary system, gastrointestinal system and afferent organs.


Clinical actions

Abortifacient, analgesic, anthelmintic, anti-anemic, anti-bacterial, anti-diabetic, antifungal, anti-hypertensive, anti-inflammatory, antimalarial, antimycotic, anti-parasitic (nematodes), antiphlogistic, antipyretic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, anti-ulcerogenic, anti-viral, astringent, balsamic, blood cleanser, cicatrizing, digestive, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, fungicidal, general fortifier, general tonic, hypoglycemic, insecticide, muscle relaxant, nematicidal, reconstituant, tonic, vermifuge, vulnerary.


Principal actions:

  • Abortifacient (both internal and external use) [Al-Dissi, Dafni, Dioscorides, Parolin, Talebi]:
    • Anti-implantation, mid-term abortifacient, luteolytic. [Al-Dissi]
    • Use: steam bath (woman sits above the steam of a leaf infusion, 3 days after copulation); ground leaves applied through anus. [Dafni]
    • Liter.: “The juice applied causes women to abort” [Dioscorides]
  • Analgesic. [Obón, Side Larbi]
  • Anthelmintic. [Abbas, Al-Dissi, Asoulin, Talebi]
  • Anti-anemic. [Al-Dissi, Talebi]
  • Anti-bacterial, microbial inhibitor. [Parolin, Mahmoudi, Mrid, Qasem, Rhimi, Talebi]
  • Antidiabetic, hypoglycemic. [Abbas, Allali, Asoulin, Parolin, Qasem, Talebi, Yaniv, Zeggwagh]
  • Anti-hypertensive [Asoulin, Kattouf, Qasem, Talebi]:
    • the aqueous extract of viscosa leaves has a dose-dependent negative inotropic effect. [Kattouf]
  • Antiparasitic (nematodes), nematicidal [Parolin, Talebi]:
    • Against Meloidogyne javanica, Heterorhabditis bacteriophora. [Talebi]
  • Antiphlogistic, anti-inflammatory. [Abrham, Al-Dissi, Parolin, Saad]
  • Antimalarial. [Quer]
  • Antimycotic [Askarne, Asoulin, Cohen, Mahmoudi, Mrid, Parolin, Rhimi, Talebi, Wang]:
    • Against Penicillium italicum, Plasmopara viticola, and other Oomycetes, Ascomycetes, and Basidiomycetes (mostly acetone and/or hexane extracts). [Askarne, Cohen, Parolin, Talebi, Wang]
  • Antipyretic, febrifuge [Abbas, Al-Dissi, Darias, Obón, Parolin, Qasem, Saad]:
    • Used part: flowering tops (Canary Islands). [Darias]
  • Antiseptic [Abbas, Al-Dissi, Martelli, Parolin, Saad]; (roots) [Saad].
  • Antispasmodic. [Abbas]
  • Anti-ulcerogenic. [Parolin]
  • Anti-viral. [Parolin]
  • Astringent. [Quer]
  • Balsamic. [Parolin]
  • Blood cleanser. [Asoulin]
  • Digestive. [Obón]
  • Diuretic. [Abbas, Al-Dissi, Talebi]
  • Emmenagogue (strong, flowers and aerial parts) [Dioscorides]:
    • Liter.: “The flowers and fronds are drunk with wine to cause menstruation and childbirth”. [Dioscorides]
    • Liter.: “Their flowers also have similar virtues, and therefore there are some who give them crushed together with the branches in wine to drink to strongly provoke menstruation and childbirth.” (Galen reported in[Mattioli])
  • Expectorant [Al-Dissi, Qasem, Saad, Talebi]; (roots) [Saad].
  • Hemostatic. [Bar-Shalom]
  • Insecticide. [Obón]
  • Muscle relaxant [Abbas, Qasem, Saad, Said]; (leaves) [Saad]:
    • 200 g plant material is boiled for 5 min in 5 l water and the decoction is used as steam bath or added to regular bath. [Said]
  • Tonic [Qasem], general tonic [Abbas, Dafni], general fortifier [Asoulin], reconstituant (root; Morocco) [Bellakhdar2].
  • Vermifuge. [Abbas, Al-Dissi, Asoulin, Darias, Talebi]
  • Vulnerary, cicatrizing. [Dafni, Dioscorides, Martelli, Palacin, Quer, Saad, Salhi]


