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Magic And Wicca - Herbal Encyclopedia - S


Herbs & Oils

~ S ~

SAFFRON:

(Crocus sativus)

The stigmas and style tops flavor and color liqueurs and many dishes, especially rice. Saffron is considered an aphrodisiac, but too much may be narcotic. It is given to reduce fevers, cramps, and enlarged livers, and to calm nerves, and is applies externally for bruises, rheumatism, and neuralgia. In India saffron is used ceremonially. Although water soluble, it is used cosmetically and as a sacred dye. Turmeric is mistakenly called saffron in Asia.
Parts Used: Stamens
Magical Uses: Saffron is added to love sachets as well as though aimed at raising lustful feelings. It is used in healing spells, and the infusion is used as wash water for the hands prior to healing rituals. Sheets were rinsed with a saffron infusion in Ireland so that the arms and legs would be strengthened during sleep, and the ancient Persians used Saffron to raise the wind. Use in spells for: Happiness; Health/Healing; Lust; Psychic Awareness; Wing Raising; Strength.


SAGE:

(Salvia officinalis)

Sage leaf has a strong taste that increases when dried. Used sparingly to flavor and aid the digestion of fatty meats, it is popular in poultry stuffing and combines well with strongly flavored floors. The flowers are tossed in salads and are brewed for a light, balsamic tea, while the leaf tea is an antiseptic nerve and blood tonics. Sage contains hormone precursors that help irregular menstruation and menopause symptoms.
Sage is a drying agent for the body. The tea of the leaf will dry up night sweats, breast milk, and mucous congestion. It benefits the nerves and the menstrual cycle as well. Being astringent, it helps with diarrhea. Use it as a sore throat gargle and as a poultice for sores and stings. Use two teaspoons of the herb per cup of water, steep for twenty minutes and take a quarter cup four times a day. Tincture; fifteen to forty drops, up to four times a day.
Parts Used:
Leaf
Magical Uses:
Sage absorbs negativity and misfortune. It drives away disturbances and tensions, and lifts the spirits above the mundane cars of life. Burn it to consecrate a ritual space. Carry it as an herb of protecion. Use it in the ritual bath and chalice. Tradition holds that those who eat sage become immortal in both wisdom and years. Sage is used in wish manifestations and to attract money. Smolder to promote healing and spirituality. Carry to promote wisdom. Use in spells for: Protection; Wisdom; Health; Money and Riches; Spirituality.
Aromatherapy Uses:
(Clary Sage Salvia sclarea) Acne; Boils; Dandruff; Hair Loss; Inflamed Skin Conditions; Oily Skin and Hair; Ulcers; Wrinkles; High Blood Pressure; Muscular Aches and Pains; Asthma; Throat Infections; Whooping Cough; Colic; Cramps; Dyspepsia; Flatulence; Labor Pain; Irregular Menstruation; Depression; Frigidity; Impotence; Migraine; Nervous Tension; Stress Related Conditions. Key Qualities: Relaxing; Rejuvenating; Balancing; Inspiring; sedative; Revitalizing; Aphrodisiac; Intoxicating; Euphoric; Warming.


ST. JOHN'S WORT:

(Hypericum perforatum)

A Druid sacred herb, the Celts passed it through the smoke of the Summer Solstice fire, then wore it in battle for invincibility. This herb has woody-based stems, with pairs of small, balsamic-scented leaves and clusters of lemon-scented, yellow summer flowers. The leaves are used in salads and to flavor liqueurs. Extract of the flowering tops is antiviral, astringent, and sedative; it treats inflammation, wounds, and diarrhea. Taken internally, it calms nerves and treats depression. It is under research for AIDS treatment. The flowers yield yellow and red dyes.
The herb is teh part used for lung problems, bladder complaints, diarrhea, dysentery, depression, hemorrhages, and jaundice. Steep two teaspoons of the herb per cup of water for twenty minutes. Take one-half cup in the morning and one-half cup at bed time. Bedwetting is helped by a nightly cup of the tea. The oil and fomentation are applied externally the injuries, especially when nerve endings are involved (i.e. fingers and toes) and to soften tumors and caked breasts.
To make the oil, cover the flowers with good cold-pressed olive oil and leave the sealedc preparation in the hot sun for twenty-one days or until it becomes a rich red. The oil is excellent for massages, as it affects the spine directly. Varicose veins, mild burns, inflammations, neuralgia, and rheumatism are helped by a poultice of it.
CAUTION: Malignant tumors must be treated with care. Never rub or massage a malignant growth, as cells may become detached and travel to other parts of the body.
Parts Used:
Flower, leaf, and stem
Magical Uses:
The Welsh called this plant "leaf of the blessed." It was understood to be an idea combination of water and fire, the ultimate healing essence. Fire symbolized the fruitful light-filled forces of summer, and water the gathering and settling forces of the dark season. Midsummer was the time of balance between these forces of light and dark. Burn at Litha to send away negativity, wear for invincibility, health and willpower. Gather at Litha or on a Friday and worn it will keep mental illness at bay and also cure melancholy. When placed in a jar and hung by a window, St. John's Wrote protects against thunderbolts, fire and evil spirits. Both flowers and leaves are used for this purpose.
At one time St. John's Wort was held to the mouth of accused Witches to attempt to force them to confess.


SANDALWOOD:

(Santalum album)

Sandalwood is one of the most valuable woods in the world. All parts yields Sandalwood oil, particularly the heartwood and the roots, which yield about 6 percent essential oil. Recorded in Ayuvedic medicine and wiccan embalming, the oil is now used as an inhalant for its expectorant and sedative effect on coughs and as a powerful antiseptic for lung and urinary tract infections. Sandalwood makes a popular incense, as its calming effect aids meditation. It is commonly used for funeral pyres in India, where devotees believe the scent protects places from evil spirits.
The fragrant heartwood is a classic for bladder infections. It is taken to help in the passing of stones, in kidney inflammations, and in prostatitis. The oil is cooling to the body and useful for fevers and infections when used as a massage. The scent is calming to the mind. Sandalwood has been used intermally for chronic bronchitis and to treat gonorrhea and the urethral discharge that results. Simmer one teaspoon of the wood per cup of water for twenty minutes, and take up to two cups a day in quarter-cup doses.
Parts Used:
Heartwood
Magical Uses:
Lower grades of Sandalwood (light colored with little scent) are not recommended to use in magic. Sandalwood powder is burned during protection, healing and exorcism spells. When mixed with lavender it makes an incense designed to conjure spirits. This fragrant wood possesses very high spiritual vibrations and is mixed with Frankincense and burned at seances and Full Moon rituals. Powdered sandalwood can be scattered about a place to clear it of negativity. Sandalwood beads are protective and promote a spiritual awareness when worn. Sandalwood oil placed on the forehead aids in focusing the mind. The scent opens the highest spiritual centers and so makes an appropriate incense for rituals, exorcisms, and healings. The scents of frankincense and sandalwood have some of the highest vibrations inherent in any plant. They will resonate with aspects of ourselves or with Devic/Angelic beings of the highest order. Rose is another herb held to have that frequency, thus attracting or eliciting the highest spiritual vibrations from within ourselves and the cosmos. Sandalwood is used as an incense base for: Protection; Healing; Exorcise; Spirituality; Wishes; Full Moon Esbats; Wards Negativity; Astral Projection; Reincarnation; Spirit Offering.
Aromatherapy Uses:
Acne; Dry, Cracked, Chapped Skin; After Shave; Greasy Skin; Moisturizer; Bronchitis; Catarrh; Coughs (dry, persistent); Laryngitis; Sore Throat; Diarrhea; Nausea; Cystitis; Depression; Insomnia; Nervous Tension; Stress Related Conditions. Key Qualities: Aphrodisiac, Soothing; Relaxing; Uplifting; Purifying; Warming; Grounding; Opening; Elevating; Sedative.


SPEARMINT:

(Mentha spicata)

Also called Garden Mint, Our Lady's Mint, Sage of Bethlehem, Erba Santa Maria and Lamb Mint. Spearmint is the most generally cultivated of the culinary mints. The leaves are almost or completely stalkless, lance-shaped bright-green and hairless. Mice hate the smell of mint and will avoid any place where the herb is scattered.
Magical Uses: Spearmint is used in all healing applications, especially in aiding lung diseases. Smelled, spearmint increases and sharpens mental powers. For protection while asleep, stuff a pillow or mattress with spearmint.
Aromatherapy Uses: See Mint


STAR ANISE:

(Illicium verum)

All parts of this small, evergreen tree are aromatic; the smooth, gray-white bark, narrow to elliptic shiney green leaves; solitary yellow flowers; and glossy brown seeds. The distinctive seeds and pods sre used as a spice in Asian cookery, notably as an ingredient of Chinese five-spice powder. The fruits and foliage yield an essential oil, used as a substitute anise seed flavoring, or, medicinally to relieve chest complaints, rheumatism, and flatulence. The oil appears in soaps, hair oils, and Asian perfumes.
Chew the seeds after a meal to help the digestion. Simmer the seeds to make a tea for colic and rheumatic complaints. Steep one teaspoon of the crushed seed in one cup of boiled water for twenty minutes and take up to two cups a day. Often added to other brews to improve taste, the tea of the seed will help cramps and nausea, promote menstruation, and increase breast milk. It also relieves insomnia. The seeds are simmered into salves for scabies and lice. The oil is a stomach tonic. The seeds can be tinctured in brandy (rather than the usual vodka, whiskey, or grain alcohol) with some lemon peel; the dose is one-fourth to one-half teaspoon.
Parts Used:
Seed
Magical Uses:
The powdered bark is used as an incense in Japanese temples. The tree is planted by the Japanese around temples and on graves as an herb of consecration and protection. The seeds are burned as incense to increase psychic powers, and are also worn as beads for the same purpose. Sometimes star anise is placed on the altar to give it power; one is placed to each of the four directions. It is also carried as a general luck-bringer, and the seeds make excellent pendulums. The tree is often grown near Buddist temples where it is revered.
Aromatherapy Uses:
Couldn't find any reference to it's use in Aromatherapy, though it is widely used in homeopathy.


SUNFLOWER:

(Helianthus annuus)

This fast-growing annual has a thik, tall, hairy stem, heart-shaped leaves, and large yellow flower heads in late summer. The nutritious seeds are eaten raw, roasted, and ground into meal or nut butter and were used by Native American warriors as "energy cakes." The flower buds give a yellow dye and are cooked like artichokes. The pressed seeds yield an all-purpose oil with culinary, cosmetic, and industrial uses. Medicinally, the seeds are used as a diuretic and expectorant and treat coughs, dysentery, and kidney inflammation. The root is a laxative and treats stomach pan. The stem pith yields potash and fibers for textiles and paper, and its cellular lightness is used for microscope slide mounts. The seed heads provide food for birds in winter.
Parts Used:
flower, leaves, stalk, root and seeds
Magical Uses:
In Aztec temples of the sun, priestesses carried sunflowers and wore them as crowns. As sun sumbols, these flowers symbolize the healthy ego, the wisdom, and the fertility of the solar logos. Sunflower seeds are eaten by women who wish to concieve. To protect yourself against smallpox wear sunflower seeds around the neck, either in a bag or strung like beads.
If you cut a sunflower at sunset while making a wish, the wish will come true before another sunset - as long as the wish isn't too grand.
Sleeping with a sunflower under the bed allows you to know the truth in any matter.
If you wish to become virtuous, anoint yourself with juice pressed from the stems of the sunflower.
Sunflowers growing in the garden guard it against pests and grant the best of luck to the gardener.

Culpeper/Grieve

Sabadilla

Botanical: Veratrum sabadilla
Family: N.O. Liliaceae
Description
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Dosage
Poisonous, if any, with Antidotes
---Synonyms---
Cevadilla. Schoenocaulon officinale. Melanthium sabadilla. Veratrum officinale. Helonias officinalis. Sabadilla officinarum. Asagraea officinalis. Sabadillermer.
---Parts Used---Seeds, dried fruit.
---Habitat---
Southern North America, Guatemala and Venezuela.
---Description---
The name Schcenocaulon indicates the habit of the scape, meaning 'a rush' and 'a stem.' The name Asagrcea commemorates Professor Asa Gray of Harvard University, the most distinguished of living American botanists. It is not quite certain whether the seeds are obtained from the Veratrum Sabadilla, a plant 3 or 4 feet high, or from the V. officinale, differing slightly in appearance and construction. The seeds are black, shining, flat, shrivelled and winged, odourless, with a bitter, acrid, persistent and disagreeable taste, the pale grey, amorphous powder being errhine and violently sternutatory. The seeds were known in Europe as early as 1752, but officially only as the source of veratrine.
---Constituents---
Sabadilla contains several alkaloids, the most important being Cevadine, yielding cevine on hydrolysis; Veratrine, obtained from the syrupy liquor from which the cevadine has crystallized; and Cevadilline or Sabadillie, obtained after the extraction of the veratrine with ether.]
Two other alkaloids have been isolated: Sabadine, which is less sternutatory than veratrine, and Sabadinine, which is not sternutatory. Sabadilla yields about 0.3 per cent of veratrine. The seeds also contain veratric acid, cevadic acid, fat and resin.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Sabadilla, or cevadilla, is an acrid, drastic emeto-cathartic, in overdoses capable of producing fatal results. Cevine was found to be less poisonous than cevadine, though producing similar symptoms. The powdered seeds have been used as a vermifuge, and to destroy vermin in the hair, being the principal ingredient of the pulvis capucinorum used in Europe. Cevadilla was formerly used internally as an anthelmintic, and in rheumatic and neuralgic affections. The highly poisonous veratria, which is derived from it, has been given in minute doses internally in acute rheumatism and gout, and in some inflammatory diseases, but it must be used with caution. Veratria is useful as an ointment in rheumatism and neuralgia, but is regarded as being less valuable than aconite. The ointment is also employed for the destruction of pedicule. Applied to unbroken skin it produces tingling and numbness, followed by coldness and anaesthesia. Given subcutaneously, it causes violent pain and irritation, in addition to the symptoms following an internal dose. The principal reason against its internal use is its powerful action on the heart, the contractions of the organ becoming fewer and longer until the heart stops in systole.
---Dosage---
From 5 to 20 grains as a taenicide. Ointment veratrine, B.P.
---Poisonous, if any, with Antidotes---
Large doses paralyse heart action and respiration, and its use is so dangerous that it is scarcely ever taken internally.



Saflower

Botanical: Carthamus tinctorius
Common: N.O. Compositae
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonyms---
Dyer's Saffron. American Saffron. Fake Saffron. Flores Carthami. Bastard Saffron.
---Part Used---
Flowers.
This plant is not in any way related to Saffron, though the flowers are used similarly. (It largely replaces the use of Saffron owing to the large price of the latter. - EDITOR).
The Safflower plant, known in India as Koosumbha and in China as Hoang-tchi, is extensively cultivated in India, China and other parts of Asia, also in Egypt and Southern Europe; but its native country is unknown. It grows about 2 to 3 feet high, with a stiff, upright whitish stem, branching near the top; and has oval, spiny, sharp-pointed leaves, their bases half-clasping the stem. Its fruits are about the size of barleycorns, somewhat four-sided, white and shining, like little shells.
Safflower contains two coloring matters, yellow and red, the latter being most valued. It is chiefly used for dyeing silk, affording various shades of rose and scarlet. Mixed with finely-powdered talc it forms the wellknown substance called 'rouge.' Another common use of Safflower is in adulterating Saffron. The seeds yield an oil much used in India for burning and for culinary purposes.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
The flowers are the part used, their action is laxative and diaphoretic. In domestic practice these flowers are used in children's and infants' complaints - measles, fevers, and eruptive skin eomplaints. An infusion is made of 1/2 OZ. of the flowers to a pint of boiling water taken warm to produce diaphorasis.


Saffron

Botanical: Crocus sativus
Family: N.O. Iridaceae
Cultivation
Medicinal Action and Uses
Preparations
---Synonyms---
Crocus. Karcom. Krokos.
(Arabian) Zaffer.
---Part Used---Flower pistils.
The true Saffron is a low ornamental plant with grass-like leaves and large lily-shaped flowers, inhabiting the European continent, and frequently cultivated for the sake of the yellow stigmas, which are the part used in medicine, in domestic economy and in the arts.
Saffron is the Karcom of the Hebrews (Song of Solomon iv. 14). The plant was also known to the ancient Greeks and Romans.
In the course of an inquest held in 1921 at Poplar (London, E.), a medical witness testified to the prevalence of a domestic custom of giving Saffron 'tea' flavoured with brandy in cases of measles.
The Emplastrum Oxycroceum of the Edinburgh Pharmacopceia contained, in olden days, a large proportion of Saffron (from which - and vinegar - it derived its name), with the addition of colophony, gum ammoniacum, mastic and vinegar.
Saffron was imported to England from the East many centuries ago, and was once grown extensively round Saffron Walden, in Essex. One smoke-pervaded spot in the heart of London still bears the name of 'Saffron Hill.' It is a somewhat expensive product, the economic value residing in the stigmas of the flower, of which it is said 60,000 are needed to make 1 lb. of Saffron.
According to Dr. Pereira, a grain of good commercial Saffron contains the stigmas and styles of nine flowers, and consequently 4,320 flowers are required to yield 1 OZ. of Saffron! English-grown Saffron is now very seldom met with in commerce; the best comes from Spain, while that imported from France is usually considered of second-rate quality. The quantity imported has been computed at between 5,000 and 20,000 lb. weight per annum. Saffron has a bitter taste and a penetrating aromatic odour.
Lately, Persian Saffron has made its appearance in the English market - although of rare occurrence - owing to the high and increasing price of the European article. It has long been known as a wild product of Persia, and was formerly sent from that country and Kashmir to Bombay, but was driven out of the market by the superior Saffrons of Europe.
Saffron was cultivated at Derbena and Ispahan in Persia in the tenth century. It differs a little in appearance from European Saffron in being rather more slender and in the unbranched part of the style being paler, but the characteristic odour is remarkably strong. On immersion in water it does not seem to give out so much color as European Saffron, and could only compete with it if the price enabled it to be used in sufficient quantity to give a color equal to that used in Europe. The wild Persian crocus is the variety Hausknechtii, which occurs on the Delechani and Sangur mountains between Kermanshah and Hamada in West Persia, and at Karput in Kurdistan, which is the most easterly point where any form of Crocus sativus occurs in the wild state.
It may be mentioned that five forms of C. sativus are known in the wild state. (1) Var. Orsinii, which may be regarded as the Italian form and is found at Ascoli, the most westerly point from which any wild form of the plant is recorded. It nearly resembles the cultivated type in purplish color and habit, but the stigmas are erect and do not hang out between the segments of the perianth, as in the cultivated plant. (2) Var. Cartwrightianus, a Greek form common in the Piraeus, in which the flowers are smaller and paler, but the stigma is erect and longer than the stamens, as in the cultivated plant. (3) Var. Pallasii, a still smaller form with pale flowers and smaller corms, the stigmas being nearly always shorter than the stamens. It is the commonest of the wild forms, extending through Bulgaria to the Crimea, and reaching Italy on the west. (4) Var. Elwesii. This is similar to the last, but has short stigmas and larger flowers, and occurs in Asia Minor. (5) Var. Hausknechtii. This, like Nos. 1 and 2, has long stigmas, but the perianth is usually white; it may be regarded as the Persian form, extending from West Persia to Kurdistan. But records of the collection of Saffron from the wild plants are wanting. Only Nos. 1, 2 and 5 are fitted for collection in having long stigmas, but the cultivated purple-flowered form with its stigmas hanging outside the flower would naturally be the easiest to collect, and it would only be the wild varieties from Italy, Greece and Persia that could be utilized. There is no doubt that the cultivated form is also grown from France to Kashmir, whence it was introduced from Persia, and also that it is largely cultivated in Burma (near the Youngaline River at Kuzeih, about ten miles from Pahun) and in China. But it is not always a paying crop, as it does not produce seeds unless cross-fertilized, and the corms are subject to disease if grown in the same ground too long.
In these circumstances it is quite likely that the Persian Saffron at present offered in commerce may have been derived from the wild Persian form, var. Hausknechtii; at all events, the pale, almost white, lower part of the styles gives it a characteristic appearance.
These details concerning the different forms are largely taken from the Chemist and Druggist of March 29, 1924.
---Cultivation---
The corms are planted in rows, 6 inches apart from corm to corm, in a well-pulverized soil, neither poor nor a very stiff clay, and in the month of July. The flowers are collected in September and the yellow stigmas and part of the style are picked out and dried on a kiln between layers of paper and under the pressure of a thick board, to form the mass into cakes. Two pounds of dried cake is the average crop of an - acre after the first planting, and 24 lb. for the next two years. After the third crop the roots are taken up, divided and transplanted.
The Arabs, who introduced the cultivation of the Saffron Crocus into Spain as an article of commerce, bequeathed to us its modern title of Zaffer, or 'Saffron,' but the Greeks and Romans called it Krokos and Karkom respectively.
To the nations of Eastern Asia, its yellow dye was the perfection of beauty, and its odour a perfect ambrosia. 'Saffron yellow shoes formed part of the dress of the Persian Kings,' says Professor Hehn. Greek myths and poetry exhibit an extravagant admiration of the color and perfume. Homer sings 'the Saffron morn'; gods and goddesses, heroes and nymphs and vestals, are clothed in robes of Saffron hue. The Saffron of Lydia, Cilicia and Cyrene was much prized. The scent was valued as much as the dye; saffron water was sprinkled on the benches of the theatre, the floors of banqueting-halls were strewn with crocus leaves, and cushions were stuffed with it.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue. Used as a diaphoretic for children and for chronic haemorrhage of the uterus in adults.
---Preparations---Powdered Saffron: Tincture, B.P., 5 to 15 drops.


Saffron, Meadow

POISON!
Botanical: Colchicum autumnale (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Liliaceae
Description
Cultivation
Medicinal Action and Uses
Preparations
---Synonym---
Naked Ladies.
---Parts Used---
Root, seeds.
---Habitat---
Grows wild in meadows, especially on limestone.
---Description---
It has lanceolate leaves, dark green, glabrous, often a foot long. Flowers light purple or white, like crocus but for their six stamens; the ovaries remain underground until the spring after flowering, when they are borne up by the elongating peduncles and ripen. It flowers in September and October. The leaves and fruit are poisonous to cattle.
The root is called a corm, from which in autumn the light-purplish mottled flowers arise.
---Cultivation---
Requires light, sandy loam, enriched with decayed manure or leafmould. Plant the bulbs 3 inches deep and 3 inches apart in July or August, in moist beds or rockeries, shrubbery, borders or lawns near shade of trees. The foliage dies down in June and July, and does not reappear until after the plant has flowered. It may also be propagated by seeds sown 1/8 inch deep in a bed of fine soil outdoors in August or September, or in pans or boxes of similar soil in cold frame at the same time, transplanting seedlings 3 inches apart when two years old; or by division of bulbs in August. Seedling bulbs do not flower till four or five years old.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
The Colchicum is valued for its medicinal properties. The parts used are the root and seeds, these being anti-rheumatic, cathartic, and emetic. Its reputation rests largely upon its value in acute gouty and rheumatic complaints. It is mostly used in connexion with some alkaline diuretic; also in pill form. Overdoses cause violent purging, etc.
The active principle is said to be an alkaline substance of a very poisonous nature called Colchinine. It is acrid, sedative, and acts upon all the secreting organs, particularly the bowels and kidneys. It is apt to cause undue depression, and in large doses acts as an irritant poison. Dr. Lindley relates the case of a woman who was poisoned by the sprouts of Colchicum, which had been thrown away in Covent Garden Market and which she mistook for onions.
The Hermodactyls of the Arabians, formerly celebrated for soothing pains in the joints, are said to be this plant.
The corm or root is usually sold in transverse slices, notched on one side and somewhat reniform in outline, white and starchy internally, about 1/8 inch thick, and varying from 3/4 to 1 inch in diameter. Taste sweetish, then bitter and acrid. Odour radish-like in fresh root, but lost in drying.
---Preparations---
Powdered root, 2 to 5 grains. Extract, B.P., 1/4 to 1 grain. Fluid extract (root), 1 to 10 drops. Fluid extract (seed), U.S.P., 1 to 10 drops. Tincture, B.P., 5 to 15 drops. Wine, B.P., 10 to 30 drops. Acetic solid extract, 1/4 to 1 grain.


Sages
Sage, Common
Sage, Clary
Sage, Vervain



SAGE, COMMON

Botanical: Salvia officinalis (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Labiatae
Basic Description
Habitat
Cultivation
Description
Chemical Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Culinary Recipes
Medicinal Recipes
---Synonyms---
(Old English) Sawge. Garden Sage. Red Sage. Broad-leaved White Sage. Narrow-leaved White Sage. Salvia salvatrix.
---Parts Used---
Leaves, whole herb.
The Common Sage, the familiar plant of the kitchen garden, is an evergreen undershrub, not a native of these islands, its natural habitat being the northern shores of the Mediterranean. It has been cultivated for culinary and medicinal purposes for many centuries in England, France and Germany, being sufficiently hardy to stand any ordinary winter outside. Gerard mentions it as being in 1597 a well-known herb in English gardens, several varieties growing in his own garden at Holborn.
---Basic Description---
Sage generally grows about a foot or more high, with wiry stems. The leaves are set in pairs on the stem and are 1 1/2 to 2 inches long, stalked, oblong, rounded at the ends, finely wrinkled by a strongly-marked network of veins on both sides, greyish-green in color, softly hairy and beneath glandular. The flowers are in whorls, purplish and the corollas lipped. They blossom in August. All parts of the plant have a strong, scented odour and a warm, bitter, somewhat astringent taste, due to the volatile oil contained in the tissues.
---Habitat---
Sage is found in its natural wild condition from Spain along the Mediterranean coast up to and including the east side of the Adriatic; it grows in profusion on the mountains and hills in Croatia and Dalmatia, and on the islands of Veglia and Cherso in Quarnero Gulf, being found mostly where there is a limestone formation with very little soil. When wild it is much like the common garden Sage, though more shrubby in appearance and has a more penetrating odour, being more spicy and astringent than the cultivated plant. The best kind, it is stated, grows on the islands of Veglia and Cherso, near Fiume, where the surrounding district is known as the Sage region. The collection of Sage forms an important cottage industry in Dalmatia. During its blooming season, moreover, the bees gather the nectar and genuine Sage honey commands there the highest price, owing to its flavour.
In cultivation, Sage is a very variable species, and in gardens varieties may be found with narrower leaves, crisped, red, or variegated leaves and smaller or white flowers. The form of the calyx teeth also varies, and the tube of the corolla is sometimes much longer. The two usually absent upper stamens are sometimes present in very small-sterile hooks. The Red Sage and the Broad-leaved variety of the White (or Green) Sage - both of which are used and have been proved to be the best for medical purposes - and the narrow-leaved White Sage, which is best for culinary purposes as a seasoning, are classed merely as varieties of Salvza officinalis, not as separate species. There is a variety called Spanish, or Lavender-leaved Sage and another called Wormwood Sage, which is very frequent.
A Spanish variety, called S. Candelabrum, is a hardy perennial, the upper lip of its flower greenish yellow, the lower a rich violet, thus presenting a fine contrast.
S. Lyrala and S. urticifolia are well known in North America.
S. hians, a native of Simla, is hardy, and also desirable on account of its showy violet-and-white flowers.
The name of the genus, Salvia, is derived from the Latin salvere, to be saved, in reference to the curative properties of the plant, which was in olden times celebrated as a medicinal herb. This name was corrupted popularly to Sauja and Sauge (the French form), in Old English, 'Sawge,' which has become our present-day name of Sage.
In the United States Pharmacopceia, the leaves are still officially prescribed, as they were formerly in the London Pharrnacopceia, but in Europe generally, Sage is now neglected by the regular medical practitioner, though is still used in domestic medicine. Among the Ancients and throughout the Middle Ages it was in high repute: Cur moriatur homo cui Salvia crescit in horto? ('Why should a man die whilst sage grows in his garden?') has a corresponding English proverb:
'He that would live for aye,
Must eat Sage in May.'
The herb is sometimes spoken of as S. salvatrix ('Sage the Saviour'). An old tradition recommends that Rue shall be planted among the Sage, so as to keep away noxious toads from the valued and cherished plants. It was held that this plant would thrive or wither, just as the owner's business prospered or failed, and in Bucks, another tradition maintained that the wife rules when Sage grows vigorously in the garden.
In the Jura district of France, in Franche-Comte, the herb is supposed to mitigate grief, mental and bodily, and Pepys in his Diary says: 'Between Gosport and Southampton we observed a little churchyard where it was customary to sow all the graves with Sage.'
The following is a translation of an old French saying:
'Sage helps the nerves and by its powerful might
Palsy is cured and fever put to flight,'
and Gerard says:
'Sage is singularly good for the head and brain, it quickeneth the senses and memory, strengtheneth the sinews, restoreth health to those that have the palsy, and taketh away shakey trembling of the members.'
He shared the popular belief that it was efficacious against the bitings of serpents, and says:
'No man need to doubt of the wholesomeness of Sage Ale, being brewed as it should be with Sage, Betony, Scabious, Spikenard, Squinnette (Squinancywort) and Fennell Seed.'
Many kinds of Sage have been used as substitutes for tea, the Chinese having been said to prefer Sage Tea to their own native product, at one time bartering for it with the Dutch and giving thrice the quantity of their choicest tea in exchange. It is recorded that George Whitfield, when at Oxford in 1733, lived wholesomely, if sparingly, on a diet of Sage Tea, sugar and coarse bread. Balsamic Sage, S. grandiflora, a broad-leaved Sage with many-flowered whorls of blossoms, used to be preferred to all others for making tea. An infusion of Speedwell (Veronica officinalis), Sage and Wood Betony is said to make an excellent beverage for breakfast, as a substitute for tea, Speedwell having somewhat the flavour of Chinese green tea. In Holland the leaves of S. glutinosa, the yellow-flowered Hardy Sage, both flowers and foliage of which exhale a pleasant odour, are used to give flavour to country wines, and a good wine is made by boiling with sugar, the leaves and flowers of another Sage, S. sclarea, the Garden Clary. The latter is known in France as 'Toute bonne' - for its medicinal virtues.
It was formerly thought that Sage used in the making of Cheese improved its flavour, and Gay refers to this in a poem:
'Marbled with Sage, the hardening cheese she pressed.'
Italian peasants eat Sage as a preservative of health, and many other country people eat the leaves with bread and butter, than which, it has been said, there is no better and more wholesome way of taking it.
A species of Sage, S. pomifera, the APPLEBEARING SAGE, of a very peculiar growth, is common on some of the Greek islands. It has firm, fleshy protuberances of about 3/4 inch thickness, swelling out from the branches of the plant and supposed to be produced in the same manner as oak apples, by the puncture of an insect of the Cynips genus. These excrescences are semi-transparent like jelly. They are called Sage Apples, and under that name are to be met with in the markets. They are candied with sugar and made into a kind of sweetmeat and conserve which is regarded by the Greeks as a great delicacy, and is said to possess healing and salutary qualities. It has an agreeable and astringent flavour. This plant is considerably larger than the common Sage of our gardens and its flavour and smell are much more powerful, being more like a mixture of Lavender and Sage. It grows very abundantly in Candia, Syros and Crete, where it attains to the size of a small shrub. The leaves are collected annually, dried and used medicinally as an infusion, the Greeks being particular as to the time and manner in which they are collected, the date being May 1, before sunrise. The infusion produces profuse perspiration, languor, and even faintness if used to excess. There is a smaller Salvia in Greece, the S. Candica, without excrescences.
Another south European species, an annual, S. Horminum, the RED-TOPPED SAGE, has its whorls of flowers terminated by clusters of small purple or red leaves, being for this peculiarity often grown in gardens as an ornamental plant. The leaves and seed of this species, put into the vat, while fermenting, greatly increase the inebriating quality of the liquor. An infusion of the leaves has been considered a good gargle for sore gums, and powdered makes a good snuff.
Certain varieties of Sage seeds are mucilaginous and nutritive, and are used in Mexico by the Indians as food, under the name of Chia.
---Cultivation---
The Garden Sage succeeds best in a warm and rather dry border, but will grow well almost anywhere in ordinary garden soil; it thrives in a situation somewhat shaded from sunshine, but not strictly under trees.
---Description---
It is a hardy plant, but though a perennial, does not last above three or four years without degenerating, so that the plantation should be renewed at least every four years. It is propagated occasionally by seed, but more frequently by cuttings. New plantations are readily made by pulling off the young shoots from three-year-old plants in spring, generally in the latter end of April, as soon as they attain a sufficiency of hardness to enable them to maintain themselves on the moisture of the ground and atmosphere, while the lower extremities are preparing roots. If advantage be taken of any showery weather that may occur, there is little trouble in obtaining any number of plants, which may either be struck in the bed where they are to grow, inserting a foot apart each way, or in some other shady spot whence they may be removed to permanent quarters when rooted. The latter plan is the best when the weather is too bright and sunny to expect Sage to strike well in its ordinary quarters. See the young plants do not suffer from want of water during their first summer, and hoe the rows regularly to induce a bushy growth, nipping off the growing tips if shooting up too tall. Treat the ground with soot and mulch in winter with old manure. Cuttings may also be taken in the autumn, as soon as the plants have ceased flowering.
Sage is also often propagated by layers, in the spring and autumn, the branches of old plants being pegged down on the ground and covered with 1/2 inch of earth. The plant, being like other of the woody-stemmed garden herbs, a 'stem rooter,' each of the stems thus covered will produce quantities of rootlets by just lying in contact with the ground, and can after a time be cut away from the old plant and transplanted to other quarters as a separate plant.
Red Sage is always propagated by layering or by cuttings, as the seed does not produce a red-leaved plant, but reverts back to the original green-leaved type, though efforts are being made to insure the production of a Red Sage that shall set seed and remain true and develop into the red-leaved plant.
Sages backed by late-flowering Orange Lilies go very well together, and being in flower at the same time make an effective grouping. The calyces of Sage flowers remain on the plants well into late summer and give a lovely haze of reddish spikes; the smell of these seeding spikes is very distinct from the smell of the leaves, and much more like that of the Lemon-scented Verbena, pungent, aromatic and most refreshing.
At the present day, by far the largest demand for Sage is for culinary use, and it should pay to grow it in quantity for this purpose as it is little trouble. For this, the White variety, with somewhat pale green leaves should be taken.
In Dalmatia, where the collection of Sage in its wild condition forms an important cottage industry, it is gathered before blooming, the leaves being harvested from May to September, those plucked in midsummer being considered the best. The general opinion is that it should be gathered before the bloom opens, but the Austrian Pharmacopoeia states that it is best when gathered during bloom.
---Chemical Constituents---
The chief constituent of Sage and its active principle is a yellow or greenish-yellow volatile oil (sp. gr. 0.910 to 0.930) with a penetrating odour. Tannin and resin are also present in the leaves, 0.5 to 1.0 per cent of the oil is yielded from the leaves and twigs when fresh, and about three times this quantity when dry.
The Sage oil of commerce is obtained from the herb S. officinalis, and distilled to a considerable extent in Dalmatia and recently in Spain, but from a different species of Salvia. A certain amount of oil is also distilled in Germany. The oil distilled in Dalmatia and in Germany is of typically Sage odour, and is used for flavouring purposes. The botanical origin of Spanish Sage oil is now identified as S. triloba, closely allied to S. officinalis, though probably other species may also be employed. The odour of the Spanish oil more closely resembles that of Spike Lavender than the Sage oil distilled in Germany for flavouring purposes, and is as a rule derived from the wild Dalmatian herb, S. officinalis. The resemblance of the Spanish oil to Spike Lavender oil suggests the possibility of its use for adulterative purposes, and it is an open secret that admixture of the Spanish Sage oil with Spanish Spike Lavender oil does take place to a considerable extent, though this can be detected by chemical analysis. It is closer in character to the oil of S. sclarea, Clary oil, which has a decided lavender odour, although in the oil of S. triloba, the ester percentage does not appear to be as high as in the oil of the S. sclarea variety.
Pure Dalmatian or German Sage oil is soluble in two volumes of 80 per cent alcohol, Spanish Sage oil is soluble in six volumes of 70 per cent alcohol.
Sage oil contains a hydrocarbon called Salvene; pinene and cineol are probably present in small amount, together with borneol, a small quantity of esters, and the ketone thujone, the active principle which confers the power of resisting putrefaction in animal substances. Dextro-camphor is also present in traces. A body has been isolated by certain chemists called Salviol, which is now known to be identical with Thujone.
English distilled Sage oil has been said to contain Cedrene.
S. cypria, a native of the island of Cyprus, yields an essential oil, having a camphoraceous odour and containing about 75 per cent of Eucalyptol.
S. mellifer (syn. Ramona stachyoides) is a labiate plant found in South California, known as BLACK SAGE, with similar constituents, and also traces of formic acid.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Stimulant, as tringent, tonic and carminative. Has beenused in dyspepsia, but is now mostly employed as a condiment. In the United States, where it is still an official medicine, it is in some repute, especially in the form of an infusion, the principal and most valued application of which is as a wash for the cure of affections of the mouth and as a gargle in inflamed sore throat, being excellent for relaxed throat and tonsils, and also for ulcerated throat. The gargle is useful for bleeding gums and to prevent an excessive flow of saliva.
When a more stimulating effect to the throat is desirable, the gargle may be made of equal quantities of vinegar and water, 1/2 pint of hot malt vinegar being poured on 1 OZ. of leaves, adding 1/2 pint of cold water.
The infusion when made for internal use is termed Sage Tea, and can be made simply by pouring 1 pint of boiling water on to 1 OZ. of the dried herb, the dose being from a wineglassful to half a teacupful, as often as required, but the old-fashioned way of making it is more elaborate and the result is a pleasant drink, cooling in fevers, and also a cleanser and purifier of the blood. Half an ounce of fresh Sage leaves, 1 OZ. of sugar, the juice of 1 lemon, or 1/4 OZ. of grated rind, are infused in a quart of boiling water and strained off after half an hour. (In Jamaica the negroes sweeten Sage Tea with lime-juice instead of lemon.)
Sage Tea or infusion of Sage is a valuable agent in the delirium of fevers and in the nervous excitement frequently accompanying brain and nervous diseases and has considerable reputation as a remedy, given in small and oft-repeated doses. It is highly serviceable as a stimulant tonic in debility of the stomach and nervous system and weakness of digestion generally. It was for this reason that the Chinese valued it, giving it the preference to their own tea. It is considered a useful medicine in typhoid fever and beneficial in biliousness and liver complaints, kidney troubles, haemorrhage from the lungs or stomach, for colds in the head as well as sore throat and quinsy and measles, for pains in the joints, lethargy and palsy. It will check excessive perspiration in phthisis cases, and is useful as an emmenagogue. A cup of the strong infusion will be found good to relieve nervous headache.
The infusion made strong, without the lemons and sugar, is an excellent lotion for ulcers and to heal raw abrasions of the skin. It has also been popularly used as an application to the scalp, to darken the hair.
The fresh leaves, rubbed on the teeth, will cleanse them and strengthen the gums. Sage is a common ingredient in tooth-powders.
The volatile oil is said to be a violent epileptiform convulsant, resembling the essential oils of absinthe and nutmeg. When smelt for some time it is said to cause a sort of intoxication and giddiness. It is sometimes prescribed in doses of 1 to 3 drops, and used for removing heavy collections of mucus from the respiratory organs. It is a useful ingredient in embrocations for rheumatism.
In cases where heat is required, Sage has been considered valuable when applied externally in bags, as a poultice and fomentation.
In Sussex, at one time, to munch Sage leaves on nine consecutive mornings, whilst fasting, was a country cure for ague, and the dried leaves have been smoked in pipes as a remedy for asthma.
In the region where Sage grows wild, its leaves are boiled in vinegar and used as a tonic.
Among many uses of the herb, Culpepper says that it is:
'Good for diseases of the liver and to make blood. A decoction of the leaves and branches of Sage made and drunk, saith Dioscorides, provokes urine and causeth the hair to become black. It stayeth the bleeding of wounds and cleaneth ulcers and sores. Three spoonsful of the juice of Sage taken fasting with a little honey arrests spitting or vomiting of blood in consumption. It is profitable for all pains in the head coming of cold rheumatic humours, as also for all pains in the joints, whether inwardly or outwardly. The juice of Sage in warm water cureth hoarseness and cough. Pliny saith it cureth stinging and biting serpents. Sage is of excellent use to help the memory, warming and quickening the senses. The juice of Sage drunk with vinegar hath been of use in the time of the plague at all times. Gargles are made with Sage, Rosemary, Honeysuckles and Plantains, boiled in wine or water with some honey or alum put thereto, to wash sore mouths and throats, as need requireth. It is very good for stitch or pains in the sides coming of wind, if the place be fomented warm with the decoction in wine and the herb also, after boiling, be laid warm thereto.'

CULINARY RECIPES
Sage and Onion stuffing for ducks, geese and pork enables the stomach to digest the rich food.
From Warner's Ancient Cookery, 1791, for 'Sawgeat,' Sawge. Sawgeat
'Take Pork and seeth (boil) it wel and grinde it smale and medle (mingle) it with ayren (eggs) and ygrated (grated) brede (bread). Do thereto salt sprinkled and saffron. Take a close litull ball of it in foiles (leaves) of Sawge. Wet it with a bator (batter) of ayren, fry and serve forth.'
From The Cook's Oracle, 1821:

'Sage and Onion Sauce
'Chop very fine an ounce of onion and 1/2 OZ. of green Sage leaves, put them in a stamper with 4 spoonsful of water, simmer gently for 10 minutes, then put in a teaspoonful of pepper and salt and 1 OZ. of fine breadcrumbs. Mix well together, then pour to it 1/4 pint of Broth, Gravy or Melted Butter, stir well together and simmer a few minutes longer. This is a relishing sauce for Roast Pork, Geese or Duck, or with Green Peas on Maigre Days.'
The same book gives:

'A Relish for Roast Pork. or Goose
'2 OZ. of leaves of Green Sage, an ounce of fresh lemon peel, pared thin, same of salt, minced shallot and 1/2 drachm of Cayenne pepper, ditto of citric acid, steeped for a fortnight in a pint of claret. Shake it well every day; let it stand a day to settle and decant the clear liquid. Bottle it and cork it close. Use a tablespoonful or more in 1/4 pint of gravy or melted butter.'
Another modern Sage Sauce, excellent with Roast Pork is:

Sagina Sauce
Take 6 large Sage leaves, 2 onions, 1 teaspoonful of flour, 1 teaspoonful of vinegar, butter the size of a walnut, salt, pepper, and 1/2 pint of good, brown gravy. Scald the Sage leaves and chop them with the onions to a mincemeat. Put them in a stewpan with the butter, sprinkle in the flour, cover close and steam 10 minutes. Then add the vinegar, gravy and seasoning and simmer half an hour.
From Walsh's Manual of Domestic Economy, 1857:

'Sage Cheese
'Bruise the tops of young red Sage in a mortar with some leaves of spinach and squeeze the juice; mix it with the rennet in the milk, more or less, according to the preferred color and taste. When the curd is come, break it gently and put it in with the skimmer till it is pressed two inches above the vat. Press it 8 or 10 hours. Salt it and turn every day.'


MEDICINAL RECIPES

A Gargle for a Sore Throat
A small glass of port wine, a tablespoonful of Chile vinegar, 6 Sage leaves, and a dessertspoonful of honey; simmer together on the fire for 5 minutes.

A Cure for Sprains
Bruise a handful of Sage leaves and boil them in a gill of vinegar for 5 minutes; apply this in a folded napkin as hot as it can be borne to the part affected.