Specific indications


  • N/A



  • Cancer [Abbas, Asoulin, Jaradat, Talib]:
    • Kidney and bladder cancer. [Jaradat]
    • Particularly for the colon. [Asoulin]
    • Traditional remedy for cancer. [Talib]
    • Confirmed experimentally (mainly in vitro). [Bar-Shalom, Brahmi-Chendouh, Doudach, Merghoub, Merghoub2, Messaoudi, Mrid, Rechek, Talebi, Talib, Talib2, Toros]
  • Infections [Asoulin, Martelli, Parolin, Qasem, Saad]:
    • Bacterial and viral infections of all kinds. [Asoulin]
    • able to act as:
      • an anti-bacterial or microbial inhibitor [Parolin, Mahmoudi, Mrid, Qasem, Rhimi, Talebi]
      • an antimycotic [Askarne, Asoulin, Cohen, Mahmoudi, Mrid, Parolin, Rhimi, Talebi, Wang]
      • an anti-viral [Parolin]
      • a (general) antiseptic. [Abbas, Al-Dissi, Martelli, Parolin, Saad]
    • Fever. [Abbas, Al-Dissi, Darias, Obón, Parolin, Qasem, Saad]
      • Malaria. [Quer]


Central nervous system

  • Epilepsy (flowers and aerial parts) [Dioscorides]:
    • Liter.: “[the flowers and fronds] drunk with Vinegar help the falling disease” [Dioscorides]



  • Heaache. [Qasem]



  • Eye infection. [Qasem]
  • Eye sore. [Obón]



  • Toothache and oral hygiene (inflorescence decoction, for gargle; steam inhalation of vapors form leaves boiled in water). [Dafni]


Respiratory system

  • Catarrh, as an expectorant [Al-Dissi, Qasem, Saad, Talebi]; (roots) [Saad]
  • Respiratory infections [Al-Dissi, Asoulin, Qasem], respiratory troubles [Obón]:
    • Upper respiratory infections (external use; oil macerate made by cooking the leaves in olive oil, placed over the lungs on the chest or back). [Asoulin]
    • Lung infections and conditions (dried leaves added to smoking blends). [Asoulin]
    • [Al-Dissi, Qasem]
    • [Obón]
    • [Al-Dissi]
  • Cough [Abbas, Saad]:
    • Chronic cough. [Abbas]
    • Used parts: root. [Saad]


Cardiovascular system and blood

  • Cardiovascular complaints. [Asoulin]
  • High blood pressure. [Asoulin, Kattouf, Qasem, Talebi]
  • To strengthen the heart and cardiovascular system (external use; oil macerate made from cooking the leaves in oil, usually olive, placed over the lungs on the chest or back). [Asoulin]
  • [Al-Dissi, Talebi]


Gastrointestinal system

  • Gastrointestinal disorders [Asoulin, Dioscorides, Obón, Parolin], gastroduodenal disorders [Al-Dissi] (mainly as an antispasmodic):
    • Bowel pain (“gut pains”; flowers and aerial parts). [Dioscorides]
    • Bowels ache in animals. [Obón]
    • Stomachache [Obón, Saad]; (leaves) [Saad].
    • Use: external use; oil macerate made from cooking the leaves in olive oil, placed over the lungs on the chest or back. [Asoulin]
  • Hemorrhoids (external use; oil macerate made from cooking the leaves in olive oil). [Asoulin, Obón, Qasem]
  • Intestinal worms [Abbas, Al-Dissi, Asoulin, Darias, Talebi]:
    • Used parts: powdered leaves added to livestock feed, also as part of a larger formula; also as a preventative. [Asoulin]
    • Used parts: flowering tops (Canary Islands). [Darias]



  • Diabetes (decoction of leaves or whole plant) [Abbas, Al-Dissi, Allali, Asoulin, Obón, Qasem, Talebi, Yaniv, Zeggwagh]; diabetes mellitus [Talebi]:
    • Moroccan traditional method: 1 g of powdered whole plant mixed with 100 ml water are boiled for 10 min, cooled for 15 min, and filtered. [Zeggwagh]


Liver and gallbladder

  • Cholestasis, jaundice (flowers and aerial parts). [Dioscorides]
    • Liter.: “The flowers are drunk, and the leaves [… for the] overflow of gall” [Dioscorides]


Urinary system

  • Urinary tract diseases [Palacin, Quer], Kidney pain [Obón]:
    • “Mal de riñón”10 (external use; infusion of leaves and flowers). [Palacin]
  • Kidney stones. [Qasem]
  • Strangury (flowers and aerial parts). [Dioscorides]
    • Liter.: “The flowers are drunk, and the fronds […] for urine distillation” [Dioscorides]


Sexual organs

  • Infertility [Qasem, Said]:
    • Use: 200 g plant material is boiled for 5 min in 5 l water and the decoction is used as steam bath or added to regular bath. [Said]
  • Amenorrhea, dysmenorrhea. [Dioscorides, Mattioli]
  • Abortion (induce, both by internal and external use). [Al-Dissi, Dafni, Dioscorides, Parolin, Talebi]


Musculoskeletal system

  • Rheumatism, rheumatic pain (external use, for humans and animals: decoction of the flowering aerial parts, oil macerate of flowers, hot poultice of the cooked plant, decoction of roots and leaves, steam bath with the hot decoction of the leaves). [Al-Dissi, Dafni, Obón, Palacin, Salhi, Talebi]
  • Muscle ache (as a muscle relaxant). [Abbas, Qasem, Said]
  • Bone fractures [Dafni, Qasem]:
    • Liter.: “‘to soften bones’ (lamb fat cooked with leaves is applied on bone before second breaking, place of injury is softened with Inula vapors).” [Dafni]
  • Local paralysis [Dafni, Qasem]:
    • Oil extracted boiling leaves, applied directly; steam bath, together with leaves of Salvia fruticosa. [Dafni]
  • Arthritis. [Qasem]



  • Wounds, open and bleeding wounds (external use, for humans and animals: poultice with fresh leaves, leaf powder, poultice of leaf powder mixed with oil, hot poultice with the cooked plant11], decoction of the flowering aerial parts or stems, oil macerate of flowers) [Aleo, Dafni, Dioscorides, Martelli, Obón, Palacin, Parolin, Qasem, Quer, Saad, Salhi]:
    • Liter.: “more effective than Achillea millefolium for animals. It is an excellent hemostatic, stopping bleeding, gaping and pussy wounds in their tracks in animals even faster than in humans.” [Asoulin]
  • Bruises [Obón, Palacin, Parolin, Quer]:
    • (external use, for humans and animals: decoction of the flowering aerial parts, oil macerate of flowers, hot poultice with the cooked plant). [Obón, Palacin, Parolin, Quer]
    • Liter.: “to strengthen weakened or swollen parts following a fall” (internal use; decoction). [Quer]
  • Hematoma. [Obón]
  • Sprains. [Obón]
  • Skin diseases [Dioscorides, Obón, Parolin], skin irritations [Saad], skin infections (fungal and viral) [Asoulin]:
    • Boils (external use, poultice with leaves). [Dioscorides]
    • Chronic dermatitis. [Parolin]
    • Eczema. [Obón]
    • Erysipelas. [Obón]
    • Stubborn fungal infections (alone or as part of a formulation, both topically and internally). [Asoulin]
    • Fungal and viral skin infections (such as warts; powdered leaves both alone and in formulation; with near miraculous success). [Asoulin]
    • Warts on foot (stuffed leaves in shoe; foot covered with leaf juice; leaves steam-bath). [Dafni]
    • Scabies (roots cooked in wine; ointment made from roots and leaves). [Quer]
    • Hard skin on foot (stuffed leaves in shoe; foot covered with leaf juice; leaves steam-bath). [Dafni]
    • Painful corns. [Obón]
  • Burns (external use; fresh or dried powdered leaves or dried leaves powder mixed with oil). [Obón, Qasem]
  • Excessive sweating [Asoulin]:
    • Liter.: “a few leaves in the shoes to combat sweaty feet or sweatiness in other areas of the body, using the feet as the roots to ‘uptake’ the medicinal properties of the plant and distribute them throughout the body to where they are most needed; a leaf could be placed in other sweaty areas, or dried, powdered leaves could be used as a deodorant.” [Asoulin]
  • Snake bites (external use, poultice with leaves). [Dioscorides]


Parts used and their collection

All parts of the plant can be used therapeutically: leaves, aerial parts (either flowering or non-flowering), roots. It is important to avoid ingesting the pappus because it can damage the gastrointestinal mucosa (see “Contraindications and collateral effects”).