SAGE, CLARY

Botanical: Salvia sclarea
Family: N.O. Labiatae
Description
Cultivation
Parts Used
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonyms---
Clary. Horminum. Gallitricum. Clear Eye. See Bright.
(German) Muskateller Salbei.
---Parts Used---
Herb, leaves, seeds.
---Habitat---
The Common Clary, like the Garden Sage, is not a native of Great Britain, having first been introduced into English cultivation in the year 1562. It is a native of Syria, Italy, southern France and Switzerland, but will thrive well upon almost any soil that is not too wet, though it will frequently rot upon moist ground in the winter.
Gerard describes and figures several varieties of Clary, under the names of Horminum and Gallitricum. He describes it as growing 'in divers barren places almost in every country, especially in the fields of Holborne neare unto Grayes Inne . . . and at the end of Chelsea.'
Salmon, in 1710, in The English Herbal, gives a number of varieties of the Garden Clary, which he calls Horminum Hortense, in distinction to H. Sylvestre, the Wild Clary, subdividing it into the Common Clary (H. commune), the True Garden Clary of Dioscorides (H. sativum verum Dioscorides), the Yellow Clary (Calus Jovis), and the Small or German Clary (H. humile Germanicum or Gallitricum alterum Gerardi). This last variety being termed Gerardi, indicates that Gerard classified this species when it was first brought over from the Continent, evidently taking great pains to trace its history, giving in his Herbal its Greek name and its various Latin ones. That the Clary was known in ancient times is shown by the second variety, the True Garden Clary, being termed Dioscoridis.
Another variety of Horminum is given in The Treasury of Botany, called H. pyrenaicum, and described as 'a tufted perennial herb, with numerous root-leaves, simple almost leafless stems and purplish-blue flowers which grow in whorls of six, all turned the same way. It is a native of the temperate parts of Europe, on the mountains.'
---Description---
The Common Garden Clary is a biennial plant, its square, brownish stems growing 2 to 3 feet high, hairy and with few branches. The leaves are arranged in pairs, almost stalkless and are almost as large as the hand, oblong and heart-shaped, wrinkled, irregularly toothed at the margins and covered with velvety hairs. The flowers are in a long, loose, terminal spike, on which they are set in whorls. The lipped corollas, similar to the Garden Sage, but smaller, are of a pale blue or white. The flowers are interspersed with large colored, membraneous bracts, longer than the spiny calyx. Both corollas and bracts are generally variegated with pale purple and yellowish-white. The seeds are blackish brown, 'contained in long, toothed husks,' as an old writer describes the calyx. The whole plant possesses a very strong, aromatic scent, somewhat resembling that of Tolu while the taste is also aromatic, warm and sightly bitter.
According to Ettmueller, this herb was first brought into use by the wine merchants of Germany, who employed it as an adulterant, infusing it with Elder flowers, and then adding the liquid to the Rhenish wine, which converted it into the likeness of Muscatel. It is still called in Germany Muskateller Salbei (Muscatel Sage).
Waller (1822) states it was also employed in this country as a substitute for Hops, for sophisticating beer, communicating considerable bitterness and intoxicating property, which produced an effect of insane exhilaration of spirits, succeeded by severe headache. Lobel says:
'Some brewers of Ale and Beere doe put it into their drinke to make it more heady, fit to please drunkards, who thereby, according to their several dispositions, become either dead drunke, or foolish drunke, or madde drunke.'
In some parts of the country a wine has been made from the herb in flower, boiled with sugar, which has a flavour not unlike Frontiniac.
The English name Clary originates in the Latin name sclarea, a word derived from clarus (clear). Clary was gradually modified into 'Clear Eye,' one of its popular names, and from the fact that the seeds have been used for clearing the sight.
Sometimes we find the plant not only called 'Clear Eye,' but also 'See Bright' and even 'Eyebright,' though this name belongs to another plant - Euphrasia officinalis.
---Cultivation---
Clary is propagated by seed, which should be sown in spring. When fit to move, the seedlings should be transplanted to an open spot of ground, a foot apart each way, if required in large quantities. After the plants have taken root, they will require no further care but to keep them free of weeds. The winter and spring following, the leaves will be in perfection. As the plant is a biennial only, dying off the second summer, after it has ripened seeds, there should be young plants annually raised for use.
---Parts Used---
The herb and leaves, used both fresh and dry, dried in the same manner as the Garden Sage. Formerly the root was used, dry, in domestic medicine, and also the seeds.
---Constituents---
Salvia sclarea yields an oil with a highly aromatic odour, resembling that of ambergris. It is known commercially as Clary oil, or Muscatel Sage, and is largely used as a fixer of perfumes. Pinene, cineol and linalol have been isolated from this oil.
French oil of Clary has a specific gravity of 0.895 to 0.930, and is soluble in two volumes of 80 per cent alcohol. German oil of Clary has a specific gravity of 0.910 to 0.960, and is soluble in two volumes of 90 per cent alcohol.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Antispasmodic, balsamic, carminative, tonic, aromatic, aperitive, astringent, and pectoral.
The plant has been used, both fresh and dry, either alone or with other herbs, as an infusion or a tincture.
It has mostly been employed in disordered states of the digestion, as a stomachic, and has also proved useful in kidney diseases.
For violent cases of hysteria or wind colic, a spirituous tincture has been found of use, made by macerating in warm water for 14 days, 2 OZ. of dried Clary leaves and flowers, 1 OZ. of Chamomile flowers, 1/2 ox. bruised Avens root, 2 drachms of bruised Caraway and Coriander seeds, and 3 drachms of bruised Burdock seeds, adding 2 pints of proof spirit, then filtering and diluting with double quantity of water - a wineglassful being the dose.
Culpepper says:
'For tumours, swellings, etc., make a mucilage of the seeds and apply to the spot. This will also draw splinters and thorns out of the flesh.... For hot inflammation and boils before they rupture, use a salve made of the leaves boiled with hot vinegar, honey being added later till the required consistency is obtained.' He recommends a powder of the dry roots taken as snuff to relieve headache, and 'the fresh leaves, fried in butter, first dipped in a batter of flour, egges, and a little milke, serve as a dish to the table that is not unpleasant to any and exceedingly profitable.'
The juice of the herb drunk in ale and beer, as well as the ordinary infusion, has been recommended as very helpful in all women's diseases and ailments.
In Jamaica, where the plant is found, it was much in use among the negroes, who considered it cooling and cleansing for ulcers, and also used it for inflammations of the eyes. A decoction of the leaves boiled in coco-nut oil was used by them to cure the stings of scorpions. Clary and a Jamaican species of Vervain form two of the ingredients of an aromatic warm bath sometimes prescribed there with benefit.



SAGE, VERVAIN

Botanical: Salvia Verbenaca
Family: N.O. Labiatae
Description
Medicinal Action and Uses
Other Species
---Synonyms---
Wild English Clary. Christ's Eye. Oculus Christi.
---Parts Used---
Leaves, seeds.
The Wild English Clary, or Vervain Sage, is a native of all parts of Europe and not uncommon in England in dry pastures and on roadsides, banks and waste ground, especially near the sea, or on chalky soil. It is a smaller plant than the Garden Clary, but its medicinal virtues are rather more powerful.
---Description---
The perennial root is woody, thicky and long, the stem 1 to 2 feet high, erect with the leaves in distinct pairs, the lower shortly stalked, and the upper ones stalkless. The radical leaves lie in a rosette and have foot-stalks 1 1/2 to 4 inches long, their blades about the same length, oblong in shape, blunt at their ends and heart-shaped at the base, wavy at the margins, which are generally indented by five or six shallow, blunt lobes on each side, their surfaces much wrinkled. The whole plant is aromatic, especially when rubbed, and is rendered conspicuous by its long spike of purplish-blue flowers, first dense, afterwards becoming rather lax. The whorls of the spike are sixflowered, and at the base of each flower are two heart-shaped, fringed, pointed bracts. The calyx is much larger than the corolla. The plant is in bloom from June to August. The seeds are smooth, and like the Garden Clary, produce a great quantity of soft, tasteless mucilage, when moistened. If put under the eyelids for a few moments the tears dissolve this mucilage, which envelops any dust and brings it out safely. Old writers called this plant 'Oculus Christi,' or 'Christ's Eye.'
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
'A decoction of the leaves,' says Culpepper, 'being drank, warms the stomach, also it helps digestion and scatters congealed blood in any part of the body.'
This Clary was thought to be more efficacious to the eye than the Garden variety.
'The distilled water strengthening the eyesight, especially of old people,' says Culpepper, 'cleaneth the eyes of redness waterishness and heat: it is a gallant remedy fordimness of sight, to take one of the seeds of it and put it into the eyes, and there let it remain till it drops out of itself, the pain will be nothing to speak on: it will cleanse the eyes of all filthy and putrid matter; and repeating it will take off a film which covereth the sight.'
---Other Species---
Salvia pratensis, the MEADOW SAGE - our other native Sage - is a very rare plant, found only in a few localities in Cornwall, Kent and Oxfordshire, and by some authorities is considered hardly a true native.
It is common in some parts of Italy and the Ionian Islands.
It has the habit of S. Verbenaca, but is larger. The flowers are very showy, large and bright blue, arranged on a long spike, four flowers in each whorl, the corolla (about four times as long as the calyx) having the prominent upper lip much arched and compressed and often glutinous. The stem bears very few leaves.
Several plants, though not true Sages, have been popularly called 'Sage': Phlomis fruticosa, a hardy garden shrub, 2 to 4 feet high, with flowers either yellow or dusky yellow, was known as Jerusalem Sage; Turner (1548) terms it so and he is followed in this by Green (1832), whereas Lyte (1578) gives this name to Pulmonaria officinalis, the Common Lungwort, and Gerard (1597), describing Phlomis fruticosa, gives it another name, saying, 'The leaves are in shape like the leaves of Sage, whereupon the vulgar people call it French Sage.' Gerard gives the name of 'Sage of Bethlem' to Pulmonaria officinalis; in localities of North Lincolnshire, the name has been given to the Garden Mint, Mentha viridis. 'Garlick Sage' is one of the names quoted by Gerard for Teucrium scorodonia, which we find variously termed by old writers, Mountain Sage, Wild Sage and Wood Sage.
See GERMANDER, SAGE-LEAVED.


St. John's Wort

Botanical: Hypericum perforatum (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Hypericaceae
Description
Medicinal Action and Uses
Preparations and Dosages
---Parts Used---
Herb tops, flowers.
---Habitat---
Britain and throughout Europe and Asia.
---Description---
A herbaceous perennial growing freely wild to a height of 1 to 3 feet in uncultivated ground, woods, hedges, roadsides, and meadows; short, decumbent, barren shoots and erect stems branching in upper part, glabrous; leaves pale green, sessile, oblong, with pellucid dots or oil glands which may be seen on holding leaf to light. Flowers bright cheery yellow in terminal corymb. Calyx and corolla marked with black dots and lines; sepals and petals five in number; ovary pear-shaped with three long styles. Stamens in three bundles joined by their bases only. Blooms June to August, followed by numerous small round blackish seeds which have a resinous smell and are contained in a three-celled capsule; odour peculiar, terebenthic; taste bitter, astringent and balsamic.
There are many ancient superstitions regarding this herb. Its name Hyperieum is derived from the Greek and means 'over an apparition,' a reference to the belief that the herb was so obnoxious to evil spirits that a whiff of it would cause them to fly.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Aromatic, astringent, resolvent, expectorant and nervine. Used in all pulmonary complaints, bladder troubles, in suppression of urine, dysentery, worms, diarrhoea, hysteria and nervous depression, haemoptysis and other haemorrhages and jaundice. For children troubled with incontinence of urine at night an infusion or tea given before retiring will be found effectual; it is also useful in pulmonary consumption, chronic catarrh of the lungs, bowels or urinary passages. Externally for fomentations to dispel hard tumours, caked breasts, ecchymosis, etc.
---Preparations and Dosages---
1 OZ. of the herb should be infused in a pint of water and 1 to 2 tablespoonsful taken as a dose. Fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm.
The oil of St. John's Wort is made from the flowers infused in olive oil.


Salep
See:
Orchids
Saffron


Salsafy

Botanical: Tragopogon porrifolius (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Compositae
Cultivation
Medicinal Action and Uses
Recipes
---Synonyms---
Purple Goat's Beard. Vegetable Oyster.
(French) Salsifis des prés.
---Part Used---
Root.
The Salsafy, familiar as a kitchen-garden plant, is very similar to Goat's Beard, the main difference being the color of the flowers - yellow in our native species, purple in the Salsafy.
Salsafy is often called the Purple Goat's Beard, from its likeness in general character to the Yellow Goat's Beard of the countryside. Some writers, again, invert this distinction and call the Yellow Goat's Beard, 'Meadow Salsafy.' The French call it 'Salsifis des prés.'
Salsafy is a corruption of the old Latin name solsequium. This was derived from the Latin words sol (sun) and sequens (following), meaning the flower that followed the course of the sun.
It is a taller plant than the Goat's Beard, the stem being nearly 3 feet high. The leaves and flowers are similar in form, the flowers having the same peculiarity of closing at noon. The florets are of a delicate pale purple color.
Though not a British species, it is occasionally found in moist meadows, having been originally a garden escape. It was formerly much cultivated for the sake of its fleshy, tapering roots.

---Cultivation---
Salsafy is a very easy crop to grow and matures in a year.
A friable, open soil is preferable, though it will also grow on heavy soil. On a stony soil, or one made up of clay with flints scattered in it, it will not be a success, as the roots get coarse and forked. No manure should be added to the soil, as forking will also then result, but wood-ash, lime, soot, superphosphates, etc., may be used freely.
The seeds should be sown 1 inch or more deep, 4 inches apart, in drills 9 inches asunder, as early in March as possible, to give a long season for its growth.
The roots may be lifted in October and stored in the same way as Beet, Carrot, etc., or they may remain in the ground until the spring.
Salsafy seed frequently fails, unless kept wet from sowing time till the seedlings are well up.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Culpepper says of Purple Goat's Beard:
'The virtues of this are the same as the other, only less pleasant, therefore more bitter, astringent, detersive and medicinal. This, however, may be eaten in great quantities, and so will be useful in chronic complaints. The roots are particularly specific in obstructions of the gall and the jaundice; the best way to use them is stewed like chardoons.'
It ranks as one of the most salubrious of culinary vegetables, being antibilious, cooling, deobstruent, and slightly aperient; but although it is deservedly esteemed as an esculent, it is nevertheless decidedly inferior to Scorzonera in properties, nor does it keep so well when taken out of the ground, as it soon becomes hardened, insipid, and difficult to cook properly.
See GOAT'S BEARD (YELLOW).


RECIPES

-Baked Salsafy-
Scrape 1 bundle of Salsafy, wash and cut into short pieces, and put into a basin of cold water containing lemon juice or vinegar. Drain and cook in stock or seasoned water till tender. Make a white sauce, put in the Salsafy previously drained and blend both carefully. Place on a buttered dish, pour over the sauce sprinkle breadcrumbs over, add a few small pieces of butter and bake for 10 minutes in a sharp oven.

-Salsafy with Cheese-
Cook and drain and place a layer of Salsafy in a shallow dish. Sprinkle with grated cheese, then a layer of Bechamel sauce, again a layer of Salsafy, then more cheese and sauce, and sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top. Place in a quick oven to get well hot through and brown.
To serve plain boiled, the roots must be scraped lightly first, cut up into two or three portions, and placed in water, with a few drops of lemon juice or vinegar, to prevent them discoloring. Then boiled for an hour, quickly, in salt water till tender, drained and served with a white sauce.

-Stewed Salsafy-
Scrape about 20 heads of Salsafy, cut into pieces about 2 inches long, sprinkle them with salt and steep in water and milk. Cut a small onion, half a carrot, half a turnip and half a head of celery into small pieces. Put these on in a stewpan with 1/4 lb. of lean bacon cut into pieces. Cook for 20 minutes. Mix 1 OZ. flour with a little milk and stir in, fill up with a quart of stock or water, stir and bring to the boil. Put in the Salsafy and let it simmer till tender. Add a tablespoonful of cream, one of chopped parsley, and a little lemon juice. Season with pepper, grated nutmeg and castor sugar. Reheat and arrange the Salsafy neatly on a dish, garnish with button mushrooms, pour over the sauce and serve.

-Salsafy Cream Soup-
Scrape and wash a bundle of Salsafy. Cut it up small and place in a stewpan, with 3 OZ. of butter and a finely-minced onion, and stir for a few minutes. Then moisten with about a quart of white stock, add also 1 OZ. rice. When cooked, drain and pound with the rice and pass all through a fine sieve. Then put the purée with a stock, stir over the fire, boil up the soup, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. At the last add half a gill of cream, 2 beaten-up yolks of eggs, but do not let the soup boil again.


Salvias
See Sages


Samphire

Botanical: Crithmum maritimum (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Umbelliferae
Description
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonyms---
Sea Fennel. Crest Marine. Sampier.
(German) Meerfenchel.
(Italian) Herba di San Pietra. Sanpetra.
---Part Used---
Herb.
Occasionally we find the name SEA FENNEL given to a plant which is far more familiar under the name of SAMPHIRE, and which also belongs to the great order of umbelliferous plants, though not to the same genus as the fennel. In German, this plant is also given a name equivalent to sea-fennel: Meerfenchel.
Prior tells us that the name of this plant is more properly zas; it was formerly spelt Sampere, or Sampier, from Saint Pierre, and Herba di San Pietra (contracted to Sanpetra) is its Italian name. It is dedicated to the fisherman saint, because it likes to grow on sea-cliffs.
The Samphire is a succulent, smooth, much-branched herb, woody at the base, growing freely on rocks on the sea-shore moistened by the salt spray.
---Description---
It is well distinguished by its long, fleshy, bright-green, shining leaflets (full of aromatic juice) and umbels of tiny, yellowish-green blossoms. The whole plant is aromatic and has a powerful scent.
The young leaves, if gathered in May, sprinkled with salt (after freeing them from stalks and flowers), boiled and covered with vinegar and spice, make one of the best pickles, on account of their aromatic taste.
On those parts of the coast where Samphire does not abound, other plants which resemble it in having fleshy leaves are sometimes sold under the same name, but are very inferior.
Samphire gathering is referred to in King Lear:
'Half-way down
Hangs one that gathers samphire; dreadful trade!'
At the present time it grows but sparingly on the white cliffs of Dover, where Shakespeare described it, but in his days it was probably more abundant there. From his description of the perilous nature of the collection of Samphire, it might be assumed that it grows where none but the adventurous can reach it, but it is to be found growing freely in the clefts of the rocks, and is in many places easily accessible from the beach, and is even sometimes to be found in the salt marshes that in some districts fringe the coast.
Samphire is abundantly met with where circumstances are favourable to its growth, around the coasts of western or southern England, but is rarer in the north and seldom met with in Scotland.
The use of Samphire as a condiment and pickle, or as an ingredient in a salad is of ancient date. It used at one time to be cried in London streets as 'Crest Marine.'
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
In Gerard's time it was in great reputation as a condiment. He wrote in 1597:
'The leaves kept in pickle and eaten in sallads with oile and vinegar is a pleasant sauce for meat, wholesome for the stoppings of the liver, milt and kidnies. It is the pleasantest sauce, most familiar and best agreeing with man's body.'
Culpepper, writing some fifty years later, deplores that it had in his days much gone out of fashion, for it is well known almost to everybody that ill digestions and obstructions are the cause of most of the diseases which the frail nature of man is subject to; both of which might be remedied by a more frequent use of this herb. It is a safe herb, very pleasant to taste and stomach.
In some seaside districts where Samphire is found, it is still eaten pickled by country people.


Samphire, Golden

Botanical: Inula crithmoides (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Compositae
---Part Used---Herb.
Inula crithmoides, popularly named Golden Samphire, is a species growing in salt marshes and on sea-cliffs, but rare, and in England only plentiful in the Isle of Sheppey.
---Description---
It has narrow, fleshy leaves and large yellow flowers, growing singly at the extremity of the branches. Formerly, when Samphire (Crithmum Maritimum) was sold in the London markets for a pickle, the young branches of this species were sometimes mixed with it, causing Green in his Universal Herbal (1832) to indignantly remark: 'but it is a villainous imposition because this plant has none of the warm aromatic taste of the true Samphire.'
See ELECAMPANE.


Sandalwood

Botanical: Santalum album (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Santalaceae
Description
Medicinal Action and Uses
Adulterants
Other Species
---Synonym---
Sanders-wood.
---Parts Used---
Wood, oil.
---Habitat---
India.
---Description---
A small tree 20 to 30 feet high, with many opposite slender drooping branches, bark smooth grey-brown. Young twigs glabrous; leaves opposite, without stipules, petiole slender, about 1/2 inch long, blade 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches long, oval, ovate-oval or lanceolate, acute or obtuse at apex, tapering at base into petiole entire, smooth on both sides, glaucous beneath. Flowers small, numerous, shortly stalked in small pyramidal erect terminal and axillary, trichotomus paniculate, cymes panicle, branches smooth, bracts small passing into leaves below.
Perianth campanulate, smooth, about 1/5 inch long, divided into four (rarely five) triangular, acute, spreading segments, valvate, in bud rather fleshy, at first straw colored, changing to deep reddish purple provided at the mouth with four erect, fleshy, rounded lobes. Stamens four, opposite, perianth segments, filaments short, in serted in mouth of perianth alternating witherect lobes. Anthers short, two-celled, introrse, ovary half, inferior, tapering, onecelled, an erect central placenta, rising from base and not reaching to the top, to the summit of which are attached three or four pendulous ovules without the usual coverings, style filiform, stigma small, three or four lobed on a level with anthers.
Fruit concealed about size of a pea, spherical, crowned by rim-like remains of perianth tube, smooth, rather fleshy, nearly black, seed solitary.
The trees are felled or dug up by roots; the branches are worthless, so are cut off. It is usual to leave the trunk on the ground for several months for the white ants to eat away the sap wood, which is also of no value; it is then trimmed and sawn into billets 2 to 2 1/2 feet long and taken to mills in the forests, where it is again trimmed and sorted into grades. It is heavy, hard, but splits easily; color light yellow, transverse sections yellow to light reddish brown, with alternating light and dark concentric zones nearly equal in diameter, numerous pores, and traversed by many very narrow medullary rays. Odour characteristic, aromatic, persistent; taste peculiar, strongly aromatic. Indian Sandalwood is a Government monopoly.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Used internally in chronic bronchitis, a few drops on sugar giving relief; also in gonorrhoea and gleet; in chronic cystitis, with benzoic and boric acids. Much used as a perfume for different purposes. The wood is used for making fancy articles and is much carved.
Fluid extract, 1 to 2 drachms. Oil, 5 to 20 drops.
---Adulterants---
Castor oil is often added, and on the Continent oil of cedar, made by distilling the chips remaining from the manufacture of lead pencils.
---Other Species---
Pterocarpus santalinus or Santalum rubrum (Red Sandalwood), solely used for coloring and dyeing. Other varieties come from the Sandwich Islands, Western Australia and New Caledonia.


Sandspurry, Common

Botanical: Arenaria rubra (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Caryophyllaceae
Description
Medicinal Action and Uses
Dosages
---Synonyms---
Spergularia rubra. Sabline rouge. Tissa rubra. Birda rubra.
---Part Used---Herb.
---Habitat---
Europe, Russia, Asia, North America, Australia.
Common in Britain in sandy, gravelly heaths and waste places near the sea. Flowers all the summer. There are two marked varieties: the one growing inland has small flowers, thin leaves, short capsules, seeds rarely bordered. The other, often called Spergularia Marina, is larger in every respect and has fleshy leaves. For medicinal purposes the one most used is found in Malta, Sicily and Algiers, growing in dry sandy soil from Quebec to Virginia.
---Description---
An annual or biennial plant, glabrous or with a short viscid down in the upper parts; numerous stems branching from the base forming prostrate tufts 3 to 6 inches long; leaves narrow, linear; very short conspicuous scarious stipules at the base. Flowers usually pink, sometimes white, but variable size; short pedicels in forked cymes, usually leafy at base. Petals shorter, rarely longer than the sepals. Seeds more or less flattened.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Long used in bladder diseases. It contains a resinous, aromatic substance which presumably is its active principle. Very valuable for calculus diseases and acute and chronic cystitis.
---Dosages---
Aqueous extract up to 30 grains, or of the fluid extract, 1 fluid drachm three or four times a day. Infusion, 1 OZ. to 1 pint. Its taste is saline and slightly aromatic.


Sanicle, Wood

Botanical: Sanicula Europaea (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Umbelliferae
Description
Cultivation
Part Used
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Preparations
---Synonyms---
Poolroot. Self-Heal.
---Part Used---
Herb.
---Habitat---
Wood Sanicle is an umbelliferous perennial plant, common in woods and thickets and damp moist places, and generally distributel over the British Isles. It is most abundant in the middle and north of Europe and is found on the mountains of tropical Africa. It is the only representative in this country of the genus Sanicula, to which very few species are assigned.
---Description---
The root-stock (the short underground stem from which each year's new stalks grow upward) is shortly creeping and fibrous, with a few thick, brownish scales at the top, the remains of decayed leafstalks. The stem, erect, 8 inches to 2 feet high, is simple, often leafless or with a single leaf. The radical leaves are on stalks 2 to 8 inches long, the leaves themselves palmately three to five partite and divided nearly to the base of the leaf, the lobes, or divisions, often three-cleft again. The leaves are heartshaped at the base near the stalk and toothed like a saw.
The flowers are in umbels. Each little group, or umbellule, forms a hemispherical head. The little stalks, each bearing a head of flowers, join together at one spot again to form what is termed a compound or general umbel, as in most plants of this order. In the case of the Sanicle, the umbel is said to be irregular, as the converging stalks forming these rays are often divided into two or three prongs. The flowers are pinkish-white, 1/16 inch across, the outer flowers of the umbellules being without stamens; the inner, without pistils. They blossom in May and June and are succeeded in August by roundish seeds, which are covered with prickles, causing them to adhere to everything they touch.
The plant is glabrous and bright green, the leaves paler beneath and the stems often reddish.
The origin of the name of this genus is the Latin word sano (I heal or cure), in reference to the medicinal virtues.
In the Middle Ages the power of Sanicle was proverbial:
Celuy qui sanicle a
De mire affaire il n'a.
and
Qui a la Bugle et la Sanicle fait aux chirugiens la niche.
It was as a vulnerary that this plant gained its medical reputation. Lyte and other herbalists say that it will 'make whole and sound all wounds and hurts, both inward and outward.'
Wood Sanicle has locally often been known as Self-Heal, a name which belongs rightly to another quite distinct herb, Prunella vulgaris, belonging to the Labiate order.
---Cultivation---
Sanicle is generally collected from wild specimens.
In a moist soil and a shady situation, Sanicle will thrive excellently, especially in rich soil.
Propagation may be effected by division of roots, any time from September to March, the best time for the operation being in the autumn Plant from 8 to 9 inches apart each way.
---Part Used---
The whole herb, collected in June and dried. Gather the herb only on a fine day, in the morning, when the sun has dried off the dew.
---Constituents---
As yet no analysis has been made of this plant, but evidence of tannin in its several parts is afforded by the effects produced by the plant.
In taste it is at first very bitter and astringent, afterwards acrid, and probably partakes of the poisonous acridity which is so frequent in the Umbelliferae. In the fresh leaves, the taste is very slight, but considerable in the dry leaves, and in the extract made from them.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Astringent, alterative. Sanicle is usually given in combination with other herbs in the treatment ofblood disorders, for which it is in high esteem.
As an internal remedy, it is of great benefit in all chest and lung complaints, chronic coughs and catarrhal affections, inflammation of the bronchii, spitting of blood, and all affections of the pulmonary organs.
As an alterative, it has a good reputation, and it is useful in leucorrhoea, dysentery, diarrhoea, etc.
It effectually cleanses the system of morbid secretions and leaves the blood healthier and in better condition. The infusion of 1 OZ. to a pint of boiling water is taken in wineglassful doses.
Sanicle is used as a gargle in sore throat, quinsy, and whenever an astringent gargle is required. Culpepper mentions the use of Sanicle for disease of the lungs and throat, and recommends the gargle being made from a decoction of the leaves and root in water, a little honey being added.
In scald-head of children and all cases of rashes, the decoction or infusion forms an admirable external remedy.
Sanicle is popularly employed in France and Germany as a remedy for profuse bleeding from the lungs, bowels, and other internal organs and for checking dysentery, the fresh juice being given in tablespoonful doses.
---Preparations---
Fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm. A strong decoction of the leaves used to be a popular remedy for bleeding piles.
The root of an American species, Sanicula marilandica, contains resin and volatile oil, and has been used with alleged success in intermittent fever and in chorea, in doses of 10 to 60 grains.
American Bastard Sanicle belongs, not to this genus, but to the genus Mitella, and the Bear's Ear Sanicle (Cortusa Matthiola) is likewise not a true Sanicle, being related to the Primroses and Auriculas.
Yorkshire Sanicle is one of the names given sometimes to Butterwort, or Marsh Violet (Pinguicula vulgaris), a plant with violetcolored flowers and thick plaintain-shaped leaves, which grow in a tuft or rosette on the ground, and to the touch are greasy, causing them to be used for application to sores and chapped hands.


Sarsaparilla, American

Botanical: Aralia nudicaulis (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Araliaceae
---Synonyms---
False Sarsaparilla. Wild Sarsaparilla. Shot Bush. Small Spikenard. Wild Liquorice. Rabbit Root.
---Part Used---
Root.
---Habitat---
Canada to the Carolinas.
---Description---
A herbaceous perennial, with large, tortuous, fleshy, horizontal, creeping, long roots, externally yellowy brown, from which grows a large solitary compound leaf. Leaflets oval, obovate, acute, finely serrate. Flower-stem also comes from root, naked, about 1 foot high, terminating in three small many-flowered greenish umbels, no involucres. Fruit a small, black berry the size of elderberry. The root has a sweet spicy taste, and a pleasant aromatic smell.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Alterative, pectoral, diaphoretic, sudorific. Used as a substitute for Smilax Sarsaparilla is useful in pulmonary diseases and externally as a wash for indolent ulcers and shingles. It is said to be used by the Crees under the name of Rabbit Root for syphilis and as an application to recent wounds. It contains resin, oil, tannin, albumen, an acid, mucilage and cellulose.
Fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm.
Sarsaparilla, Caracao
---Habitat---La Guayra
---Description---
The radicals are often very amylaceous internally and in this respect is very like Sarsaparilla papyracea, but the plant has now almost been destroyed and is difficult to obtain. The roots contain large quantities of starch.
S. papyracea, native of Trinidad, French Guiana and North Brazil, is a near ally of S. officinalis, and like it, is only known by is leaf specimens; it is recognized by the old stems and lower branches, which instead of being cylindrical, as in most other species, always remain intensely quadrangular, their angles having very flat closely crowded prickles and leaves more membranaceous. The Rio Negro Smilax is an allied species Smilax Spruceana. This plant is known as affording Guatemala Sarsaparilla and is considered to be identical with Sarsaparilla papyracea. Smilax syphilitica is a native of New Grenada, has a smooth round stem, bearing at the knots two to four short, thick, straight prickles. Leaves 1 foot long, oblong, lanceolate, acuminate, shining, coriaceous, three nerved, ending in a long point.
Guayaquil Sarsaparilla grows in the valleys of the Western slopes of Equatorial Andes. It appears in commerce carelessly packed in bales. The rhizome and parts of the stem often mixed with the root, the stem is round and prickly, root dark, large and coarse, with much fibre. The bark furrowed thick and not mealy in the thinner portions of the root, which is near the foot-stalks. As the root gets thicker, the bark becomes thicker, smoother and amylaceous, showing when cut a pale yellow interior.


Sarsaparilla, Jamaica

Botanical: Smilax ornata
Family: N.O. Liliaceae
Description
Preparations and Dosages
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Dosages
---Synonyms---
Smilax Medica. Red-bearded Sarsaparilla.
---Part Used---
Root.
---Habitat---
Central America, principally Costa Rica.
---Description---
This plant derived its name from being exported to Europe through Jamaica. The word Sarsaparilla comes from the Spanish Sarza, meaning a bramble, and parilla, a vine, in allusion to the thorny stems of the plant. This is a non-mealy Sarsaparilla. It is a large perennial climber, rhizome underground, large, short, knotted, with thickened nodes and roots spreading up to 6 or 8 feet long. Stems erect, semiwoody, with very sharp prickles 1/2 inch long. Leaves large, alternate stalked, almost evergreen with prominent veins, seven nerved mid-rib very strongly marked. Flowers and fruit not known. Cortex thick and brownish, with an orange red tint; when chewed it tinges the saliva, and gives a slightly bitter and mucilaginous taste, followed by a very acrid one; it contains a small proportion of starch, also a glucoside, sarsaponin, sarsapic acid, and fatty acids, palmitic, stearic, behenic, oleic and linolic.
Jamaica Sarsaparilla was introduced in the middle of the sixteenth century as a remedy for syphilis, and later came to be used for other chronic diseases, specially rheumatism. It is a mild gastric irritant due to its saponin content. The smoke of Sarsaparilla was recommended for asthma. It is also very useful as a tonic, alterative, diaphoretic and diuretic. Its active principle is a crystalline body, Parillin or Smilacin.
---Preparations and Dosages---
Powdered root, 1/2 to 1 drachm. Fluid extract, U.S.P., 1/2 to 1 drachm. Fluid extract, B.P., 2 to 4 drachms. Solid extract, 10 to 20 grains. Compound solution, 2 to 8 drachms. Compound syrup, U.S.P., 4 drachms.
Smilax officinalis has a twining stem, angular and prickly; young shoots unarmed; leaves ovate, oblong, acute, cordate, smooth, 1 foot long; petioles 1 inch long, having tendrils above the base. This plant grows in New Granada, on the banks of Magdaline near Bajorgne. Commercially it consists of very long roots, with a thick bark, grey or brown color. Almost odourless. Taste mucilaginous. The deep orange-tinted roots are the best.
---Constituents---
Salseparin, starch, coloring matter, essential oil chloride of potassium, bassorin, albumen, pectic and ascitic acids, and salts of lime, oxide of iron, potassa and magnesia. It is said to be the source of Honduras Sarsaparilla and is considered the best of all Sarsaparillas. It is exported from the bay of Honduras in over 2 feet long roots folded into a sort of hank, with a few rootlets attached, grey or reddy brown, with mealy cortex. It has the same properties as the other varieties, but if alcohol is added to the infusions of the root it will greatly increase their medicinal qualities.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Alterative, tonic. Used in chronic skin diseases, rheumatism, passive dropsy.
---Dosages---
Powder, 20 grains. Infusion or syrup, 4 fluid ounces.


Sarsaparilla, Indian

Botanical: Hemidesmus Indica
Family: N.O. Asclepiadaceae
Description
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonyms---
Hemidesmus. Periploca Indica. Nunnari Asclepias. Pseudosarsa.
---Part Used---
Dried root.
---Habitat---
All parts of India, the Moluccas, and Ceylon.
---Description---
A climbing slender plant with twining woody stems, and a rust-colored bark, leaves opposite, petiolate, entire, smooth, shiny and firm, varying in shape and size according to their age. Flowers small green outside, deep purple inside, in axillary, sessile racemes, imbricated with flowers, followed with scale-like bracts. Fruit two long slender spreading follicles.
This plant has long been used in India as an antisyphilitic in place of Sarsaparilla, but was not introduced into England till 1831. The root is long, tortuous, rigid, cylindrical, little branched, consisting of aligneous centre, a brownish corky bark, furrowed and with annular cracks, odour aromatic, probably due to Coumarin and not unlike Sassafras or new-mown hay, with a bitter, sweetish, feeble aromatic taste. One side of the root is sometimes separated from the cork and raised above the cortex and transversely fissured, showing numerous laticiferous cells in the cortex.
---Constituents---
Unknown. No satisfactory investigation has yet been made of the chemical properties. But a volatile oil has been found in it and a peculiar crystallizable principle, called by some Hemidesmine; others suggest that the substance is only a stearoptene. It also contains some starch, saponin, and in the suberous layer tannic acid.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Alterative, tonic and diuretic. Useful for rheumatism, scrofula, skin diseases and thrush; it is used as an infusion, but not as a decoction as boiling dissipates its active volatile principle. Two OZ. of the root are infused in 1 pint of boiling water and left standing for 1 hour then strained off and drunk in 24 hours.
It has been successfully used in the cure of venereal disease, proving efficacious where American Sarsaparilla has failed. Native doctors utilize it in nephritic complaints and for sore mouths of children.
Syrup, B.P., 1/2 to 1 drachm.
Particularly indicated for inveterate syphilis, pseudo-syphilis, mescurio-syphilis and struma in all its forms. Also valuable in gonorrhoeal neuralgia and other depraved conditions of the system as well as for other diseases treated by other varieties.
Powder, 30 grains three times daily. Infusion or syrup, 4 fluid ounces.
---An Alterative Mixture---
1 lb. Rio Negro Sarsaparilla root, or in place of it Stillingia Sylvatica; 6 OZ. rasped guaiac wood; aniseed and liquorice root bruised 2 OZ. of each; 1 lb. molasses; 1 OZ. Mezereon root-bark and 6 Cloves. Put all these into 2 gallons of boiling water and shake vessel well. When fermentation starts, take 4 fluid ounces three times daily.


Sarsaparilla, Wild

Botanical: Aralia nudicaulis (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Araliaceae
Description
Medicinal Action and Uses
Other Species
---Synonyms---
Bamboo Brier. Smilax Sarsaparilla.
---Part Used---
Root.
---Habitat---
A native of the southern United States and grows in swampy woods and thickets.
---Description---
It has a stout, flexuous and square stem, with a few hooked prickles above. Leaves unarmed, elliptical-ovate, cuspidate, abruptly contracted at each end; three strong veins, two lateral smaller secondary ones; underside glaucous, 3 inches diameter, on short margined petioles, with two long tendrils at their bases. Flowers yellowish-white, appearing May to August, in small thin umbels of three or four red or black berries, three-seeded.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Alterative, tonic, antisyphilitic. Said to be inferior to all other Sarsaparillas. Much used by the American Indians. Used freely in decoction.
---Other Species---
Smilax Medica has an angular stem armedwith straight prickles at joints, and a few hooked ones at intervals; paper-like leaves, bright green both sides, smooth, cordate, auriculate, shortly acuminate, five-nerved prominent veins underneath and otherwise variable in form. Mid-rib and petioles, when old, have straight, subulate prickles, peduncles three lines to 1 inch; umbels twelve flowers; pedicle three lines long. Found growing in Papantla, Inspan, etc. Said to be similar to the Mexican or Vera Cruz Sarsapa of commerce, which may be derived from this species.
SARSAPARILLA MEXICAN (Synonym. Vera Cruz Sarsaparilla), as found in commerce, has a caudex with a number of long radicles which are smaller and have a thinner bark than the Honduras variety, contain little starch and have square endodermal cells with thickened walls, and more or less oval lumen. The taste is acrid and the plant contains the medical properties of other Sarsaparillas.
See SMILAX.


Sassafras

Botanical: Sassafras officinale (LEES and EBERM.)
Family: N.O. Lauraceae
Description
Constituents
Dosage
Poison and Antidotes
Other Species
---Synonyms---
Sassafras varifolium. Laurus Sassafras. Sassafrax. Sassafras radix.
---Parts Used---
Bark-root and the root, pith.
---Habitat---
Eastern United States, from Canada to Florida, and Mexico.
---Description---
The name 'Sassafras,' applied by the Spanish botanist Monardes in the sixteenth century, is said to be a corruption of the Spanish word for saxifrage. The tree stands from 20 to 40 feet high, with many slender branches, and smooth, orangebrown bark. The leaves are broadly oval, alternate, and 3 to 7 inches long. The flowers are small, and of an inconspicuous, greenishyellow color. The roots are large and woody, their bark being soft and spongy, rough, and reddish or greyish-brown in color. The living bark is nearly white, but exposure causes its immediate discoloration. The roots are imported in large, branched pieces, which may or may not be covered with bark, and often have attached to them a portion of the lower part of the trunk. The central market for all parts is Baltimore. The entire root is official in the British Pharmacopoeia, but only the more active bark in the United States, where wood and bark form separate articles of commerce. The bark without its corky layer is brittle, and the presence of small crystals cause its inner surface to glisten. Both bark and wood have a fragrant odour, and an aromatic, somewhat astringent taste.
The tree, which has berries like those of cinnamon, appears to have been cultivated in England some centuries ago, for in 1633 Johnston wrote: 'I have given the figure of a branch taken from a little sassafras tree which grew in the garden of Mr. Wilmot at Bon.' Probably it was discovered by the Spaniards in Florida, for seventy years earlier there is mention of the reputation of its roots in Spain as a cure for syphilis, rheumatism, etc., though its efficacy has sincethen been much disputed.
The fragrant oil distilled from the rootbark is extensively used in the manufacture of the coarser kinds of perfume, and for scenting the cheapest grades of soap. The oil used in perfumes is also extracted from the fruits. The wood and bark of the tree furnish a yellow dye. In Louisiana, the leaves are used as a condiment in sauces, and also for thickening soups; while the young shoots are used in Virginia for making a kind of beer. Mixed with milk and sugar, Sassafras Tea, under the name of 'Saloop,' could, until a few years ago, be bought at London streetcorners in the early mornings.
SASSAFRAS PITH (Sassafras medulla) is only official in the United States. It is usually found in thin, cylindrical pieces, which are light and spongy, white and insipid. Its principal constituent is mucilage, which may be prepared by adding 60 grains of the pith to a pint of boiling water. This remains limpid when alcohol is added. It is used as a demulcent, especially for inflammation of the eyes, and as a soothing drink in catarrhal affection.
---Constituents---
The root-bark contains a heavy and a light volatile oil, camphorous matter, resin, wax a decomposition product of tannic acid called Sassafrid, tannic acid, gum, albumen, starch, lignin and salts. Sassafrid bears some analogy to cinchonic red. The bark yields from 6 to 9 per cent of oil, of which the chief constituent is Safrol (80 per cent). It is one of the heaviest of the volatile oils, and when cold deposits four- or six-sided prisms of Sassafras camphor, which retain the odour. It should be preserved in well-stoppered, amber-colored bottles, away from the light. Three bushels of the root yield about 1 lb.
Safrol has been found to be one of those bodies which can exist either in a solid or a liquid condition long after freezing or melting-point. Chemically, it has been found to be the methylene ether of allyl-dioxibenene. It is found in many other species, is now commercially extracted from oil of Camphor, and could possibly be obtained from some members of the Cinnamomum family. Physiologically and therapeutically it is equivalent to oil of Sassafras.
Oil of Sassafras is chiefly used for flavouring purposes, particularly to conceal the flavour of opium when given to children. In the United States of America it is employed for flavouring effervescing drinks.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Aromatic, stimulant, diaphoretic, alterative. It is rarely given alone, but is often combined with guaiacum or sarsaparilla in chronic rheumatism, syphilis, and skin diseases.
The oil is said to relieve the pain caused by menstrual obstructions, and pain following parturition, in doses of 5 to 10 drops on sugar, the same dose having been found useful in gleet and gonorrhoea.
Safrol is found to be slowly absorbed from the alimentary canal, escaping through the lungs unaltered, and through the kidneys oxidized into piperonalic acid.
A teaspoonful of the oil produced vomiting, dilated pupils, stupor and collapse in a young man.
It is used as a local application for wens and for rheumatic pains, and it has been praised as a dental disinfectant.
Its use has caused abortion in several cases.
Dr. Shelby of Huntsville stated that it would both prevent and remove the injurious effects of tobacco.
A lotion of rose-water or distilled water, with Sassafras Pith, filtered after standing for four hours, is recommended for the eyes.
---Dosage---
Of fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm. Of Sassafras bark, 1 to 2 drachms. Of oil of Sassafras, 1 to 5 drops. Mucilage, U.S.P., 4 drachms.
---Poison and Antidotes---
The oil can produce marked narcotic poisoning, and death by causing widespread fatty degeneration of the heart, liver, and kidneys, or, in a larger dose, by great depression of the circulation, followed by a centric paralysis of respiration.
---Other Species---
The name is also applied to the following:
BLACK SASSAFRAS, or Oliveri Cortex (Oliver's Bark), a substitute for cinnamon in Australia.
SWAMP SASSAFRAS, or Magnolia glauca, an aromatic, diaphoretic, tonic bitter.
AUSTRALIAN SASSAFRAS, or Atherosperma moschatum, a powerful poison, useful in rheumatism, syphilis and bronchitis.
SASSAFRAS GOESIANUM, or Massoja aromatica, yielding Massoi Bark.
CALIFORNIA SASSAFRAS, or Umbellularia californica, the leaves of which are employed in headache, colic and diarrhoea.