Preparation and dosage

The plant can be used fresh or dried for the preparation of herbal teas or decoctions, or fresh for the preparation of the tincture and oil macerate.


Contraindications and collateral effects

Very few studies about D. viscosa toxicity have been carried out, but all of them have shown the plant as devoid of any significant toxicity, both in acute and in (sub)chronic administration tests.

In an acute toxicity study, a methanolic extract (obtained from dried and pulverized plants) and the essential oil (obtained by hydrodistillation) from D. viscosa plant material collected in Algeria were administered to rats at doses of 300, 600, 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500 mg/kg of methanolic extract and doses of 0.3, 0.5, 1, 1.5, 2, 3 ml/kg of essential oil by orogastric route. The treated groups were observed for three hours following administration, and up to 14 days. The study found an LD50 higher than 2500 mg/Kg for the methanolic extracts and higher than 3ml/kg for essential oils. [Side Larbi]

In another study designed to find acute and sub-chronic toxicity of D. viscosa, the n-hexane and methanolic extracts of leaves and flowers (obtained from samples collected in Algeria, dried, pulverized and extracted with the solvents in a Soxhlet apparatus) were orally administered to Swiss albinos mice as single doses of 400 mg/kg and 800 mg/kg (acute toxicity) and as daily doses of 400 mg/kg et 800 mg/kg to Wistar rats over 28 days (sub-chronic toxicity). The results obtained in the acute toxicity study show that none of the doses caused death in the treated mice. The study of sub-chronic toxicity revealed a slightly significant change in the biochemical balance (a decrease of AST in groups of rats treated with methanolic extract of leaves at the dose of 800mg/Kg, and an increase of urea in groups of rats treated with methanolic extract of flowers at the dose of 800mg/Kg, when compared to control group). No significant changes were observed in the hematological balance. The organs studied have also remained intact. So, the study showed no acute toxicity or sub-chronic toxicity at the doses studied. [Ouahchia]

An acetone extract of D. viscosa administered intraperitoneally to mature male rats for 60 days has produced no significant deleterious effects. A one-generation fertility study performed to detect teratogenic effects of this plant has produced no statistically significant difference in sperm count, sperm morphology, total serum testosterone level, or number and weight of newborns. No gross morphological defects were observed in newborns of treated and control groups. A histological study demonstrated normal spermatogenesis. In addition, a normal architecture of prostate, liver and kidney was observed. However, some morphological alterations were detected in seminal vesicles (the height of mucosal folds in seminal vesicles were shorter in the D. viscosa-treated groups). Furthermore, liver and kidney tests were normal. This study reported no toxic effects of D. viscosa extract in male rats. [Abbas]

Bashar Saad reports, for leaves, an LD50 value of 11.9 g/kg weight, but no reference is given for this. [Saad]

In a single study, the authors conclude that, when applied in high doses, D. viscosa crude leaf extract shows cytotoxic and genotoxic activity on Allium cepa root meristem cells, suggesting that, although D. viscosa has beneficial effects as a medicinal herb, it can cause serious problems and damage on cells when used improperly. [Çelik]

In literature, some cases are reported of contact dermatitis both from contact with the fresh plant and with its extracts [Asoulin, Gonçalo, Pinedo, Sertoli]. Powdering the leaves significantly lessens the probability of occurrence of such events and makes the herb less irritating [Asoulin].

The plant is sometimes reported as “known to be toxic to stock”. This also applies to D. graveolens and for exactly the same reason. Serious losses have indeed been attributed to D. graveolens, not because of any toxin, but rather because of the mechanical damage produced by seed heads and pappus bristles penetrating the gastric and intestinal mucosa of the animals. This damage may cause enteritis and predispose to enterotoxaemia. The animal may die of pulpy kidney disease. Death may be sudden. [Parsons, Philbey]

Contact dermatitis, tainting of milk and meat and exacerbation of carbon tetrachloride toxicity12 have been attributed to exposure to D. graveolens. [Philbey, Setchell]

Being traditionally considered abortive, the use of the plant, its parts or its derivatives is absolutely contraindicated during pregnancy both by ingestion and by direct application on the mucous membranes of the vagina and anus, and for baths, sitz baths or fumigations of the vagina and perineum (vaginal steaming).