Sassy Bark

Botanical: Erythrophloeum guineense (G. DON)
Family: N.O. Leguminosae
Description
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Dosages
Poison with Antidotes
---Synonyms---
Nkasa. Mancona Bark. Doom Bark. Ordeal Bark. Casca Bark. Saucy Bark. Red Water Bark. Cortex erythrophlei.
---Part Used---
Bark of the tree and branches.
---Habitat---
Upper Guinea and Senegambia.
---Description---
The tree is large and spreading, and the bark very hard, breaking with a short, granular fracture. It varies in size and thickness according to the age of the stem or branch. It may be flat or curved, dull grey, red-brown, or almost black, with reddish warts or circular spots merging into bands running longitudinally. It is inodorous, with an astringent, acrid taste.
In West Africa the drug is used as an ordeal poison in trials for witchcraft and sorcery.
Possibly other species yield the Sassy Bark of commerce, differences being noticed in its properties at different periods.
---Constituents---
Sassy Bark yields its proper ties to water. The poisonous principleErythrophleine was obtained and confirmed in several experiments, possessing an action similar to that of digitalis. From this an acid called erythrophleic acid and a volatile alkaloid called Manz‡onine were obtained by the action of hydrochloric acid. In contact with sulphuric acid and black manganese oxide, a violet color is obtained, rather paler than that produced with strychnine. The bark also contains tannin and resin.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Astringent, analgesic. The hydrochloride has been used in dental surgery. Erythrophleine causes a slow, strong pulse, with a rise in the arterial pressure. Purging is probably due to local action on peristalsis, and vomiting, the result or influence on the nerve centres, as it occurs when the alkaloid is given hypodermically. There has been much controversy concerning its anaesthetic powers. It has not yet been obtained in crystalline form, and needs fuller investigation.
Observations in West Africa about 1859 showed that Sassy Bark produced constriction in the fauces, with prickling, and later, numbness. It is asserted that it gives great relief in dyspnoea, but is uncertain as a heart tonic. The powder is strongly sternutatory. It has been useful in mitral disease and dropsy, but disturbs the digestion even more than digitalis.
---Dosages---
Of the alkaloid, 1/40 to 1/30 grain. Of the extract, 1/4 to 1/3 grain.
A solution of 1/10 of 1 per cent is used as an application to the cornea.
---Poison with Antidotes---
An overdose causes stricture across the brow, severe pain in the head, coma, and death.


Saunders, Red

Botanical: Pterocarpus santalinus
Family: N.O. Leguminosae
Description
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonyms---
Pterocarpi Lignum. Santalum rubrum. Lignum rubrum. Red Sandalwood. Rubywood. Rasura Santalum Ligni. Red Santal Wood. Sappan.
---Part Used---Wood.
---Habitat---
Madras Presidency and Ceylon.
---Description---
A tree of 20 to 25 feet high, covered with rough bark resembling that of the Common Alder, and bearing spikes of yellow flowers. Plantations have been formed for its cultivation in Southern India, where it is very rare.
The name Santalinus refers to its name of red Sandalwood, which all its Indian titles signify, though it bears no relationship to Santalum. It is imported, usually from Ceylon, in the form of irregular logs or billets, without bark and sapwood, and about 3 to 5 feet in length. They are heavy, dense, reddish or blackish brown outside, and, if cut transversely, a deep blood-red inside, variegated with zones of a lighter red color. In pharmacy the wood is in the form of chips, raspings, or coarse red powder. When rubbed, the wood has a faint peculiar odour, but is otherwise odourless, with a slight, astringent taste.
Gum Kino is obtained from other species of Pterocarpus. The chief use of Red Saunders wood is as a dye-stuff. In India it is employed mixed with sapan wood, for dyeing silk, cotton and wool, the shade of red varying according to the mordant used.
---Constituents---
The coloring principle, called Santalin, is readily soluble in alcohol (90 per cent), but almost insoluble in water. Ether, alkalis, and three other crystalline principles have also been described as being present: Santal, Pterocarpin, and Homopterocarpin. A small quantity of tannin, probably kino-tannic acid, has also been found in the wood. The coloring principle is partially soluble in some of the essential oils, such as lavender, rosemary, cloves, and oil of bitter almonds, and as a coloring agent it forms part of the official Comp. Tincture of Lavender.
The coloring principles of the West African Barwood (Pterocarpus angolensis) and Camwood (Baphia nitida) are closely allied with that of Red Saunders, if not identical.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Astringent, tonic. Chiefly used medicinally in India, and employed in pharmacy for coloring tinctures.


Savine

Botanical: Sabina cacumina
Family: N.O. Coniferae
Description
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Adulterant
---Synonyms---
Savine Tops.
---Part Used---
Fresh dried tops of Juniperas Sabina collected in spring from plants grown in Britain.
---Habitat---
Britain. Indigenous to Northern States of America, Middle and Southern Europe.
---Description---
A shrub growing to a height of a few feet in Britain, but found as a tree in some Greek Islands, evergreen and compact in growth, spreads horizontally, branches round, tough, and slender; bark, when young, pale green, becoming rough with age on trunk; leaves small, ovate, dark green, in four rows, opposite, scale-like, ovate-lanceolate, having on back a shallow groove containing an oblong or roundish gland. The fruit is a blackish purple berry, ovoid in shape, containing three seeds. Flowers unisexual; odour peculiar, terebinthinate; taste disagreeable, resinous and bitter.
---Constituents---
Volatile oil, resin, gallic acid, chlorophyl extractive, lignin, calcareous salts, a fixed oil, gum and salts of potassia.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Savine is an irritant when administered internally or locally; it is a powerful emmenagogue in large doses; it is an energetic poison leading to gastro enteritis collapse and death. It should never be used in pregnancy, as it produces abortion. It is rarely given internally, but is useful as an ointment and as a dressing to blisters in order to promote discharge; also applied externally to syphilitic warts, and other skin trouble. The powdered leaves mixed with an equal part of verdigris are used to destroy warts.
---Adulterant---
Red Cedar (Juniperus Virginiana, Linn.) is often commonly referredto as Savin and is substituted commercially, the tops of J. Phoenicae (Linn.), which contain volatile oil, are also admixed in Europe.
See CEDARS.


Savory, Summer

Botanical: Satureia hortensis (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Labiatae
Description
Cultivation
Uses
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Part Used---
Herb.
The genus Satureia (the old Latin name used by Pliny) comprises about fourteen species of highly aromatic, hardy herbs or under-shrubs, all, except one species, being natives of the Mediterranean region.
Several species have been introduced into England, but only two, the annual Summer or Garden Savory and the perennial, Winter Savory are generally grown. The annual is more usually grown, but the leaves of both are employed in cookery, like other sweet herbs, the leaves and tender tops being used, with marjoram and thyme, to season dressings for turkey, veal or fish.
Both species were noticed by Virgil as being among the most fragrant of herbs, and on this account recommended to be grown near bee-hives. There is reason to suppose that they were cultivated in remote ages, before the East Indian spices were known and in common use. Vinegar, flavoured with Savory and other aromatic herbs, was used by the Romans in the same manner as mint sauce is by us.
In Shakespeare's time, Savory was a familiar herb, for we find it mentioned, together with the mints, marjoram and lavender, in The Winter's Tale.
In ancient days, the Savorys were supposed to belong to the Satyrs, hence the name Satureia. Culpepper says:
'Mercury claims dominion over this herb. Keep it dry by you all the year, if you love yourself and your ease, and it is a hundred pounds to a penny if you do not.'
He considered Summer Savory better than Winter Savory for drying to make conserves and syrups.
John Josselyn, one of the early settlers in America, gives a list of plants introduced there by the English colonists to remind them of the gardens they had left behind. Winter and Summer Savory are two of those mentioned.
---Description---
Summer Savory is a hardy, pubescent annual, with slender erect stems about a foot high. It flowers in July, having small, pale lilac labiate flowers, axillary, on short pedicels, the common peduncle sometimes three-flowered. The leaves, about 1/2 inch long, are entire, oblong-linear, acute, shortly narrowed at the base into petioles, often fascicled. The hairs on the stem are short and decurved.
---Cultivation---
Summer Savory is raised from seeds, sown early in April, in shallow drills, 9 inches or a foot apart. Select a sunny situation and thin out the seedlings, when large enough, to 6 inches apart in the rows. It likes a rich, light soil.
The seeds may also be sown broadcast, when they must be thinned out, the thinned out seedlings being planted in another bed at 6 inches distance from each other and well watered. The seeds are very slow in germinating.
The early spring seedlings may be first topped for fresh use in June. When the plants are in flower, they may be pulled up and dried for winter use.
---Uses---
As a pot-herb, Savory, which has a distinctive taste, though it somewhat recalls that of marjoram, is not only added to stuffings, pork pies and sausages as a wholesome seasoning, but sprigs of it, fresh, may be boiled with broad beans and green peas, in the same manner as mint. It is also boiled with dried peas in making pea-soup. For garnishing it has been used as a substitute for parsley and chervil.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Savory has aromatic and carminative properties, and though chiefly used as a culinary herb, it may be added to medicines for its aromatic and warming qualities. It was formerly deemed a sovereign remedy for the colic and a cure for flatulence, on this account, and was also considered a good expectorant.
Culpepper tells us that:
'The juice dropped into the eyes removes dimness of sight if it proceed from thin humours distilled from the brain. The juice heated with oil of Roses and dropped in the ears removes noise and singing and deafness: outwardly applied with wheat flour, it gives ease to them.'
He says:
'Keep it dry, make conserves and syrups of it for your use; for which purpose the Summer kind is best. This kind is both hotter and drier than the Winter kind.... It expels tough phlegm from the chest and lungs, quickens the dull spirits in the lethargy, if the juice be snuffed up the nose; dropped into the eyes it clears them of thin cold humours proceeding from the brain . . . outwardly applied with wheat flour as a poultice, it eases sciatica and palsied members.'
Both the old authorities and modern gardeners agree that a sprig of either of the Savorys rubbed on wasp and bee stings gives instant relief.


Savory, Winter

Botanical: Satureia montana (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Labiatae
Cultivation
Other Species
---Part Used---
Herb.
Winter Savory is a dwarf, hardy, perennial, glabrous or slightly pubescent under shrub, also a native of Southern Europe, and it has been known in Great Britain since 1562.
The stems are woody at the base, diffuse, much branched. The leaves are oblong, linear and acute, or the lower ones spatulate or wedge-shaped and obtuse. The flowers, in bloom in June, are very pale-purple, the cymes shortly pedunculate, approximating to a spike or raceme.
---Cultivation---
It is propagated either from seeds, sown at a similar period and in the same manner as Summer Savory, or from cuttings and divisions of root. It is woodier and more bushy than Summer Savory.
Cuttings formed of young side shoots, with a heel attached, may be taken in April or June, and will readily root under a hand-glass, or in a shady border outside.
Divisions of the roots should be made in March or April, and plants obtained in this way, or from cuttings, should be permanently inserted during a showery period in the latter part of summer, in rows, at the distance of 1 foot apart.
The plant grows better in a poor, stony soil than a rich one. In a rich soil, plants take in too much moisture to stand the severity of our winter. In soil that suits it, Winter Savory makes a good-sized shrub. It will continue for several years, but when the plants are old the shoots are short and not so well furnished with leaves. It is, therefore, well to raise a supply of young plants every other year.
Parkinson tells us that Winter Savory used to be dried and powdered and mixed with grated bread-crumbs, 'to breade their meate, be it fish or flesh, to give it a quicker relish.' It is recommended by old writers, together with other herbs, in the dressing of trout.
When dried, it is used as seasoning in the same manner as Summer Savory, but is not employed medicinally.
Culpepper says that it is a good remedy for the colic.
---Other Species---
Satureia thymbra, which is used in Spain as a spice and is closely allied to the Savories grown in English kitchen gardens, yields an oil containing about 19 per cent of thymal. Other species of Satureia contain carvacrol. The oil from wild plants of Winter Savory contains 30 or 40 per cent of carvacrol, and that from cultivated plants still more.


Saw Palmetto

Botanical: Sarenoa serrulata (HOOK, F.)
Family: N.O. Palmaceae
Description
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Dosages
---Synonyms---
Sabal. Sabal serrulata.
---Part Used---
Partially-dried ripe fruit.
---Habitat---
The Atlantic Coast from South Carolina to Florida, and southern California.
---Description---
The plant grows from 6 to 10 feet high, forming what is called the 'palmetto scrub.' It has a crown of large leaves, and the fruit is irregularly-spherical to oblong-ovoid, deep red-brown, slightly wrinkled, being from 1/2 to 1 inch long and about 1/2 inch in diameter. It contains a hard brown seed. The taste is sweetish and not agreeable, and the panicle containing it may weigh as much as 9 lb. It has no odour.
---Constituents---
Volatile oil, fixed oil, glucose, about 63 per cent of free acids, and 37 per cent of ethyl esters of these acids. The oil obtained exclusively from the nut is a glyceride of fatty acids, thick and of a greenish color, without fruity odour. From the whole fruit can be obtained by pressure about 1 1/2 per cent of a brownishyellow to dark red oil, soluble in alcohol, ether, chloroform and benzene, and partly soluble in dilute solution of potassium hydroxide. The fixed oil is soluble in alcohol, ether, and petroleum benzin. The presence of an alkaloid is uncertain.
The following formula will give elixir of sabal with terpinhydrate. Dissolve 1.75 gram of terpinhydrate in 40 mm. of Ruid extract of sabal and 10 mm. of alcohol. Add 1 mm. of tincture of sweet orange peel, 0.2 mm. of solution of saccharin, 40 mm. of glycerin, and 100 mm. of syrup. This preparation will contain 8 grains of terpinhydrate and 184 grains of sabal in each fluid ounce.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Diuretic, sedative, tonic. It is milder and less stimulant than cubeb or copaiba, or even oil of sandalwood. Like these, it has the power of affecting the respiratory mucous membrane, and is used for many complaints which are accompanied by chronic catarrh. It has been claimed that sabal is capable of increasing the nutrition of the testicles and mammae in functional atony of these organs. It probably acts by reducing catarrhal irritation and a relaxed condition of bladder and urethra. It is a tissue builder.
---Dosages---
Of fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm. Of solid extract, 5 to 15 grains.


Saxifrage, Burnet

Botanical: Pimpinella Saxifraga (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Umbelliferae
Description
Parts Used
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonyms---
Lesser Burnet. Saxifrage.
---Parts Used---
Root, herb.
---Habitat---
It grows abundantly in dry, chalky pastures, and is very generally distributed over the country.
The Burnet Saxifrage, sometimes cultivated for kitchen use, is neither a Burnet nor a Saxifrage, but has obtained the latter name because supposed to break up stone in the bladder, and the former from the similarity of its leaves to the Greater and Lesser Burnets, though its umbels of white flowers mark the difference at the first glance.
---Description---
The root-stock is slender, the stem also slender, round, striate, 9 inches to 3 feet high. The root-leaves are numerous, shortly stalked, pinnate, the leaflets oval or roundish, four to eight pairs, sometimes so deeply cut as to be bipinnate, sometimes merely serrated. The stem-leaves are few, with the petiole dilated, particularly in the uppermost ones, the leaflets narrower than in the radical leaves, and pinnatifid. The upper leaves are reduced to dilated sheaths, the leaflets represented by one or more linear lobes. The umbels are regular, flattopped, the umbelules many-flowered, the individual flowers 1/10 inch across, white, with notched petals. The whole plant is dark green, generally glabrous.
---Parts Used---
The leaves and roots. The whole herb is cut in July and dried in the same way as the Burnets.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Resolvent, diaphoretic, stomachic, diuretic. The root is very hot and acrid, burning the mouth like pepper. On drying, or on being kept long, its pungency is considerably diminished. It contains a bitter resin and a blue essential oil, which communicates that color to water or spirit on distillation, and is said to be used in Germany for coloring brandy.
The oil and resin contained are useful to relieve flatulent indigestion.
The fresh root chewed is good for toothache and paralysis of the tongue. A decoction has the reputation of removing freckles. It is said to dissolve mucus, and on this account is used as a gargle in hoarseness and some cases of throat affection.
It is also prescribed in asthma and dropsy.
Small bunches of the leaves and shoots, tied together and suspended in a cask of beer impart to it an agreeable aromatic flavour, and are thought to correct tart or spoiled wines.
Cows which feed on this plant have their flow of milk increased.
Culpepper says:
'The whole plant is binding . . . it is a cordial. In the composition of the Syrupus Altheae it is generally used instead of the Great Burnet Saxifrage.'


Saxifrage, Greater Burnet

Botanical: Pimpinella magna
Family: N.O. Umbelliferae
---Parts Used---
Herb, seeds.
The Greater Burnet Saxifrage is very like large specimens of Pimpinella Saxifraga, but larger in all its parts and of a paler green in color, the root-stock much thicker and the stems generally 2 to 4 feet high, stouter and more angular. The leaflets are larger and broader, generally less deeply cut. The umbels and flowers are similar, though the styles are longer and more slender.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
This plant has much the same medicinal properties as the former species, and has been employed in a similar manner.
The root is very acrid, and is powerfully diuretic, having been prescribed with success, in strong infusion, in disorders arising from obstructions of the viscera. The seeds are carminative, and have been used in colic and for dispersing wind in the stomach, administered in powdered form.
The Aniseed of medicine and commerce is a foreign species of this same genus.
Culpepper says this plant:
'has the properties of the parsleys but eases pains and provokes urine more effectually. ... The distilled water, boiled with castoreum, is good for cramps and convulsions, and the seed used in comfits (like carraway seeds) will answer the same purpose. The juice of the herb dropped into bad wounds in the head, dries up their moisture and heals them.'


Scabious, Field

Botanical: Knautia arvensis
Family: N.O. Compositae
Description
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonyms---
Scabiosa arvensis.
---Part Used---
Herb.

---Description---
There are several species of Scabious indigenous to these islands, of which the Field Scabious (Knautia arvensis) is the largest. It is abundant throughout Britain, flowering best, however, on chalk, and very frequent in meadows, hedgerows or amidst standing corn, where its large blossoms, of a delicate mauve, render it very conspicuous and attractive. The root is perennial, dark in color and somewhat woody, and takes such a firm hold on the ground that it is only eradicated with difficulty. The stems are round and only slightly branched, 2 to 3 feet high, somewhat coarse with short, whitish hairs and rather bare of leaves, except at the base. The leaves vary in character in different plants and in different parts of the same plant; they grow in pairs on the stem and are hairy. The lowest leaves are stalked and very simple in character, about 5 inches long and 1 inch broad, lance-shaped, their margins cut into by large teeth. The upper ones are stalkless, their blades meeting across the main stem and cut into almost to the mid-rib, to form four or five pairs of narrow lobes, with a terminal big lobe. The flowers are all terminal and borne on long stalks. The heads are large and convex in outline, the inner florets are regularly cleft into four lobes or segments, the outer ones are larger and generally, though not always, with rays cut into very unequal segments. The florets when in bud are packed tightly, but with beautiful regularity. The fruit is rather large, somewhat four-cornered and crowned by several short, bristly hairs that radiate from its summit.
The generic name, Knautia, is derived from a Saxon botanist of the seventeenth century, Dr. Knaut. The name Scabious is supposed to be connected with the word 'scab' (a scaly sore), a word derived from the Latin scabies (a form of leprosy), for which and for other diseases of a similar character, some of these species were used as remedies.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Gerard tells us: 'The plant gendereth scabs, if the decoction thereof be drunke certain daies and the juice used in ointments.' We are told that this juice 'being drunke, procureth sweat, especially with Treacle, and atenuateth and maketh thin, freeing the heart from any infection or pestilence.' Culpepper informs us also that it is 'very effectual for coughs, shortness of breath and other diseases of the lungs,' and that the 'decoction of the herb, dry or green, made into wine and drunk for some time together,' is good for pleurisy. The green herb, bruised and applied to any carbuncle was stated by him to dissolve the same 'in three hours' space,' and the same decoction removed pains and stitches in the side. The decoction of the root was considered a cure for all sores and eruptions, the juice being made into an ointment for the same purpose. Also, 'the decoction of the herb and roots outwardly applied in any part of the body, is effectual for shrunk sinews or veins and healeth green wounds, old sores and ulcers.' The juice of Scabious, with powder of Borax and Samphire, was recommended for removing freckles, pimples and leprosy, the head being washed with the same decoction, used warm, for dandruff and scurf, etc.


Scabious, Lesser

Botanical: Scabiosa Columbaria
Family: N.O. Compositae
---Part Used---Herb.

The Lesser Scabious is not uncommon on a chalky soil, and is distinguished from the former by its smaller size. The foliage is of a light hue and the leaves very finely cut into. The flowers are lilac, but in nearly globular heads, not so convex, the corollas being five-cleft, not four-cleft, and the outer florets larger than the inner, though not quite so large as in the Field Scabious. Its properties are similar to the larger species just described.
Scabious herb should be collected in July and August and dried. The root is no longer used.


Scabious, Devil's Bit

Botanical: Scabiosa succisa (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Compositae
Description
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonyms---
Ofbit. Premorse Scabious.
---Part Used---Herb.

The Devil's Bit Scabious is almost as common a plant as the preceding species, but is more often to be found in open meadows and on heaths than in the hedgerow and the cornfield.
---Description---
It is a slender, little-branched plant, with a hairy stem, few leaves, which are oblong and not cut into, and almost globular heads of deep purplish-blue flowers. It is to be found in bloom from July to October. The florets composing the head are all very much the same size, the outer ones being scarcely larger than the inner. The stamens of each floret, as in the other species of Scabious are a very conspicuous feature, the anthers being large and borne upon filaments or threads that are almost as long again as the corolla. The root is, when fully grown, nearly the thickness of a finger, and ends in so abrupt a way as almost to suggest that it had been bitten off, a peculiarity that has given it a place in legends. In the first year of the plant's existence the root is like a diminutive carrot or radish in shape; it then becomes woody and dies away, the upper part excepted; as it decays and falls away, the gnawed or broken look results. The portion left throws out numerous lateral roots, which compensate for the portion that has perished. The plant derives its common name from this peculiarity in the form of the root. Gerard tells us:
'The greater part of the root seemeth to be bitten away; old fantastick charmers report that the divel did bite it for envie, because it is an herbe that hath so many good vertues and it is so beneficial to mankinde.
The legend referred to by Gerard tells how the devil found it in Paradise, but envying the good it might do to the human race, bit away a part of the root to destroy the plant, in spite of which it still flourishes, but with a stumped root. The legend seems to have been very widely spread, for the plant bears this name, not only in England but also on the Continent.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
This plant is still used for its diaphoretic, demulcent and febrifuge properties, the whole herb being collected in September and dried.
It makes a useful tea for coughs, fevers and internal inflammation. The remedy is generally given in combination with others, the infusion being given in wineglassful doses at frequent intervals. It purifies the blood, taken inwardly, and used as a wash externally is a good remedy for cutaneous eruptions. The juice made into an ointment is effectual for the same purpose. The warm decoction has also been used as a wash to free the head from scurf, sores and dandruff.
Culpepper assigned it many uses, saying that the root boiled in wine and drunk was very powerful against the plague and all pestilential diseases, and fevers and poison and bites of venomous creatures, and that 'it helpeth also all that are inwardly bruised or outwardly by falls or blows, dissolving the clotted blood,' the herb or root bruised and outwardly applied, taking away black and blue marks on the skin. He considered 'the decoction of the herb very effectual as a gargle for swollen throat and tonsils, and that the root powdered and taken in drink expels worms.' The juice or distilled water of the herb was deemed a good remedy for green wounds or old sores, cleansing the body inwardly and freeing the skin from sores, scurf, pimples, freckles, etc. The dried root used also to be given in powder, its power of promoting sweat making it beneficial in fevers.
The SHEEP'S (or SHEEP'S-BIT) SCABIOUS (Jasione montana) is not a true Scabious, though at first sight its appearance is similar. It may be distinguished from a Scabious by its united anthers, and it differs from a Compound Flower (Compositae, to which the Scabious belongs) in having a two-celled capsule. It is a member of the Campanulaceae, and is the only British species. The whole plant, when bruised, has a strong and disagreeable smell.
See:
CORNFLOWER
KNAPWEED, BLACK
KNAPWEED, GREATER
TEAZLE THISTLE


Scammony
See:
Bindweeds
Bindweed, Greater
Bindweed, Jalap
Bindweed, Sea
Bindweed, Syrian
Convolvulus


Scopolia

Botanical: Scopola carniolica (JACQ.)
Family: N.O. Solanaceae
Description
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Dosages
Poisonous, if any with Antidotes
---Synonyms---
Scopolia atropoides. Scopola. Belladonna Scopola. Japanese Belladonna.
---Part Used---Dried rhizome.
---Habitat---
Bavaria, Austro-Hungary, South-western Russia.

---Description---
The genus Scopola is a connecting link between Atropa and Hyoscyamus, its leaf, flower and rhizome resembling the former, and the fruit the latter. The Japanese Scopola japonica is so closely allied that it is doubtful if it can be regarded as a distinct species.
S. Carniolica grows in damp, stony places in hilly districts and resembles belladonna both in appearance and characteristics. It only grows to the height of 1 foot, and has thin leaves, its fruit being a transversely dehiscent capsule.
The rhizome is horizontal, curved, almost cylindrical, and somewhat flattened vertically. It is usually found in pieces from 2 1/2 to 7 1/2 cm. long and 0.8 to 1.6 cm. broad, often split before drying. The upper surface is marked with closely-set, large, cup-shaped stem-scars, and the color varies from yellowish-brown to dark, brownish-grey; the fracture is short and sharp, showing a yellowish-white bark, its corky layer dark brown, or pale brown, the central pith being rather horny. It has scarcely any odour, and the taste is sweetish at first, but afterwards bitter and strongly acrid. The Japanese rhizome is larger, with circular scars, not whitish when broken, and having a slightly mousy, narcotic odour, and practically no bitterness in taste.
The bark of S. Carniolica is less thick than in belladonna and the starch grains smaller.
Scopolia is but little used in Britain, but has been used in America for many years in the manufacture of belladonna plasters.
---Constituents---
The alkaloidal constituents are similar to those of Belladonna Root, hyoscine (scopolamine), however, predominating. Inactive scopolamine, also known as atroscine, is present, melting at 82 degrees C. (179.6 degrees F.) and yielding by hydrolysis tropic acid and scopoline. The result of an assay of many tons of the root of Atropa Belladonna and of the rhizome of Scopolia, each of the best qualities to be found in the American market, showed that while belladonna yielded on an average 0.50 per cent of alkaloid, Scopolia yielded 0.58 per cent.
The root of S. Carniolica is official in the United States Pharmacopaeia for the production of an extract and fluid extract. It should contain not less than 0.5 per cent of alkaloids.
Scopolamine hydrobromide is recognized in the United States Pharmacopoeia.
Scopolamine or hyoscine must be preserved in well-closed containers, protected from light. When pure, it forms a syrupy liquid. Great care must be used in tasting it, and then only in dilute solutions. When dried at 100 degrees C. (212 degrees F.) it loses about 12 per cent of its weight. It is the same substance as Hyoscinae Hydrobromicum. Atroscine is an optically inert isomer of scopolamin and Euscopol is an optically inactive scopolaminum hydrobromicum.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Narcotic and mydriatic. The medicinal properties are very like those of belladonna, but the crude drug has been scarcely used at all in internal medicine. Much of the hyoscine of commerce has been obtained from it during the last decade.
Many of the older investigations into the effects of scopolamine are contradictory because of the failure to realize the quantitative difference between racemic and laevoscopolamine. The former, sometimes called atrocine, is very much less powerful in its effects upon the autonomic nerves, though its action upon the central nervous system is about equal.
Its most important use is as a cerebral sedative, especially in manias, hysteria, and drug habits, while in insomnias and epilepsy it increases the effects of other drugs, such as morphine and bromides. It is also useful to allay sexual excitement. In 1900 the use of a combination of morphine and scopolamine was introduced as a means of producing anaesthesia, under the name of 'Twilight Sleep,' either alone or as a preliminary to chloroform or ether, as its peculiar effect in large doses is to cause loss of memory, including that of pain. However, the anaesthesia has often been found to be unsatisfactory, while the mortality has been high.
---Dosages---
Powdered extract, U.S.P., 1 to 5 grains. Of the drug, 1 to 2 grains. Of the fluid extract, U.S.P., 1 to 5 minims. Extract of Scopolia, 1/8 to 1/4 grain. (Prepared by evaporating the fluid extract and assaying it so that it contains 2 per cent of mydriatic alkaloids.) Of Scopolamine, 1/200 to 1/80 grain.
---Poisonous, if Any, with Antidotes---
Many persons being very susceptible to the influence of the drug, the above doses of scopolamine may produce toxic symptoms, which are alarming, though the poisoning, rarely ends fatally.
Sometimes there is disorientation, sometimes active delirium as in atropine poisoning. There may or may not be somnolence. The pupils may be dilated, the pulse rate accelerated and there is dryness of the mouth with a peculiar husky character of voice that appears to be due to laryngeal paralysis. If there should be serious difficulty in breathing, strychnine may be used. It is better not to give drugs for the relief of the delirium, but if very active, small doses of paraldehyde and bromides may be employed.


Scullcaps

Botanical: Scutellarias
Family: N.O Labiatae
Scullcap, Common
Scullcap, Lesser
Scullcap, Virginian
---Habitat---
The Scullcaps, belonging to the genus Scutellaria, are herbaceous, slender, rarely shrubby, labiate plants, scattered over different parts of the world, in temperate regions and tropical mountains, being specially abundant in America. There are about ninety known species belonging to this genus, only two members of which are natives of Great Britain - Scutellaria galericulata and S. minor. Both are found on the banks of rivers and lakes, and in watery places generally, and are decumbent or spreading, seldom quite erect.
The generic name is from the Latin scutella (a little dish), from the lid of the calyx. The form of the latter is a peculiarity by which they can be recognized; it is bell-shaped, lipped, as Hooker describes it: 'the tube being dilated opposite to the posterior lip, with a broad,flattened hollow pouch, the lip and pouch being deciduous in fruit and the mouth closed after flowering.' Hooker adds: 'The only insect known to visit the first species is a butterfly.'



SCULLCAP, COMMON

Botanical: Scutellaria galericulata (LINN.)
---Synonyms---
Greater Scullcap. Helmet Flower. Hoodwort.
(French) Toque.
---Part Used---Herb.
The Common or Greater Scullcap is fairly common in England, though rare in Scotland and local in Ireland.
---Description---
The root-stock is perennial and creeping. The square stems, 6 to 18 inches high, are somewhat slender, either paniculately branched, or, in small specimens, nearly simple, with opposite downy leaves, oblong and tapering, heart-shaped at the base, 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches long, notched and shortly petioled.
The flowers are in pairs, each growing from the axils of the upper, leaf-like bracts, which are quite indistinguishable from the true leaves, and are all turned one way, the pedicels being very short. The corollas are bright blue, variegated with white inside, the tube long and curved, three or four times as long as the calyx, the lips short, the lower lip having three shallow lobes.
Soon after the corolla has fallen off, the upper lip of the calyx, which bulges outward about the middle, closes on the lower as if on a hinge, and gives it the appearance of a capsule with a lid. When the seed is ripe, the cup being dry, divides into two distinct parts, and the seeds, already detached from the receptacle, fall to the ground.
The plant is in flower from July to September. It is subglabrous, with the angles of the stem, the leaves and flowering calyx finely pubescent.



SCULLCAP, LESSER

Botanical: Scutellaria minor (LINN.)
---Part Used---Herb.
The Lesser Scullcap, which grows chiefly in bogs, is not common, except in the western counties and in Ireland.
It has the habit of the preceding species, but is more slender and often much branched and rarely attains 6 inches in height. The whole plant is more glabrous than Scutellaria galericulata.
The leaves are egg-shaped, the upper, quite entire, the lower ones often slightly toothed at the base. The flowers are small, dull pink-purple, the calyx having the same peculiarlty as the larger species.
It flowers from July to October.



SCULLCAP, VIRGINIAN

Botanical: Scutellaria lateriflora (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Labiatae
Cultivation
Part Used
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonyms---
Mad-dog Scullcap. Madweed.
---Part Used---Herb.
The American species, Virginian Scullcap, flowering in July, with inconspicuous blue flowers in one-sided racemes, is one of the finest nervines ever discovered.
Popularly this plant is known in America as Mad-dog Scullcap or Madweed, having the reputation of being a certain cure for hydrophobia.
The English species, Scutellaria galericulata and S. minor, possess similar nervine properties to the American, and with S. integrifolia and other American species with the flowers in one-sided terminal racemes, are often used as substitutes.
Among the cultivated species are S. micrantha, from Siberia and the north of China, a handsome species with spiked racemes of blue flowers; and S. Coccinea, from Mexico, with scarlet flowers.
The French name for this plant is Toque.
---Cultivation---
The various species of Scutellaria will grow in any ordinary garden soil,preferring sunny, open borders, where they will live much longer and grow more strongly than on a rich soil, though they seldom continue more than two or three years.
Plant in March or April, 6 inches apart.
Propagation is mostly effected by seeds, sown in gentle heat in February or March or out of doors, in half-shady positions, in light soil in April. Transplant into permanent quarters in the autumn. No further care is necessary than weeding.
Propagation may also be effected by division of roots in March or April, but the roots are generally lifted, divided and replanted only when overgrown.
---Part Used---
The whole herb, collected in June, dried and powdered.
---Constituents---
A volatile oil, Scutellarin, and a bitter glucoside, yielding Scutellarein on hydrolysis. Also tannin, fat, some bitter principle, sugar and cellulose.
[Top of Scullcap, Virginian]
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Scullcap has strong tonic, nervine and antispasmodic action, and is slightly astringent.
In hysteria, convulsions, hydrophobia, St. Vitus's dance and rickets, its action is invaluable. In nervous headaches, neuralgia and in headache arising from incessant coughing and pain, it offers one of the most suitable and reliable remedies. The dried extract, given in doses of from 1 to 3 grains as a pill, will relieve severe hiccough.
Many cases of hydrophobia have been cured by this remedy alone.
It is considered a specific for the convulsive twitchings of St. Vitus's dance, soothing the nervous excitement and inducing sleep when necessary, without any unpleasant symptoms following.
Fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm.
It may be prescribed in all disorders of the nervous system, and has been suggested as a remedy for epilepsy. Writing on this point in the British Medical Journal, 1915, Dr. William Bramwell says: 'Its efficacy appears to be partly due to its stimulating the kidneys to increased activity....'
Overdoses of the tincture cause giddiness, stupor, confusion of mind, twitchings of the limbs, intermission of the pulse and other symptoms indicative of epilepsy, for which in diluted strength and small doses it has been successfully given.
The usual dose is an infusion of 1 OZ. of the powdered herb to a pint of boiling water, given in half-teacupful doses, every few hours. Both fluid and solid extracts are prepared and Scutellarin is also administered in doses of 1 to 2 grains.
Fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm.
The European species, S. galericulata, was at one time given for the tertian ague, and was said to have proved beneficial where the fits were more obstinate than violent, 1 to 2 OZ. of the expressed juice, or an infusion of a handful or two of the herb, being given. In England, however, the remedy was not in use.


Scurvy Grass

Botanical: Cochlearia officinalis (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Cruciferae
---Synonym---
Spoonwort.
---Part Used---
Herb.
---Habitat---
Abundant on the shores in Scotland, growing inland along some of its rivers and Highland mountains and not uncommon in stony, muddy and sandy soils in England and Ireland, also in the Arctic Circle, sea-coasts of Northern and Western Europe and to high elevations in the great European mountain chains.
---Description---
It is a small, low-growing plant, annual or biennial, with thick, fleshy, glabrous, egg-shaped, cordate leaves (hence its name of spoonwort). The upper leaves are sessile - lower ones stalked, deltoid orbicular or reniform entire or toothed angularly. Flowers all summer in white short racemes - pods nearly globular - prominent valves of the mid-rib when dry. It has an unpleasant smell and a bitter, warm, acrid taste, very pungent when fresh.
---Constituents---
Leaves abound in a pungent oil containing sulphur, of the butylic series.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Formerly the fresh herb was greatly used on sea-voyages as a preventative of scurvey. It is stimulating, aperient, diuretic, antiscorbutic. The essential oil is of benefit in paralytic and rheumatic cases; scurvy-grass ale was a popular tonic drink.
The infusion of 2 OZ. to a pint of boiling water is taken in frequent wineglassful doses.


Sea Fennel
See Fennel.


Sea Lavender
See Lavender, Sea, American.