There are no known in homeopathic trials of the plant.




Abbas et al., “Evaluation of Toxicity and Fertility Effects of Inula viscosa Aerial Parts Extract in Male Rats”, Jordan Journal of Biological Sciences, 11 (2), June 2018, 147-154


Abrham et al., “Inhibition of Inflammatory Cytokine Secretion by Plant-Derived Compounds Inuviscolide and Tomentosin: The Role of NFkB and STAT1”, The Open Pharmacology Journal, 2010, 4, 36-44


Al-Dissi et al., “Effects of Inula viscosa leaf extracts on abortion and implantation in rats”, Journal of Ethnopharmacology 77 (2001) 117–121


M. Aleo et al., “Tradizioni etnofarmacobotaniche in alcune comunità rurali dei Monti di Trapani (Sicilia occidentale)”, Quad. Bot. Amb. Appl., 24 (2013): 27-48


H. Allali et al., “Phytotherapy of Diabetes in West Algeria”, Asian Journal of Chemistry Vol. 20, No. 4 (2008), 2701-2710


L. Askarne et al., “Use of Moroccan medicinal plant extracts as botanical fungicide against citrus blue mould”, Letters in Applied Microbiology 56, 37-43, 2012; DOI: 10.1111/lam.12012


Rivkah Asoulin, “Inula Vicosa (Sticky Fleabane) – Wild Medicine of The Mediterranean”, in Planthealer.org, Herbaria, Vol. 14#4, August 2023


Rinat Bar-Shalom et al., “Inula Viscosa Extract Inhibits Growth of Colorectal Cancer Cells in vitro and in vivo Through Induction of Apoptosis”, Front. Oncol., 2019, 9:227;

DOI: 10.3389/fonc.2019.00227


Jamal Bellakhdar, “La pharmacopée marocaine traditionelle”, Ed. Le Fennec (2020)


Bellakhdar et al., “Repertory of standard herbal drugs in the Moroccan Pharmacopoea”, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 35 (1991), 123-143


Herman Boerhaave, “Index alter Plantarum quae in Horto Academico Lugduno – Batavo aluntur conscriptus ab Hermanno Boerhaave”, Pars I + II, Leiden (1727)


Nabila Brahmi-Chendouh et al., “A nutraceutical extract from Inula viscosa leaves: UHPLC-HR-MS/MS based polyphenol profile, and antioxidant and cytotoxic activities”, Journal of food and drug analysis, 27 (2019), 692-702


Théodore Caruel, “Illustratio in hortum siccum Andreæ Cæsalpini”, Firenze, 1863


Paolo Ceccherelli et al., “Sesquiterpene Acids from Dittrichia Viscosa”, Phytochemistry, Vol. 24, No. 12, pp. 2987-2989, 1985.; DOI: 10.1016/0031-9422(85)80041-8


Çelik, Aslantürk, “Evaluation of Cytotoxicity and Genotoxicity of Inula viscosa Leaf Extracts with Allium Test”, Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology Volume 2010, Article ID 189252; doi:10.1155/2010/189252


Yigal Cohen et al., “Extracts of Inula viscosa Control Downy Mildew of Grapes Caused by Plasmopara viticola”, Phytopathology, 2006; 96(4), 417-424; DOI: 10.1094/PHYTO-96-0417.


Amots Dafni et al., “Ethnobotanical Survey Of Medicinal Plants In Northern Israel”, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, 10 (1984) 296-310


Darias V. et al., “Espece de la Flore Canarienne Employees comme Febrifuges, Analgesique et Anti-inflammatoires”, In “Ethnopharmacologie: Sources, Methodes, Objectifs”, Actes du 1er Colloque Européen d’Ethnopharmacologie. Metz 22-25 mars 1990

[De Laurentis]

De Laurentis et al., “Chemical investigations of volatile constituents of Inula viscosa (L.) Aiton (Asteraceae) from different areas of Apulia, Southern Italy”, Delpinoa, n.s. 44:115-119. 2002


V. [Mattioli]; trad. italiana e commentario al “De Materia Medica” di Dioscorides Pedanio


E. Dor, J. Hershenhorn, “Allelopathic effects of Inula viscosa leaf extracts on weeds”, Allelopathy Journal 30 (2): 281-289 (2012)


Doudach et al., “Extract of 1:5 Mixture of Five Moroccan Medicinal Plants has Cytotoxic Effect on Some Human Cancer Cell Lines”, Int J Pharm 2013; 3(2): 301-307


Castore Durante, “Herbario novo”, Venezia (1667)


John Gerard, “The herball, or, Generall historie of plantes” (1636)


Luigi Giannelli, “Medicina Tradizionale Mediterranea”, Ed. Tecniche Nuove (2006)


Gökbulut, “Determination of Hispidulin in the flowers of Inula viscosa (L.) Aiton Using HPLC and HPTLC Methods”, Turk J Pharm Sci 2016; 13: 159-166


Gonçalo et al., “Allergic contact dermatitis from Dittrichia Viscosa (L.) Greuter”, Contact Dermatitis 1991: 24, 40-44


Grauso, L., Cesarano, G., Zotti, M. et al. “Exploring Dittrichia viscosa (L.) Greuter phytochemical diversity to explain its antimicrobial, nematicidal and insecticidal activity”. Phytochem Rev 19, 659–689 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11101-019-09607-1


Jaradat et al., “Ethnopharmacological survey of herbal remedies used for treatment of various types of cancer and their methods of preparations in the West Bank-Palestine”, BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine (2016) 16:93; DOI 10.1186/s12906-016-1070-8


Kattouf et al., “Effet antihypertenseur des feuilles d’Inula viscosa”, Phytothérapie (2009) 7: 1–4; DOI: 10.1007/s10298-009-0517-1


Dominique Kavvadias et al., “The flavone hispidulin, a benzodiazepine receptor ligand with positive allosteric properties, traverses the blood–brain barrier and exhibits anticonvulsive effects”, British Journal of Pharmacology (2004) 142, 811–820; DOI: 10.1038/sj.bjp.0705828


Khadija Laghrifi et al., “In Vitro Antibacterial Activity of the Methanolic and Ethanolic Extract of Inula Viscosa Used in Moroccan Traditional Medicine”, World Journal Of Pharmacy And Pharmaceutical Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 5, 3963-3976


Lauro, Rolih, “Observations and research on an extract of Inula viscosa Ait.”, Boll Soc Ital Biol Sper. 1990 Sep;66(9):829-34


Madani et al., “Essential oil of Algerian Inula viscosa leaves”, TEOP 17 (1) 2014, 164-168


Mahmoudi et al., “Comprehensive Phytochemical Analysis, Antioxidant and Antifungal Activities of Inula Viscosa Aiton Leaves”, Journal of Food Safety (2016), 36(1), 77-88


Salvador Máñez et al., “A Glycosyl Analogue of Diacylglycerol and Other Antiinflammatory Constituents from Inula viscosa”, Journal of Natural Products 1999 62 (4), 601-604; DOI: 10.1021/np980132u


Irene Martelli et al., “Tradizioni etnofarmacobotaniche nel territorio del Gabbro (Livorno-Toscana)”, Quad. Mus. St. Nat. Livorno, 26: 15-38 (2015-2016)]


Pietro Andrea Mattioli, “Discorsi di M. Pietro Andrea Mattioli sanese, medico cesareo, ne’ sei libri di Pedacio Dioscorides Anazarbeo della materia Medicinale” (1746)


Merghoub et al., “Cytotoxic effect of some Moroccan medicinal plant extracts on human cervical cell lines”, Journal of Medicinal Plants Research Vol. 3(12), pp. 1045-1050, December, 2009


Merghoub et al., “Inula Viscosa Extracts Induces Telomere Shortening and Apoptosis in Cancer Cells and Overcome Drug Resistance”, Nutrition and Cancer 2016, Vol. 0, No. 0, 1–13


M. Messaoudi et al., “Cytotoxic Effect and Chemical Composition of Inula viscosa from Three Different Regions of Morocco”, European Journal of Medicinal Plants 16(4): 1-9, 2016, Article no.EJMP.28340