Seaweed
See:
Bladderwrack
Moss (Corsican)
Moss (Irish)


Sedge, Sweet

Botanical: Acorus Calamus (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Araceae
Description
Cultivation
Collection
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Adulterations
Other Sedges
---Synonyms---
Calamus. Sweet Flag. Sweet Root. Sweet Rush. Sweet Cane. Gladdon. Sweet Myrtle. Myrtle Grass. Myrtle Sedge. Cinnamon Sedge.
---Part Used---Root.
---Habitat---
Found in all European countries except Spain. Southern Russia, northern Asia Minor, southern Siberia, China, Japan, northern United States of America, Hungary, Burma, Ceylon and India.
The Sweet Sedge is a vigorous, reed-like, aquatic plant, flourishing in ditches, by the margins of lakes and streams and in marshy places generally, associated with reeds, bullrushes and bur-reed.
Its erect, sword-shaped leaves bear considerable resemblance to those of the Yellow Flag, hence its equally common popular name of 'Sweet Flag,' though it is not related botanically to the Iris, being a member of the Arum order, Araceae. All parts of the plant have a peculiar, agreeable fragrance.
Formerly, on account of its pleasant odour, it was freely strewn on the floors of churches at festivals and often in private houses, instead of rushes. The specific name, calamus, is derived from the Greek calamos (a reed).
The floors of Norwich Cathedral until quite recently were always strewn with calamus at great festivals.
As the Sweet Sedge did not grow near London, but had to be fetched at considerable expense from Norfolk and Suffolk, one of the charges of extravagance brought against Cardinal Wolsey was his habit of strewing his floors with fresh rushes.
Most species of this order give out a considerable amount of heat within the spathe at the time of flowering, so that the temperature rises noticeably above that of the external air. Many of the varieties also have lurid coloring and a fetid odour.
The generic name, Acorus, is from Acoron, the Greek name of the plant used by Dioscorides and said to be derived from Coreon (the pupil of the eye), diseases of which the Ancients used this plant to cure.
The rhizomes are an important commercial commodity and of considerable medicinal value.
Though now common throughout Europe, there is little doubt that the Sweet Flag is a native of eastern countries, being indigenous to the marshes of the mountains of India.
It is said to have been introduced into Poland by the Tartars, but not till 1588 is it recorded as abundant in Germany. Clusius, the famous botanist, first cultivated it at Vienna in 1574, from a root obtained from Asia Minor and distributed it to other botanists in Belgium, Germany and France. It is readily propagated and rapidly becomes established. In England, it was probably introduced about 1596, being first grown by Gerard, who says that 'Anthony Coline the apothecarie sent him pieces from Lyons,' telling him that he had used it in his composition of Treacle. ('Treacle' was a term used by the old herbalists for a medicine composed of many herbal ingredients.) Gerard looked upon it as an Eastern plant, which he says is grown in many English gardens and might hence be fitly called the 'Sweet Garden Flag.'
Calamus was largely grown from time immemorial for its rhizomes in the East and the Indian rhizomes were imported extensively long after it was common in Europe. The Indian rhizome is said to have a stronger and more agreeable flavour than that obtained in Europe or the United States.
If the Calamus of the Bible is this plant, Exodus xxx. 23, Canticles iv. 14, and Ezekiei xxvii. 19, are the earliest records of its use.
The Calamus aromaticus of the Ancients is thought by some to be a plant belonging to the Gentian family, though the description of the plant 'Acoron,' a native of Colchis, Galatia, Pontus and Crete, given by Dioscorides and Pliny, seems to refer to the Sweet Flag.
It is now found wild on the margins of ponds and rivers in most of the English counties, and is in some parts abundant, especially in the Fen districts. In Scotland it is scarce. It is found in all European countries except Spain, and becomes more abundant eastward and in southern Russia, northern Asia Minor and southern Siberia, China and Japan. It is also found in the northern United States of America, where it appears to be indigenous.
It is cultivated to a small extent in Hungary, Burma and Ceylon, and is common in gardens in India. In northern China another species is cultivated as an ornamental greenhouse plant, but the wild plant is that generally collected for use, especially in Russia, on the shores of the Black Sea. In 1724, Berlu (Treasury of Drugs) states that it was 'brought in quantities from Germany,' hence it may be inferred it was not collected in England until a later period, when the London market was supplied from the rivers and marshes of Norfolk, where it was cultivated in the Fen districts, and from the banks of the Thames, as much as L.40 having been obtained for the year's crop of a single acre of the riverside land on which it naturally grows. But for many years now the native source has been neglected and the rhizomes for medicinal and commercial use are imported. In dry summers, large quantities are collected in the ditches in Germany, but the greater proportion of the imported drug is derived from southern Russia, via Germany.
In the districts in Norfolk where the plant flourishes the villagers call it 'Gladdon,' so the name would appear to apply to more than one species of the family. A few years since, the 'Gladdon harvest' was an important episode in the country of the 'Broads,' and many small boats might be seen laden with this plant, being brought to shore for marketing purposes. Some of the Norfolk churches in country districts are thatched with this 'reed.'
---Description---
The Sweet Sedge is a perennial herb, in habit somewhat resemblingthe Iris, with a long, indefinite, branched, cylindrical rhizome immersed in the mud, usually smaller than that of the Iris, about the thickness of a finger and emitting numerous roots. The erect leaves are yellowish-green, 2 to 3 feet in length, few, all radical, sheathing at their bases (which are pink), swordshaped, narrow and flat, tapering into a long, acute point, the edges entire, but wavy or crimped. The leaves are much like those of Iris, but may readily be distinguished from these and from all others by the peculiar crimped edges and their aromatic odour when bruised.
The scape or flower-stem arises from the axils of the outer leaves, which it much resembles, but is longer and solid and triangular. From one side, near the middle of its length, projecting upwards at an angle, from the stem, it sends out a solid, cylindrical, blunt spike or spadix, tapering at each end, from 2 to 4 inches in length, often somewhat curved and densely crowded with very small greenish-yellow flowers. Each tiny flower contains six stamens enclosed in a perianth with six divisions and surrounding a threecelled, oblong ovary with a sessile stigma. The flowers are sweet-scented and so formed that cross-pollination is ensured, but the plant is not usually fertile in the British Isles, as it is in Asia, the proper insects being absent here. The fruit, which does not ripen inEurope, is a berry, being full of mucus, which falls when ripe into the water or to the ground, and is thus dispersed, but it fruits sparingly everywhere and propagates itself mainly by the rapid growth of its spreading rhizome.
It is easily distinguished from all other British plants by its peculiar spadix, which appears in June and July, and by the fragrance of its roots, stems and leaves.
In most localities the flowers are not very abundantly produced: it never flowers unless actually growing in water.
---Cultivation---
The plants can be propagated very readily by the division of the clumps or of the rhizomes in early spring, or at the commencement of autumn, portions of the rhizome being planted in damp, muddy spots, in marshes or on the margins of water, set 1 foot apart and well covered. It will succeed very well in a garden if the ground is moist, but a rich, moist soil is essential, or it has to be frequently watered.
---Collection---It is the root-stock or rhizome that is used for medicinal purposes, a digestive medicine being made from it which is official in the United States Pharmacopceia and in several others.
Calamus root has also value as a commercial commodity in various industries.
Experiments have lately been made with a distillation of the leaves, and if the fragrant volatile oil contained in them can be obtained successfully on economic conditions, this will create a trade.
The rhizomes are gathered when large enough, generally after two or three years, and before they lose their firmness and become hollow. Late autumn or early spring is the time chosen for collection.
If actually growing in water, the raft-like masses of interwoven roots and mud, which in a river or lake float about a foot below the surface of the water, are cut out in square sections, raked to the lake edge, the leaves stripped off and separated. Whether growing thus actually in water, or in moist ground, the rhizomes are next thoroughly washed in a trough, and then, deprived of the far less aromatic and brittle rootlets, which are 4 to 6 inches long, unbranched, but near the tip beset with soft, thin fibres.
The fresh root-stock is brownish-red, or greenish-white and reddish within and of a spongy texture, tolerably uniform in transverse section. It has an aromatic sweet odour and a bitterish, pungent taste.
The dried rhizome appears in commerce in tortuous, sub-cylindrical or flattened pieces, a few inches long and from 1/2 to 1 inch in diameter; externally, yellowish-brown, with blackish patches; sharply longitudinally wrinkled, the upper surface obliquely marked with broad, dark, often fibrous leaf-scales, which are often broadly V-shaped and have sharply projecting margins, the lower surface is thickly pitted with a zigzag line of circular root-scars, which exhibit a low whitish rim and a dark depressed centre. The fracture is short, sharp, corky, whitish and starchy. The texture is spongy, exhibiting numerous oilcells and scattered wood-bundles.
On drying, Calamus loses from 70 to 75 per cent in weight, but improves in odour and taste. It deteriorates, however, after long keeping.
Since the oil-cells containing the aromatic essential oil are situated in the outer part, peeling the rhizomes before shipping or distilling, as is often done on the Continent, should not be resorted to. Most of the commercial article has the outer portion of the cortex removed, but the handsome, white peeled (German) Calamus of the market cannot be used in accordance with the official requirements of other pharmacopoeias. The peeled rhizome is usually angular and often split. Though white when fresh, it turns pinkish on drying and is less aromatic and bitter than the unpeeled.
---Constituents---
The properties of Calamus are almost entirely due to its volatile oil, obtained by steam distillation. The oil is contained in all parts of the plant, though in greatest quantity in the rhizome, the leaves yielding to distillation 0.2 per cent, the fresh root 1.5 to 3.5 per cent, the dried German root 0.8 per cent, and the Japan root as much as 5 per cent.
The oil is strong and fragrant, its taste warm, bitterish, pungent and aromatic. Its active principles are taken up by boiling water. It is a thick, pale yellow liquid. Little is known of its chemistry, though it possibly contains pinene and the chief aromatic constituent is asaryl aldehyde.
The rhizome also contains alkaloidal matter, mainly Choline (formerly thought to be a specific alkaloid, Calamine); soft resin, gum, starch and the bitter glucoside, Acorin, which is amorphous, semi-fluid, resinous, of neutral reaction, aromatic odour and bitter aromatic taste.
Calamus Oil is used in perfumery - an alcoholate is made with 3 kilos to 3.5 kilos of rhizome to 20 litres of 85 per cent alcohol.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Calamus was formerly much esteemed as an aromatic stimulant and mild tonic. A fluid extract is an official preparation in the United States and some other Pharmacopceias, but it is not now official in the British Pharmacopceia, though it is much used in herbal medicine as an aromatic bitter.
On account of the volatile oil which is present, it also acts as a carminative, removing the discomfort caused by flatulence and checking the growth of the bacteria which give rise to it.
It is used to increase the appetite and benefit digestion, given as fluid extract, infusion or tincture. Tincture of Calamus, obtained by macerating the finely-cut rhizome in alcohol for seven days and filtering, is used as a stomachic and flavouring agent. It has a brownish-yellow color and a pungent, spicy taste.
The essential oil is used as an addition to inhalations.
The dried root may be chewed ad libitum to relieve dyspepsia or an infusion of 1 OZ. to 1 pint of boiling water may be taken freely in doses of a teacupful. The dried root is also chewed to clear the voice.
Fluid extract, U.S.P., 15 to 60 drops.
Calamus has been found useful in ague and low fever, and was once greatly used by country people in Norfolk, either in infusion, or powdered, as a remedy against the fever prevalent in the Fens. Its use has been attended with great success where Peruvian bark has failed. It is also beneficial as a mild stimulant in typhoid cases.
The tonic medicine called Stockton Bitters, formerly in much esteem in some parts of England, is made from the root of this plant and that of Gentiana campestris.
Waller's British Herbal says:
'It is of great service in all nervous complaints, vertigoes, headaches and hypochondriacal affections. Also commended in dysentry and chronic catarrhs. The powdered root may be given, 12 grs. to 1/2 drachm. In an infusion of 2 drachms to a pint of water or of white wine, it is an agreeable stomachic, even to persons in health, to take a glass about an hour before dinner. When the root is candied with sugar, it is convenient to dyspeptic patients, who may carry it in a small box, in the pocket, and take it as they find occasion.'
On the Continent the candied rhizome is widely employed. The Turks use the candied rhizome as a preventive against contagion.
The rhizome is largely used in native Oriental medicines for dyspepsia and bronchitis and chewed as a cough lozenge, and from the earliest times has been one of the most popular remedies of the native practitioners of India. The candied root is sold as a favourite medicine in every Indian bazaar.
The powdered root is also esteemed in Ceylon and India as a vermifuge and an insecticide, especially in relation to fleas. Sprinkled round a tree attacked by white ants in Malay (Perak) it was found to destroy those that were near the surface and prevented others from attacking the tree.
In powder, Calamus root on account of its spicy flavour serves as a substitute for cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger.
It is said also to be used by snuff manufacturers and to scent hair-powders and in tooth-powders, in the same way as orris.
The highly aromatic volatile oil is largely used in perfumery.
The oil is used by rectifiers to improve the flavour of gin and to give a peculiar taste and fragrance to certain varieties of beer.
In the United States, Calamus was also formerly used by country people as an ingredient in making wine bitters.
In Lithuania, the root is preserved with sugar-like angelica.
The young and tender inflorescence is often eaten by children for its sweetness. In Holland, children use the rhizomes as chewing-gum and also make pop-gun projectiles of them.
The aroma that makes the leaves attractive to us, renders them distasteful to cattle, who do not touch the plant.
There is a seventeenth-century reference to broth 'flavoured with Angelica seed and Calamus.'
An extract from Salmon's Herbal (1710), giving no less than sixteen different preparations of Calamus, will show in how much greater esteem it was held in former days:
'It is a good stimulant and carminative. The preparations: The root only is of use, and you may have therefrom 1, A liquid Juice. 2, An Essence. 3, An Infusion of Wine. 4, A Decoction in Wine. 5, A Powder. 6, A Cataplasm. 7, A spirituous Tincture. 8, An acid Tincture. 9, An oily Tincture. 10, A Spirit. 11, A chemical Oil. 12, Potestates or Powers. 13, An Elixir. 14, A Collegium. 15, A Preserve. 16, A Syrup. The Liquid Juice, No. 1, was said "to prevail against the bitings of mad dogs and other venomous creatures." It is a peculiar thing against poison, the Plague and all contagious diseases.'
Culpepper says:
'The spicy bitterness of the root of this plant (which he calls the Bastard Flag) bespeaks it as a strengthener of the stomach and head and therefore may fitly be put into any composition of that intention. The root preserved may with good success be used by itself. The leaves, having a very grateful flavour, are by some nice cooks put into sauce for fish.'
---Adulterations---
The rhizome of the Common Yellow Flag (Iris pseudacorus) issometimes mixed with those of the Sweet Flag, when collected in this country, but is readily detected by its darker color, different structure and want of aromatic odour and taste.
Calamus Draco (Willd.) (Daemonorops Draco, Martius) is a slender palm of the East Indies, yielding the resin 'Dragon's Blood,' obtained from the fruit, used in former times as a mild astringent in diarrhoea, but now never given internally. It was formerly an ingredient of many plasters.
At present, it is mainly used as a coloring agent in pharmacy and the arts, to color tooth-powders, tinctures and plasters and to impart a mahogany color to varnishes and wood stains.
The term 'Dragon's Blood' has also been applied to the resin of Dracaena draca (Socotra), Pterocarpus Draco (West Indies) and Croton Draco.
See DRAGON S BLOOD.


OTHER SEDGES

N.O. Araceae
The Sedge family is of comparatively slight economic importance. The plants are distinguished from the true Grasses, which they closely resemble, by their solid stems, leafsheaths which are not connate, and the presence of but a single scale to each flower.
They are mostly coarse, harsh and indigestible, and not adapted for food purposes, though the rhizomes of several have been utilized as starchy foods.
Quite a number possess volatile oils and aromatic principles, while others are rich in astringents - chiefly the species indigenous to India and China.
Among the more important aromatics and carminatives are Cyperus sanguinea-fuscus (Nees), the Cure-pire of Paraguay, C. elegans (Rottb.) of Mexico; C. pertenuis (Roxb.), the Indian Nagar-motha or Koriak, whose roots, when dried and powdered, are used by the Indian ladies for perfuming their hair; and C. tegetum (Roxb.); Adrue or Guinea Rush is the rhizome of C. articulatus (Linn.), which, besides being used as a carminative, has a high repute in the East Indies for anti-emetic properties. The blackish tubers have a somewhat bitter, aromatic taste, resembling that of Lavender. A fluid extract is prepared from them used in herbal medicine. The aromatic properties of the drug cause a feeling of warmth to be diffused throughout the system and act as a sedative in dyspeptic disorders. It is common also in Jamaica and on the banks of the Nile.
Two Indian species of Sedge, C. rotundus and C. scarious, also possess fragrant roots, largely employed in Eastern perfumes, but they are little used in Europe.
The tubers of C. hexastachys are said to be successfully used by Hindu practitioners in cases of cholera. They call the plant 'Mootha.'
The tubers of C. bulbosus are said to taste like potatoes when roasted, and would be valuable for food if they were bigger.
The root of C. odoratus has a warm, aromatic taste, and is given in India in infusions as a stomachic.
The roots of the Sweet Cyperus or English Galingale (C. longus, Linn.) were once esteemed as an aromatic tonic, considered good as a stomachic and serviceable in the first stages of dropsy, but they have now fallen into disuse. This species is a native of France, Germany, Italy and Sicily, but very rare in this country, being only found in a few places in Dorsetshire and Wales. The plants throw up erect triangular stems, about 2 feet high, bearing three long, channelled, drooping leaves and a lax, compound umbel of flat flower-spikes, which renders it very ornamental when in flower.
C. esculentus is a native of Italy and Sicily and the Levant. Its roots are fibrous, with small round tubers hanging from them, of the size of peas, which taste like sweet filberts and are eaten in Italy, and sold in the markets.
The French call the tubers Souchet comestible or Amande de terre.
C. Papyrus is the wiccan Papyrus, the fibrous stems of which provided the earliest form of paper known.
This plant had various economic uses, as Pliny and other writers have shown, though as the wiccans cultivated other Sedges, it is probable that these became more exclusively used for food and fuel, sails and cordage, baskets and sieves, not to speak of punts or canoes to which the prophet Isaiah refers (Isaiah xviii. 2), where the Ethiopians are spoken of as sending ambassadors by the sea even in vessels of bulrushes upon the waters (the Hebrew word is gome). The papyrus was, in ancient times, carefully cultivated, especially in certain districts of Lower, and probably of Upper Egypt also, for the great and important purpose with which its name must ever be associated.
For this manufacture the rind was removed, the pith cut in strips and laid lengthwise on a flat board, their edges united by some glue or cement (Pliny says 'Nile water'), and the whole subjected to pressure, compacting the several strips into one uniform fabric. This material was well known to the Ancients, and continued to be used in Europe until the time of Charlemagne, when it was superseded by parchment. It is remarkable that although we have no trace in Scripture of the use of papyrus or other vegetable substance by the Jews for writing purposes, the plant has been found to exist in vast quantities in the Lake Merom at the northern end of the Lake of Tiberias, and in some of the streams which flow into the Mediterranean.
On the other hand, it has disappeared from Egypt, where it once grew in quantity. It is also grown in Sicily and Sardinia, but on a limited scale.
Of the Papyrus, or some allied species of Sedge, Heliodorus relates that the Ethiopians made swift-sailing wherries, capable of carrying two or three men; and the traveller Bruce refers to a similar use of this ancient plant among the modern Abyssinians.
Other writers give similar testimony, and it is highly probable that such light vessels were coated with bitumen, like the rude basket made by Jochabed for the infant Moses (Exod. ii. 3).
The stems of the Papyrus were likewise used for ornamenting wiccan temples, and crowning the statues of their gods.
This plant, if grown in Britain, requires the aid of a stove to grow it properly, and then it must have a good supply of water.
Scirpus lacustris, the Great Club-Rush or Common Bulrush, is used for making chair seats, mats and hassocks, being imported dried, in large bundles from Holland. The roots are astringent and diuretic and were formerly employed in medicine, but are now no longer used.
S. capillaris is used in Spanish America under the name of Espartillo, as a pectoral.
Other British species are the chocolateheaded Club-Rush (S. pauciflorus), Deer'shair (S. coespitosus), Dwarf Club-Rush (S. nanus), Floating Mud-Rush (S. fluitans), Savi's Mud-Rush (S. cernuus), Bristle-like Mud-Rush (S. saetaceus), Round-headed Mud-Rush (S. Holoschoeuus), and eight others of the genus Scirpus.
Kyllingia monocephala is used in Paraguay as a substitute for Calamus.
Carex arenaria (Linn.), the Sand Sedge, is a familiar seaside species of Sedge, which is very widely distributed and common on sandy coasts, growing on sand-dunes and elsewhere at high-water mark, amongst grasses and herbage, helping to bind it together.
The plant is perennial, propagating itself rapidly in loose sand, on which account it is planted on dykes in Holland for the purpose of binding the sand by means of its long and interlacing underground stems, which penetrate horizontally about 4 inches below the surface, thus helping to prevent the incursions of the sea. It has been used for this purpose also on the British East Coast.
The rhizomes have been used medicinally in Germany as a substitute for Sarsaparilla, in the same way that Couch Grass is here employed, having diuretic and sudorific properties.
C. vulpinoides, an allied species to C. vulpina (Great or Fox Sedge), is a North American plant, but has been found on the banks of the Thames near Kew.
There are sixty-nine species of Carex given by Johns (Flowers of the Field), besides those mentioned above; some only grow in Scotland, and none have medicinal or practical uses.
Eriophorum angustifolium (Cotton Grass), with its long white tufts of hair, is very decorative on our bogs and mosses in the middle of summer. The down is used in moorland districts for stuffing pillows, and attempts have been made to employ it as a substitute for cotton, under the name of 'Arctic Wool,' thread having been spun from it, but the fibres are more brittle than those of cotton and do not bear twisting as well. Candles and lamp wicks have been made from the down by country people.
In former days the leaves and roots had some reputation in northern countries as a medicine in diarrhoea, as like most members of the Sedge family, they possess considerable astringency.
The name Eriophorum is from the Greek erion (wool) and phero (I bear).
Culpepper approved of the use of 'Bulrushes' and 'some of the smoother sorts,' but considered they should be 'given with caution,' as they were apt to 'cause head-ache, and provoke sleep. The root, boiled in water, to the consumption of one-third, helps the cough.'
See GRASSES.


Self-Heal

Botanical: Prunella vulgaris (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Labiatae
Description
Constituents
Part Used
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonyms---Prunella. All-Heal. Hook-Heal. Slough-Heal. Brunella. Heart of the Earth. Blue Curls.
---Part Used---
Herb.
---Habitat---
Common throughout the British Isles and Europe.
The Self-Heal holds an equal place with Bugle in the esteem of herbalists.
---Description---
It may at once be distinguished from other members of the greatLabiate order because on the top of its flowering stalks, the flowers - to quote Culpepper - are 'thicke set together like an eare or spiky knap.' No other plant is at all like it. Immediately below this ear are a pair of stalkless leaves standing out on either side like a collar. The flowers and bracts of this spike or 'ear' are arranged in most regular tiers or whorls, each tier composed of a ring of six stalkless flowers, supported by a couple of spreading, sharp-pointed bracts. The number of whorls varies from half a dozen to a dozen. The flower-spike is at first very short, compact and cylindrical, but then opens out somewhat, maintaining much the same size throughout its length, not tapering as in the flower spikes of most other flowers. The flowers do not come out simultaneously in any one ring, so that a somewhat raggedlooking head of flowers is produced.
Each flower consists of a two-lipped calyx, the upper lip very wide and flat, edged with three blunt teeth, the lower lip much narrower and with two long, pointed teeth. Bothlips have red margins and carry hairs. The two-lipped corolla is of a deep purple hue, the upper lip strongly arched, on the top of the arch many hairs standing on end, and the lower lip of much the same length, spreading out into three holes. Under the roofing upper lip are two pairs of stamens, one pair longer than the other, their filaments ending in two little branches, one of which carries an anther, the other remaining a little spike. Through the centre of the two pairs of stamens the long style runs, curving so as to fit under the lip, its lower end set between four nutlets. Honey lies at the bottom of the corolla tube, protected from tiny insects by a thick hedge of hairs placed just above it. The flower is adapted by this formation, like the rest of the Labiate group, for fertilization by bees, who alight on the lower lip and in thrusting their probosces down the tube for the honey, dust their heads with the pollen from the anthers and then on visiting the next flower, smear this pollen on the end of the curving style that runs up the arch of the upper lip and thus effect fertilization. After fertilization is effected, the corolla falls out of the sheath like calyx, which, however, remains in place, as do also the two bracts supporting each whorl. When all the purple corollas have fallen and only the rings of the persistent calyces remain, the resemblance to an ear of corn, which Culpepper points out, is very marked.
The plant does not rely wholly for its propagation on the four little nutlets that ripen within the continually reddening calyx, even though the flowering season is particularly long, lasting through all the summer months, for its creeping stems can throw out roots at every point, new plants thus being formed, as in the case of the Bugle. It is from the creeping stems that the flowering spikes arise, standing upright among the herbage, 3 inches to a foot in height.
The leaves, oblong in form and blunt, about an inch long and 1/2 inch broad, grow on short stalks in pairs down the square stem, from which they stand out boldly, and are often roughish on the top, with scattered, close hairs, their mid-rib at the back also carrying hairs and their margins fringed with tiny hairs. Their outline is either one continuous line, or they are slightly indented along their margins.
---Habitat---
Self-Heal is a very common plant throughout Britain and all over Europe, abundant in pastures and on waste ground. In open and exposed situations, the plant is diminutive, while in more sheltered spots it is larger in all its parts. It branches freely, lateral stems being thrown out in pairs at almost every node, from which the leaves spring. The main stem is often deeply grooved and rough to the touch, the lower parts tinted with reddish purple.
Self-Heal is one of those common wildflowers that have found their way to North America, tending even to oust the native flowers. It is known there as 'Heart of the Earth' and 'Blue Curls.'
Cole, in Adam in Eden (1657), says:
'It is called by modern writers (for neither the ancient Greek nor Latin writers knew it) Brunella, from Brunellen, which is a name given unto it by the Germans, because it cureth that inflammation of the mouth which they call "die Breuen," yet the general name of it in Latin nowadays is Prunella, as being a word of a more gentile pronunciation.'
Cole further explains that the disease in question 'is common to soldiers when they Iye in camp, but especially in garrisons, coming with an extraordinary inflammation or swelling, as well in the mouth as throat, the very signature of the Throat which the form of the Floures so represent signifying as much' - an instance of the doctrine of signatures of which William Cole was such a ready exponent.
'There is not a better Wound herbe,' says Gerard, 'in the world than that of SelfHeale is, the very name importing it to be very admirable upon this account and indeed the Virtues doe make it good, for this very herbe without the mixture of any other ingredient, being onely bruised and wrought with the point of a knife upon a trencher or the like, will be brought into the form of a salve, which will heal any green wounde even in the first intention, after a very wonderful manner, The decoction of Prunell made with wine and water doth join together and make whole and sound all wounds, both inward and outward, even as Bugle doth. To be short, it serveth for the same that the Bugle serveth and in the world there are not two better wound herbs as hath been often proved.'
---Constituents---
The chemical principles of Bugle and Self-Heal resemble those of the other Labiate herbs, comprising a volatile oil; some bitter principle, not yet analysed; tannin, to which its chief medicinal use due; sugar and cellulose.
---Part Used---
The whole herb, collected when in best condition in mid-summer.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Astringent, styptic and tonic.
Self-Heal is still in use in modern herbal treatment as a useful astringent for inward or outward use.
An infusion of the herb, made from 1 OZ. to a pint of boiling water, and taken in doses of a wineglassful, is considered a general strengthener. Sweetened with honey, it is good for a sore and relaxed throat or ulcerated mouth, for both of which purposes it also makes a good gargle. For internal bleeding and for piles, the infusion is also used as an injection.
Culpepper, explaining the name 'Self-Heal whereby when you are hurt, you may heal yourself,' tells us that:
'it is an especial herb for inward or outward wounds. Take it inwardly in syrups for inward wounds, outwardly in unguents and plasters for outward. As Self-Heal is like Bugle in form, so also in the qualities and virtues, serving for all purposes, whereunto Bugle is applied with good success either inwardly or outwardly, for inward wounds or ulcers in the body, for bruises or falls and hurts. If it be combined with Bugle, Sanicle and other like wound herbs, it will be more effectual to wash and inject into ulcers in the parts outwardly.... It is an especial remedy for all green wounds to close the lips of them and to keep the place from further inconveniences. The juice used with oil of roses to annoint the temples and forehead is very effectual to remove the headache, and the same mixed with honey of roses cleaneth and healeth ulcers in the mouth and throat.'


Senega

Botanical: Polygala Senega (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Polygalaceae
Description
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Dosages
Poisons and Antidotes
Adulterations and Other Species
---Synonyms---
Snake Root. Senegae Radix. Seneca. Seneka. Polygala Virginiana. Plantula Marilandica. Senega officinalis. Milkwort. Mountain Flax. Rattlesnake Root.
---Part Used---
Dried Root.
---Habitat---
North America.
---Description---
This perennial herb, about a foot high, grows throughout central and western North America, in woods, and on dry, rocky soil. The leaves are small alternate, and narrowly lanceolate, and the numerous, small pinky-white flowers are crowded on to a narrow, terminal spike from 1 to 2 inches long.
The name of the genus, Polygala, means 'much milk,' alluding to its own profuse secretions and their effects. 'Senega' is derived from the Seneca tribe of North American Indians, among whom the plant was used as a remedy for snake-bites.
The root, varying in color from light yellowish grey to brownish grey, and in size from the thickness of a straw to that of the little finger, has as its distinguishing mark a projecting line, along its concave side. It is usually twisted, sometimes almost spiral, and has at its upper end a thick, irregular, knotty crown, showing traces of numerous, wiry stems. It breaks with a short fracture, the wood often showing an abnormal appearance, since one or two wedge-shaped portions may be replaced by parenchymatous tissue, as if a segment of wood had been cut out. The keels are due to the development of the bast, and not to any abnormality in the wood. The odour and taste resemble that of Wintergreen.
About 1735, Dr. John Tennent, a Scottish physician living in Pennsylvania, was introduced to the use of the root by the Seneca Indians for curing rattlesnake-bite. As the symptoms were similar to those of pleurisy and the latter stages of pleuropneumonia, he experimented with it in those diseases with success, and as a result the drug was accepted in Europe and cultivated in England in 1739. The roots should be gathered when the leaves are dead, and before the first frost. From carelessness in collection other roots are often found mixed with it, but not for intentional adulteration. The root of commerce is obtained from Polygala latifolia also, this species being several inches taller and having larger leaves than P. Senega. The dried roots, usually in broken pieces, are brought into market in bales weighing from 50 to 400 lb. They vary a little in appearance according to their locality. The official Senega is the small Southern Senega, 400 to 500 of the dried roots of which are required to make a pound. Manitoba Senega is larger and darker, often with purple markings near the crown. The Northern, White, False, or Large Senega, comes from Wisconsin, Minnesota, and farther west. About 80 to 100 of its roots will make a pound. It is stated that it is not possible to distinguish the two when powdered.
---Constituents---
The root contains polygalic acid, virgineic acid, pectic and tannic acids, yellow, bitter, coloring matter, cerin fixed oil, gum, albumen, woody fibre, salts, alumina, silica, magnesia and iron. The powder is yellowish-grey to light yellowishbrown.
The active principle, contained in the bark, is Senegin (which some authorities regard as another name for polygalic acid, while others differentiate between the two). It is a white powder easily soluble in hot water and alcohol, forming a soapy emulsion when mixed with boiling water. It is almost identical with the saponin of Saponaria officinalis and Quillaria Saponaria. Thus its influence counteracts, or can be counteracted, by digitalis.
Another analysis, in 1889, gives fixed oil and resin, traces of volatile oil (a mixture of valeric ether and methyl salicylate), 7 per cent sugar, from 2 to 5 per cent senegin, yellow coloring-matter, and malates.
It is advisable to use an alkali in small proportion in making galenical preparations of senega.
Oil of Senega is bitter, rancid, and disagreeable, with the consistency of syrup and an acid reaction. It is not Seneca oil.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
A stimulating expectorant, diuretic and diaphoretic. The Ancients regarded its action as identical with that of ipecacuanha, but in doses of three times the strength. It should be used when the power to expectorate is small - very useful in the second stage of acute bronchial catarrh or pneumonia. It is of little value when the expectoration is tough and scanty, but very helpful in chronic pneumonia or bronchitis or dropsy dependent on renal disease. Spirit of chloroform will lessen its disagreeable taste. It has been used also in croup, whooping-cough, and rheumatism.
As it stimulates most of the secretions, it is also useful as a sialagogue and emmenagogue. In active inflammation its use is contraindicated.
In large doses it is emetic and cathartic.
---Dosages---
Powdered root, 5 to 20 grains. Fluid extract, 10 to 20 drops. Of infusion, B.P., 4 to 8 drachrns. Of syrup, U.S.P., 1 drachm. Of tincture, B.P., 1/2 to 1 drachrn. Conct. Solut., B.P., 1/2 to 1 drachm.
---Poisons and Antidotes---
In overdose it can act as an irritant or general protoplasmic poison, with violent vomiting and purging. A dose of from 10 minims of the tincture to a scruple of the powdered root will cause heaviness and vertigo, dazzling vision, sneezing, inflammation of the oesophagus, withconstriction, thirst, nausea, mucous vomiting, colic, scalding, frothy urine, irritation of the larynx, and general debility. Like saponin, it causes a paresis of the muscles of the respiratory tract and the vaso-motor system in general, resulting in capillary congestions followed by rapid exosmosis.
---Adulterations and Other Species---
Panax quinquefolium, or American Ginseng Root, is the most common admixture. It is larger and has no ridge.
Various species of Gillenia, Asclepias Vincetoxicum, or Swallow-wort, Triosteum perfoliatum, and the rhizome of Cypripedium pubescens have also been found in parcels. They have a different taste and odour, and show no ridge.
P. Boykinii or P. Alba resemble P. Senega, but have no ridge and are much less acrid.
Arnica, Valerian, Serpentary and Green Hellebore roots resemble it, but have no keel.


Senna

Botanical: Cassia Acutifolia (DELL.)
Family: N.O. Leguminosae
Description
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Dosages
Adulterations and Other Species Uses
---Synonyms---
Alexandrian Senna. Nubian Senna. Cassia Senna. Cassia lenitiva. Cassia Lanceolata. Cassia officinalis. Cassia aethiopica. Senna acutifolia. wiccan Senna. Sene de la palthe. Tinnevelly Senna. Cassia angustifolia. East Indian Senna.
---Parts Used---
Dried leaflets, pods.
---Habitat---
Egypt, Nubia, Arabia, Sennar.
---Description---
Several species of Cassia contribute to the drug of commerce, and were comprised in a single species by Linnaeus under the name of Cassia Senna. Since his day, the subject has been more fully investigated, and it is known that several countries utilize the leaves of their own indigenous varieties in the same way. The two most widely exported and officially recognized are C. acutifolia and C. angustifolia (India or Tinnevelly Senna).
C. acutifolia, yielding the finest and most valuable variety of the drug is a small shrub about 2 feet high. The stem is erect, smooth, and pale green, with long, spreading branches, bearing leaflets in four or five pairs, averaging an inch long, lanceolate or obovate, unequally oblique at the base, veins distinct on the under surface, brittle, greyish-green, of a faint, peculiar odour, and mucilaginous, sweetish taste. The form of the base, and freedom from bitterness, distinguish the Senna from the Argel leaves, which are also thicker and stiffer. The flowers are small and yellow. The pods are broadly oblong, about 2 inches long by 7/8 inch broad, and contain about six seeds.
Senna is an Arabian name, and the drug was first brought into use by the Arabian physicians Serapion and Mesue, and Achiarius was the first of the Greeks to notice it.He recommends not the leaves but the fruit, and Mesue also prefers the pods to the leaves, thinking them more powerful, though they are actually less so, but they do not cause griping.
The leaves of C. acutifolia are collected principally in Nubia. Ignatius Pallme, who travelled much in Africa, wrote:
'Senna is found in abundance in many parts of Kardofan, but the leaves are not collected on account of the existing monopoly. The Government draws its supplies from Dongola in Nubia.'
Two crops are collected annually in Nubia, the more abundant in September, after the rains, the other in April, in dry seasons a very bad one. The plants are cut down, exposed on the rocks in hot sunshine until thoroughly dry, then stripped, and packed in palm-leaf bags, being sent thus on camels to Essouan and Darao, and by the Nile to Cairo, or via Massowah and Suakin on the Red Sea. It is made up at Boulak, near Cairo, under the superintendence of the wiccan Government, though much adulteration takes place there. The leaves are loosely packed, and as they curl when drying, often present this appearance, while Indian Senna is packed tightly, and the leaves come out flat.
Senna appears to have been cultivated in England about 1640. By keeping the plants in a hot-bed all the summer, they frequently flowered; but rarely perfected their seeds.
Commercial Senna is prepared for use by garbling, or picking out the leaflets and rejecting the lead-stalks, impurities, and leaves of other plants. The amount annually exported is about 8,000 bales of each of the varieties, and the price is high, owing to the failure of the crops at certain seasons. Good Senna may be known by the bright, fresh, yellowishgreen color of the leaves, with a faint and peculiar odour rather like green tea, and a nauseous, mucilaginous, sweetish, slightly bitter taste. It should be powdered only as wanted, because the powder absorbs moisture, becomes mouldy, and loses its value. Boiling destroys its virtues, unless it be in vacuo, or in a covered vessel.
---Constituents---
Water and diluted alcohol extract the active principles of Senna. Pure alcohol only extracts them imperfectly. The leaves yield about one-third of their weight to boiling water.
The purgative constituents are closely allied to those of Aloes and Rhubarb, the activities of the drug being largely due to anthraquinone derivatives and their glucosides. It contains rhein, aloe-emedin, kaempferol, isormamnetin, both free and as glucosides together with myricyl alcohol, etc. The ash amounts to about 8 per cent, consisting chiefly of earthy and ashy carbonates.
The active purgative principle was discovered in 1866. It is a glucoside of weak acid character, and was named Cathartic Acid. By boiling its alcoholic solution with acids it yields Cathartogenic Acid and sugar. There were also found Chrysophanic Acid, Sennacrol and Sennapicrin, and a peculiar non-fermentable saccharine principle which was named Cathartomannite or Sennit.
The conclusions reached after experimenting with Senna leaves washed with alcohol were as follows:
(1) Strong spirit does not remove any of the active principle from Senna leaves.
(2) The therapeutic action of cathartic acid is assisted by one or more of the constituents yielded by Senna to strong alcohol, though these constituents produce no purgative effect when taken alone.
(3) Senna exhausted by alcohol is a reliable and pleasant purgative, but somewhat weaker in its action than the unexhausted leaves.
Many substances produce precipitates with the infusion of Senna, but they may remove only inert ingredients, and not be really incompatible medicinally. Cathartic acid is precipitated by infusion of galls and solution of lead subacetate. Lead acetate and tartar emetic, which disturb the infusion, have no effect upon a solution of this substance.
Cathartin is the name of a mixture of the salts of cathartic acid which may be used in doses of from 3 to 6 grains.
Sennax is the name applied to the watersoluble glucoside of Senna, marketed in tablets containing 0.75 gram each.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Purgative. Its action being chiefly on the lower bowel, it is especially suitable in habitual costiveness. It increases the peristaltic movements of the colon by its local action upon the intestinal wall. Its active principle must pass out of the system in the secretions unaltered, for when Senna is taken by nurses, the suckling infant becomes purged. It acts neither as a sedative nor as a refrigerant, but has a slight, stimulating influence. In addition to the nauseating taste, it is apt to cause sickness, and griping pains, so that few can take it alone; but these characteristics can be overcome or removed, when it is well adapted for children, elderly persons, and delicate women. The coloring matter is absorbable, and twenty or thirty minutes after the ingestion of the drug it appears in the urine, and may be recognized by a red color on the addition of ammonia.
The addition of cloves, ginger, cinnamon, or other aromatics are excellent correctives of the nauseous effects. A teaspoonful of cream of tartar to a teacupful of the decoction of infusion of Senna, is a mild and pleasant cathartic, well suited for women if required soon after delivery. Some practitioners add neutral laxative salts, or saccharine and aromatic substances. The purgative effect is increased by the addition of pure bitters; the decoction of guaiacum is said to answer a similar purpose. Senna is contraindicated in an inflammatory condition of the alimentary canal, hemorrhoids, prolapsus, ani, etc. The well-known 'black draught' is a combination of Senna and Gentian, with any aromatic, as cardamom or coriander seeds, or the rind of the Seville orange. The term 'black draught,' it is stated, should never be used, as mistakes have been made in reading the prescriptions, and 'black drop' or vinegar of opium has been given instead, several deaths having been caused in this way.
SENNA PODS, or the dried, ripe fruits, are official in the British Pharmacopceia, though the quantity is restricted, as an adulterant, in the United States Pharmacopoeia.
They are milder in their effects than the leaflets, as the griping is largely due to the resin, and the pods contain none, but have about 25 per cent more cathartie acid and emodin than the leaves, without volatile oil. From 6 to 12 pods for the adult, or from 3 to 6 for the young or very aged, infused in a claret-glass of cold water, act mildly but thoroughly upon the whole intestine.
The fluid extract was formerly treated with alcohol for the removal of the griping principles, but the process was deleted from the United States Pharmacopoeia. The fluid extract is a dark, blackish, thick and somewhat turbid liquid, with a strong flavour of Senna. It is well adapted for exhibition with saline cathartics, such as Epsom salt or cream of tartar. In this ease not more than half the full dose should be given at once. The British Pharmacopoeia 1898 'Liquor Sennae Concentratus' was more like a concentrated infusion than a fluid extraet, but had the same strength as the latter, the menstrum being distilled water; tincture of ginger and alcohol being added.
The infusion of Senna, or Senna Tea, consists of 100 grams of Senna leaves, 5 grams of sliced Ginger, 1,000 millilitres of distilled water, boiling. Infuse in a covered vessel for fifteen minutes, and strain, while hot. The United States Pharmacopoeia prefers coriander to ginger. The infusion deposits, on exposure to air, a yellowish precipitate, so it is advisable to make it in very small quantities, as the deposit aggravates its griping tendency. It is usual to prescribe manna and one of the saline cathartics with it. The cold infusion is said to be less unpleasant in taste, and equal in strength to the hot.
SYRUP OF SENNA is prepared by mixing 8 fluid ounces, 218 minims of fluid extract of Senna, with 81 minims of oil of Coriander and sufficient syrup to make 33 fluid ounces (6 1/2 fluid drachms).
The Aromatic Syrup includes also jalap, rhubarb, cinnamon, clove, nutmeg, oil of lemon, sugar, and diluted alcohol.
The Compound Syrup includes rhubarb, frangula, methyl salicylate, alcohol, and syrup.
---Dosages---
Powdered leaves, 1 drachm. Conct. solution, B.P., 1/2 to 1 drachm. Of compound or aromatic syrup, 2 fluid drachms. Of U.S.P. syrup, for an adult, 1 to 4 fluid drachms. Of B.P. syrup, 1 to 2 fluid drachms. Of Senna, 1/2 to 2 drachms. Of eompound mixture, B.P., 4 to 16 drachms. Of infusion, B.P., 1/2 to 2 fluid ounces. Of fluid extract, for an adult, 1/2 to 2 fluid draehms. Of confection, B.P., 1 to 2 drachms.
---Adulterations and Other Species Used---Owing to the high price, what is known as 'broken Senna' is found on the market and sold for the genuine article with government sanction in the United States of America. Also, 'Senna siftings,' containing sand and other foreign matter have been offered for sale, causing trouble to government inspectors.
Formerly there was an intentional mixture of 5 parts of C. acutifolia, 3 of C. obovata, and 2 of Cynanchum, but now Alexandrian Senna is more uniform. It is often called in the French Pharmacopoeia séné de la palthe, because of the duty formerly laid upon it by the Ottoman Porte. A parcel of Alexandrian Senna in the market formerly consisted of (1) leaflets of C. acutifolia, (2) leaflets of C. obovata, (3) the pods, broken leaf-stalks, flowers, and fine fragments of either, (4) leaves of Cynanchum oleofolium. The last are larger, thicker, regular at the base, and have no lateral nerves visible on their undersurface. They must be regarded as an adulteration.
C. angustifolia or Tinnevelly Senna, Senna Indica, C. elongata is an annual growing in the Yemen and Hadramaut provinces of Arabia Felix, in Somaliland, Mozambique, Scind, and the Punjab. In Southern India it is cultivated and grows to a larger size. In the German and Swiss Pharmacopoeias, the official drug is restricted to Tinnevelly Senna, and also in the British Pharmacopoeia and the Pharmacopoeia of India. Senna Indica also includes the variety known as Arabian, Mocha, Bombay, or East Indian Senna. Both varieties, as well as Alexandrian Senna, are official in the United States Pharmacopoeia.
There is a certain difference in the qualities and also in the names of the species imported into Britain and America. The fine Tinnevelly Senna goes from Madras or Tuticorin to Britain. The leaflets are unbroken, from 1 to 2 or more inches long, thin, flexible, and green.
It has been stated that it contains only two-thirds as much of the active principle as the Alexandrian.
The other, or Arabian variety, comes via Mocha and Bombay, and is less pure and less carefully prepared. The leaflets are long and narrow, pike-like, so are called in France séné de la pique. Leaflets resembling these were brought by Livingstone from Southeast Africa. Mecca Senna, also known in America as Arabian or Bombay Senna, is obtained from both the wild and the cultivated kinds of C. angustifolia. The best comes from British India. The variety has sometimes a yellowish or tawny color, more like the Indica than the Alexandrian, and may be the product of C. lanceolata of Forskhal. C. obovata, C. obtusa or Senna obtusa is usually a perennial, found wild in Egypt, Nubia, Abyssinia, Tripoli, Senegal and Benguella, Arabia and India. It was the first kind of Senna known, and being brought by the Moors into Europe, was formerly cultivated in Northern Italy, Spain, and Southern France, and called S. italica. It is official in the British Pharmacopceia and the Pharmacopoeia of India as one of the botanical sources of Alexandrian Senna, but now few of its leaflets are included. It is called by the Arabs S. baladi, i.e. indigenous or wild Senna, to distinguish it from C. acutifolia, S. jebeli, or Mountain Senna. It is common in Jamaica, where its cultivation has been suggested, and where it is called Port Royal Senna or Jamaica Senna.
C. Marilandica or American Senna, Wild Senna, Poinciana pulcherima, formerly Maryland Senna, is a common perennial from New England to Northern Carolina. Its leaves are compressed into oblong cakes like other herbal preparations of the Shakers. It acts like Senna, but is weaker, and should be combined with aromatics. The dose in powder is from 1/2 to 2 1/2 drachms. For the infusion, add 1 ounce of the leaves and 1 drachm of coriander seeds to 1 pint of boiling water. Macerate for an hour in a covered vessel, and strain. Dose: 4 to 5 fluid ounces. These leaves are also found mixed with or substituted for Alexandrian Senna.
C. Chamoecrista, Prairie Senna, Partridge Pea, Dwarf Cassia, or Sensitive Pea, found on the Western Prairies, is an excellent substiture for the above.
C. fistula, or Purging Cassia, C. Stick, Pudding Pipe-Tree, or Alexandrian Purging Cassia, is a tree rising to 40 feet in height, the pulp of the pods being used in the electuary of Senna. It is found in Egypt, the Indies, China, etc.
Colutea arborescens, or Bladder-Senna (see SENNA, BLADDER), Baguenaudier, Séné Indigène, the Sutherlandia frutescens of the Cape, formerly often met with as a substitute, is now usually replaced by Globularia Turbith or Alypum, the leaves of which are milder, so that a double dose may be taken. It is the Wild Senna of Europe.
Coriaria Myrtifolia is a Mediterranean shrub and highly poisonous, so that it should be recognized when present. The leaves are green, very thin, and soft, three veined, ovate-lanceolate, and equal at the base. It grows wild in Southern Europe, and its leaves are used as a black dye. It is also used to adulterate sweet marjoram. Deaths are recorded from eating the small, black berries. A Mexican drug, Tlolocopetale, containing coriarin and coriamurtin, is said to be a product. Other names are Currierts Sumach and Redoul.
Argel leaves (Solenostemma or Cynanchum Argel), from Nubia, are paler in color, have less conspicuous veins, and an equal base.
Tephrosia leaflets and legumes (Tephrosia Apollinea), from the banks of the Nile, are silky or silvery, equal at the base and usually folded longitudinally on their mid-rib.
Jaborandi Leaflets (Bilocarpus Microphyllus) have been imported under the name of Senna.
Aden Senna is believed to be obtained from C. holosericeae.
C. montana yields a false Senna from Madras, partly resembling the Tinnevelly Senna, though the color of the upper surface of the leaves is browner.
It must be remembered that the Senna leaf contains no tannic acid and does not alter a ferric solution, while most of those encountered as adulterations precipitate ferric-chloride.
Other varieties used in their native countries, of which little appears to be known, are also:
C. cathartica, C. rugosa, C. splendida, C. leavigata, C. multijuja, Coronilla Emenls or Scorpion Senna, C. obovata or Senegal Senna.


Senna, Bladder

Botanical: Colutea arborescens
Family: N.O. Leguminosae
---Part Used---Leaves.
---Habitat---
Indigenous to Southern Europe, Mediterranean region, said to be the sole vegetation found growing on the crater of Vesuvius.
---Description---
Cultivated in Britain as a decorative shrub, flowers yellow, papilionaceous, specially characterized by membraneous, bladder-like pods, which when pressed go off with a loud bang, hence its name of Bladder Senna. The plant grows well in the author's garden.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
The leaflets are purgative and on the Continent are often substituted for Senna leaves, but they are much milder in action than the true Senna. Taken in the form of an infusion, 1 or 2 drachms of the seeds will excite vomiting.

Sensitive Plant
See Minosas.

Shallot
See:
Garlic
Onion


Sheep's Sorrel
See SORREL, SHEEP'S.


Shepherd's Purse

Botanical: Capsella bursa-pastoris (MEDIC.)
Family: N.O. Cruciferae
Description
Part Used
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonyms---
Shepherd's Bag. Shepherd's Scrip. Shepherd's Sprout. Lady's Purse. Witches' Pouches. Rattle Pouches. Case-weed. Pick-Pocket. Pick-Purse. Blindweed. Pepper-and-Salt. Poor Man's Parmacettie. Sanguinary. Mother's Heart. Clappedepouch (Irish).
(French) Bourse de pasteur.
(German) Hirtentasche.
---Part Used---
Whole plant.
---Habitat---
All over the world, outside the tropics. It is probably of European or West Asiatic origin, and is abundant in Britain, flowering all the year round.
Shepherd's Purse is so called from the resemblance of the flat seed-pouches of the plant to an old-fashioned common leather purse. It is similarly called in France Bourse de pasteur, and in Germany Hirtentasche.
The Irish name of 'Clappedepouch' was given in allusion to the begging of lepers, who stood at cross-roads with a bell or clapper, receiving their alms in a cup at the end of a long pole.
It is a common weed of the Cruciferous order, said to be found all over the world and flourishing nearly the whole year round.
A native of Europe, the plant has accompanied Europeans in all their migrations and established itself wherever they have settled to till the soil. In John Josselyn's Herbal it is one of the plants named as unknown to the New World before the Pilgrim Fathers settled there.
It will flourish and set seed in the poorest soil, though it may only attain the height of a few inches. In rich soil it luxuriates and grows to 2 feet in height.
---Description---
The plant is green, but some what rough with hairs. The main leaves,2 to 6 inches long, are very variable in form, either irregularly pinnatifid or entire and toothed. When not in flower, it may be distinguished by its radiating leaves, of which the outer lie close to the earth.
The slender stem, which rises from the crown of the root, from the centre of the rosette of radical leaves, is usually sparingly branched. It is smooth, except at the lower part, and bears a few, small, oblong leaves, arrow-shaped at the base, and above them, numerous small, white, inconspicuous flowers, which are self-fertilized and followed by wedge-shaped fruit pods, divided by narrow partitions into two cells, which contain numerous oblong yellow seeds. When ripe, the pod separates into its two boat-shaped valves.
The odour of the plant is peculiar and rather unpleasant, though more cress-like than pungent.
It has an aromatic and biting taste, but is less acrid than most of the Cruciferae, and was formerly used as a pot-herb, the young radical leaves being sold in Philadelphia as greens in the spring. It causes taint of milk when freely eaten by dairy cattle.
---Part Used---
In modern herbal medicine the whole plant is employed, dried and administered in infusion, and in fluid extract.
A homoeopathic tincture is prepared from the fresh plant.
---Constituents---
During the summer, the plant has a sharp, acrid taste, due to the stimulating principle.
Several partial analyses have been made of it, but no characteristic principle has been definitely separated. The active constituent is said to be an organic acid, which Bombelon, a French chemist, termed bursinic acid. He also found a tannate and an alkaloid, Bursine, which resembles sulphocyansinapine.
A peculiar sulphuretted volatile oil, closely similar to, if not identical with oil of mustard, as well as a fixed oil, have been determined and 6 per cent of a soft resin.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---Shepherd's Purse is one of the most important drugplants of the family Cruciferae.
When dried and infused, it yields a tea which is still considered by herbalists one of the best specifics for stopping haemorrhages of all kinds - of the stomach, the lungs, or the uterus, and more especially bleeding from the kidneys.
Its haemostyptic properties have long been known and are said to equal those of ergot and hydrastis. During the Great War, when these were no longer obtainable in German commerce, a liquid extract of Capsella bursapastoris was used as a substitute, the liquidextract being made by exhausting the drug with boiling water. Bomelon found the herb of prompt use to arrest bleedings and flooding, when given in the form of a fluid extract, in doses of 1 to 2 spoonfuls.
Culpepper says it helps bleeding from wounds - inward or outward - and:
'if bound to the wrists, or the soles of the feet, it helps the jaundice. The herb made into poultices, helps inflammation and St. Anthony's fire. The juice dropped into ears, heals the pains, noise and matterings thereof. A good ointment may be made of it for all wounds, especially wounds in the head.'
It has been used in English domestic practice from early times as an astringent in diarrhoea; it was much used in decoction with milk to check active purgings in calves.
It has been employed in fresh decoction in haematuria, haemorrhoids, chronic diarrhcea and dysentery, and locally as a vulnerary in nose-bleeding, which is checked by inserting the juice on cotton-wool. It is also used as an application in rheumatic affections, and has been found curative in various uterine haemorrhages, especially those with which uterine cramp and colic are associated, and also in various passive haemorrhages from mucous surfaces.
It is a remedy of the first importance in catarrhal conditions of the bladder and ureters, also in ulcerated conditions and abscess of the bladder. It increases the flow of urine. Its use is specially indicated when there is white mucous matter voided with the urine; relief in these cases following at once.
Its antiscorbutic, stimulant and diuretic action causes it to be much used in kidney complaints and dropsy; other similar stimulating diuretics such as Couch Grass may be combined with it.
Dr. Ellingwood, in his valuable work on Therapeutics, says of Shepherd's Purse:
'This agent has been noted for its influence in haematuria . . . soothing irritation of the renal or vesical organs. In cases of uncomplicated chronic menorrhagia (excessive menstruation) it has accomplished permanent cures, especially if the discharge be persistent. The agent is also useful where uric acid or insoluble phosphates or carbonates produce irritation of the urinary tract. Externally, the bruised herb has been applied to bruised and strained parts, to rheumatic joints, and where there was ecchymosis, or extravasations within or beneath the skin.
'The herb is rather unpleasant to take, but it is valuable mixed with Pellitory of the Wall, and a little Spirits of Juniper much disguises the flavour. A small quantity of Nitrate of Potash will further disguise it, and not detract from its medicinal value. The infusion may be taken in wineglassful doses, four times a day.'
The medicinal infusion should be made with an ounce of the plant to 12 OZ. of water, reduced by boiling to 1/2 pint, strained and taken cold.
The fluid extract is given in doses of 1/2 to 1 drachm. In the United States, the fluid extract is given for dropsy in doses of 1/2 to 1 teaspoonful in water.
Shepherd's Purse was said to be the principal herb in the blue 'Electric Fluid' used by Count Matthei to control haemorrhage.
Small birds are fond of the seeds of Shepherd's Purse: chaffinches and other wild birds may often be observed feeding on them, and they form valuable food for all caged birds.
When poultry have fed freely on the green plant in the early spring, it has been noticed that the egg yolks become dark in color, a greenish brown or olive color, and stronger in flavour.


Siegesbeckia

Botanical: Siegesbeckia orientalis (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Compositae
---Synonym---The Holy Herb.
---Parts Used---
Juice, leaves, and whole plant.
---Habitat---Isle of Bourbon.
---Description---
A small composite plant or small shrub growing in hot climates. The heads are small with an involucre of five bracts covered with very sticky glandular hairs. The secretion continues till after the fruit is ripe and aids in its distribution, the whole head breaking off and attaching itself to some passing animal. In China it is a common weed. The drug contains a white crystalline body resembling salicylic acid.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Used by Creoles as a protective covering for wounds, burns, etc. The juice when applied to the skin leaves a coating similar to that of collodion. Creoles call it 'Colle Colle' - Stick Stick.
In China it is used as a remedy for ague, rheumatism, and renal colic; used in Britain chiefly as a cure for ringworm in conjunction with glycerine. Used in Mauritius Islands for syphilis, leprosy, and various skin diseases.
---Dose---
10 minims of the fluid extract.


Silverweed

Botanical: Potentilla anserina (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Rosaceae
Parts Used
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonyms---
Prince's Feathers. Trailing Tansy. Wild Agrimony. Goosewort. Silvery Cinquefoil. Goose Tansy. More Grass. Wild Agrimony.
---Part Used---Herb.
The Silverweed, one of the commonest of the Potentillas, is very abundant in Great Britain and throughout the temperate regions, extending from Lapland to the Azores, and is equally at home in regions as remote as Armenia, China, New Zealand and Chile.
All soils are congenial to its growth. It spreads rapidly by means of long, creeping runners and thrives in moist situations, especially in clay, where the water is apt to stagnate, and is common by waysides, though on dusty ground it becomes much dwarfed.
It has a slender, branched root-stock, dark brown outside, which has been eaten in the Hebrides in times of scarcity.
The leaves are covered on both sides with a silky, white down of soft hairs, mostly marked on the underside, hence its English name of Silverweed. They are 2 to 5 inches long, much cut or divided, interruptedly pinnate, i.e. divided into twelve to fifteen pairs of oval, toothed leaflets along the midrib, each pair being separated by a shorter pair all the way up.
The buttercup-like flowers, in bloom from early summer till later autumn, are borne singly on long footstalks from the axils of the leaves on the slender runners. They are large, with five petals of a brilliant yellow color and the calyx is cleft into ten divisions.
The Silverweed is a favourite food of cattle, horses, goats, pigs and geese. Only sheep decline it.
Older writers call it Argentina (Latin, argent, silver) from its appearance of frosted silver. The name Anserina (Latin, anser, a goose) was probably given it because geese were fond of it.
The generic name, Potentilla, is derived from the Latin adjective potens, powerful, in allusion to the medicinal properties of some of the species.
---Parts Used---
All parts of the plant contain tannin.
In modern herbal medicine the whole herb is used, dried, for its mildly astringent and tonic action. It has an astringent taste, but no odour.
The roots, which are even more astringent, have been used, also the seeds.
The herb is gathered in June, all shrivelled, discolored or insect-eaten leaves being rejected. Collect only in dry weather, in the morning, after the dew has been dried by the sun. Failing the convenience of a speciallyfitted drying-shed, where drying is carried on by artificial heat, drying may be done in warm, sunny weather out of doors, but in half-shade, as leaves dried in the shade retain their color better than those dried in the sun. They may be placed on wire sieves, or wooden frames covered with wire or garden netting, at a height of about 3 or 4 feet from the ground, to ensure a current of air. The herbs must be brought indoors to a dry room or shed at night, before there is any chance of them becoming damp by dew.
For drying indoors, a warm, sunny attic may be employed, the window being left open by day, so that there is a current of air for the moist, hot air to escape; the door may also be left open. The leaves and herbs can be placed on coarse butter-cloth, stented, i.e. if hooks are placed beneath the window and on the opposite wall, the butter cloth can be attached by rings sewn on each side of it and hooked on so that it is stretched quite taut. The temperature should be from 70 degrees to 100 degrees F. Failing sun, any ordinary shed, fitted with racks and shelves can be used, provided that it is ventilated near the roof, and has a warm current of air, caused by an ordinary coke stove or anthracite stove. The important point is rapidity and the avoidance of steaming; the quicker the process of drying, the more even the color obtained, making the product more saleable.
All dried leaves should be packed away at once in wooden or tin boxes, in a dry place, as otherwise they re-absorb about 12 per cent of moisture from the air, and are liable to become mouldy and to deteriorate in quality.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
A strong infusion of Silverweed, if used as a lotion, will check the bleeding of piles, the ordinary infusion (1 OZ. to a pint of boiling water) being meanwhile taken as a medicine.
The same infusion, sweetened with honey, constitutes an excellent gargle for sore throat. A tablespoonful of the powdered herb may also be taken every three hours.
It is also an excellent remedy for cramps in the stomach, heart and abdomen. In addition to the infusion taken internally, it is advisable to apply it to the affected parts on compresses.
On the Continent, a tablespoonful of the herb, boiled in a cup of milk, has been recommended as an effective remedy in tetanus, or lockjaw. The tea should be drunk as hot as possible. If the patient dislikes milk, boiling water may be used.
The dried and powdered leaves have been successfully administered in ague: the more astringent roots have been given in powder in doses of a scruple and upwards.
As a diuretic, Silverweed has been considered useful in gravel. Ettmueller extolled it as a specific in jaundice. Of the fresh plant, 3 OZ. or more may be taken three or four times daily.
The decoction has been used for ulcers in the mouth, relaxation of the uvula, spongy gums and for fixing loose teeth, also for toothache and preserving the gums from scurvy.
A distilled water of the herb was in earlier days much in vogue as a cosmetic for removing freckles, spots and pimples, and for restoring the complexion when sunburnt.
In Leicestershire, Silverweed fomentations were formerly used to prevent pitting by smallpox.
Salmon (1710) says:
'It is very cold and dry in the second degree, astringent, anodyne, vulnerary and arthritic. It stops all fluxes of the bowels, even the bloody flux, also spitting, vomiting of blood, or any inward bleeding. It helps the whites in women and is profitable against ruptures in children and is good to dissipate contusions, fastens loose teeth and heals wounds or ulcers in the mouth, throat or in any part of the body, drying up old, moist, corrupt and running sores. It resists the fits of agues, is said to break the stone, and is good to cool inflammation in the eyes, as eke to take away all discolorings of the skin and to cleanse it from any kind of depredation.'
See:
FIVE-LEAF GRASS
TORMENTIL


Simaruba

Botanical: Simaruba Amara (D. C.), Simaruba officinalis
Family: N.O. Simarubaceae
Description
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Dosage
Other Species
---Synonyms---
Dysentery Bark. Mountain Damson. Bitter Damson. Slave Wood. Stave Wood. Sumaruppa. Maruba. Quassia Simaruba.
---Part Used---Dried root-bark.
---Habitat---
French Guiana, the Islands of Dominica, Martinique, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and Barbados.
---Description---
The name given by the founder of the genus was Carib Simarouba, but later writers adopted the present spelling.
The tree is 60 feet or more in height, with many long, crooked branches covered with smooth, greyish bark, leaves 9 to 12 inches long, and flowers growing in small clusters, with rather thick, dull-white petals. The bark is usually found in pieces several feet long, the roots being long, horizontal, and creeping. Very often the outer bark has been removed, when it shows a pale yellowish or pinkish-brown surface. It is odourless, difficult to powder, and intensely bitter. It is usually imported from Jamaica, in bales.
---Constituents---
Simaruba root-bark contains a bitter principle identical with quassin, a resinous matter, a volatile oil having the odour of benzoin, malic acid, gallic acid in very small proportion, an ammoniacal salt, calcium malate and oxalate, some mineral salts, ferric oxide, silica, ulmin, and lignin.
It readily imparts its virtues at ordinary temperatures to water and alcohol. The infusion is as bitter as the decoction, whichbecomes turbid as it cools.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
A bitter tonic. It was first sent from Guiana to France in 1713 as a remedy for dysentery. In the years 1718 and 1725 an epidemic flux prevailed in France, which resisted all the usual medicines. Simaruba was tried with great success, and established its medical character in Europe. It restores the lost tone of the intestines, promotes the secretions, and disposes the patient to sleep. It is only successful in the latter stage of dysentery, when the stomach is not affected. In large doses it produces sickness and vomiting. On account of its difficult pulverization, it is seldom given in substance, the infusion being preferred, but like many bitter tonics, it is now seldom used. From its use, it has been called 'dysentery bark.'
---Dosage---
From 20 grains to a drachm. A 1/4 OZ. of simaruba may be infused for 12 hours in 12 OZ. of cold or boiling water, and a wineglassful of the infusion taken every three or four hours.
Fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm.
---Other Species---
Simaruba glauca of Jamaica, San Domingo, Bahama Islands, Panama and Guatemala has identical properties, and by some writers is regarded as the same tree, others distinguishing it by a slight difference in the flowers. It is also known as Winged-leaved Quassia, and S. medicinalis.
S. versicolor of Brazil, has similar properties, the fruit and bark being also used as anthelmintics, and an infusion of the latter being employed in cases of snake-bite. The plant is so bitter that insects will not attack it, on which account the powdered bark has been employed to kill vermin.
S. glauca of Cuba furnishes a glutinous juice, which is employed in certain skin diseases.
S. excelsa or Quassia Excelsa yields quassin from boiled slices of the wood, furnishing the Quassia of commerce, substituted for the true Surinam Quassia.
Samadera Indica contains a similar bitter principle in its bark.
See QUASSIA.


Skirret

Botanical: Sium Sisarum
Family: N.O. Umbelliferae
---Part Used---Root.
Sium Sisarum, or Skirret, is a plant of Chinese origin, cultivated in Europe. It has a sweetish, somewhat aromatic root, which is used as a vegetable in much the same manner as the Oyster plant or Salsify (Tragopogon porrifolius) and the Parsnip. It is supposed to be a useful diet in chest complaints.
The name (Sium) is from the Celtic siu (water), in allusion to their habitat.
S. Sisarum has been cultivated in this country since A.D. 1548. When boiled and served with butter, the roots form a dish, declared by Worlidge, in 1682, to be 'the sweetest, whitest, and most pleasant of roots.'
Culpepper says:
'Sisari, secacul. Of Scirrets. - They are hot and moist, of good nourishment, something windy, as all roots; by reason of which they . . . stir up appetite . . .'


Skunk-Cabbage

Botanical: Symplocarpus foetidus
Family: N.O. Araceae
Description
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Dosage
---Synonyms---
Dracontium. Dracontium foetidum (Linn.). Skunkweed. Polecatweed. Meadow Cabbage. Spathyema foetida. Ictodes foetidus. ---Parts Used---Seeds, root.
---Habitat---United States.
---Description---
The plant grows in abundance in moist places of the northern and middle United States. All parts of it have a strong, foetid odour, dependent upon a volatile principle, which is quickly dissipated by heat. The rhizome should be collected in the autumn or early spring, and should not be kept more than one season, as it deteriorates with age and drying. In commerce it is found in cylindrical pieces, 2 inches or more in length and about 1 in. in diameter, or, more commonly, in transverse slices, much compressed and corrugated. It is dark brown outside, white or yellowish within. The seeds are regarded as more energetic than the root, and preserve their virtues longer. They have an acrid taste, and emit the foetid odour only when bruised. The acridity of the root is absent in the decoction.
---Constituents---
A fixed oil, wax, starch, volatile oil, fat, salts of lime, silica, iron and maganese.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Antispasmodic, diaphoretic, expectorant, narcotic. Large doses cause nausea, vomiting, headache, vertigo and dimness of vision. It has been used with alleged success in asthma, chronic catarrh, chronic rheumatism, chorea, hysteria and dropsy. It is said to be helpful in epilepsy, and convulsions during pregnancy and labour. It is an ingredient in well-known herbal ointments and powders. Externally, as an ointment, it stimulates granulations, eases pain, etc.
The powdered root may be used, alone, or mixed with honey (1/2 OZ. to 4 OZ. of honey), but the best method of use is probably a saturated tincture of the fresh root.
---Dosage---
Of powder, 10 to 20 grains. Of tincture, 1 to 2 fluid drachms. Of fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm.


Slippery Elm
See Elm, Slippery.


Smartweed

Botanical: Polygonum Hydropiper (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Polygonaceae
Description
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Preparations and Dosage
Other Species
---Synonyms---
Water Pepper. Biting Persicaria. Bity Tongue. Arcmart. Pepper Plant. Smartass. Ciderage. Red Knees. Culrage. Bloodwort. Arsesmart.
---Parts Used---Whole herb and leaves.
---Habitat---
Great Britain and Ireland, rarer in Scotland; is a native of most parts of Europe, in Russian Asia to the Arctic regions. Found abundantly in places that are under water during the winter.
---Description---
Annual. The branched stem, 2 to 3 feet in length, creeps at first, then becomes semi-erect. The leaves are lanceshaped, shortly stalked, wavy, more or less acute, glandular below, fringed with hairs. The stipules form a short inflated ochrea. The greenish-pink flowers are in long, slender, loose racemes, that mostly droop at their tips. There are six to eight stamens, two of which are functionless; two to three styles to the pistil. The fruit is black and dotted, as long as the perianth, three-sided and nut-like. The leaves have a pungent, acrid, bitter taste (something like peppermint), which resides in the glandulat dots on its surface, no odour.
---Constituents---
The plant's irritant medicinal properties are due to an active principle not fully understood, called Polygonic Acid (when discovered by Dr. C. J. Rademaker in 1871), which forms in green deliquescent crystals, having a bitter and acrid taste and strong acid reaction. It is destroyed by heating or drying. Other authorities later considered this body to be simply a mixture of impure tannic and gallic acids, together with chlorophyll, and failed to isolate a stable active principle. The plant contains 3 or 4 per cent of tannin. It imparts its properties to alcohol or water. The tincture must be made from the fresh plant; heat and age destroy its qualities.
It is said that this herb, together with Arbor Vitze, constituted the anti-venereo remedy of Count Mattei.
Linnaeus observes that the Water Pepperwort will dye woollen cloths of a yellow color, if the material be first dipped in a solution of alum, and that all domestic quadrupeds reject it.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Stimulant, diuretic, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, efficacious in amenorrhoea. A cold water infusion is useful in gravel, colds and coughs.
In combination with tonics and gum myrrh, it is said to have cured epilepsy - probably dependent on some uterine derangement. The infusion in cold water, which may be readily prepared from the fluid extract, has been found serviceable in gravel, dysentery, gout, sore mouths, colds and coughs, and mixed with wheat bran, in bowel complaints. Antiseptic and desiccant virtues are also claimed for it. The fresh leaves, bruised with those of the Mayweed (Anthemis Cotula), and moistened with a few drops of oil of turpentine, make a speedy vesicant.
Simmered in water and vinegar, it has proved useful in gangrenous, or mortified conditions. The extract, in the form of infusion or fomentation, has been beneficially applied in chronic ulcers and haemorrhoidal tumours, also as a wash in chronic erysipetalous inflammations, and as a fomentation in flatulent colic.
A hot decoction made from the whole plant has been used in America as a remedy for cholera, a sheet being soaked in it and wrapped round the patient immediately the symptoms start.
In Mexico, the infusion is used not only as a diuretic, but also put into the bath of sufferers from rheumatism.
A fomentation of the leaves is beneficial for chronic ulcers and haemorrhoids - in tympanitis and flatulent colic, and as a wash in chronic inflammatory erysipelas.
It was once held that a few drops of the juice put into the ear would destroy the worms that it was believed caused earache.
There is a tradition, quoted in old Herbals, that if a handful of the plant be placed under the saddle, a horse is enabled to travel for some time without becoming hungry or thirsty, the Scythians having used this herb (under the name of Hippice) for that purpose.
It was an old country remedy for curing proud flesh in the sores of animals. Culpepper tells us also that 'if the Arsemart be strewed in a chamber, it will soon kill all the fleas.'
The root was chewed for toothache - probably as a counter-irritant - and the bruised leaves used as a poultice to whitlows.
A water distilled from the plant, taken in the quantity of a pint or more in a day, has been found serviceable in gravel and stone.
The expressed juice of the freshly gathered plant has been found very useful in jaundice and the beginning of dropsies, the dose being from 1 to 3 tablespoonfuls.
In Salmon's Herbal, it is stated:
'It is known by manifold and large experience to be a peculiar plant against gravel and stone. The Essenee causes a good digestion, it is admirable against all cold and moist diseases of the brain and nerves, etc., such as falling sickness, vertigo, lethargy, apoplexy, palsy, megrim, etc., and made into a syrup with honey it is a good pectoral. The oil dissolves and discusses all cold swellings, scrofulous and scirrhous tumours, quinsies, congealed blood, pleurisies, etc.'
Waller recommends it also for 'hypochondriacal diseases.'
---Preparations and Dosage---
Infusion, 1 OZ. to 1 pint - 1 tablespoonful three times daily. Fluid extract, 1 to 2 drachms. Tincture, 2 to 4 drachms.
---Other Species---
From the AMERICAN SMARTWEED (Polygonum, Linn.), which possesses properties similar to those of the English species; a homoeopathic tincture is prepared from the fresh plant, which has been used with great advantage in diarrhoea and dysentery, in doses of 20 to 60 minims.


Smilax, China

Botanical: Smilax, China (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Liliaceae
---Synonym---China.
---Part Used---Root.
---Habitat---Eastern Asia.
It has a hard, large, knotty, uneven rhizome, blackish externally, pale colored or whitish internally. Stem without support, about 3 feet high, but growing much taller if it has a bush to cling to. Leaves thin, membraneous, round, five-nerved acute or obtuse at each end, mucronate at points. Stipules distinct obtuse; umbels greenish yellow, small ten-flowered; fruit red, size of bird cherry. This is the commercial China root, used as a substitute for Sarsaparilla. It is in large ligneous pieces 2 to 6 inches long and about 2 inches in diameter. Odourless, taste at first slightly bitter and acrid like Sarsaparilla. The root-stocks yield a yellow dye with alum and a brown one with sulphate of iron.
Brazilian or Rio Negro or Lisbon Sarsaparilla is furnished by Smilax Papyracea.
S . Aspera (habitat, South of France, Italy, etc.) yields the Italian Sarsaparilla which has the same properties as the American ones.
S. ovalifolia is used medicinally in India.
S. lanceaefolia is used in India and has very large tuberous root-stocks.
S. glyciphylla is the Australian medicinal Sarsaparilla.
S. macabucha is used in the Philippines for dysentery and other complaints.
S. anceps is the medicinal Sarsaparilla of Mauritius.
In Persia the young shoots of some of the species are eaten as asparagus.
S. pseudo-China and other species are used in basket-making.
S. rotundifolia - Mexican - is said to be a diaphoretic and depurative.
All the Sarsaparillas have medicinal properties and can be used in the same way. Sarsaparilla is efficacious in proportion to its acrid taste. The properties reside chiefly in the cortex, though the bark is generally used.
The name Smilax was used by the Greeks to denote a poisonous tree - others derive the name from Smile, i.e. a cutting or scratching implement, in allusion to the rough prickles on the stem.
In commerce the varieties of Sarsaparillas are grouped as mealy and non-mealy, according to the starch they contain. The farinaceous matter is found under the rind.
The mealy group include Smilax officinalis, Honduras, Caracas, Brazilian, Syphilitica and Papyraceae.
The non-mealy species are Jamaica Sarsaparilla, Mexican, Media and Lima.
The most esteemed varieties are Jamaica and Lima on account of their acrid taste.
See:
(AMERICAN) SPIKENARD
SARSAPARILLA, AMERICAN
SARSAPARILLA, CARACAO
SARSAPARILLA, JAMAICA
SARSAPARILLA, INDIAN
SARSAPARILLA, WILD


Snakeroot

Botanical: Aristolochia serpentaria (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Aristolochiaceae
Description
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Dosage
Poisonous, if any, with Antidotes
Other Species
---Synonyms---
Aristolochia reticulata. Serpentatiae Rhizoma. Serpentary Rhizome. Serpentary Radix. Virginian Snakeroot. Aristolochia officinalis. Aristolochia sagittata. Endodeca Bartonii. Endodeca Serpentaria. Snakeweed. Red River or Texas Snakeroot. Pelican Flower. Virginia serpentaria. Snagrel. Sangrel. Sangree. Radix Colubrina. Radix Viperina.
---Parts Used---
Dried rhizome and roots.
---Habitat---
The Central and Southern United States.
---Description---
Many species of Aristolochia have been employed in medicine, the classical name being first applied to A. Clematitis and A. rotunda, from their supposedemmenagogue properties. A. serpentaria and A. reticulata, or Texas Snakeroot, differ slightly in leaves and flowers, the latter having a slightly coarser root. Both are recognized as official in the United States of America.
The plant is a perennial herb, growing in rich, shady woods, the roots being collected in Western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Indiana and Kentucky, where it is packed in bales containing about 100 lb., often mixed with leaves, stems and dirt.
It has a short, horizontal rhizome, giving off numerous long, slender roots below. The flowers are peculiar, growing from the joints near the root and drooping until they are nearly buried in the earth or in their dried leaves. They are small, and brownish-purple in color. Attempts at cultivation are being made, as the rather large use of serpentaria has caused the drug to become scarcer. A specimen was grown in an English garden as far back as 1632. There is one in cultivation at Kew, but it has not flowered there. The genus Endodeca was defined from this species, but it has no characters to distinguish it. Serpentaria has a yellowish or brownish color, and both smell and taste are aromatic and resemble a mixture of valerian and camphor. Several kinds are cultivated in hothouses for the singularity and, in some cases, the handsome appearance of their flowers, though their colors are usually dingy. The bent shape causes some blossoms to act as a fly-trap. A. sipho, a native of the Alleghany Mountains, is cultivated as an outdoor climbing plant, for the sake of its large leaves, the shape of its flowers inspiring the name of Pipe-Vine or Dutchman's Pipe.
---Constituents---
A volatile oil in the proportion of about 1/2 per cent, and a bitterprinciple - Aristolochin - an amorphous substance of yellow color and bitter and slightly acrid taste, soluble in both water and alcohol. The medicinal properties are due to these two substances, but the root also contains tannic acid, resin, gum, sugar, etc.
A more recent analysis gives volatile oil, resin, a yellow, bitter principle considered analagous to the bitter principle of quassia, gum, starch, albumen, lignin, malate and phosphate of lime, oxide of iron and silica.
About 1/2 OZ. of the oil is furnished by 100 lb. of the root, the coarser, A. reticulata, yielding rather more. The resinous aristinic acid has been obtained from a number of species, including A. serpentaria. The alkaloid Aristolochine, found in several varieties, requires fuller investigation.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Stimulant, tonic and diaphoretic, properties resembling those of valerian and cascarilla. Too large doses occasion nausea, griping pains in the bowels, sometimes vomiting and dysenteric tenesmus. In small doses, it promotesthe appetite, toning up the digestive organs. It has been recommended in intermittent fevers, when it may be useful as an adjunct to quinine. In full doses it produces increased arterial action, diaphoresis, and frequently diuresis. In eruptive fevers where the eruption is tardy, or in the typhoid stage where strong stimulants cannot be borne, it may be very valuable. An infusion is an effective gargle in putrid sore-throat. It benefits sufferers from dyspepsia and amenorrhoea.
Long boiling impairs its virtues. A cold infusion is useful in convalescence from acute diseases.
It is probable that as it does not disturb the bowels, it may often be used where Guaiacum is not easily tolerated, for stimulating capillary circulation and promoting recovery in chronic forms of gouty inflammation.
Many powers are claimed for the drug as an antidote to the bites of snakes and mad dogs, but though there is much direct testimony, the claim is not considered to be authoritatively proved.
---Dosage--
-Powdered root, 10 to 30 grains. Fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm. Tincture, B.P. and U.S.P., 1/2 to 1 drachm. Infusion, B.P., 1/2 to 1 OZ. Conc. solution, B.P., 1/2 to 2 drachms.
---Poisonous, if any, with Antidotes---
According to Pohl, aristolochine in sufficient doseproduces in the higher animals violent irritation of the gastro-intestinal tract and of the kidneys, with death in coma from respiratory paralysis.
The celebrated Portland powder for the cure of gout contained aristolochia, with gentian, centaury and other bitters in the dose of a drachm every morning for three months, afterwards diminishing for a year or more, but its prolonged use injured the stomach and nervous system, bringing on premature decay and death.
---Other Species---
Analyses have been made of A. Clematitis, A. rotunda, A. longa, A. argentea, A. indica and A. bracteata, yielding aristolochine, aristolin, or aristinic acid. A closely allied if not identical resinous acid has been obtained from the plant Bragantia Wallichii, besides an alkaloid, which, under the name of Alpam, has long been used in Western India as an antidote to snake-venom. The allied species, Bragantia tomentosa, is said to be employed in Java as an emmenagogue.
Several species are found in the herbalists' stores of India which do not enter commerce.
A. bracteata is employed as an emmenagogue. Aristolochia of the Br. Add. was the dried stem and root of A. indica, the stems with attached roots being used for the cure of snake-bite.
Of A. rotunda, the Br. Add. recognized the concentrated liquor, i.e. 1 in 2 of 20 per cent alcohol (dose, 1/2 to 2 fluid drachms), and the tincture, i.e. 1 in 5 of 70 per cent alcohol (dose, 1/2 to 1 fluid drachm).
A. Clematitis, A. longa and A. rotunda are still retained in official catalogues in Europe, where they are indigenous. A. Pistolochia, of Southern Europe, appears to have been the aristolochia of Pliny, and is still used under the name of Pistolochia.
A. Clematitis, or Birthwort, is found in England, usually near old ruins, as if it had been cultivated for its medical use, as an aid to parturition.
It is stated that wiccan jugglers use some of these plants to stupefy snakes before they handle them, while it is related that the juice of the root of A. anguicida, if introduced into the mouth of a serpent, will stupefy it, and if it be compelled to swallow a few drops it will die in convulsions.
It is conjectured that the Guaco of South America, a root of which is carried by all Indians and Negroes who traverse the country, is some species of Aristolochia probably A. cymbifera, known in Brazil as milhommen, jarra, and jarrinha.
In the Argentine Republic the root of A. argentina is used as a diuretic and diaphoretic, especially in rheumatism.
In Arabia, Forskhal states that the leaves of A. sempervirens are used as a counterpoison.
A. foetida, of Mexico, or Yerba del Indio, is used as a local stimulant to foul ulcers.
For snake-bite, in addition to A. serpentaria in North America, A. maxima or Contra Capitano is employed in South America, A. anguicida in the Antilles, A. brasiliensis, A. cymbifera, A. macroura, A. trilobata, etc.
See BIRTHWORT.


Snakeroot, Button

Botanical: Liatris spicata (WILLD.)
Family: N.O. Compositae
---Synonyms---
Gay Feather. Devil's Bite. Colic Root.
---Part Used---Root.
---Habitat---
Southern Ontario southwards.
---Description---
An indigenous perennial composite plant, growing in moist fields and grounds, found from Southern Ontario and Minnesota southwards. Root tuberous; has a herbaceous erect stem, which in August gives a beautiful spike of crimson-purple compound flowers. The odour of the root is terebinic, taste bitterish; the plant grows well in the author's garden at Chalfont St. Peter.
---Constituent---Coumarin.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Useful for its diuretic properties and as a local application for sore throat and gonorrhoea, for which it is exceedingly efficacious. Being an active diuretic it is valuable in the treatment of Bright's disease. Its agreeable odour is due to Coumarin, which may be detected on the surface of its spatulate leaves.
---Dosage---
A decoction is taken three or four times daily in 2-OZ. doses.
---Other Species---
Several varieties of Liatris are largely used in Southern United States to flavour tobacco, and are said to keep moths away from clothing. All varieties are active diuretics, and L. squarrosa (syn. 'Rattlesnake Master') has been utilized to cure rattlesnakebite.


Snapdragon

Botanical: Antirrhinum magus (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Scrophularaceae
Medicinal Action and Uses
Other Species
---Part Used---Leaves.
Snapdragon is closely allied to the Toadflaxes. It is really not truly a native herb, but has become naturalized in many places, on old walls and chalk cliffs, being an escape from gardens, where it has been long cultivated.
The botanical name, Antirrhinum, refers to the snout-like form of the flower.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
The plant has bitter and stimulant properties, and the leaves of this and several allied species have been employed on the Continent in cataplasms to tumours and ulcers.
It was valued in olden times like the Toadflax as a preservative against witchcraft.
The numerous seeds yield a fixed oil by expression, said to be little inferior to olive oil, for the sake of which it has been cultivated in Russia.
---Other Species---
Antirrhinum Orontium (Linn.), the Calf's Snout or Small Snapdragon, an annual found occasionally in cornfields, in lime or chalk soil, with narrow, hairy leaves and small, reddish flowers, resembling those of the Snapdragon in form, is said to be poisonous, but the fact is not well established.
Its properties seem similar to those of the other species.
The name, Orontium, given it by Dodonaeus, is an old mediaeval generic name name for the Snapdragon.
See TOADFLEX.


Snowdrop

Botanical: Galanthus nivalis (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Amaryllidaceae
---Synonyms---
Fair Maid of February. Bulbous Violet.
Snowdrop, usually spoken of as the first flower of our year, though the Winter Aconite has perhaps a better title to be so considered, has never been of much account in physic, and has never been recognized. Gerard says 'nothing is set down hereof by the ancient Writers, nor anything observed by the moderne.' He calls it the Bulbous Violet, but adds that some call it the Snowdrop, the earliest mention of it by this name, and it was known to all the old botanists as a bulbous violet.
The generic name, Galanthus, is Greek in its origin and signifies Milkflower. Nivalis is a Latin adjective, meaning relating to or resembling snow.
Gerard speaks of it as not a native of England, though somewhat common in gardens, having been introduced from Italy. It is a native of Switzerland, Austria and of Southern Europe generally, but where naturalized here spreads into considerable masses, and is plentiful wherever it occurs, generally growing in shady pastures, woods and orchards. There is probably no bulbous plant, however, which for all its extreme hardiness in resisting cold, shows such a marked preference or distaste for certain localities, even though there may be little variation in soil or altitude. In some districts snowdrops will grow and spread in woods as readily as the wild hyacinth; in others, with apparently identical conditions, it is difficult to get them to grow and they will refuse to spread.
The bulbs grow in compact masses. Each sends up a one-flowered stem. The points of the leaves protecting the flower-head are thickened and toughened at the tips, enabling them to push through the soil. This simple device shows on the mature leaf like a delicate nail on a green finger.
The flowers remain open a long time; the bud is erect, but the open flowers pendulous and adapted to bees. The perianth is in two whorls, on the inner surface of the inner perianth leaves are green grooves secreting honey - the stamens dehisce, or open, by apical slots and lie close against the style, forming a cone. The stigma projects beyond the anther cone and is first touched by an insect, which in probing for nectar, shakes the stamens and receives a shower of pollen.
Gerard appears to be wrong in saying that the plant has no medicinal use.
An old glossary of 1465, referring to it as Leucis i viola alba, classes it as an emmenagogue, and elsewhere, placed under the narcissi, its healing properties are stated to be 'digestive, resolutive and consolidante.'


Soap Tree

Botanical: Quillaja saponaria (MOLINA.)
Family: N.O. Rosaceae
Description
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Doses of Quillaia Bark
Other Species
---Synonyms---
Soap Bark. Panama Bark. Cullay.
---Part Used---
Dried inner bark.
---Habitat---
Peru and Chile, and cultivated in Northern Hindustan.
---Description---
A tree 50 to 60 feet high. Leaves smooth, shiny, short-stalked, oval, and usually terminal white flowers, solitary, or three to five on a stalk. Bark thick, dark colored, and very tough. In commerce it is found in large flat pieces 1/5 inch thick, outer surface brownish-white, with small patches of brownish cork attached, otherwise smooth; inner surface whitish and smooth, fracture splintery, chequered with pale-brown vast fibres, embedded with white tissue; it is inodorous, very acrid and astringent.
---Constituents---
Its chief constituent is saponin, which is a mixture of two glucosides, guillaic acid and guillaia-sapotoxin. The latter is very poisonous and possesses marked foam-producing properties. Calcium oxalate is also present in the bark. The drug also contains cane-sugar and a non-toxic modification of guillaic acid. As the active principles of Soap Bark are the same as those of Senega, Quillaia has been suggested as a cheap substitute for Sarsaparilla.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
It can be used as a stimulating expectorant. As a decoction (5 parts to 200), adult-dose 1 tablespoonful. Syrup of guillaia can be utilized as a substitute for syrup of Senega, by adding 4 parts of the fluid extract to 21 parts of syrup, using diluted alcohol as the menstruum.
---Doses of Quillaia Bark---
Fluid extract, 2 to 8 drops. Solid extract, 1/2 to 2 grains. Tincture, B.P. and U.S.P., 1/2 to 1 drachm.
Might be useful in cases of aortic disease with hypertrophy, its efficacy depending on the dimmished action of the cardiac ganglia and muscle which its active principle, Saponine, produces. Saponin appears to be identical with Cyclamin, from Cyclamen European, and with primulin from Primula officinalis. Digitonin from Digitalis appears to be a kind of Saponin differing somewhat from the others. Saponin, when applied locally, is a powerful irritant, local anaesthetic and muscular poison. On account of its local irritation, when injected hypodermically it causes intense pain; sneezing when applied to the nose; vomiting, diarrhoea and gastroenteritis if taken in large doses internally. Locally applied, it paralyses motor and sensory nerves, and voluntary and involuntary muscular fibre; in the voluntary muscles it produces a condition of rigor mortis, and the muscular substance becomes brittle and structureless. Saponin acts as an emetocathartic and a diuretic if it is absorbed; in its excretion it irritates the bronchial mucous membrane, and is a protoplasmic poison. In poisoning produced from it, digitalis is indicated, as it is antagonistic to Saponin.Saponin is contained in agrostemma seeds, and has caused death; the symptoms were headache, vertigo, vomiting, hot skin, rapid feeble pulse, progressive muscular weakness, and finally coma.
Quillaia bark is used in its native country for washing clothes, and in this country is used by manufacturers and cleaners for washing or cleaning delicate materials. For washing hair: Powdered Soap Tree bark, 100 parts; alcohol, 400 parts; essence of Bergamot, 20 drops; mix. It is said to promote the growth of the hair. Was once used in the production of foam on non-alcoholic beverages, but its use in this way is now generally prohibited by law.
---Other Species---
The Brazilian species, Quillaia Selloniana,or Fontenellea braziliensis, has similar properties to Quillaia Saponaria.


Soapwort

Botanical: Saponaria officinalis (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Caryophyllaceae
Description
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonyms---
Soaproot. Bouncing Bet. Latherwort. Fuller's Herb. Bruisewort. Crow Soap. Sweet Betty. Wild Sweet William.
---Parts Used---
Dried root and leaves.
---Habitat---
Central and Southern Europe. Grows well in English gardens.
---Description---
A stout herbaceous perennial with a stem growing in the writer's garden to 4 or 5 feet high. Leaves lanceolate, slightly elliptical, acute, smooth, 2 or 3 inches long and 1/3 inch wide. Large pink flowers, often double in paniculate fascicles; calyx cylindrical, slightly downy; five petals, unguiculate; top of petals linear, ten stamens, two styles; capsule oblong, one-celled, flowering from July till September. No odour, with a bitter and slightly sweet taste, followed by a persistent pungency and a numbing sensation in the mouth.
---Constituents---
Constituents of the root, Saponin, also extractive, resin, gum, woody fibre, mucilage, etc.
Soapwort root dried in commerce is found in pieces 10 and 12 inches long, 1/12 inch thick, cylindrical, longitudinally wrinkled, outside light brown, inside whitish with a thick bark. Contains number of small white crystals and a pale yellow wood.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
A decoction cures the itch. Has proved very useful in jaundice and other visceral obstructions. For old venereal complaints it is a good cure specially where mercury has failed. It is a tonic, diaphoretic and alterative, a valuable remedy for rheumatism or cutaneous troubles resulting from any form of syphilis. It is also sternutatory. Should be very cautiously used owing to its saponin content.
Dose. - Decoction, 2 to 4 fluid ounces three or four times daily. Extract or the inspissated juice will be found equally efficacious: dose, 10 to 20 grains. As a sternutatory 2 to 6 grains. Fluid extract, 1/4 to 1 drachm.
Soapwort Root, wiccan
Botanical: Gypsophila struthium (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Caryophyllaceae
---Habitat---
Europe and United States of America.
---Description---
The root is generally in lengths of 4 to 6 inches, 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches in diameter; color a yellowish white, furrowed down its length externally with lighter places where the cortex has been rubbed. The section is of a radiate and concentric structure. Taste bitter, then acrid; odour slight; powder irritating to the nostrils. This variety is rarely used medicinally, the Soapwort (Saponaria officinalis) being used as a substitute. This is a perennial herbaceous plantwith a stem 1 to 2 feet in height, growing in Europe and United States of America.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Tonic, diaphoretic, alterative. A valuable remedy in the treatment of syphilitic, scrofulous and cutaneous diseases, also in jaundice, liver affections, rheumatism and gonorrhoea, the decoction is generally used. Saponin is produced from this plant.