Reda Ben Mrid et al., “Dittrichia viscosa L. Leaves: A Valuable Source of Bioactive Compounds with Multiple Pharmacological Effects”, Molecules 2022, 27, 2108; DOI: 10.3390/molecules27072108


Obón et al., “Árnica: A multivariate analysis of the botany and ethnopharmacology of a medicinal plant complex in the Iberian Peninsula and the Balearic Islands”, Journal of Ethnopharmacology 144 (2012), 44–56


Ouahchia et al., “Toxicité Aiguë et Subaiguë des Extraits Méthanoliques d’Inula Viscosa L. (Dittrichia Viscosa L.)”, Revue Agrobiologia (2017) 7(2): 562-573


Palacin et al., “Plantas usadas como «Arnica» en el Alto Aragon”, Acta biol. mont., 1984 (IV): 473-481


Parolin et al., “Biology of Dittrichia viscosa, a Mediterranean ruderal plant: a review”, ΦYTON ISSN 0031 9457 (2014) 83: 251-262


Parsons, Cuthbertson, “Noxious Weeds of Australia”, II ed., Csiro Publishing (2001)


Patel, “Medicinal importance, pharmacological activities, and analytical aspects of hispidulin: A concise report”, Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine 7 (2017) 360-366


Pérez‐Alonso et al., “Composition of the Volatile Oil from the Aerial Parts of Inula viscosa (L.) Aiton”, Flavour and Fragrance Journal 1996, 11(6), 349-351


Philbey et al., “Pyogranulomatous enteritis in sheep due to penetrating seed heads of Dittrichia graveolens”, Aust Vet J Vol 78, No 12, December 2000


Pinedo et al., “Contact dermatitis to sesquiterpene lactones in Inula viscosa Aiton”, Contact Dermatitis 1987: 17(5), 322-3.


Plant of the World Online, Kew Royal Botanical Gardens, at https://powo.science.kew.org/


Qasem, “Prospects of Wild Medicinal and Industrial Plants of Saline Habitats in the Jordan Valley”, Pak. J. Bot., 47(2): 551-570, 2015


Habiba Rechek et al., “Inula viscosa (L.) Aiton Ethanolic Extract Inhibits the Growth of Human AGS and A549 Cancer Cell Lines”, Chem. Biodiversity 2023, 20, e202200890; DOI: /10.1002/cbdv.202200890


Rhimi et al., “Chemical Composition, Antibacterial and Antifungal Activities of Crude Dittrichia viscosa (L.) Greuter Leaf Extracts”, Molecules 2017, 22, 942


Bashar Saad, Omar Said, “Greco-Arab and Islamic Herbal Medicine”, Wiley (2011)


Said et al., “Ethnopharmacological survey of medicinal herbs in Israel, the Golan Heights and the West Bank region”, Journal of Ethnopharmacology 83 (2002) 251-265


Salhi et al., “Etudes floristique et ethnobotanique des plantes médicinales de la ville de Kénitra (Maroc)”, LAZAROA 31: 133-146 (2010); DOI:10.5209/rev_LAZA.2010.v31.9


Setchel, “Poisoning of Sheep with Anthelmintic Doses of Carbon Tetrachloride – IV. Effect of Stinkwort (Inula Graveolens)”, Australian Veterinary Journal, Vol. 40, January, 1964.


Sertoli et al., “Allergic contact dermatitis to Salvia Officinalis, Inula Viscosa and Conyza Bonariensis”, Contact Dermatitis 1978: 4 (5), 314-315

[Side Larbi]

Side Larbi et al., “Central Analgesic Property of Extracts and Essential Oils from Inula viscosa And Anacyclus valentinus (Asteraceae) In Wistar Rats”, J. Appl. Environ. Biol. Sci., 6(9)72-77, 2016


William Salmon, “Botanologia. The English Herbal or History of Plants”, London (1710)


Soltani et al., “The effect of aqueous extract of Inula viscosa plant on arthritic rats”, Journal of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Research, 2015, 7(5):349-352


Jonathan Stokes, “A Botanical Materia Medica”, London (1812)


Marjan Talebi et al., “Novel multi-target therapeutic potential of the genus Inula: Advances and opportunities for neuroprotection”, Pharmacological Research – Modern Chinese Medicine 7 (2023): DOI: 10.1016/j.prmcm.2023.100263


Talib et al., “Antiproliferative Activity of Plant Extracts Used Against Cancer in Traditional Medicine”, Sci Pharm. 2010; 78; 33–45.


Talib et al., “Antiproliferative, Antimicrobial and Apoptosis Inducing Effects of Compounds Isolated from Inula viscosa”, Molecules 2012, 17, 3291-3303

[Targioni Tozzetti]

Ottaviano Targioni Tozzetti, “Istituzioni botaniche”, III ed., Firenze (1813)


Michele Tenore, “Dell’erba Baccara degli Antichi”, in: Atti dell’Accademia Pontaniana, Fascicolo I del Volume VI, pp. 297-321 (314-338), Napoli (1850)


Michele Tenore, “Flora Napolitana”, Napoli, Stamperia Reale, 1811-1838


Pelin Toros et al., “The Effect of Herbal Medicine on Colon Cancer Cells in Culture”, Proceedings 2017, 1, 1033; doi:10.3390/proceedings1101033


Wenqiao Wang et al., “Control of Plant Diseases by Extracts of Inula viscosa”, Phytopathology, 2004; 94(10),1042-1047; DOI: 10.1094/PHYTO.2004.94.10.1042.


Matthew Wood, “The Earthwise Herbal – A Complete Guide to Old World Medicinal Plants”, North Atlantic Books (2008)


Yaniv et al., “Plants Used for the Treatment of Diabetes in Israel”, Journal of Ethnophamacology, 19 (1987) 145-151


Zeggwagh et al., “Study of hypoglycaemic and hypolipidemic effects of Inula viscosa L. aqueous extract in normal and diabetic rats”, Journal of Ethnopharmacology 108 (2006) 223–227



1. In fact, to date, while the identity of Dioscorides’ Conyza major seems now certain, not all botanists agree with Tenore’s opinion on the identity of Baccara (see below).

2. For Geele Müntz and Dürr-Wurtz respectively.

3. For herb aux puces.

4. In Mattioli’s book, the plant called Conyza minor is the present-day Pulicaria vulgaris Gaertn., while Conyza media is the present-day Pulicaria dysenterica (L.) Bernh. (see also [Tenore2]).

5. Pentanema squarrosa is not woody, does not have sticky (“glutinous”) leaves, nor does the whole plant emanates a strong smell. In fact, only the flowers, which have a rather slight odor, and the roots are scented. The roots give off a rather intense smell that recalls a mixture of camphor and turpentine, with a vague hint of cinnamon when they are fresh. Dittrichia viscosa, on the other hand, is entirely viscous and all its parts are strongly smelling.

6. Gerard’s Conyza minima is Dittrichia graveolens (L.) Greuter, as it appears from the description of the plant (“it is diuided into little branches, and also rough and glutinous as the precedent, but more greene. The leaues are three times lesse than those of the former, somewhat shaped like those of Toad-flax, yet hairy and vnctious. […] The root is single and annuall, and the whole plant more smelling than the former”). About it, the author writes: “This is iudged the Conyza fœmina of Theophrastus; and Con. minor of Dioscorides: it is the Con. minor of Gesner, Lobelius, Clusius and others.” [Gerard]

7. Both for the figure in the herbarium which clearly shows flowers with well-developed ligules and for the description (“Conyza minor has leaves […] which, when chopped, stick to the fingers” [Durante]).

8. An ambiguous description which seems to correspond only partially to Gerard’s Conyza minor vera, i.e. Dittrichia graveolens. In fact, for example, the stem of D. graveolens is not smooth but rather glandular-viscous.

9. See the “Notes on humors” paragraph.

10. Liter.: “kidney pain”. An expression that indicates either a generic kidney disease or, more specifically (especially in South America), urinary insufficiency.

11. Presumably not recommended in case of bleeding wounds.

12. Carbon tetrachloride, a strongly hepatotoxic substance, was once administered to sheep in small doses as an anthelmintic. In [Setchell], the loss of three sheep is reported, due to co-administration of D. graveolens and carbon tetrachloride, but the conditions of the experiment are rather poorly clear.

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