Solomon's Seal

Botanical: Polygonatum multiflorum (ALLEM.)
Family: N.O. Liliaceae
Description
Cultivation
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Other Species
---Synonyms---
Lady's Seals. St. Mary's Seal. Sigillum Sanctae Mariae.
(French) Scean de Solomon.
(German) Weusswurz.
---Part Used---
Root.
A close relative to the Lily-of-the-Valley, and was formerly assigned to the same genus, Convallaria. It is a popular plant in gardens and plantations; a native of Northern Europe and Siberia, extending to Switzerland and Carniola. In England it is found, though rarely, growing wild in woods in York, Kent and Devon, but where found in Scotland and Ireland is regarded as naturalized. The Dwarf Solomon's Seal is found in the woods of Wiltshire.
---Description---
The creeping root-stock, or underground stem, is thick and white, twisted and full of knots, with circular scars at intervals, left by the leaf stems of previous years. It throws up stems that attain a height of from 18 inches to 2 feet, or even more, which are for some considerable portion of their length erect, but finally bend gracefully over. They are round, pale-green in color, and bare half-way up; from thence to the top, large and broadly-oval leaves grow alternately on the stem, practically clasping it by the bases. All the leaves have the character of turning one way, being bent slightly upward, as well as to one side, and have very marked longitudinal ribbing on their surfaces.
The flowers are in little drooping clusters of from two to seven, springing from the axils of the leaves, but hanging in an opposite direction to the foliage. They are tubular in shape, of a creamy or waxy white, topped with a yellowish-green, and sweet-scented, and are succeeded by small berries about the size of a pea, of a blackish-blue color, varying to purple and red, and containing about three or four seeds.
The generic name Polygonatum signifies many-angled, and is supposed to be derived either from the numerous knots or swellings of the root or from the numerous nodes or joints of the stem, but the characteristics are not very marked ones. The specific name, multiflorum, serves to distinguish this manyflowered species from another in which the blossoms are solitary, or only in pairs from each axil.
The origin of the common English name of the plant is variously given. Dr. Prior tells us it comes from 'the flat, round scars on the rootstocks, resembling the impressions of a seal and called Solomon's, because his seal occurs in Oriental tales.'
Another explanation is that these round depressions, or the characters which appear when the root is cut transversely, and which somewhat resemble Hebrew characters, gave rise to the notion that Solomon 'who knew the diversities of plants and the virtues of roots,' has set his seal upon them in testimony of its value to man as a medicinal root.
Gerard maintained that the name Sigillum Solomons was given to the root partly because it bears marks something like the stamp of a seal, but still more because of the virtue the root hath in sealing and healing up green wounds, broken bones and such like, being stamp't and laid thereon.'
The name Lady's Seal was also conferred on the plant by old writers, as also St. Mary's Seal (Sigillum Sanctae Mariae).
---Cultivation---
Solomon's Seal is a very hardy plant. It prefers a light soil and a shady situation, being a native of woods. If in a suitable soil and situation and not crowded by shrubs, it will thrive and multiply very rapidly by the creeping rootstocks. It will be better for occasional liberal dressings of leafmould, or an annual top dressing of decayed manure in March.
Seeds, sown as soon as gathered in the autumn, germinate in early spring, or the roots may be divided to any extent. The best time to transplant or part the roots is in autumn, after the stalks decay, but it may safely be done at any time, if taken up with plenty of soil, until they begin to shoot in the spring, when the ground should be dug about them and kept clean from weeds. They should also have room to spread and must not be removed oftener than every third or fourth year.
To give Solomon's Seal a good start when planting, the soil should be well broken up with a fork and have a little mild manure worked in.
---Part Used---The root dug in autumn and dried.
---Constituents---
The rhizome and herb contain Convallarin, one of the active constituents of Lily-of-the-Valley, also Asparagin, gum, sugar, starch and pectin.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Astringent, demulcent and tonic. Combined with otherremedies, Solomon's Seal is given in pulmonary consumption and bleeding of the lungs. It is useful also in female complaints. The infusion of 1 OZ. to a pint of boiling water is taken in wineglassful doses and is also used as an injection. It is a mucilaginous tonic, very healing and restorative, and is good in inflammations of the stomach and bowels, piles, and chronic dysentery.
A strong decoction given every two or three hours has been found to cure erysipelas, if at the same time applied externally to the affected parts.
The powdered roots make an excellent poultice for bruises, piles, inflammations and tumours. The bruised roots were much used as a popular cure for black eyes, mixed with cream. The bruised leaves made into a stiff ointment with lard served the same purpose. Gerard says:
'The roots of Solomon's Seal, stamped while it is fresh and greene and applied, taketh away in one night or two at the most, any bruise, blacke or blew spots gotten by fals or women's wilfulness in stumbling upin their hastie husband's fists, or such like.'
A decoction of the root in wine was considered a suitable beverage for persons with broken bones, 'as it disposes the bones to knit.' On this point, Gerard adds:
'As touching the knitting of bones and that truly which might be written, there is not another herb to be found comparable to it for the purposes aforesaid; and therefore in briefe, if it be for bruises inward, the roots must be stamped, some ale or wine put thereto and strained and given to drinke . . . as well unto themselves as to their cattle,' it being applied 'outwardly in the manner of a pultis' for external bruises.
Parkinson says, 'The Italian dames, however, doe much use the distilled water of the whole plant of Solomon's Seal' - for their complexions, etc.
In Galen's time, the distilled water was used as a cosmetic, and Culpepper says:
'the diluted water of the whole plant used to the face or other parts of the skin, cleanses it from freckles, spots or any marks whatever, leaving the place fresh, fair and lovely, for which purpose it is much used by the Italian ladies and is the principal ingredient of most of the cosmetics and beauty washes advertised by perfumers at high price.'
The roots macerated for some time in water yield a substance capable of being used as food and consisting principally of starch. The young shoots form an excellent vegetable when boiled and eaten like Asparagus, and are largely consumed in Turkey. The roots of another species have been made into bread in times of scarcity, but they require boiling or baking before use.
The flowers and roots used as snuff are celebrated for their power of inducing sneezing and thereby relieving head affections. They also had a wide vogue as aphrodisiacs, for love philtres and potions.
The berries are stated to excite vomiting, and even the leaves, nausea, if chewed.
The properties of these roots have not been very fully investigated. It is stated that a decoction will afford not only relief but ultimate cure in skin troubles caused by the poison vine, or poisonous exalations of other plants.
Dosage of the decoction: 1 to 4 OZ. three times daily.
As a remedy for piles the following has been found useful: 4 OZ. Solomon's Seal, 2 pints water, 1 pint molasses. Simmer down to 1 pint, strain, evaporate to the consistence of a thick fluid extract, and mix with it from 1/2 to 1 OZ. of powdered resin. Dosage: 1 teaspoonful several times daily.
---Other Species---
Polygonatum biflorum, an American Solomon's Seal, has characters and constitution similar to the European.
P. uniflorum, now P. officinale, is said to be no longer used. The plant bears a single fragrant flower.
P. verticillatum, bearing its leaves in whorls, is only found in Scotland, and then rarely.
Smilacina Racemosa is known as False Solomon's Seal.


Sorrel, Garden or Common

Botanical: Rumex acetosa (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Polygonaceae
Recipe---To Stew Sorrel for Fricandean and Roast Meat
Cultivation
Parts Used Medicinally
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonyms--
-Green Sauce. Sour Sabs. Sour Grabs. Sour Suds. Sour Sauce. Cuckoo Sorrow. Cuckoo's Meate. Gowke-Meat.
---Part Used---Leaves.
Of the two kinds of Sorrel cultivated for use as vegetables or salads, Rumex acetosa, the Garden Sorrel, is an indigenous English plant, common, too in the greater part of Europe, in almost all soils and situations. It grows abundantly in meadows, a slender plant about 2 feet high, with juicy stems and leaves, and whorled spikes of reddish-green flowers, which give color, during the months of June and July, to the grassy spots in which it grows.
It is generally found in pastures where the soil contains iron.
The leaves are oblong, the lower ones 3 to 6 inches in length, slightly arrow-shaped at the base, with very long petioles. The upper ones are sessile. They frequently become a beautiful crimson.
As the flowers increase in size, they become a purplish color. The stamens and pistils are on different plants. The seeds, when ripe, are brown and shining. The perennial roots run deeply into the ground.
Sorrel is well known for the grateful acidity of its herbage, which is most marked when the plant is in full season, though in early spring it is almost tasteless.
The plant is also called 'Cuckoo's-meate' from an old belief that the bird cleared its voice by its agency. In Scotland it is 'gowkemeat.'
Domestic animals are fond of this and other species of Sorrel. The leaves contain a considerable quantity of binoxalate of potash, which gives them their acid flavour and medicinal and dietetic properties. They have been employed from the most distant time as a salad. In France, Sorrel is put into ragouts, fricassées and soups, forming the chief constituent of the favourite Soupe aux herbes.
In the time of Henry VIII, this plant was held in great repute in England, for table use, but after the introduction of French Sorrel, with large succulent leaves, it gradually lost its position as a salad and a potherb, and for many years it has ceased to be cultivated.
John Evelyn thought that Sorrel imparted 'so grateful a quickness to the salad that it should never be left out.' He wrote in 1720:
'Sorrel sharpens the appetite, assuages heat, cools the liver and strengthens the heart; is an antiscorbutic, resisting putrefaction and in the making of sallets imparts a grateful quickness to the rest as supplying the want of oranges and lemons. Together with salt, it gives both the name and the relish to sallets from the sapidity, which renders not plants and herbs only, but men themselves pleasant and agreeable.
Culpepper tells us:
'Sorrel is prevalent in all hot diseases, to cool any inflammation and heat of blood in agues pestilential or choleric, or sickness or fainting, arising from heat, and to refresh the overspent spirits with the violence of furious or fiery fits of agues: to quench thirst, and procure an appetite in fainting or decaying stomachs: For it resists the putrefaction of the blood, kills worms, and is a cordial to the heart, which the seed doth more effectually, being more drying and binding.... Both roots and seeds, as well as the herb, are held powerful to resist the poison of the scorpion. . . . The leaves, wrapt in a colewort leaf and roasted in the embers, and applied to a large imposthume, botch boil, or plague-sore, doth both ripen and break it. The distilled water of the herb is of much good use for all the purposes aforesaid.'
In this country, the leaves are now rarely eaten, unless by children and rustics, to allay thirst, though in Ireland they are still largely consumed by the peasantry with fish and milk. Our country people used to beat the herb to a mash and take it mixed with vinegar and sugar, as a green sauce with cold meat, hence one of its popular names: Greensauce.
Because of their acidity, the leaves, treated as spinach, make a capital dressing with stewed lamb, veal or sweetbread. A few of the leaves may also with advantage be added to turnips and spinach. When boiled by itself, without water, it serves as an excellent accompaniment to roast goose or pork, instead of apple sauce.
'To Stew Sorrel for Fricandean and Roast Meat.
'Wash the Sorrel, and put it into a silver vessel, or stone jar, with no more water than hangs to the leaves. Simmer it as slow as you can, and when done enough, put a bit of butter and beat it well.'
Unless cooked carefully, Sorrel is likely to disagree with gouty persons, from the acid oxalate of potash it contains, but this may be got rid of if it is plunged for two or three minutes in boiling water, before cooking, this first water being then thrown away.
In Scandinavia, Sorrel has sometimes been used in time of scarcity to put into bread. The leaves contain a little starch and mucilage, and the root is rather farinaceous.
The juice of the leaves will curdle milk as well as rennet, and the Laplanders use it as a substitute for the latter.
The dried root affords a beautiful red color when boiled and used for making barley water look like red wine, when in France they wish to avoid giving anything of a vinous nature to the sick.
The salt of Sorrel, binoxalate of potash, is much used for bleaching straw and removing ink stains from linen, and is often sold in the shops under the name of 'essential salt of lemons.'
---Cultivation---
Sorrel of two kinds is cultivated, R. acetosa, or Garden Sorrel, and R. scrutatus, or French Sorrel. Garden Sorrel likes a damp situation, French Sorrel a dry soil and an open situation.
The finest plants are propagated from seed, sown in March, though it may be sown in any of the spring months. Sow moderately thin, in drills 6 inches apart, and thin out when the plants are 1 or 2 inches high. When the stalks run up in July, they should be cut back. The roots will then put out new leaves, which will be tender and better for kitchen use than the older leaves, so that by cutting down the shoots of some plants at different times, there will always be a supply of young leaves.
Both varieties are generally increased by dividing the roots, which may be done either in spring or autumn, the roots being planted about a foot apart each way, and watered.
---Parts Used Medicinally---
The leaves both dried and fresh.
---Constituents---
The sour taste of Sorrel is due to the acid oxalate of potash it contains; tartaric and tannic acids are also present.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
The medicinal action of Sorrel is refrigerant and diuretic, and it is employed as a cooling drink in all febrile disorders.
It is corrective of scrofulous deposits: for cutaneous tumours, a preparation compounded of burnt alum, citric acid, and juice of Sorrel, applied as a paint, has been employed with success.
Sorrel is especially beneficial in scurvy.
Both the root and the seed were formerly esteemed for their astringent properties, and were employed to stem haemorrhage.
A syrup made with the juice of Fumitory and Sorrel had the reputation of curing the itch, and the juice, with a little vinegar, was considered a cure for ringworm, and recommended as a gargle for sore throat.
A decoction of the flowers, made with wine, was said to cure jaundice and ulcerated bowels, the root in decoction or powder being also employed for jaundice, and gravel and stone in the kidneys.
Gerard enumerated eight different kinds of Sorrel - the Garden, bunched or knobbed, Sheep, Romane, Curled, Barren and Great Broad-leaved Sorrel, and said of them:
'The Sorrells are moderately cold and dry. Sorrell doth undoubtedly cool and mightily dry, but because it is sour, it likewise cutteth tough humours. The juice thereof in summer time is a profitable sauce in many meats and pleasant to the taste. It cooleth a hot stomach. The leaves are with good success added to decoctions, and are used in agues. The leaves are taken in good quantity, stamped and stained into some ale and cooleth the body. The leaves are eaten in a tart spinach. The seed of Sorrell drunk in wine stoppeth the bloody flow.'


Sorrel, French

Botanical: Rumex scutatus (LINN.)
---Synonym---
Buckler-shaped Sorrel.
---Part Used---Herb.
---Habitat---
It is a common plant in mountainous districts, being a native of the South of France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Barbary.
This has a more grateful acid than Common Sorrel, and is therefore preferred for kitchen use in soups, especially by the French. Their Sorrel soup is made from this species.
It is distinguished from the Common Sorrel by the form of the leaves, which are cordate-hastate, very succulent, fleshy and brittle. The whole plant is intensely glaucous. The flowers are hermaphrodite, thestamens and pistils not on separate plants as in the Common Sorrel.
It is sometimes met with in Scotland, or in the North of England, but is a doubtful native.
It is said to have been introduced into this country in 1596.


Sorrel Mountain

Botanical: Oxyria reniformis (HOOK)
Family: N.O. Germaniaceae
---Part Used---Herb.
The Mountain Sorrel is found distributed in the Arctic regions and the Alps of the north temperate zone, and grows by streams in Wales, Yorks and northwards.
It has the characters of the allied genus Rumex, approaching the Common Sorrel in habit, but is shorter and stouter. The leaves are all from the root, fleshy and kidneyshaped. The flowers are green, growing in clustered spikes. The generic name, Oxyria, is derived from the Greek oxys (sharp), from the acid flavouring of the stem and leaves, which make it, like the other Sorrels, an excellent pot-herb and antiscorbutic.
Sorrel, Sheep's
Botanical: Rumex acetosella
---Synonym---Field Sorrel.
---Part Used---Herb.
Sheep's Sorrel is much smaller than either French or Garden Sorrel, and is often tinged, especially towards the end of the summer, a deep red hue. It is a slender plant, the stems from 3 to 4 inches to nearly a foot high, often many and tufted, decumbent at the base. The leaves, 1/2 to 2 inches in length, have long petioles and are variable in breadth, mostly narrow-lanceolate, the lower ones hastate and the lobes of the base usually spreading and often divided.
It grows in pastures and dry gravelly places in most parts of the globe, except the tropics, penetrating into Arctic and Alpine regions, and is abundant in Britain, where it is sometimes called Field Sorrel.
Like the other Sorrels, it is highly acid, though is less active in its properties than the French or Garden species.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
The whole herb is employed medicinally, in the fresh state. The action is diuretic, refrigerant and diaphoretic, and the juice extracted from the fresh plant is of use in urinary and kidney diseases.


Sorrel, Wood

Botanical: Oxalis acetosella
Description
Cultivation
Part Used Medicinally
Medicinal Action and Uses
Recipies
Other Species
---Synonyms---Wood Sour. Sour Trefoil. Stickwort. Fairy Bells. Hallelujah. Cuckowes Meat. Three-leaved Grass. Surelle. Stubwort.
(Scotch) Gowke-Meat.
(French) Pain de Coucou.
(Irish) Seamsog.
(Italian) Iuliole.
---Parts Used---
Leaves and herb.
The Sour Docks or Sorrels, cultivated for pot-herbs, Rumex acetosa (Common Sorrel) and R. scutatus (French Sorrel), as well as the smaller R. acetosella (Sheep's Sorrel) and Oxyria reniformis (Mountain Sorrel), owe the grateful acidity of their herbage to the presence of a special salt, binoxalate of potash, which is also present in Rhubarb. This, however, is absent in the common Docks. We find it to a marked degree in the WOOD SORREL (Oxalis acetosella), which indeed receives its name on this account, and not for any similarity in the structure of the plant, which is in no way related to the Sorrels and Docks.
---Description---
It is a little plant of a far more delicate, even dainty character, growing abundantly in woods and shady places. From its slender, irregular creeping rootstock covered with red scales, it sends up thin delicate leaves, each composed of three heartshaped leaflets, a beautiful bright green above, but of a purplish hue on their under surface. The long slender leaf-stalks are often reddish towards the base. The leaflets are usually folded somewhat along their middle, and are of a peculiarly sensitive nature. Only in shade are they fully extended: if the direct rays of the sun fall on them they sink at once upon the stem, forming a kind of three-sided pyramid, their under surfaces thus shielding one another and preventing too much evaporation from their pores. At night and in bad weather, the leaflets fold in half along the midrib, and the three are placed nearly side by side to 'sleep,' a security against storm and excessive dews.
The flowers, each set on long stalks, are fragile, in form somewhat like the Crane'sbills, to which they are closely allied, being bell-shaped, the corolla composed of five delicate white petals, veined with purple, enclosed in a five-scalloped cup of sepals and containing ten stamens, and in the centre, five green, thread-like columns, arising from a single five-celled ovary. At the base of the petals, a little honey is stored, but the flower seems to find favour with few insects.
As the flower fades, its stalk bends towards the ground and conceals the seed capsule under the leaves, till ripe, when it straightens again. The case of the capsule is elastic and curls back when the fruit is quite ripe, jerking the seeds out several yards, right over the leaves.
A second kind of flower is also produced. These are hidden among the leaves and are inconspicuous, their undeveloped petals never opening out. The ripening and seed scattering processes of these self-fertilized cleistogamous (or hidden) flowers are the same as with the familiar white-petalled ones. Wood Sorrel droops its blossoms in stormy weather, and also folds its leaves.
Neither the flowers nor any part of the plant has any odour, but the leaves have a pleasantly acid taste, due to the presence of considerable quantities of binoxalate of potash. This, combined with their delicacy, has caused them to be eaten as a spring salad from time immemorial, their sharpness taking the place of vinegar. They were also the basis of a green sauce, that was formerly taken largely with fish. 'Greene Sauce,' says Gerard, 'is good for them that have sicke and feeble stomaches . . . and of all Sauces, Sorrel is the best, not only in virtue, but also in pleasantness of his taste.'
Both botanical names Oxalis and acetosella refer to this acidity, Oxalis being derived from the Greek oxys, meaning sour or acid, and acetosella, meaning vinegar salts. Salts of Lemon, as well as Oxalic acid, can be obtained from the plant: 20 lb. of fresh herb yield about 6 lb. of juice, from which, by crystallization, between 2 and 3 OZ. of Salts of Lemon can be obtained.
An old writer tells us:
'The apothecaries and herbalists call it Alleluya and Paniscuculi, or Cuckowes meat, because either the Cuckoo feedeth thereon, or by reason when it springeth forth and flowereth the Cuckoo singeth most, at which time also Alleluya was wont to be sung in Churches. '
It flowers between Easter and Whitsuntide.
By many, the ternate leaf has been considered to be that with which St. Patrick demonstrated the Trinity to the ancient Irish, though a tiny kind of clover is now generally accepted as the 'true Shamrock.'
The early Italian painters often depicted the blossom. Ruskin writes: 'Fra Angelico's use of the Oxalis acetosella is as faithful in representation as touching in feeling.'
---Cultivation---
If roots are planted in a moist, shady border, they will multiply freely, and if kept clean from weeds will thrive and need no other care.
---Part Used Medicinally---The leaves, fresh or dried.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
It has diuretic, antiscorbutic and refrigerant action, and a decoction made from its pleasant acid leaves is given in high fever, both to quench thirst and to allay the fever. The Russians make a cooling drink from an infusion of the leaves, which may be infused with water or boiled in milk. Though it may be administered freely, not only in fevers and catarrhs, but also in haemorrhages and urinary disorders, excess should be guarded against, as the oxalic salts are not suitable to all constitutions, especially those of a gouty and rheumatic tendency.
The old herbalists tell us that Wood Sorrel is more effectual than the true Sorrels as a blood cleanser, and will strengthen a weak stomach, produce an appetite, check vomiting, and remove obstructions of the viscera.
The juice of the leaves turns red when clarified and makes a fine, clear syrup, which was considered as effectual as the infusion. The juice used as a gargle is a remedy for ulcers in the mouth, and is good to heal wounds and to stanch bleeding. Sponges and linen cloths saturated with the juice and applied, were held to be effective in the reduction of swellings and inflammation.
An excellent conserve, Conserva Ligulae, used to be made by beating the fresh leaves up with three times their weight of sugar and orange peel, and this was the basis of the cooling and acid drink that was long a favourite remedy in malignant fevers and scurvy.
In Henry VIII's time this plant was held in great repute as a pot-herb, but after the introduction of French Sorrel, with its large succulent leaves, it gradually lost its position as a salad and pot-herb.

Recipes
From Le Dictionnaire des Ménages (Paris, 1820):
-'Limonade sans Citrous, Limonade Sèche-
'Take three drachms of Salt of Sorrel and one pound of white sugar; reduce them to powder separately, and then mix them. Keep the powder, which is known as dry lemonade, in a well-corked bottle. Substitute tartaric acid for Salt of Sorrel, divide the powder into suitable portions, and you have "lemonade powders without lemons."'
From A Plain Plantain:
-'A Sirrup for a Feaver-
'Take Sirrup of Violets two ounces; Sirrup of Woodsorrell two ounces; Sirrup of Lemmon two ounces, mixed altogether, and drink it.'
---Other Species---
R. Conglomeratus (Clustered Dock). R.obtusifolin. R. pulcher, the Fiddle Dock, so called from the resemblance in the form of its leaves to a violin.


Southernwood

Botanical: Artemisia abrotanum (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Compositae
Part Used
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonyms---
Old Man. Lad's Love. Boy's Love. Appleringie.
(French) Garde Robe.
---Part Used---Herb.
The Southernwood is the southern Wormwood, i.e. the foreign, as distinguished from the native plant, being a native of the South of Europe, found indigenous in Spain and Italy. It is a familiar and favourite plant in our gardens, although it rarely if ever flowers in this country. It has finely-divided, greyish-green leaves. It was introduced into this country in 1548. An ointment made with its ashes is used by country lads to promote the growth of a beard. St. Francis de Sales says: 'To love in the midst of sweets, little children could do that, but to love in the bitterness of Wormwood is a sure sign of our affectionate fidelity.' This refers to the habit of including a spray of the plant in country bouquets presented by lovers to their lasses.
The volatile essential oil contained in the plant consists chiefly of Absinthol and is common in other Wormwoods. The scent is said to be disagreeable to bees and other insects, for which reason the French call the plant Garderobe, as moths will not attack clothes among which it is laid.
It used to be the custom for women to carry to church large bunches of this plant and Balm, that the keen, aromatic scent might prevent all feeling of drowsiness. Southernwood in common with Wormwood was thought to ward off infection. Even in the early part of last century, a bunch of Southernwood and Rue was placed at the side of the prisoner in the dock as a preventive from the contagion of jail fever.
In Italy, Southernwood, like Mugwort, is employed as a culinary herb.
---Part Used---
The whole herb, collected in August and dried in the same manner as Wormwood.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Tonic, emmenagogue, anthelmintic, antiseptic and deobstruent.
The chief use of Southernwood is as an emmenagogue. It is a good stimulant tonic and possesses some nervine principle. It is given in infusion of 1 OZ. of the herb to 1 pint of boiling water, prepared in a covered vessel, the escape of steam impairing its value. This infusion or tea is agreeable, but a decoction is distasteful, having lost much of the aroma.
Fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm.
Considerable success has also attended its use as an anthelmintic, being chiefly used against the worms of children, teaspoonful doses of the powdered herb being given in treacle morning and evening.
The branches are said to dye wool a deep yellow.
Culpepper says:
'Dioscorides saith that the seed bruised, heated in warm water and drunk helpeth those that are troubled in the cramps or convulsions of the sinews or the sciatica. The same taken in wine is an antidote and driveth away serpents and other venomous creatures, as also the smell of the herb being burnt doth the same. The oil thereof annointed on the backbone before the fits of agues come, preventeth them: it taketh away inflammation of the eyes, if it be put with some part of a wasted quince or boiled in a few crumbs of bread, and applied. Boiled in barley meal it taketh away pimples . . . that rise in the face or other parts of the body. The seed as well as the dried herb is often given to kill worms in children. The herb bruised helpeth to draw forth splinters and thorns out of the flesh. The ashes thereof dry up and heal old ulcers that are without inflammation, although by the sharpness thereof, it makes them smart. The ashes mingled with old salad oil helps those that have their hair fallen and are bald, causing the hair to grow again, either on the head or beard. A strong decoction of the leaves is a good worm medicine, but is disagreeable and nauseous. The leaves are a good ingredient in fomentation for easing pain, dispersing swellings or stopping the progress of gangrenes. The distilled water of the herb is said to helpe. . . diseases of the spleen. The Germans commend it for a singular wound herb. . . . Wormwood has thrown it into disrepute.'


Southernwood, Field

Botanical: Artemisia campestris
Medicinal Actiona And Uses
Cultivation of Species of Artemisia
---Part Used---Herb.
The Field Southernwood is common in most parts of Europe, but rare in Britain, occurring only on sandy heaths in Norfolk and Suffolk. It is perennial, like the other species of Artemisia with a rather thick, tapering root, but uniike them, its foliage is not aromatic. The slender, grooved stems, until flowering, are prostrate; the leaves are silky when young, but nearly smooth when mature, the segments few in number, but very slender, 1/4 to 1/2 inch long, terminating in a point with their margins recurved. The flower-heads are small and numerous, in long, slender, drooping racemes, the florets yellow and are in bloom in August and September.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Dr. John Hill says of Field Southernwood that it is of a:
'warm, fine, pleasant, aromatic taste, with a little bitterness, not enough to be disagreeable. It wants but to be more common and more known to be very highly valued . . . and one thing it is in particular, it is a composer; and always disposes the person to sleep. Opiates weaken the stomach and must not be given often where we wish for their assistance; this possesses the soothing quality without the mischief.'
This species of Artemisia has the same qualities, in a lesser degree, as the garden Southernwood, and Linnaeus recommended an infusion of it as of use in pleurisy.
---Cultivation of Species of Artemisia---
The Common Wormwood, Mugwort and Southernwood are regularly cultivated on some of the old established drug farms. They are grown in rows about 2 feet apart each way, and need no further care than to be kept free from weeds, growing in almost any soil. Mugwort and Common Wormwood may also be collected in the wild state.
Artemisia Dracunculus is the well-known culinary herb 'Tarragon,' a native of Siberia. It differs from the majority of its fellows in that its leaves are narrow and lance-shaped, of a bright green color, and possess a peculiar aromatic taste, without the characteristic bitterness of the genus.
The Wormwood so frequently mentioned in Scripture is most probably A. judaica, growing in the Southern Desert.
See:
MUGWORT
TARRAGON
WORMWOOD


Sow-Thistles
Botanical: Sonchus oleraceus (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Compositae
Sow-Thistle, Common
Sow-Thistle, Corn
Sow-Thistle, Marsh
Sow-Mountain



SOW-THISTLE, COMMON

---Synonyms---
Hare's Thistle. Hare's Lettuce.
---Parts Used---
Leaves, stems, milky juice.
The Sow-Thistle is a well-known weed in every field and garden. It is a perennial, growing from 1 to 3 feet high, with hollow thick, branched stems full of milky juice, and thin, oblong leaves, more or less cut into (pinnatifid) with irregular, prickly teeth on the margins. The upper leaves are much simpler in form than the lower ones, clasping the stem at their bases.
The flowers are a pale yellow, and when withered, the involucres close over them in a conical form. The seed vessels are crowned with a tuft of hairs, or pappus, like most of this large family of Compositae.
This plant is subject to great variations, which are merely owing to soil and situation, some being more prickly than others.
The name of the genus, Sonchus, is derived from the Greek word for hollow, and bears allusion to the hollow nature of the succulent stems.
The Sow Thistles are sometimes erroneously called Milk Thistles from the milky juice they contain; the true Milk Thistle is, however, a very different plant (see THISTLES).
The Latin name of the species, oleraceus, refers to the use to which this weed has been put as an esculent vegetable. Its use as an article of food is of very early date, for it is recorded by Pliny that before the encounter of Theseus with the bull of Marathon, he was regaled by Hecale upon a dish of SowThistles. The ancients considered them very wholesome and strengthening, and administered the juice medicinally for many disorders, considering them to have nearly the same properties as Dandelion and Succory.
The young leaves are still in some parts of the Continent employed as an ingredient in salads It used in former times to be mingled with other pot herbs, and was occasionally employed in soups; the smoothest variety is said to be excellent boiled like spinach.
Its chief use nowadays is as food for rabbits. There is no green food they devour more eagerly, and all keepers of rabbits in hutches should provide them with a plentiful supply. Pigs are also particularly fond of the succulent leaves and stems of the Sow-Thistle.
One of the popular names of the SowThistle: 'Hare's Thistle' or 'Hare's Lettuce,' refers to the fondness of hares and rabbits for this plant. An old writer tells us: 'when fainting with the heat she (the hare) recruits her strength with this herb: or if a hare eat of this herb in the summer when he is mad, he shall become whole.' Sheep and goats also eat it greedily, but horses will not touch it.
There are three or four other kinds of Sow Thistle, and as an old herbal tells us: 'They have all the same virtue, but this has them in perfection.



SOW-THISTLE, CORN

Botanical: Sonchus arvensis (LINN.),
Family: N.O. Compositae
---Parts Used---
Leaves, milky juice.
The Corn Sow-Thistle is a perennial, with a large fleshy, creeping root. It is found in similar situations as the common species, though mainly in cornfields, where its large, bright golden flowers, externally tinged with red, showing above the corn, make it a conspicuous plant. It is readily distinguished from the Common Sow-Thistle by its stem, which is 3 to 4 feet high - being unbranched and by the much larger size of its flowers, the involucres and stalks of which are covered by numerous glandular hairs. The leaves, like those of the Common Sow-Thistle, applied outwardly by way of cataplasm, have been found serviceable in inflammatory swellings.



SOW-THISTLE, MARSH

Botanical: Sonchus palustris (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Compositae
---Part Used---
Milky juice.
The Marsh Sow-Thistle is a much taller species than either of the preceding, attaining a height of 6 to 8 feet, being one of the tallest of our English herbaceous plants. The root is perennial, fleshy and branched, but not creeping; the leaves, arrow-shaped at the base, large, shiny on the under surfaces; the flowers, large and pale yellow, with hairy involucres, are in bloom in September and October, much later than the last species, which it somewhat resembles, though the edges of the leaves are minutely toothed, not waved. It grows in marshy places but is rare in this country, being now extinct in most of the places in Norfolk, Suffolk, Kent and Essex where it was formerly found, and only occurring on the Thames below Woolwich. This thistle was placed by mediaeval botanists under the planetary influences of Mars: 'Mars rules it, it is such a prickly business.'



SOW-THISTLE, MOUNTAIN

Botanical: Sonchus alpinus (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Compositae
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonym---
Blue Sow-Thistle.
---Parts Used---
Milky juice, leaves.
The Blue or Mountain Sow-Thistle, a tall, handsome plant with very large blue flowers, but also very rare in these islands (it grows on the Clova Mountains), has been used as a salad in Lapland, the young shoots being stripped of their skin and eaten raw, but Linnaeus informs us that it is somewhat bitter and unpalatable.
Of the Siberian Sow-Thistle (Sonchus Tartaricus), Anne Pratt, in Flowers and Their Associations (1840) says:
'This plant during that clear weather which is generally favourable to flowers, never uncloses; but let a thick mist overspread the atmosphere or a cloud arise large enough to drive home the Honey Bee, and it will soon unfold its light blue blossoms.'
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Culpepper considers that the Sow-Thistles possess great medicinal virtues, which lie chiefly in the milky juice. He tells us:
'They are cooling and somewhat binding, and are very fit to cool a hot stomach and ease the pain thereof. . . . The milk that is taken from the stalks when they are broken, given in drink, is very beneficial to those that are short-winded and have a wheezing.'
He goes on to inform us, on the authority of Pliny, that they are efficacious against gravel, and that a decoction of the leaves and stalks is good for nursing mothers; that the juice or distilled water is good 'for all inflammation, wheals and eruptions, also for haemorrhoids.' Also that:
'the juice is useful in deafness, either from accidental stoppage, gout or old age. Four spoonsful of the juice of the leaves, two of salad oil, and one teaspoonful of salt, shake the whole well together and put some on cotton dipped in this composition into the ears and you may reasonably expect a good degree of recovery.'
Again, that:
'the juice boiled or thoroughly heated in a little oil of bitter almonds in the peel of a pomegranite and dropped into the ears is a sure remedy for deafness.'
Finally, he informs us that the juice 'is wonderfully efficacious for women to wash their faces with to clear the skin and give it lustre.'
Another old herbalist also says:
'The leaves are to be used fresh gathered; a strong infusion of them works by urine and opens obstructions. Some eat them in salads, but the infusion has more power.'
The whole plant has stiff spines on the leaf margin, and the seeds and roots are used in homoeopathic medicine.
The milky juice of all the Sow-Thistles is an excellent cosmetic. The leaves are said to cure hares of madness.
See:
HAWKWEED, WALL
HAWKWEED, WOOD
HAWKWEED, MOUSE-EAR
OX-TONGUE


Spaghnum
See: Moss, Sphagnum


Spearmint
See Mints.


Spearwort, Lesser

Botanical: Ranunculus flammula (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Ranunculaceae
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Part Used---Whole plant.
The Lesser Spearwort has been used in the Isle of Skye and in many parts of the Highlands of Scotland to raise blisters, the leaves being well bruised in a mortar and applied in one or more limpet shells to the part where the blister is to be raised.
It was used in the fourteenth century under the name of 'flame' for 'cankers,' a term probably used for ulcers. Its distilled water has been employed as a harmless emetic.
This plant is very common throughout Britain, growing in wet and boggy parts of heaths and commons, where it flowers from June to September.
The stems often root at the lower joints, being more or less horizontal to start with, but afterwards rising to a foot or more in height, being terminated by a few loose flower-bearing branches. It has undivided, lanceolate (lance-shaped) leaves, the uppermost being the narrowest and smallest. The flowers are numerous, on long stalks, a light golden-yellow, 1/2 to 3/4 inch across.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---A tincture is used to cure ulcers.
See:
BUTTERCUP
CELANDINE, GREATER
CELANDINE, LESSER


Speedwell, Common

Botanical: Veronica officinalis (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Scrophulariaceae
Description
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Other Species
---Part Used---Herb.
The Common Speedwell is a native of the Old World, but is abundantly naturalized in the eastern United States, where it grows in open, grassy places.
In this country, it is generally found on heaths, moors, dry hedgebanks and in coppices, where it is very common and generally distributed.
---Description---
The plant is a perennial, of a prostrate habit, with ascending branches, bearing erect, spike-like clusters of blue flowers, the stems 3 to 18 inches long, varying very much in length according to soil. The leaves are opposite, shortly stalked, generally about an inch long, oval and attenuated into their foot-stalks, their margins finely toothed. The flowers are in dense, axillary, manyflowered racemes, 1 1/2 to 6 inches long, the individual flowers nearly stalkless on the main flower-stalk, their corollas only 1/6 inch across, pale blue with dark blue stripes and bearing two stamens with a very long style. The capsule is inversely heart-shaped and notched, longer than the oblong, narrow sepals. The plant is of a dull green and is generally slightly hairy, having short hairs, sometimes smooth.
The fresh herb is faintly aromatic. After drying, it is inodorous. It has a bitterish, warm, and somewhat astringent taste.
---Constituents---
Enz found a bitter principle, soluble in water and alcohol, but scarcely so in ether, and precipitated by the salts of lead, but not by tannic acid; an acrid principle; red coloring matter, a variety of tannic acid, producing a green color with ferric salts; a crystallizable, fatty acid, with malic, tartaric, citric, acetic and lactic acids; mannite; a soft, dark green bitter resin.
Mayer, of New York (in 1863), found evidences of an alkaloid and of a saponaceous principle. Vintilesco (1910) found a glucoside both in this species and in Veronica chamaedrys.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
This species of Veronica retained a place among our recognized remedies until a comparatively late period, and is still employed in herbal medicine.
Its leaves possess astringency and bitterness.
Among the Welsh peasantry, great virtues are attributed to the Speedwell. The plant has diaphoretic, alterative, diuretic, expectorant and tonic properties, and was formerly employed in pectoral and nephritic complaints, haemorrhages, diseases of the skin and in the treatment of wounds. Modern herbalists still consider that an infusion of the dried plant is useful in coughs, catarrh, etc., and is a simple and effective remedy in skin diseases.
---Other Species---
In Familiar Wild Flowers (and also inLindley's Treasury of Botany) mention is made of another Speedwell called 'Buxbaum's Speedwell' (V. Buxbaumii) which the author states is sometimes mistaken for V. Agrestis, but is a distinct species. It branches freely and attains to a height of a foot or so; its stem and leaves are thickly clothed with soft and silky hairs. The leaves are placed singly at irregular intervals along the stem, but are more numerous towards the summit; they are broadly heart-shaped, with margins deeply-cut into teeth, each leaf has a short leaf-stalk; all leaves are of the same character. The flower-bearing stems that spring from the axils of the leaves are very long, and give a decided character to the plant, while the flowers themselves have the curious Veronica character - three large and fairly equal segments and then a lower and narrower one. The blossoms are a clear blue in color, and for a Veronica are decidedly large. The fruit or capsule that succeeds the flower is twice as broad as it is long, and this flattened-out character is a specific feature. It derived its name from a distinguished botanist of the eighteenth century.
Buxbaum's Speedwell is a plant of cultivation, springing up in gardens and fields, and never far from human society and influence. It is a southerner, and though found throughout England and even Southern Scotland, it is more at home in less northern latitudes, and was probably introduced with some kind of foreign seed.
V. Serpyllifolia (Thyme-leaved Speedwell); the Marsh Speedwell (V. scutellata); the Ivy-leaved Speedwell (V. hederifolia); the Procumbent Speedwell (V. agrestis); and the Wall Speedwell (V. arvensis).
The Spiked Speedwell (V. spicata) is decidedly rare, but a handsome species; the Rock Veronica (V. saxatilis), a fine species with few flowers, is chiefly found in the highlands of Scotland.
Three other extremely rare species are V. verna (Vernal Speedwell), V. alpina (Alpine Speedwell) and V. triphyllos (The Finger Speedwell).
See VERONICAS.


Speedwell, Germander

Botanical: Veronica chamaedrys (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Scrophulariaceae
Description
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonyms---
Fluellin the Male. Veronique petit Chêne. Paul's Betony. Eye of Christ. Angels' Eyes. Cat's Eye. Bird's Eye. Farewell.
---Part Used---Herb.
Speedwell, Germander, is the commonest British species of Speedwell, found everywhere, on banks, pastures, in copses, etc., flowering in spring and early summer.
The name Germander is a corruption of the Latin chamaedrys. Gerard commenting on the name says: 'The Germander from the form of the leaves like unto small oak leaves, has the name chamaedrys given it, which signifieth a dwarf oak' - though the likeness is not very pronounced.
---Description---
This little plant has a creeping, branched root-stock, passing insensibly into the stem, which is weak and decumbent to the point where the leaves commence, and then raises itself about a foot, to carry up the flowers. The leaves are in pairs, nearly stalkless, 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches long, egg-shaped to heart-shaped, deeply furrowed by the veins, the margins coarsely toothed. On the whole length of the stem are two lines of long hairs running down between each pair of leaves, shifting from side to side wherever they arrive at a fresh pair of leaves. These hairy lines act as barriers to check the advance of unwelcome crawling insects. The leaves themselves bear jointed hairs, and the flower-stalks, calyx and capsule also have long, gland-tipped hairs. The leaves are sometimes attacked by a gall mite, Cecidomyia Veronica, and white galls like white buttons are the result on the ends of the shoots.
The numerous flowers are in loose racemes, 2 to 6 inches long in the axils of the leaves, the flowers are rather close together on first expanding, but become distant after the fall of the corolla, which is 1/2 inch across, bright blue with darker lines, and a white eye in the centre, where the four petals join into the short tube. The corolla is so lightly attached that the least jarring causes it to drop, so that the plant at the slightest handling loses its bright blossom - hence, perhaps, its name Speedwell and similar local names, 'Fare well' and 'Good-bye.' The under lip of the corolla covers the upper in bud. The flower closes at night and also in rainy weather, when the brightness of the blossoms quite disappears, only the pale and pearly underside of its petals being visible.
The cross fertilization of the flower is performed chiefly by drone flies. On either side of the big, double, top petal, a little stamen stretches outward like a horn. When an insect approaches, it grasps the stamens with its front legs and they are thus drawn forwards and onwards, so that they dust the under-side of the insect with their pollen. He steadies himself for a moment, probing the flower for the nectar round the ovary and then flies away. As the stamens in any flower do not discharge their pollen until after the stigma, which projects over the lower petal, has been ready for some time to receive it, and since the stigmas also rub on the insect's abdomen, it is evident that it will probably be fertilized from some neighbouring flower before its own pollen is ready for use. When before and during rain the flower is closed, in the absence of insect visitors, it then, however, successfully carries on self-fertilization. Kerner, in Flowers and their Unbidden Guests, notes this fact in referring to the Speedwells, saying: 'In the mountainous districts of the temperate zones, it often happens that rainy weather sets in just at the time when the flowers are about to open, and that it lasts for weeks. Humble and hivebees, butterflies and flies retire to their hiding-places, and for a considerable time cease to pay any visits to flowers. The growth of the plants is not, however, arrested during this period, and even in the flowers themselves, development quietly progresses if the temperature be not too low. The stigmatic tissue becomes receptive, the anthers attain to maturity, dehisce, and liberate their pollen, notwithstanding that no ray of sunshine penetrates the clouds, and that rain falls continuously. In such circumstances the mouth of the flower is not opened, selffertilization takes place in the closed flower, and all the adjustments evolved with the object of securing cross-fertilization are ineffectual.'
The two-celled ovary matures into a flattened capsule, deeply notched at the top, which opens round the edges by two valves. The Seeds are said to be specially good as food for birds.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Old writers of all countries speak highly of the virtues of the Speedwell as a vulnerary, a purifier of the blood, and a remedy in various skin diseases, its outward application being considered efficacious for the itch. It was also believed to cure smallpox and measles, and to be a panacea for many ills. Gerard recommends it for cancer, 'given in good broth of a hen,' and advocates the use of the root as a specific against pestilential fevers.
It is not to be confused with Germander (Teucrium chamaedrys), the celebrated specific for gout, used by the Emperor Charles V.
The Germander Speedwell has a certain amount of astringency, and an infusion of its leaves was at one time famous for coughs, the juice of the fresh plant also, boiled into a syrup with honey, was used for asthma and catarrh, and a decoction of the whole plant was employed to stimulate the kidneys.


Spikenard, American

Botanical: Aralia racemosa (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Araliaceae
---Synonyms---
Spignet. Life of Man. Pettymorell. Old Man's Root. Indian Spikenard. Indian Root.
---Part Used---
Root.
---Habitat---
North America, New Zealand, Japan.
---Description---
The much-branched stem grows from 3 to 6 feet high. Very large leaves, consisting of thin oval heart-shaped, double saw-toothed leaflets. Small greenish flowers in many clusters - blooming later than Aralia medicaulis (for which it is often substituted), July to August. Has roundish red-brown berries going dark purple. Root-stock thick and large, spicy and aromatic. Fracture of cortex short, of the wood also short and fibrous. Odour aromatic, taste mucilaginous, pungent and slightly acrid. Transverse section of root shows thick bark, several zones containing oil. The plant grows freely in the author's garden.
---Constituents---
Volatile oil, resin, tannin, etc.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Stimulant, diaphoretic, alterative for syphilitic, cutaneous and rheumatic cases, and used in same manner and dosage as genuine Sarsaparilla. Much used also for pulmonary affections, and enters into the compound syrup of Spikenard. Fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm. Infusion of 1/2 OZ. to a pint of water in wineglassful doses.
See:
ARALIAS
SARSAPARILLA, AMERICAN
SARSAPARILLA, CARACAO
SARSAPARILLA, JAMAICA
SARSAPARILLA, INDIAN
SARSAPARILLA, WILD


Spikenard, Californian

Botanical: Aralia Californica
Aralia Californica or Californian Spikenard may be used for same purposes as the other species. It is very like A. racemosa, but bigger in herbage and root.
See:
ANGELICA TREE
DWARF ELDER (AMERICAN)
SARSAPARILLA, AMERICAN
SARSAPARILLA, CARACAO
SARSAPARILLA, JAMAICA
SARSAPARILLA, INDIAN
SARSAPARILLA, WILD
Spikenard, Ploughman's
Botanical: Inula Conyza
Family: N.O. Compositae
Description
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonyms---
Conyza Squarrosa (Linn.). Cloron's Hard. Horse Heal. Cinnamon Root. Great Fleabane.
---Part Used---
Herb.
---Habitat---
It is found on dry banks and in copses, principally on limestone or chalky soil.
Ploughman's Spikenard is another member of this genus that - as its name implies - has had a popular reputation for its curative powers.
---Description---
Its upright stems, rising from a biennial root, generally only a foot or two in height, often purplish in color and downy, are branched and terminated by numerous small flower-heads of a dingy yellow or dusky purple, only about two-thirds of an inch across, the ray florets inconspicuous and the leaf-like scales of the involucre rolled back. The leaves of the plant are narrow, of a dull green, egg-shaped and downy. Their margins are either entire, or toothed, the teeth ending in horny points.
The plant has a slight, but not unpleasant, aromatic odour, hence, perhaps, one of its local names: Cinnamon Root.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
The older herbalists considered Ploughman's Spikenard a good wound herb, and it was frequently taken in decoction for bruises, ruptures, inward wounds, pains in the side and difficulty of breathing. It also had a reputation as an emmenagogue, and the juice of the while plant was applied externally to cure the itch.
The very smell of the plant was said to destroy fleas, and the leaves have been used, burnt, as an insecticide. Great Fleabane is one of its popular names.
Its specific name, Conyza, is derived from the Greek word for dust or powder, and refers to its power of killing noxious insects.
The leaves are sometimes substituted for Digitalis, but may be readily distinguished by their entire margins to the leaves or, when toothed, by the horny points terminating the teeth.
Inula of several species (especially Inule Britannica, Linn.) has been used to adulterate Arnica flowers. En masse, this spurious drug is pale and dull-looking, and its rays are small and narrow and of a pale yellow, whereas Arnica flower rays are broad and bright yellow. Also Inula has the involucral scales in several series, the receptacle is not hairy, and the anther-bases are longtailed.
See:
ELECAMPANE
FLEABANE, CANADIAN
FLEABANE, COMMON
FLEABANE, GREAT


Spinach

Botanical: Spinacia oleracea (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Chenopodiaceae
Constituents
Cultivation
---Part Used---
Leaves.
---Habitat---
The Spinach is an annual plant, long cultivated for the sake of its succulent leaves, a native of Asia, probably of Persian origin, being introduced into Europe about the fifteenth century.
---Constituents---
Spinach is relatively rich in nitrogenous substances, in hydrocarbons, and in iron sesqui-oxide, which last amounts to 3.3 per cent of the total ash. It is thus more nourishing than other green vegetables. It is a valuable part of the diet in anaemia, not only on account of its iron, but also for its chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is known to have a chemical formula remarkably similar to that of haemoglobin, and it is stated that the ingestion of chlorophyll will raise the haemoglobin of the blood without increasing the formed elements. The plant contains from 10 to 20 parts per 1,000 by weight of chlorophyll. During the war, wine fortified with Spinach juice 1 in 50) was given to French soldiers weakened by haemorrhage.
According to Chick and Roscoe (Biochem. Journal, 1926, XX, 137), fresh leaves of Spinach are a rich source of vitamin A, a small daily ration (0.1 gram and upward) encouraging growth and lessening or preventing xerophthalmia in young rats on diets devoid of fat-soluble vitamins. Spinach grown in the open in winter, spring or autumn possesses no antirachitic properties that can be demonstrated by the methods employed. Spinach leaves when irradiated with ultraviolet rays from a Hg vapour quartz lamp become powerfully antirachitic.
Boas (Biochem. Journal, 1926, XX, 153) found that the fresh leaves of winter-grown Spinach added to an experimental diet caused an even greater improvement in the wellbeing of rats and in the rate of growth than was caused by the addition of cod-liver oil. The weight of the skeleton was not, however, proportionally increased. The conclusion was drawn by Boas that winter Spinach contains an amount of vitamin D which isnegligible compared with its content of vitamin A.
The leaves contain a large proportion of saltpetre. The water drained from Spinach, after cooking, is capable of making as good match-paper as that made by a solution of nitre.
---Cultivation---
Spinach should be grown on good ground, well worked and well manured, and for the summer crops abundant water will be necessary.
To afford a succession of Summer Spinach, the seeds should be sown about the middle of February and again in March. After this period, small quantities should be sown once a fortnight, as Summer Spinach lasts a very short time. The seeds are generally sown in shallow drills, between the lines of peas. If occupying the whole of a plot, the rows should be 1 foot apart.
The Round-seeded is the best kind for summer use.
The Prickly-seeded and the Flanders kinds are the best for winter and should be thinned out early in the autumn to about 2 inches apart, and later on to 6 inches. The Lettuceleaved is a good succulent winter variety but not quite so hardy.
The first sowing of Winter Spinach should be made early in August and again towards the end of that month, in some sheltered but not shaded situation, in rows 18 inches apart, the plants as they advance being thinned and the ground hoed. By the beginning of winter, the outer leaves will have become fit for use, and if the weather is mild successive gatherings may be obtained up to the beginning of May.


Spinach, New Zealand

Botanical: Tetragonia expansar
Family: N.O. Picoideae
New Zealand Spinach is a half-hardy annual, a native of New Zealand, sometimes used as a substitute for Spinach during the summer months, but decidedly inferior to it. It is unrelated to the Spinach, belonging to the Picoideae.
When cultivated in this country, seeds are sown in March on a gentle hot-bed. They must be previously steeped in water for several hours. The seedlings should be potted and placed in a frame till the end of May and then planted out in light, rich soil.
Only the young leaves are gathered for use, a succession being produced during summer and autumn.
See:
ARRACH (GARDEN)
ARRACH (HALBERD-LEAVED)
ARRACH (WILD)
CHENOPODIUMS
GOOSEFOOTS


Spindle Tree

Botanical: Euonymus atropurpureus, Euonymus Europoeus (JACQ.)
Family: N.O. Celastraceae
Description
Cultivation
Parts Used
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Preparations
Other Species
---Synonyms---
Fusanum. Fusoria. Skewerwood. Prickwood. Gatter. Gatten. Gadrose. Pigwood. Dogwood. Indian Arrowroot. Burning Bush. Wahoo.
(French) Fusain. Bonnet-de-prêtre.
(German) Spindelbaume.
---Parts Used---
Root, bark, berries.
---Description---
The Spindle Tree found in our hedges and copses is a smooth-leaved shrub. The leaves have very short stalks, are opposite in pairs and have minute teeth on the margin. It bears small greenish-white flowers, in loose clusters, during May and June, followed by an abundance of fruits. The fruit is three or more lobed, and becomes a beautiful rose-red color; it bursts when ripe, disclosing ruddy-orange-colored seeds, which are wrapped in a scarlet arillus. This yields a good yellow dye when boiled in water, and a green one with the addition of alum, but these dyes are fugitive. The berries attract children, but are harmful, for they are strongly emetic and purgative: they have proved fatal to sheep. The bark, leaves and fruit are all injurious, and no animal but the goat will browse upon them.
The Latin name for Spindle is Fusus, and by some of the old writers this plant is called Fusanum and the Fusoria. By the Italians it is still called Fusano. The fruit is given three or four as a dose, as a purgative in rural districts; and the decoction, adding some vinegar, is used as a lotion for mange in horses and cattle. In allusion to the actively irritating properties of the shrub, its name Euonymus is associated with that of Euonyme, the mother of the Furies. In old herbals it is called Skewerwood or prickwood (the latter from its employment as toothpicks), and gatter, gatten, or gadrose. Chaucer, in one of his poems, calls it gaitre.
Prior says:
Gatter is from the Anglo-Saxon words, gad (a goad) and treow (a tree); gatten is made up of gad again and tan (a twig); and gadrise is from gad and hris (a rod).'
The same hardness that fitted it for skewers, spindles, etc., made it useful for the ox-goad.
Turner apparently christened the tree Spindle Tree. He says:
'I coulde never learne an Englishe name for it. The Duche men call it in Netherlande, spilboome, that is, spindel-tree, because they use to make spindels of it in that country, and me thynke it may be as well named in English seying we have no other name. . . . I know no goode propertie that this tree hath, saving only it is good to make spindels and brid of cages (bird-cages).'
The wood, which is of a light yellow hue, strong, compact and easily worked, fulfils many uses. On the Continent it is used for making pipe-stems, and an excellent charcoal is made from the young shoots, which artists approve for its smoothness, and the ease with which it can be erased. It is also employed in the making of gunpowder.
---Cultivation---
It is found in woods and hedgerows. The green and variegated Spindle Trees are familiar in British gardens. They all grow freely in any kind of soil, and are easily increased by inserting the ripened tips of the branches, about 3 inches long, into a fine, sandy loam in autumn, keeping them damp and fresh with a frequent spraying overhead. A species from South Europe and another from Japan are cultivated.
---Parts Used---
The variety of Spindle Tree (Euonymus atropurpureus), common in the eastern United States, is known there as Wahoo, Burning Bush, or Indian Arrowwood. This is the kind generally used in medicine.
It is a shrub about 6 feet high, with a smooth ash-colored bark, and has small dark purple flowers and leaves purple-tinged at the serrated edges.
Wahoo bark, as it is called commercially, is the dried root-bark of this species.
The root-bark is alone official, but the stem-bark is also collected and used as a substitute.
The root-bark, when dried, is in quilled or curved pieces, 1/12 to 1/6 inch thick, ash-grey, with blackish ridges or patches, outer surface whitish, or slightly tawny and quite smooth. Fracture friable, smooth, whitish, the inner layer appearing tangentially striated. The taste is sweetish, bitter and acrid. It has a very faint, characteristic odour, resembling liquorice.
The stem-bark is in longer quills, with a smooth outer surface, with lichens usually present on it, and a greenish layer under the epidermis.
---Constituents---
Little is definitely known of the chemical constituents of Euonymus Bark. Its chief constituent is a nearly colorless intensely bitter principle, a resin called Euonymin. There are also present euonic acid, a crystalline glucoside, asparagin, resins, fat, dulcitol, and 14 per cent of ash.
Commercial Euonymin is a powdered extract.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Tonic, alterative, cholagogue, laxative and hepatic stimulant.
In small doses, Euonymin stimulates the appetite and the flow of the gastric juice. In larger doses, it is irritant to the intestine and is cathartic. It has slight diuretic and expectorant effects, but its only use is as a purgative in cases of constipation in which the liver is disordered, and for which it is particularly efficacious. It is specially valuable in liver disorders which follow or accompany fever. It is mildly aperient and causes no nausea, at the same time stimulating the liver somewhat freely, and promoting a free flow of bile.
To make the decoction, add an ounce to a pint of water and boil together slowly. A small wineglassful to be given, when cold, for a dose, two or three times a day.
Of the tincture made with spirit from the bark, 5 to 10 drops may be taken in water or on sugar.
Euonymin is generally given in pill form and in combination with other tonics, laxatives, etc.
---Preparations---
Fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm. Powdered extract, B.P. and U.S.P., 2 grains. Euonymin, 1 to 4 grains.
---Other Species---
The green leaves of one species of Euonymus are said to be eaten by the Arabs to produce watchfulness, and a sprig of it is believed to be - to the person who carries it - a protection from plague. Another species is said to inflict painful wounds.


Spergularia
See Sandspurry.


Spurges

POISON!
Botanical: Euphorbias
Family: N.O. Euphorbiaceae
Spurge, Officinal
Spurges, Various
Genera more than 200, species more than 3,000, representing almost all habits of growth and exhibiting a high degree of adaptability to varying environments. The valuable rubbers produced by the family are of great importance, notably that from the prepared milk juice of several species of Hevea, known in commerce as Para rubber.
The medicinal properties of the family depend chiefly upon two classes of constituents; first, fixed oils, or the fatty acids freed by their decomposition, typical properties of which are castor oil, from Recinus communis, and Croton oil, from Croton tigilum; also valuable drying oils, the artists' oil or lambang from the seeds of Aleurites moluccana, tung oil, said to be the most perfect drying oil known, from seeds of A. cordata. From A. laccifera gum-lac, of a very superior quality, is obtained; another excellent drying oil is obtained from Sapium sebiferum, known as Chinese tallow. Besides the cathartic properties resident in the fixed oils of these seeds, somewhat similar properties, almost always accompanied by more or less emesis, exists in the plant-parts generally, the active constituents being usually carried in the milk juices, so that the family has yielded a large number of drugs used somewhat like Ipecacuanha.
The genus Euphorbia comprises nearly a thousand species, and a large number of these species yield a milky juice. Some are herbaceous or shrubby, with or without leaves, the leafless varieties flourishing on African deserts like the cactus, having spiny stems. The milky juice of the stem coagulates on exposure to the air, forming a resinous mass which is generally marketed in the form of tears.
For external use it is of service in chronic rheumatism and paralysis as a counter-irritant, alone, or combined with cantharides, merezeon bark, etc., or as a plaster when mixed with Burgundy pitch or resin.
It is a violent irritant and caustic poison. At the Cape, the capsules are used for destroying animals. It may produce delirium.



SPURGE, OFFICINAL

Botanical: Euphorbia resinifera
Family: N.O. Euphorbiaceae
Description
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses

---Synonyms---
Euphorbia officinarum. Poisonous Gum-Thistle. Dergmuse. Darkmous. Euphorbium Bush. Gun Euphorbium.
---Part Used---
Concrete resinous juice.
---Habitat---
The slopes of the Great Atlas range in Morocco.
---Description---
Resembling a cactus in appearance, this leafless perennial plant has a stem about 4 feet in height, and many branches. The flowers are small, simple, and bright yellow, and the fruit a small capsule with one seed in each cell. Specimens sent to Kew in 1870 have never flowered, but others have done so in Paris. Both Pliny and Dioscorides knew the drug, and its name is classical.
The milky juice is collected from incisions made in the fleshy branches, and is so acrid that it burns the fingers. It flows down the stems and encrusts them as it hardens in the sun. Poor Arabs bring in the resinous masses for sale in Morocco, whence it is chiefly exported from Mogador. The dust is so intensely irritant to the mucous membrane that the mouth and nose of those handling it must be covered by a cloth.
In commerce the drug is found in yellowish-brown 'tears' that have a waxy appearance. They are almost transparent, slightly aromatic only when heated, and often pierced with holes made by the prickles of the plant while drying. The taste is slight, but becomes very acrid.
It is said to be employed as an ingredient of paint used for preserving ships' bottoms.
At Mogador, the branches are used for tanning leather.
---Constituents---
The chief constituent is resin, and it also contains wax, calcium malate, potassium malate, lignin, bassorin, volatile oil, and water, with no soluble gum. Another analysis gives euphorbone, euphorbo-resene, euphorbic acid, calcium malate, a very acrid substance not yet isolated, and vegetable debris.
The acrid resin is soluble in alcohol, and will burn brilliantly, becoming very aromatic.
The powder is yellowish, and violently sternatatory.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
The internal use of the drug has been abandoned, owing to the severity of its action. It is an irritant emetic and cathartic. Its chief use is as a vesicant, and principally in veterinary practice. It has been used in dropsy; mixed with cantharides as a 'gout plaister'; and as an errhine in chronic brain, ear, or eye complaints, sometimes mitigated with the powder of Convallaria maialis, but accidents have led to its use being discontinued.



SPURGES, VARIOUS

Dosage
Other Species
Euphorbia cerifera is one of the sources of Candelilla wax which occurs as a coating on all parts of the plant.
'PILLBEARING SPURGE' (E. pilulifera) is commonly known as Queensland asthma weed, cat's hair, in allusion to its globular, axillary inflorescences. Is very common in all tropical countries. Its principal constituents are resins described as glucosidal, wax, and volatile matter; it is collected whilst flowering and fruiting, and has been utilized by some practitioners with a certain success in the treatment of subacute and chronic inflammation of the respiratory duct. Toxic doses have killed small animals through failure of respiration. The decoction is taken in asthmatic conditions, chronic bronchitis, and emphysema, the tincture being used in coryza and hay fever.
---Dosage---
Compound Elixir of Euphorbia, C.F., from E. pilulifera. Tincture of Euphorbia, B.P.C., from E. pilulifera, 10 to 30 minims. Fluid extract of E. pilulifera, 1/2 to 1 drachm. Decoction of E. pilulifera, 1 in 40, 1 tablespoonful.
E. corollata: dose of dried root as an emetic, 10 to 20 grains; as a cathartic, 3 to 10 grains.
E. hypericifolia: an infusion of the dried leaves, 1/2 OZ. infused in a pint of boiling water for 1/2 hour and a tablespoonful taken for a dose.
[Top of Spruges, Various]
---Other Species---
E. tetragona, E. antiguorum of the African coast, and E. canariensis of the Canary Islands also supply the drug.
WHITE IPECACUANHA (E. ipecacuanha), the root of which is used, contains a fixed oil, starch, glucose, and various salts, also resin. Its medicinal properties are similar to E. corollata.
WHITE PURSLANE (E. corollata). Syn. White Parsley, Purging or Emetic Root, Apple Root, Wild Hippo. The whole plant is used, including the root. Its habitat is east and central North America. It abounds in lactiferous ducts, which contain starch; the resin is or carries the actual principle, the presence of glucoside is conjecture. Formerly it was used as an emetic in 10 to 20 grains, and as a cathartic in 3 to 10 grains, but because of its irritating and uncertain properties its use has been practically abandoned; the recent root bruised and applied to the skin produces vesication.
CAPER SPURGE (E. lathyris). (Syn. Mole Plant.) Has a milky juice of an acrid nature. Its seeds yield an abundance of fine clear oil called oil of Euphorbia; this is obtained by expression or by the action of alcohol or ether, and is colorless, inodorous, and almost insipid; it rapidly becomes rancid, and acquires a dangerous acrimony. The oil is a very violent poison, producing violent purgation and having an irritating effect upon the mucous membrane of the intestinal canal, and especially on the larger intestines; the oil resembles croton oil. In doses of 5 drops it is said to be less acrid and irritating than croton oil; it must be recently extracted. The seeds to the number of twelve or fifteen are used by country people in France as a purgative. The root of the plant is equally purgative and emetic; the leaves are vesicant and are used by beggars to produce ulcers by which to excite pity; the juice is depilatory; the seeds contain aesculetin in the free state.
E. hypericifolia is regarded in tropical America as a powerful astringent and has a reputation in the cure of diarrhoea and dysentery; it has also narcotic properties. The juice is said to cause temporary blindness when applied to the eyes; it contains caoutchouc, gallic acid, resin and tannin.
SPOTTED SPURGE (E. maculata) represents a group used by eclectics and homoeopaths with claims for properties more or less special. It has been used in cholera, diarrhcea and dysentery in the form of an infusion of the leaves, and has been found to contain caoutchouc resin, tannin, and apparently euphorbon. Is said to be a valuable astringent; an infusion may be employed as an injection in the treatment of leucorrhoea. To this medicinal group belongs:
E. esula (Linn.) (Leafy Spurge) of Europe.
E. peplus (Linn.) of Europe.
E. helioscopia (Linn.) of Europe (Sun or Wart Spurge, Churnstaff, Seven Sisters).
E. humistrata (Engl.) of central North America.
E. hypericifolia (Linn.) of North America.
E. portulacoides of Chile.
E. iata (Eng.) of U.S.A.
E. marginata (Pursh.) (Mountain Snow) of western U.S.A.
E. Drummondii, the juice, has caused many fatalities to sheep and cattle in Australia.
E. cremocarpus is used in Australia for the poisoning of fish in calm pools and streams.
E. heterodoxa, a Brazilian species, said to have been used with extraordinary success against cancerous and syphilitic ulcers. It is a powerful irritant, mildly caustic; the milky juice preserved with salicylic acid is used.
E. prostata grows in the south-western portions of the U.S.A., and has the reputation of being a specific against the bite of the rattlesnake, spiders, etc.; the juice is used.
E. parviflora and E. hirta. Both used in India as antisyphilitics, and E. canescens similarly in Spain.
The juice of E. linearis is employed in Brazil for syphilitic ulcers of the cornua. E. hiberna was formerly much used in syphilis before the introduction of mercury. The plant is extensively employed by the peasantry of Kerry for stupefying fish, and so powerful are its qualities that a small basket filled with the bruised leaves will poison the fish for several miles down the river. The same properties are possessed by E. platyphylla, and in Brazil E. cotinifolia is used for the same purpose, and the acrid juice which drops from it is used by the natives to poison their arrows.
The seeds and leaves of E. thymifolia of India are given by the Tamuls as an anthelmintic and in bowel affections of children.
E. balsamifera, when cooked, is eaten in the Canaries.
The juice of E. Mauritanica, when dried, is employed as a condiment, and forms one of the adulterations of Scammony.
In countries bordering on the Mediterranean, E. Peplis, E. spinosa, E. Dendroides, E. Aleppica, E. Apois, are used as purgatives in domestic practice.
E. peplus, E. peploides, E. pilosa, E. palustris have the reputation of being remedies in hydrophobia.
E. Helisscopia juice is commonly applied to warts, and sometimes, though improperly, used to cure sore eyelids, causing in many instances intolerable pain and inflammation.
The bark of the roots of E. Gerardiane, E. amydaloides and E. Cyparissias have febrifuge reputations; but the latter is known to possess dangerous properties. It is destructive to sheep, and La Motte has seen a woman perish from having taken a lavement prepared with the plant. In France it is used as a popular purgative, under the name of Rhubarbe??des pauvres. Orfila regards it as a poison.
The milky juice of E. amydaloides is very acrid, and though not highly poisonous, corrodes and ulcerates the flesh wherever it is applied.
Warts and corns anointed with it are said soon to disappear, but great caution is needed in using it, or injury is likely to result to the surrounding skin. Though said to be a remedy for toothache, it is not to be recommended on account of its very acrid nature.
The juice of E. tribuloides, a small cactusshaped species growing in the Canaries, is there used as a diaphoretic.
It is reported by Scopoli, in his Flora Carnoilica, that he has seen death occasioned by the administration of 30 grains of the seed of E. esula, and gangrene caused on the belly by the application of the plant on that part; he also adds that people have lost their eyesight by rubbing their eyes with its juice.
E. buxifolia in the West Indies, E. papillosa in Brazil, E. laurifolia in Peru, and E. portulacoides in Chile are used as purgatives.
E. tirucalli is employed in India as a vesicant, and in Java as a powerful emetic and purgative. It is said that exhalations from the tree cause the loss of eyesight; the juice is considered sudorific and, according to Sonnerat, is administered in India, in doses of a drachm, mixed with flour, daily as an antisyphilitic.
E. ligularia, another native of India, is held sacred to Munsa, the goddess of serpents; the root of the tree, mixed with black pepper, is employed for the cure of snake-bites, both internally and externally.


Squaw Vine

Botanical: Mitchella repens (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Rubiaceae
Description
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Dosages
---Synonyms---
Partridgeberry. Checkerberry. Winter Clover. Deerberry. One-berry.
---Part Used---
Herb.
---Habitat---
United States.
---Description---
The plant grows in dry woods, among hemlock timber, and in swampy places; in flower in June and July. The leaves resemble those of clover and remain green throughout the winter. The fruit or berry also remains bright scarlet, is edible, and nearly tasteless, dry, and full of stony seeds. The use of the drug is peculiarly American.
---Constituents---
It has been found to contain resin, wax, mucilage, dextrin, and what appears to be saponin.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Parturient, diuretic, tonic, astringent. Beneficial in all uterine complaints. It resembles in its action pipsissewa (Chimaphila), for which it is often substituted. It is taken by Indian women for weeks before confinement, in order to render parturition safe and easy. A herbal physician should be consulted for a safe and effectual preparation.
It is used in dropsy, suppression of urine, and diarrhoea. The following preparation is a cure for sore nipples: 2 OZ. of the herb (fresh, if possible), 1 pint of water. Make a strong decoction, strain, and add an equal quantity of good cream. Boil the whole down to the consistency of a soft salve, and when cool, anoint the nipple every time the child is removed from the breast.
---Dosages---
Of a strong decoction, 2 to 4 fluid ounces, two or three times a day. Fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm.


Squill

Botanical: Urginea scilla (STEINHEIL)
Family: N.O. Liliaceae
Description
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Dosage
Substitutes
---Synonyms---
Maritime Squill. Scilla maritima (Linn.). Urginea maritima. Urginea. Indica. White Squill. Red Squill.
---Part Used---
Bulb, cut into slices, dried and powdered.
---Habitat---
The Squill is found in dry, sandy places, especially the seacoast in most of the Mediterranean districts, being abundant in southern Spain, where it is by no means confined to the coast, and is found in Portugal, Morocco, Algeria, Corsica, southern France, Italy, Malta, Dalmatia, Greece, Syria and Asia Minor. In Sicily, where it grows most abundantly, it ascends to an elevation of 3,000 feet. Its range also includes the Canary Islands and the Cape of Good Hope. It is often grown under figtrees in the Italian Riviera, and is grown in many botanical gardens, having first been recorded as cultivated in England in 1648, in the Oxford Botanic Gardens.
---Description---
It is a perennial plant with fibrous roots proceeding from the base of a large, tunicated, nearly globular bulb, 4 to 6 inches long, the outer scales of which are thin and papery, red or orange-brown in color. The bulb, which is usually only half immersed in the sand, sends forth several long, lanceolate, pointed, somewhat undulated, shining, dark-green leaves, when fully grown 2 feet long. From the middle of the leaves, a round, smooth, succulent flower-stem rises, from 1 to 3 feet high, terminating in a long, close spike of whitish flowers, which stand on purplish peduncles, at the base of each of which is a narrow, twisted, deciduous floral leaf or bract. The flowers are in bloom in April and May and are followed by oblong capsules.
It is a very variable plant, the bulb differing greatly in size and color, and the leaves of the flower presenting similar varieties, which has led to the formation of several species, about twenty-five species having been described. Two varieties of Squill, termed respectively white and red, are distinguished by druggists. In the first named, the bulb scales are whitish or yellowish in color, whereas the red species has deep, reddishbrown outer scales and yellowish white inner scales, covered with a pinkish epidermis, intermediate forms also occurring. No essential difference exists in the medicinal properties of the two kinds.
The White Squill, collected in Malta and Sicily, is preferred in England, while the Red Squill, collected in Algeria, is used in France. Both varieties are mentioned by Pliny and other ancient writers: the white is more mentioned in mediaeval literature, though the medical school of Salerno preferred the red variety of the drug.
The United States Pharmacopoeia defines the drug Scilla as the inner scales of the bulb of the white variety of Urginea maritima (Linn.).
Scilla, the classical name of the plant, is derived from a Greek word meaning to excite or disturb, as an emetic does the stomach. Scilla maritima was the name given by Linnaeus, but this was changed to Urginea, in allusion to the Algerian tribe Ben Urgin, near Boma, where Steinheil in 1834 examined this plant, removing it from the genus Scilla. The main difference between the genera is that the genus Urginea has flat, discoid seeds, while in Scilla proper they are triquetrous (threeangled, with three concave faces). Baker named it Urginea maritima, but it now retains Scilla as its specific name.
As seen in commerce, the undried bulb is somewhat pear-shaped, and generally about the size of a man's fist, but often larger, weighing from 1/2 lb. to more than 4 lb.
It has the usual structure of a bulb, being formed of smooth juicy scales, closely wrapped over one another. It has little odour, but its inner scales have a mucilaginous, bitter, acrid taste, owing to the presence of bitter glucosides.
In its home, it is frequently used fresh, but in other countries it is directed by the pharmacopoeias to be deprived of its dry membraneous outer scales (which are destitute of activity), cut into thin, transverse slices and carefully dried, either in the sun, or by artificial heat, the inmost part being rejected, as this central portion, being the youngest growth, is deficient in activity.
Owing to the mucilaginous nature of the tissue, drying is tedious and difficult. When fresh, the bulb abounds in a viscid, very acrid juice, which is capable of causing inflammation of the skin. On drying, the bulb loses four-fifths of its weight, and its acridity is largely diminished, with slight loss of medicinal activity.
Squill is generally imported in ready-dried slices, packed in casks, from Malta, where the largest collections are made.
The dried slices are narrow, flattish, curved, yellowish-white, or with a roseate hue, according to the variety of Squill from which they are obtained, from 1 to 2 inches long, more or less translucent.
When quite dry, the strips are brittle and can easily be powdered, but they are tough and flexible when moist and dried. Squill should be kept in well-stoppered bottles, on account of its readiness to absorb moisture, when the slices become tough and cannot be reduced to powder. When kept in a dry place, Squill retains its virtues for a long time. When powdered, unless carefully preserved in a dried state by absorption of moisture, it forms a hard mass, and it is therefore officially recommended that powdered Squill should be kept quite dry over quicklime.
Occasionally, entire bulbs are imported, but are difficult to keep in the fresh state as they preserve their vitality for a long time, and if allowed to remain in a warm place, rapidly develop an aerial shoot. Professor Henslow reports (Poisonous Plants in Field and Garden) that a bulb was found attempting to grow after being stowed away for more than twenty years in the museum of St. Bartholomew's Hospital Medical School.
---Constituents---
The chemical constituents of Squill are imperfectly known. Merck, in 1879, separated the three bitter glucosidal substances Scillitoxin, Scillipicrin and Scillin. The first two are amorphous and act upon the heart, the former being the more active; Scillin is crystalline and causes numbness and vomiting. Other constituents are mucilaginous and saccharine matter, including a peculiar mucilaginous carbohydrate named Sinistrin, an Inulin-like substance, which yields Laevulose on being boiled with dilute acid. The name Sinistrin (in 1834, first proposed by Macquart for Inulin) has also been applied to a mucilaginous matter extracted from barley, but it remains to be proved that the latter is identical with the Sinistrin of Squill. Calcium oxalate is also present, in bundles of long, acicular crystals, which easily penetrate the skin when the bulbs are handled, and causes intense irritation, sometimes eruption, if a piece of fresh Squill is rubbed on the skin.
The toxicity of Squills has more recently been ascribed to a single, bitter, non-nitrogenous glucoside, to which the name Scillitinis given, and which is the active diuretic and expectorant principle.
The bulbs also yield when distilled in a current of steam, a slightly colored liquid oil of unpleasant odour.
The chemistry of Squills cannot yet be regarded as fully worked out, since most of the glucosides described have only been prepared in an amorphous condition of uncertain chemical identity.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
The Medicinal Squill was valued as a medicine in early classic times and has ever since been employed by physicians, being official in all pharmacopoeias. Oxymel of Squill, used for coughs, was invented by Pythagoras, who lived in the sixth century before Christ.
It is mentioned by Theophrastus in the third century before Christ, and was known to all the ancient Greek physicians. Epimenides, a Greek, is said to have made much use of it, from which circumstance we find it called Epimenidea.
It is considered to be the Sea Onion referred to by Homer. Pliny was acquainted with it, and Dioscorides, who lived about the same time, describes the different varieties of the bulb and the method of making vinegar of Squills. A similar preparation, as well as compounds of Squill with honey, was administered by the Arabian physicians of the Middle Ages, who introduced the drug into European medicine, these preparations still remaining in use.
The mediaeval reputation of Squill was originally as a diuretic, the older authorities attributing its diuretic action to a direct stimulant effect upon the kidney.
As a diuretic, it is frequently employed in dropsy, whether due to chronic disease of the kidneys or to the renal congestion consequent to chronic cardiac disease. Squill is not employed, however, when the kidneys are acutely inflamed. In the treatment of cardiac dropsy, Squill is frequently combined with digitalis.
Squill stimulates the bronchial mucous membrane and is given in bronchitis after subsidence of the acute inflammation. It is generally used in combination with other stimulating expectorants, its effects being thereby increased, and is considered most useful in chronic bronchitis, catarrhal affections and asthma. The tincture is administered combined with other expectorants, especially ipecacuanha and ammonium carbonate. Vinegar, Oxymel and Syrup of Squill are also common constituents of expectorant cough mixtures.
It is largely sued for its stimulating, expectorant and diuretie properties, and is alsoa cardiac tonic, acting in a similar manner to digitalis, slowing and strengthening the pulse, though more irritating to the gastro-intestinal mucous membrane. On account of its irritant qualities it is not administered in diseases of an acute inflammatory nature. It has also been given as an emetic in whooping-cough and croup, usually combined with ipecacuanha, but as an emetic is considered very uncertain in its action.
To prevent its too great action on the stomach, it is frequently eombined with a portion of opium. With calomel, it forms a powerful stimulant of the urinary organs. (A pill containing 1 grain each of Squill, digitalis and calomel is popularly known as Niemeyer's pill.)
In poisonous doses, Squill produces violent inflammation of the gastro-intestinal and genito-urinary tracts, manifested by nausea, vomiting, abdominal pains and purging, and, in addition, dullness, stupour, convulsions, a marked fall in temperature, enfeebled circulation and sometimes death.
The powdered drug and extracts made from it have been largely used as rat poisons and are said to be very efficacious, the red variety being preferred for this purpose, although there would not seem to be sufficient evidence of its superiority
---Dosage---
When given in substance, Squill is most conveniently administered in the form of pill. Dose: 1 to 3 grains.
Vinegar of Squill, B.P. Dose: 5 to 15 minims.
Vinegar of Squill, U.S.P. Average dose: 15 minims.
Liquid Extraet of Squill, B.P. Codex. Dose: 1 to 3 minims.
Fluid Extraet of Squill, U.S.P. Average dose: 1 1/2 minim.
Opiate Linetus, B.P.C. Dose: 1/2 to 1 fluid drachm.
Linctus of Squill, B.P.B. Dose: 1/2 to 1 fluid drachm. (Used as cough linctus for children.)
Syrup of Squill, B.P. Used as an expectorant in acid eough mixtures. Dose: 1/2 1 fluid drachm.
Syrup of Squill, U.S.P. (The preparation commonly administered in bronchitis.) Average dose: 30 minims.
Compound Syrup of Squill, U.S.P. Average dose: 30 minims.
Compound Squill Tablets, B.P.C. Dose: 1 to 2 tablets.
Tincture of Squill, B.P. (Used with other expectorants to relieve cough and in chronic bronchitis.) Dose: 5 to 15 minims.
Tincture of Squill, U.S.P. Average dose: 15 minims.
Compound Linctus of Squill, B.P.C. (Gee's Linctus.) Dose: 1/2 to 1 fluid drachm.
Squill Mixture, B.P.C. (Fothergill's Cough Mixture.) Given for coughs. Dose: 2 to 4 fluid drachms.
Compound Squill Mixture, B.P.C. (Used as diaphoretic and expectorant.) Dose: 1/2 to 1 fluid ounce.
Squill and Ipecacuanha Mixture, B.P.C. Dose: 1/2 to 1 fluid ounce.
Squill and Opium Mixture (Abercrombie's Cough Mixture), B.P.C. Dose: 2 to 4 fluid drachms.
Oxymel of Squill, B.P. (Vinegar of Squill 20, purified honey 50.) Employed in coughs and colds to assist expectoration. Dose: 1/2 to 1 fluid drachm.
Compound Squill Pill, B.P. Dose: 4 to 8 grains.
Compound Syrup of Squill, B.P.C. (For coughs.) Dose: 1/2 to 1 fluid drachm.
---Substitutes---
There are several bulbs used in place of the official Squill which, owing to the abundance and low price of the latter, do not appear in the European market.
Indian Squill consists of the younger bulbs of Urginea indica (Knuth), or of Scilla indica (Baker), which is also known as Ledebouria hyacinthina (Roth.).
U. indica, Knuth (S. indica, Roxb.) is a widely diffused plant occurring in northern India, Abyssinia, Nubia and Senegambia. It is known by the same Arabic and Persian names as U. scilla and its bulbs are used for similar purposes, but are considered to have no action when old and large. The bulbs consist of whitish, fleshy coats or scales, which enclose each other completely. They resemble common onions in shape.
S. indica, Baker (L. hyacinthina, Roth.), a native of India and Abyssinia, has a bulb often confused in the Indian bazaars with the preceding, but easily distinguished when entire by being scaly, not tunicated, its creamcolored scales overlapping one another. The bulbs are about the size and shape of a small pear, somewhat smaller than those of U. indica. It is considered a better representative of the European Squill.
The bulbs of both species have a nauseous odour and a bitter acrid taste. They are collected soon after the plants have flowered, divested of their dry, outer, membraneous coats, cut into slices and dried.
The chief constituents in each case are bitter principles, similar to the glucosidal substances found in ordinary Squill, and needleshaped crystals of calcium oxalate are also present.
The drug possesses stimulant, expectorant and diuretic principles, and is official in the India and Colonial Addendum for use in India and the Eastern Colonies as an equivalent of ordinary Squill.
U. altissima, Baker (Ornithogalum altissimum, Linn.), a South African species very closely related to the common Squill, has apparently the same properties.
The bulb of S. Peruviana (Linn.) has also been used and exported as a substitute for Squill.
Drimia ciliaris (Jacq.), native of the Cape of Good Hope, much resembles the official Squill, but has a juice so irritating if it comes into contact with the skin, that it was called by the Dutch colonists Jeukbol, i.e. Itch-bulb. It is used medicinally as an emetic, expectorant and diuretic.
Crinum asiaticum, var. toxicarium (Hubert), is a large plant with handsome white flowers and showy leaves, cultivated in Indian gardens and growing wild in low, humid spots in various parts of India and on the coast of Ceylon. The bulb was admitted in 1868 to the Pharmacopoeia of India as a valuable emetic, but is not widely used.
The European Squills belonging to the genus Scilla possess in a milder form the same active principle, and some of the species are deleterious, if not absolutely dangerous.
The bulbs of S. lilio-hyacinthus are used as a purgative by the inhabitants of the Pyrenees.


Squirting Cucumber
See Cucumber, Squirting.


Star Anise
See Anise (Star).


Star of Bethlehem

Botanical: Ornithogalum umbellatum (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Liliaceae
Other Species
---Synonyms---
Bath Asparagus. Dove's Dung. Star of Hungary. White Filde Onyon.
---Part Used---
Bulb.
The Star of Bethlehem is a bulbous plant nearly allied to the Onion and Garlic.
The leaves are long and narrow and darkgreen; the flowers, in bloom during April and May, are a brilliant white internally, but with the petals striped with green outside. They expand only in the sunshine.
The bulbs, in common with those of many Liliaceous plants, are edible and nutritious. They were in ancient times eaten, both raw and cooked, as Dioscorides related, and form a palatable and wholesome food when boiled. They are still often eaten in the East, being roasted like chestnuts, and Linnaeus and others considered that they were probably the 'Dove's Dung' mentioned in the Second Book of Kings, vi. 25, as being sold at a high price during the siege of Samaria by the King of Syria, when 'the fourth part of a cab of dove's dung was sold for five pieces of silver.' The Greek name, Ornithogalum, signifies the 'birds' milk flower.' The plains of Syria and Palestine are sheeted in spring with the white flowers of a species of Star of Bethlehem, the bulbs of which are used as food, and are still called by the Arabs, 'Dove's Dung,' a name in common use among them for vegetable substances. Bochart tells us that the Arabs give this name to a moss that grows on trees and stony ground, and also to a pulse or pea, which appears to have been common in India. Large quantities of the bulb, it is stated, were parched and dried and stored at Cairo and Damascus, being much used during journeys, and especially by the great pilgrim caravans to Mecca.
In Lyte's Dodoens (1578) it is described as 'the white filde onyon,' growing in plenty near Malines. In Turner's Herbal (1548) it is not mentioned, but in Gerard's six species are enumerated. He says: 'There be sundry sorts of wild field Onions, called "Starres of Bethlehem," differing in stature, taste and smell, as shall be declared,' and calls them 'the Star of Hungary,' 'the Lesser Spanish Star,' 'the Star of Bethlehem,' 'the great Arabische star floure,' etc.
Though there are numerous species in this genus, only one is truly native to Great Britain, the spiked Ornithogalum, O. pyrenaicum (Linn.), and is not common, being a local plant, found only in a few counties. It is abundant, however, in woods near Bath, and the unexpanded inflorescence used to be collected and sold in that town under the name of 'Bath Asparagus,' and was cooked and served as a vegetable.
A leafless stalk, about 2 feet high, rises from the bulb, bearing greenish-white flowers in a long, erect spike.
(The homoeopaths make a tincture from the bulbs which is useful in some cases of cancer. - EDITOR.)
---Other Species---
O. divaricatum (Lindl.) is the CALIFORNIAN SOAPROOT, Soap Bulb, Soap Apple or Amole.Its large bulb, resembling that of Squill, is universally used by the Indians of the regions where it grows as a detergent and as a fish poison. It has other uses dependent upon the action of its Saponin, and it is an emeticocathartic poison.
O. thyroides (Jacq.), of South Africa, is a fatal stock poison.
O. Capense (Linn.), also of South Africa, yields a tuber used as an emmenagogue: the action is due to saponin.
Over the deserts of the south-western United States and Mexico, the tuberous rhizomes of large species of Yucca (also belonging to the order Liliaceae) are called Soap Root, and have the same uses as those of the Californian variety of Ornithogalum. There is said to be no better tonic or stimulant for the hair than a free application of a solution of this juice in alcohol, water, or glycerine. Besides the Saponin, it contains a large number of raphides, which probably add mechanically to the stimulation.
Yucca filamentosa (Linn.), of the southeastern United States, commonly known as 'Adam's Needle,' has a large rhizome which contains nearly 2 per cent of Saponin, and which is used as a stimulant owing to the action of this constituent.
Gagea lutea (Ker Gawl.), the YELLOW STAR OF BETHLEHEM, has a small, egg-shaped or nearly round bulb, about the size of a large pea.
It flowers from March to May, and is a plant 6 to 10 inches high, with narrow leaves and yellow flowers (arranged in an umbel), which only open in the middle of the day. It occurs in woods and pastures in this country, but is not common.
It is recorded that the Swedes have eaten this bulb in times of scarcity. Round the main small bulb there are usually a number of bulbules about the size of sago grains, but only the parent bulb is enclosed in a yellowish outer skin.
Some species of Gagea have been used as diuretics, much like Squill, and probably contain related, if not identical, substances.
The tuberous root-stock of Melanthium Virginicum (Linn.), the Bunch Flower of the eastern and central United States, is poisonous and is used as a parasticide.


Stavesacre

POISON!
Botanical: Delphinium Staphisagria (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Ranunculaceae
Culitivation
Part Used
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonym---
Lousewort.
---Part Used---Seeds.
---Habitat---
Asia Minor and Europe.
Stavesacre is a species of Larkspur, a stout, erect herb attaining 4 feet in height, indigenous to Asia Minor and southern Europe. It is cultivated in France and Italy, our supplies having before the War been drawn chiefly from Trieste and from the south of Italy.
Stavesacre was well known to both the Greeks and Romans. Dioscorides mentions it, and Pliny describes its use as a parasiticide. It continued to be extensively employed throughout the Middle Ages.
This Delphinium is an annual, with a hairy stem and hairy palmate leaves, composed of five to seven oblong lobes, which have frequently one or two acute indentures on their sides. The flowers form a loose spike at the upper part of the stalk, each on a short peduncle, and are of a pale-blue or purple color.
---Cultivation---
The seeds of this species should be sown in April, where the plants are intended to remain and require no special treatment, growing in almost any soil or situation, but the plants are most luxuriant when given a deep, yellow loam, well enriched with rotted manure and fairly moist. They should be thinned to a distance of 2 feet apart.
---Part Used---
The dried, ripe seeds. Shake the seeds out of the pods on trays and spread them out to dry in the sun. Then pack away in airtight boxes or tins. The dried, ripe seeds are brown when fresh, changing to a dull, earthy color on keeping. In shape they are irregularly quadrangular, one side being curved and larger than the others, and the surface of the seed is wrinkled and pitted. They average about 6 mm. (nearly 1/4 inch) long and rather less in width, ten weighing about 6 grains. The seed coat is nearly tasteless, but the endosperm is oily and has a bitter and acrid taste. The seeds have no marked collour.
---Constituents---
The chief constituents of Stavesacre seeds are from 20 to 25 per cent of alkaloidal matter, which consists chiefly of the bitter, acrid, crystalline, alkaloid Delphinine, an irritant poison, and a second crystalline alkaloid named Delphisine, and the amorphous alkaloid Delphinoidine. Less important are staphisagroine, of which traces only are present, and staphisagrine, which appears to be a mixture of the first three elements.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Vermifuge and vermin-destroying. Stavesacre seeds are extremely poisonous and are only used as a parasiticide to kill pediculi, chiefly in the form of the official ointment, the expressed oil, the powdered seeds, or an acid aqueous extract containing the alkaloids.
These seeds are so violently emetic and cathartic that they are rarely given internally, though the powdered seeds have been given as a purge for dropsy, in very small quantities at first and increased till the effect is produced. The dose at first should not exceed 2 or 3 grains, given in powder or decoction, but the administration of the drug must always be accompanied by great caution, as staphisagrine paralyses the motor nerves like curare.
The seeds are used as an external application to some cutaneous eruptions, the decoction, applied with a linen rag, being effectual in curing the itch. It is made by boiling the seeds in water.
Delphinine has also been employed similarly to aconite, both internally and externally, for neuralgia. It resembles aconite in causing slowness of pulse and respiration, paralysis of the spinal cord and death from asphyxia. By depressing the action of the spinal cord it arrests the convulsions caused by strychnine.
See:
ACONITE
LARKSPUR (FIELD)


Stonecrops
Stonecrop, White
Stonecrop, Common
Stonecrop, Crooked Yellow
Stonecrop, Orpine
Stonecrop, Virginian



STONECROP, WHITE

Botanical: Sedum album
Family: N.O. Crassulaceae
---Synonym---
Small Houseleek (Culpepper).
---Parts Used---
Leaves, stalks.
Culpepper's Small Houseleek is now generally called the White Stonecrop. It is not very common, and is found wild on rocks and walls. As a rule, however, when growing on garden walls and the roofs of cottages and outhouses, it owes its presence indirectly to human agency, and is to be considered a garden escape. The root is perennial and fibrous, the flowerless stems prostrate, of a bluish-green color, round and leafy. The leaves are bright green and very succulent, oblong, cylindrical, blunt and spreading, 1/3 to 1/2 inch long. The flowering stems are 6 to 10 inches high, with a few leaves growing alternately on them and terminated by muchbranched, flat tufts (cymes) of numerous, small, star-like flowers, about 1/6 inch in diameter, the white petals twice as large as the green sepals.
This Stonecrop, which flowers in July and August, is not to be confounded with another white-flowered Stonecrop (Sedum Anglicum), which flowers earlier - June and July - and is an annual. It is a plant of smaller and compacter growth, the leaves shorter and less cylindrical, with less numerous flowers, the white petals of which are spotted with red.
The White Stonecrop is said to be indigenous in the Malvern Hills and Somerset, but a garden escape elsewhere, being grown as rock-plants.
S. Anglicum is abundant on the bank of a hedge close to Poole Harbour.
The older herbalists considered the White Stonecrop to possess all the virtues of the Houseleek. The leaves and stalks were recommended and used for all kinds of inflammation, being especially applied as a cooling plaster to painful haemorrhoids. Culpepper tells us: 'it is so harmless an herb you can scarce use it amiss.' It was the custom, too, to prepare and eat it as a pickle, in the same way as the juicy Samphire.



STONECROP, COMMON

Botanical: Sedum acre
Family: N.O. Crassulaceae
---Synonyms---
Biting Stonecrop. Wallpepper. Golden Moss. Wall Ginger. Bird Bread. Prick Madam. Gold Chain. Creeping Tom. Mousetail. Jack-of-the-Buttery.
(French) Pain d'oiseau.
---Part Used---Herb.
The Common or Biting Stonecrop is the commonest of the Stonecrops, growing freely upon walls and cottage roofs, on rocks and in sandy places, especially near the sea, forming tufts or cushions, 3 to 10 inches across, which in June and July are a mass of golden blossom, but its flowering season is very soon over.
The root is perennial and very fibrous, its minute threads penetrating into the smallest crevices. The stalks are numerous, many of them trailing and flowerless, others erect - generally 3 to 5 inches high - bearing the clusters of flowers. When growing among other foliage, or on rockwork, the flowerstalks are often drawn up to some height, at other times much dwarfed. They branch and are clothed with numerous leaves. The little upright and very succulent leaves that closely overlap on the flowerless stems are a distinguishing characteristic from the other yellowflowering species of Sedum; they are so fleshy as to be almost round. The starlike flowers are of a brilliant yellow color, the five sepals small and inconspicuous, but the five petals, spreading and acutely pointed, are a striking feature. There are ten stamens, with anthers the same tint as the petals.
The pungency of the leaves has obtained for the plant its specific name of acre, and the popular English name of Wallpepper and Wall Ginger. Gerard tells us it was known in his day as Mousetail, or Jack of the Butterie. As regards the latter name, Dr. Fernie says: 'this and the Sedums album and reflexum were ingredients in a famous worm-expelling medicine or "theriac" (treacle), and "Jack of the Buttery" is a corruption of Bot. theriaque.'
De Lobel called it vermicularis, partly - we are told - from the grub-like shape of the leaves, and partly from its medical efficacy as a vermifuge.
Some old writers considered this species to possess considerable virtues, but others, from the durability of its acrimony and the violence of its operation, have thought it unsafe to be administered. Culpepper tells us:
'Its qualities are directly opposite to the other Sedums, and more apt to raise inflammations than to cure them; it ought not to be put into any ointment, nor any other medicine.'
He considered it, however, good for scurvy both inwardly in decoction and outwardly, bathed as a fomentation, and he also commended it for King's Evil. Other writers have likewise considered it to be a beneficial remedy in some scorbutic diseases, when properly and carefully used, recommending it in the form of a gargle for scurvy of the gums, and as a lotion for scrofulous ulcers. It has been considered useful in intermittent fever and in dropsy. In large doses it is emetic and cathartic, and applied externally will sometimes produce blisters.
Pliny recommends it as a means of procuring sleep, for which purpose he says it must be wrapped in a black cloth and placed under the pillow of the patient, without his knowing it, otherwise it will not be effectual.



STONECROP, CROOKED YELLOW

Botanical: Sedum reflexum
Family: N.O. Crassulaceae
---Synonym---
Stonecrop Houseleek.
---Parts Used---
Leaves, young shoots.
The Stonecrop Houseleek of the old herbalists goes now by the name of Crooked Yellow Stonecrop.
---Description---
It is not considered truly indigenous, though often found on rocks, old walls, house-tops, and sometimes on dry banks, in many parts of the British Isles. The slender but tough stems, tinged with pink, are elongated, lying on the ground, sending up numerous ascending, short, leafy, barren shoots and erect, and somewhat flexuous flowering stems, 9 inches to 1 foot high, clothed with spreading and reflexed leaves, which are cylindrical and pointed, 1/2 to 3/4 inch long, spurred at their bases. The leaves are distant towards the lower ends of the barren shoots, but crowded towards the apex, forming a kind of tuft: they are only curved back, or reflexed, on the flowering stems. This Stonecrop also blossoms in July and August: the flowers are in terminal cymes as in the previous species, but are bright yellow.
In Holland, the leaves and young shoots of this species are used for salad.
Culpepper considered that as 'it is more frequent than the white stonecrop, flowering at the same time, it may very well supply its place.' He goes on to tell us that the Houseleek, 'though not given inwardly, yet is recommended by some to quench thirst in fever.' Mixed with posset drink, 3 OZ. of the juice of this and Persicaria maculata, boiled to the consistence of a julep, are recommended to allay the heat of inflammation.



STONECROP, ORPINE

Botanical: Sedum Telephium
Family: N.O. Crassulaceae
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonyms---
Live Long. Life Everlasting.
(French) Herbe aux charpentiers.
---Parts Used---
Whole plant, leaves.
The Orpine, the largest British species of this genus, is readily distinguished from most of the other plants allied to it by its large, broad, flattened leaves and terminal heads of pinkish flowers, being the only British species with flat leaves.
It has a wide distribution: in warmer countries it is a mountain plant. Lindley gives its true habitat as mountainous woods, and Cesalpinus, an early Italian botanist, calls it Crassula montana, but in this country it grows freely in lower situations. It is probable that it was originally an introduced plant, though it is now not uncommonly found in hedgebanks on shady sides of fields and in woods, though probably escaped from cultivation in many of its localities. In its wild state, the plant' is from 1 to 2 feet high, though in gardens it may attain as much as 3 feet.
The root-stock is perennial, large and fleshy, producing small parsnip-shaped tubers, with a whitish-grey rind, containing a considerable store of nourishment. The stalks are numerous, erect, unbranched, round and solid, generally of a reddish tint, spotted and streaked with a deeper red above. The flat, fleshy leaves, bluish-green in color, are numerous, placed alternately on the stem at very short intervals, and coarsely toothed. The upper leaves are rounded at their bases and without foot-stalks, the lower ones taper at the base to a short stalk, being almost wedge-shaped; they are largest and closest together about the middle of the stem, where they are 1 1/2 to 3 inches long.
The flowers are in compact heads at the top of the stems, forming a brilliant mass of crimson, in most cases, though sometimes whitish, suffused with dull purplish rose. They are spreading and acutely pointed, three times as long as the calyx. In their centre are ten conspicuous stamens, with reddish anthers, and the ovaries they surround are also reddish.
The whole plant is smooth and somewhat shiny. It flowers in July and seeds in August.
The specific name is derived from Telephus, the son of Hercules, who is said to have discovered its virtues. Its most familiar English name, Orpine, is derived from Auripigmentum, the gold-colored pigment, called Orpiment, or Orpin, a yellow sulphuret of the metal arsenic. This name, which might have been appropriate enough for the brilliant yellow flowers of the last two species described, is quite out of place applied to the crimson blossoms of this Sedum.
Its tenacity of life has earned it the name of 'Live Long' and 'Life Everlasting,' the length of time it will continue fresh after being gathered being remarkable. It will live a long time if uprooted and hung up in a room without earth or water, subsisting on the store of nourishment in its fleshy leaves and swollen roots.

---Constituents---
The whole plant is mucilaginous and slightly astringent. It contains lime, sulphur, ammonia and probably mercury.
The leaves have sometimes been used as a salad, like the other Sedums, but though sheep and goats eat it, horses will refuse it.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
It has been used as a popular remedy for diarrhoea. The leaves are boiled in milk, and a large teacupful of the decoction taken three or four times a day is said also to stimulate the action of the kidneys, and to be serviceable for piles and haemorrhages. Orpine has also an anticancerous reputation.
Culpepper stated that it was seldom used internally in his days, but that the celebrated German herbalist, Tragus, considered its distilled water -
'profitable for gnawings or excoriation in the stomach or bowels, for ulcers in the lungs, liver or other inward parts and cures those diseases, being drunk for days together,'
and that the root has the same action, even stronger. He says that it is:
'used outwardly to cool inflammations upon any hurt or wound, and easeth the pain of them; as also to heal scaldings and burnings, the juice thereof being beaten with some green salad oil and anointed. The leaf bruised and laid to any green wound in the head or legs doth heal them quickly, and being bound to the throat cureth the quinsy; and it reduceth ruptures. If you make the juice into a syrup with honey or sugar, you may safely take a spoonful or two at a time for sore throat and quinsy.'



STONECROP, VIRGINIAN

Botanical: Penthorum sedoides (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Crassulaceae
Description
Other Species
---Synonyms---
Ditch Stonecrop. Penthorum.
---Part Used---
Herb.
The Virginian Stonecrop is a native of America.
---Description---
It is a biennial, with stems about a foot high, on which the leaves are placed on alternate sides, on short stalks. They are oblong, 2 to 3 inches long and about a third as broad, smooth and thin, the apex pointed and the margins finely toothed. The flowers are small and greenish, on short flower-stalks, in rows along the upper sides of the branches of the terminal cyme: there are five very small petals and five sepals, and the ovary is five-cleft and five-celled, surrounded by ten stamens with filaments twice as long as the calyx. The genus Penthorum differs from the genus Sedum, in having no nectaries in its flowers.
This plant has of late attracted much notice, especially in America, as a remedy for catarrh, catarrhal inflammation of the larynx, chronic bronchitis, with increased secretion of mucus and catarrhal affections of the stomach and bowels. It has also been employed with success in the treatment of diarrhoea, haemorrhoids and infantile cholera.
It is demulcent, laxative and somewhat astringent in its action. A fluid extract is prepared from the whole herb and administered in doses of from 10 to 20 drops. It has a slightly astringent taste.
---Other Species---
Among other species of Sedum are the HAIRY STONECROP (Sedum villosum), frequent in Scotland and the North of England, a small species with viscid stems and leaves and pinkish-white flowers. The THICK-LEAVED STONECROP (S. dasyphyllum), also a small species, but very rare, distinguished from the preceding by its fleshy, almost globular leaves, viscid flower-stalks and blunt petals. Other British species belonging to this group are: TASTELESS YELLOW STONECROP (S. sexangulare), distinguished from S. acre by its leaves, which are six in a whorl, growing in Greenwich Park, the Isle of Sheppey and a few other places. ST. VINCENT S ROCK STONECROP (S. rupestre), a species allied to S. reflexum, with slightly flattened leaves, which grow five in a whorl, found on St. Vincent's Rocks and other limestone cliffs, rare; and WELSH STONECROP (S. Fosterianum), another species allied to S. reflexum, with leaves flattened at the base and compact cymes of flowers - which grows on the rocks in Wales and Shropshire.
See:
HOUSELEEK
KIDNEYWORT


Stone Root

Botanical: Collinsonia Canadensis (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Labiatae
Description
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Preparations and Dosages
---Synonyms---
Horseweed. Richweed. Richleaf. Knob-Root. Knobweed. Horsebalm. Hardback. Heal-all. Oxbalm. Knot-Root. Baume de Cheval. Guérit-tout.
---Parts Used---
Whole plant, fresh root.
---Habitat---
North America, from Canada to the Carolinas.
---Description---
The plant has a four-sided stem, from 1 to 4 feet in height, and bears large, greenish-yellow flowers. It grows in moist woods and flowers from July to September. The rhizome is brown-grey, about 4 inches long, knobby, and very hard. The whole plant has a strong, disagreeable odour and a pungent and spicy taste. The chief virtue of the plant is in the root, which should always be used fresh. The name is derived from its discoverer, Peter Collinson.
---Constituents---
In the root there is resin, starch, mucilage and wax. In the leaves, resin, tannin, wax and volatile oil. The alkaloid discovered in the root appears to be a magnesium salt.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Sedative, antispasmodic, astringent, tonic, diaphoretic, diuretic.
A decoction of the fresh root has been given in catarrh of the bladder, leucorrhcea, gravel and dropsy. It is largely used by American veterinary surgeons as a diuretic. It is valuable in all complaints of urinary organs and rectum, and is best combined with other drugs.
It can be used externally, especially the leaves, for poultices and fomentations, bruises, wounds, sores, cuts, etc., and also as a gargle, in the strength of 1 part of fluid extract to 3 of water.
---Preparations and Dosages---
Of fluid extract, 15 to 60 drops. Of Collinsonin, 2 to 4 grains.


Storax

Botanical: Liquidambar orientalis (MILL.)
Family: N.O. Hamamelaceae
Description
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Dosage
Adulterants, Substiutes, Allied Balsams
---Synonyms---
Liquidambar imberbe. Styrax Praeparatus. Prepared Storax. Styrax liquidus. Flussiger Amber. Liquid Storax. Balsam Styracis.
---Part Used---
Balsam obtained from the wood and inner bark.
---Habitat---
Asia Minor.
---Description---
A tree of 40 feet or more in height, with many branches, and a thick, purplish-grey bark; leaves palmately cut into five, three-lobed sections, and white flowers arranged in little, round solitary heads. The name Liquidambar was given by Monardes in the sixteenth century as the name of the resin obtained in Mexico from the American species, now L. styraciflua. L. orientalis was not known botanically until the middle of the last century, when it was grown in Chelsea, Kew, and other botanical gardens from seed brought from the Levant via Paris. It forms forests near Budrum, Melasso, Moughla, Marmorizza and a few places near, but does not appear to be found wild in any other district. The genus Liquidambar is very similar to that of Platanus, and this species to L. styraciflua.
Styrax officinale has been proved to be the source of the solid Storax of the Ancients, which was always scarce and valuable, and is now never found in commerce, though it is probable that the cultivated S. officinale of Europe is capable of yielding Storax. Storax appears to be a pathological rather than a physiological product; when the young wood is injured, oil-ducts are formed in which the Storax is produced. Its extraction is chiefly carried on by a tribe of wandering Turcomans called Yuruks. The outer bark of the tree is removed, the inner bark is stripped off and thrown into pits until a sufficient quantity has been collected. It is then packed in strong, horse-hair bags and pressed in a wooden press. After removal, hot water is thrown on the bags, which are pressed a second time, when the greater part of the balsam will be extracted. Another account says that the bark is first boiled in water in a large copper over a brick fire, by which process the balsam is separated, and can then be skimmed off. The boiled bark is then put into bags over which hot water is thrown, and submitted to pressure as described above, by which an additional quantity of balsam (Yagh, or oil) is obtained. In either mode of procedure the product is the semi-liquid, opaque substance called Liquid Storax. This is chiefly forwarded in barrels to Constantinople, Smyrna, Syria and Alexandria; some to Smyrna, in goat-skins, with a certain proportion of water; thence it is forwarded to Trieste in barrels. Much goes to Bombay for India and China, but little comes to the United States or Britain. Liquid Storax is known in the East as Rosemalloes or Rosemalles. The residual bark left after the extraction of the balsam constitutes the fragrant, leaf-like cakes known as Cortex Thymiamatis, Cortex Thuris and Storax Bark.
The quality of Storax now on the market appears to be much inferior to that of a few years ago, and is usually much adulterated. As imported, Liquid Storax is a soft, viscid, opaque substance, about the consistence of honey, of a greyish-brown color, and containing a variable quantity of water, which, after it has been allowed to stand for a time, floats on the surface. It has an agreeable, balsamic odour, though, when fresh, this is a little contaminated by naphthalin or bitumen. Its taste is burning, pungent, and aromatic.
The Prepared Storax is obtained from Liquid Storax by means of rectified spirit and straining. It is then described officially as 'a semi-transparent, brownish-yellow, semifluid balsam, of the consistence of thick honey, agreeable fragrance, and aromatic, bland taste.' The odour is slightly less agreeable than that of the balsam of Peru. It is imported in jars holding 14 lb. each.
---Constituents---
The most abundant constituent of Storax is Storesin, in two forms,called alpha and beta, both free and in the form of a cinnamic ester. It is an amorphous substance, melting at 168 degrees C. (334.4 degrees F.), and readily soluble in petroleum benzin. Cinnamic esters of phenylprophyl, of ethyl, of benzyl, and especially cinnamate of cinnamyl, the so-called Styrasin, have also been observed. The yield of cinnamic acid varies from 6 to 12 per cent, or even as much as 23 per cent of crystallized cinnamic acid can be obtained.
Another analysis gives free cinnamic acid, vanillin, styrol, styracin, cinnamic acid-ethyl ester, cinnamic acid-phenylprophyl ester, and storesinol partly free and partly as cinnamic acid ester.
Crude Storax contains from 1 to 9 per cent of matter insoluble in alcohol, and up to 30 per cent of water. When purified, it is brownish-yellow, viscous, and transparent in thin layers; entirely soluble in alcohol (90 per cent) and in ether. Boiled with solution of potassium chromate and sulphuric acid, it evolves an odour of benzaldehyde. It loses not more than 5 per cent of its weight when heated in a thin layer on a water-bath for one hour.
Owing to the demand for the cinnamic esters of Storax for perfumery purposes, much of the commercial drug has been deprived of these before it is put on the market.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
A stimulating expectorant and feeble antiseptic, at present very seldom used except as a constituent of the compound tincture of benzoin. Externally, mixed with 2 or 3 parts of olive oil, it has been found a useful local remedy in scabies. It has the same action as balsams of Tolu and Peru and benzoin. It has been recommended as a remedy in diphtheria, in pulmonic catarrhs, and as a substitute for South American copaiba in gonorrhoea and leucorrhoea. Combined with tallow or lard, it is valuable for many forms of skin disease, such as ringworm, especially in children. The taste and smell of opium is well concealed by the addition of Storax in pills, its fragrance being used frequently also in ointments.
---Dosage---
10 to 20 grains.
---Adulterations, Substitutes, Allied Balsams---
L. styraciflua, or Sweet Gum, the American variety, is sometimes confused because its product, obtained by spontaneous exudation, is often called Liquidambar, as well as Liquid Storax or copalm balsam. It contains cinnamyl cinnamate, with ethyl, benzyl, and other esters of cinnamic acid. Another of its products, obtained by boiling the young branches, has also been confounded with Liquid Storax, which it resembles. It is used in Texas for coughs. A syrup of the bark is used for diarrhoea and dysentery in the Western States.
L. storesin is said to be known also in Eastern markets.
Aromatic resins are also obtained in China from L. Formosana, and in Java and Burma from L. Altingea (Altingia excelsa), where the Storax-like substance varies in color from white to red.
Styrea reticulata and other species in Brazil have a fragrant secretion similar to benzoin, which is used in churches as frankincense.
The commonest adulterations are sawdust and turpentine.


Stramonium
See Thornapple.


Strawberry

Botanical: Fragaria vesca (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Rosaceae
Description
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Dosage
Recipe
---Part Used---
Leaves.
---Habitat---
The whole of the Northern Hemisphere, exclusive of the tropics.
---Description---
The Wild Strawberry, a delicate, thin-leaved plant, with small, scarlet berries, cone-shaped and studded with tiny, brown 'seeds,' has a fragrance and flavour more delicate even than the cultivated Strawberry. It chooses a slightly sheltered position, and, being very small, considerable labour goes to the collection of its fruit, which is much more used and appreciated in France than in Great Britain.
1629 is the date assigned to the introduction of the Scarlet Strawberry from Virginia, and the earliest mention of the Strawberry in English writings is in a Saxon plant list of the tenth century, and in 1265 the 'Straberie' is mentioned in the household roll of the Countess of Leicester. 'Strabery ripe,' together with 'Gode Peascode' and 'Cherrys in the ryse,' were some of the London cries mentioned by Lydgate in the fifteenth century. Ben Jonson, in a play written in 1603, speaks of:
'A pot of Strawberries gathered in the wood
To mingle with your cream.'
The common idea that the word Strawberry is derived from the habit of placing straw under the cultivated plants when the berries are ripening is quite erroneous. The name is older than this custom, and preserves the obsolete preterit 'straw' of the verb 'to strew,' referring to the tangle of vines with which the Strawberry covers the ground.
---Constituents---
Cissotanic, malic, and citric acids, sugar, mucilage and a peculiar volatile aromatic body uninvestigated.
Bacon found in the odour of the dying leaves 'a most excellent cordial smell,' next in sweetness to the muskrose and violet.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Laxative, diuretic, astringent. Both the leaves and the fruit were in early pharmacopoeias, though the leaves were mostly used. The fruit contains malic and citric acids, a volatile matter, sugar, mucilage, pectin, woody fibre and water. It is easily digested and is not subject to acetous fermentation in the stomach. In feverish conditions the fruit is invaluable, and is also recommended for stone. Strawberry vitamins are of value in sprue. Culpepper declares the plant to be 'singularly good for the healing of many ills,' but Linnaeus was the first to discover and prove the efficacy of the berries as a cure for rheumatic gout.
The root is astringent and used in diarrhoea. The leaves have the same property, and a tea made from them checks dysentery. The stalks only entered into the composition of the once-famous Antioch drink and vulnerary. Some recipes order that the drink should be prepared between the feasts of St. Philip and St. James and the Nativity of St. John the Baptist.
The Strawberry is a useful dentifrice and cosmetic. The fresh fruit removes discoloration of the teeth if the juice is allowed toremain on for about five minutes and the teeth are then cleansed with warm water, to which a pinch of bicarbonate of soda has been added. A cut Strawberry rubbed over the face immediately after washing will whiten the skin and remove slight sunburn. For a badly sunburnt face it is recommended to rub the juice well into the skin, to leave it on for half an hour, and then wash off with warm water to which a few drops of simple tincture of benzoin have been added; no soap should be used.
---Dosage---
Infusion, 1 to 2 tablespoonsful.

AN OLD RECIPE
'Gather strawberry leaves on Lamas Eve, press them in the distillery until the aromatick perfume thereof becomes sensible. Take a fat turkey and pluck him, and baste him, then enfold him carefully in the strawberry leaves. Then boil him in water from the well, and add rosemary, velvet flower, lavender, thistles, stinging nettles, and other sweet-smelling herbs. Add also a pinte of canary wine, and half a pound of butter and one of ginger passed through the sieve. Sieve with plums and stewed raisins and a little salt. Cover him with a silver dish cover.'


Strophanthus

POISON!
Botanical: Strophanthus Kombé (OLIV.)
Family: N.O. Apocynaceae
Description
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Dosages
Poisonous, if any, with Antidotes
Varieties and Substiutions
---Synonyms---
Strophanthus hispidus. Kombé Seeds. Strophanti Semina.
---Part Used---
Dried, ripe seeds, deprived of their awns.
---Habitat---Tropical East Africa.
---Description---
The name Strophanthus is derived from the Greek strophos (a twisted cord or rope) and anthos (a flower), thus expressing the chief peculiarity of its appearance, the limb of the corolla being divided into five, long, tail-like segments. The official description of the seeds is 'lance-ovoid, flattened and obtusely-edged; from 7 to 20 mm. in length, about 4 mm. in breadth, and about 2 mm. in thickness; externally of a light fawn color with a distinct greenish tinge, silky lustrous form, a dense coating of flat-lying hairs (S. Kombé) or light to dark brown, nearly smooth, and sparingly hairy (S. hispidus), bearing on one side a ridge running from about the centre to the summit; fracture short and somewhat soft, the fractured surface whitish and oily; odour heavy when the seeds are crushed and moistened; taste very bitter.'
In Germany the seeds of S. hispidus are preferred because of their guaranteed purity. This plant when growing alone is in the form of a bush, but is usually found as a woody climber inhabiting the forests between the coasts and the centre of the African continent. It then reaches to the tops of the highest trees, coiling on the ground and hanging in festoons from tree to tree. The stem is several inches in diameter. The flowers are creamcolored, yellow at the base, purple-spotted above.
The British, French and Swiss officially favour S. Kombé, while the United States Pharmacopoeia recognizes both. There is a voluminous literature on the subject.
The seeds of all species of the genus possess hairs that have a characteristic, thickened base, somewhat like those of nux vomica seeds; those of several species are used for the preparation of arrow poison in Africa, at Kombé in the Manganja country, in the Gaboon district, and in Guinea and Senegambia. In Gaboon the poison is called inée, onayé, or onage. Some of the poisons closely resemble those of the genus Acocanthera, which are used for a similar purpose. The plant yielding the arrow poison of Komb‚ was first brought to Europe by Sir John Kirke, and described as a new species by Oliver, of Kew, under the name of S. Kombé. In preparing the arrow poison, the seeds, deprived of their hairs, are pounded to a pulp, the adhesive sap of another plant is added, and the mixture smeared for 6 inches along the point of the arrow. Game wounded by such an arrow is said to be rarely able to move 100 yards, while the flesh can be eaten without bad effect.
Strophanthus is found in commerce either in pods or as clean seeds. It must be preserved in tightly-closed containers, adding a few drops of chloroform or carbon tetrachloride from time to time, to prevent attacks by insects.
The usual course for the qualitative examination has been found insufficient, and a supplementary microscopical test is recommended. The question of its relative variability of strength as compared with digitalis is not definitely settled.
The seeds are reduced to powder with great difficulty. They are sometimes bruised in an iron mortar with broken glass, after drying.
As the active principle of Strophanthus is most abundant in the seeds, but is also found in the husks and hairs, pharmaceutical preparations of the drug should be made from the separated seeds, while other parts may be employed for the manufacture of Strophanthin.
---Constituents---
A glucoside, Strophanthin, an alkaloid, Inoeine, and fixed oil.
Sulphuric acid, diluted with one-fifth of its volume of water, colors the endosperm, and sometimes the cotyledons, dark green (presence of Strophanthin).
Herr Lampart and Müller received the Hagen Bucholz prize of the German Apothecaries Society for the proposed assay method following, based upon the preliminary extraction of the drug with absolute alcohol, the removal of oil from the precolate with petroleum ether, the conversion of the glucosides into strophanthidin by boiling with hydrochloric acid, and the subsequent extraction with chloroform, weighing, and calculating to strophanthin by multiplying by the factor 2.187.
The strophanthins from different species were found to vary somewhat in chemical composition, and Thoms proposes to name them as follows: k-strophanthin when obtained from S. Kombé, g-strophanthin when obtained from S. gratus, e-strophanthin when obtained from S. Emini, h-strophanthin when obtained from S. hispidus.
g-strophanthin is the one appearing to be identical with the glucoside Ouabain of Acocanthera.
Strophanthinum, a mixture of glucosides prepared from S. Kombé, is a whitish, crystalline powder freely soluble in water and giving a green coloration with sulphuric acid. Warmed with dilute acids it is readily hydrolized into Strophanthidin and a sugar.
Great care must be used in tasting it, and then only in very dilute solutions.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
The sole official use of Strophanthus in medicine is for its influence on the circulation, especially in cases of chronic heart weakness. As its action is the same as that of digitalis, although more likely to cause digestive disturbances (Many practitioners are of opinion that Strophanthus does not cause digestive disturbances. - EDITOR), it is often useful as an alternative or adjuvant to the drug. Believed to have greater diuretic power, it is esteemed of greater value in cases complicated with dropsies.
In urgent cases, the effects upon the circulation can be obtained almost immediately by means of the intravenous injection of its active principle. The hypodermic injection of Strophanthin is not recommended, owing to the intense local irritation it causes, and because of its strength it should be used with great care and under medical direction.
---Dosages---
Of Extractum Strophanthi of the B.P., from 1/4 to 1 grain. This extract takes the place of a solid preparation and can be administered in pills and capsules, 1 grain being equal to 5 minims of the United States tincture.
Of tincture of Strophanthus, B.P. and U.S.P., 5 to 15 drops.
Of Strophanthin, 1/200 of a grain.
The maximum daily dose should not exceed: For g-strophanthin, intravenously, 1/64 grain; by mouth, 1/2 grain. For k-strophanthin, intravenously, 1/40 grain; by mouth, 1/20 grain.
---Poisonous, if any, with Antidotes---
The greatest caution should always attend the use of strophanthin, though, unlike digitalis, its effects are not cumulative.
---Varieties and Substitutions---
There are twenty-eight recognized species of the genus in Africa and Asia, extending to China, the East Indies and the Philippines. The commercial drug is often largely compounded of other than the recognized species, and may contain the seeds of related varieties, especially those of Kickxia (Funtumia) africana, which are beardless and spindle-shaped. They turn brown, then red, instead of green, when treated with concentrated sulphuric acid.
S. Kombé grows solely in East Africa, but the seeds from different regions are often mixed before they are shipped.
S. hispidus, S. glabra, S. Emini, S. courmontii (both var. Kerkii and var. Fallax), S. gratus of Sierra Leone, and S. Nicholsoni, all contribute seeds.
The two most mixed with the official drug before exportation are those of S. gratus from the Senegal and Congo, where S. hispidus is found, and which are recommended by some authorities because easily recognized and yielding strophanthin readily in crystalline form, and S. Thallone.
At present Strophanthus seeds are less mixed than formerly. In 1892 the commercial seeds were classified as follows:
1. The official products of S. Kombé and S. hispidus, which contain strophanthin and no crystals of calcium oxalate.
2. Those resembling the official seeds, but coming from Mozambique and Sierra Leone.
3. Those containing calcium oxalate crystals but no strophanthin (from Senegal Lagos, Niger, German East Africa, Togoland, and Baol of Senegal).
4. A very hairy seed from the Upper Niger, varying from a silky white to brown; the embryo contains calcium oxalate crystals, but the seeds do not contain strophanthin.
5. Seeds said to be glabrous, but having hairs in the region of the raphe, come from Lagos and Zambesi and contain neither calcium oxalate crystals nor strophanthin.
Sumachs
Family: N.O. Anacardiaceae
Sumach, Smooth
Sumach, Sweet
The American Poison Ivy (Rhus Toxicodendron, Linn.) is one of the species of Sumachs, an attractive group of plants widely distributed in Europe, Asia and North America, varying much in habit from low bushes to moderately-sized trees, many of them familiar denizens of our gardens, for the sake of their ornamental foliage, which assumes beautiful tints in autumn, some of the varieties also bearing showy fruits.
Several species are of considerable importance, their value being chiefly in their leaves and sap, and in the large galls that are found on their leaves after they have been punctured by a tiny insect. The so-called Chinese Galls, of an irregular shape and astringent taste, which are imported into this country from China for tanning purposes, are formed by the puncture of the leaves of Rhus semialata, a species of aphis, and are of considerable economic value, containing 70 to 80 per cent of gallotannic acid.



SUMACH, SMOOTH

Botanical: Rhus glabra (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Anacardiaceae
Description
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Dosages
---Synonyms---
Upland Sumach. Pennsylvania Sumach. Rhus copallinum (Mountain Sumach). Rhus typhinum (Staghorn or Velvet Sumach).
---Parts Used---
Bark of branches and root, dried, ripe berries, and exudation.
---Habitat---
Almost all parts of the United States and Canada.
---Description---
There are several varieties of the plant, such as Rhus typhinum (Staghorn or Velvet Sumach), the berries of which now often replace those of R. glabra and R. copallinum (Mountain or Dwarf Sumach), and they should be carefully distinguished from the poisonous species. The non-poisonous have their fruit clothed with acid, crimson hairs, and their panicles are compound, dense, and terminal; the poisonous varieties have axillary panicles, and smooth fruit.
The flowers of R. glabra are greenish-red, and the fruit grows in clusters of small berries. It is a shrub from 6 to 15 feet high, with straggling branches and a pale-grey bark, sometimes slightly red. It grows in thickets and waste places. The berries should be gathered before the rain has removed their downy covering, for they are no longer acid when this has been washed off. They have a sour, astringent, not unpleasant taste, and are eaten freely by the country people. Their powder is a brownish-red.
When broken on the plant, a milky fluid is exuded from both bark and leaves, which forms later a solid gum-like body.
Excrescences are produced under the leaves containing quantities of tannic and gallic acid. They have been used as a substitute for imported Chinese galls, and found preferable.
The leaves, and, to a less extent, the bark, are largely used in tanning leather and dyeing. This Sumach, for the manufacture of extract for tanner's use, is largely cultivated in Virginia, where the annual crop amounts to from 7,000 to 8,000 tons. The percentage of tannin in Virginian Sumach varies from 16 to 25 per cent. That in the European or Sicilian Sumach (R. coriaria) falls from 6 to 8 per cent below the percentage of the Virginian Sumach, yet the European is preferred by tanners and dyers, since by its use it is possible to make the finer, white leathers for gloves and fancy shoes.
The American product gives the leather a yellow color, apparently due to the presence of quercitrin and quercitin.
Large quantities of a dark-red, semi-fluid, bitter, astringent extract are prepared in Virginia from Sumach, and is said to contain 25 to 30 per cent of tannin. It is used both in Europe and America. An infusion of the berries affords an excellent black dye for wool. A medicinal wine can also be prepared from them.
Oil of Rhus may be extracted from the seeds of this and other species of the genus. It will attain a tallow-like consistency on standing, and can be made into candles, which burn brilliantly, though they emit a pungent smoke.
---Constituents---
The berries contain free malic acid and acid calcium malate coexist, with tannic and gallic acids, fixed oil, extractive, red coloring matter, and a little volatile oil. The active properties of both bark and berries yield to water.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
The bark is tonic, astringent, and antiseptic; the berries refrigerant and diuretic.
A strong decoction, or diluted fluid extract, affords an agreeable gargle in angina, especially when combined with potassium chlorate. Where tannin drugs are useful, as in diarrhoea, the fluid extract is an excellent astringent.
The bark, in decoction or syrup, has been found useful in gonorrhoea, leucorrhoea, diarrhoea, dysentery, hectic fever, scrofula and profuse perspiration from debility. Combined with the barks of slippery elm and white pine and taken freely, the decoction is said to have been greatly beneficial in syphilis. As an injection for prolapsus uteri and ani, and for leucorrhoea, and as a wash in many skin complaints, the decoction is valuable. For scald-head it can be simmered in lard, or the powdered root-bark can be applied as a poultice to old ulcers, forming a good antiseptic.
A decoction of the inner bark of the root is helpful for the sore-mouth resulting from mercurial salivation, and also for internal use in mercurial diseases. A free use of the bark will produce catharsis.
The berries may be used in infusion in diabetes, strangury bowel complaints, and febrile diseases; also as a gargle in quinsy and ulcerations of the mouth and throat, and as a wash for ringworm, tetters, offensive ulcers, etc.
The astringent excrescences, when powdered and mixed with lard or linseed oil, are useful in haemorrhoids.
The mucilagic exudation, if the bark be punctured in hot weather, has been used advantageously in gleet and several urinary difficulties.
---Dosages---
Of the fluid extract of bark, 1 to 2 drachms. Of the fluid extract of berries, 1 to 2 drachms. Of the decoction of bark, or infusion of berries, 1 to 4 fluid ounces. Rhusin, 1 to 2 grains.
The following has been recommended for gonorrhoea: Take 1 scruple each of the exudation and Canada balsam. Form into a pill mass with a sufficient quantity of powdered pokeroot, and divide into 10 pills, of which 1 or 2 may be taken three or four times daily.


SUMACH, SWEET

Botanical: Rhus aromatica (AIT.)
Family: N.O. Anacardiaceae
Medicinal Action and Uses
Other Species
---Synonyms---
Fragrant Sumach.
---Part Used---Bark.
This species of Sumach, usually growing about 4 feet high, was introduced into England as an ornamental shrub in 1759.
The bark is used in tanning.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
The root-bark is astringent and diuretic. Used in diabetes and excessive discharge from kidneys and bladder. The wood exudes a peculiar odour and is used by the Indians in Arizona, California and New Mexico for making baskets.
---Other Species---
Rhus Diversilobe (CALIFORNIAN POISON OAK).
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
A tincture of the fresh leaves is used for eczema and skin diseases.
The American species, R. venenata and R. toxicodendron, produce effects imputed to the Upas-tree of Java. The hands and arms, and sometimes even the whole body, becomes greatly swollen from simply touching or carrying a branch of one of these plants, and the swelling is accompanied with intolerable pain and inflammation, ending in ulceration. Some people, however, are able to handle the plants with impunity. R. venenata, called the POISON SUMACH or POISON ELDER, is a tall shrub with pinnate leaves composed of eleven or thirteen smoothish leaflets.
From the sap of R. vernicifera, the VARNISH SUMACH or Lacquer-tree of China and Japan, the varnish used in the manufacture of the famous Japanese lacquer-ware is prepared. The leaves and galls are also rich in tannin, and are used extensively for tanning various kinds of leather, and the expressed oil of the seed serves for candles. Japan Wax is obtained in Japan by expression and heat, or by the action of solvents from the fruit of another Sumach, R. succedanea. It consists almost entirely of palmitin and free palmitic acid, and is not a true wax; it is used in candlemaking, for adulterating white beeswax and in making pomades.
R. copallina, a North American tree, provides copal resin, a transparent substance with a slight tinge of brown, which when dissolved in any volatile liquid, generally in oil of turpentine, forms one of the most perfect and beautiful of all the varnishes (known by the name of Copal Varnish).
The VENETIAN SUMACH, R. cotinus, though a native of Southern Europe, is so hardy a shrub as not to be injured by the frost of our winters, and is a familiar plant in our gardens, being cultivated for the very singular and ornamental appearance of its elongated, feathery fruit-stalks, which, combined with its blue-green leaves, have led to its common name of SMOKE PLANT. Both root and stem have been used for dyeing a yellow, approaching to orange, the color obtained being, however, somewhat fugitive. The leaves are largely used for tanning.
Sumac Yellow is obtained from the dried and powdered branches of R. coriana, the ELM-LEAVED SUMACH, a shrub indigenous to the Mediterranean region, where it is cultivated for dyeing yellow and for tanningleather, the SICILIAN SUMACH being considered the best quality. The shoots are cut down every year close to the root, and after being dried are reduced to powder by means of a mill. An infusion of this yields a fawn color, bordering on green, which may be improved by the judicious application of mordants. The principal use, however, of Sumach in dyeing is the production of black, by means of the large quantity of gallic acid which it affords. The bark is used instead of the oak for tanning leather, and it is said that all Turkey leather is tanned with this plant. The leaves and seeds are used in medicine and are considered astringent and styptic: the Tripoli merchants sell the seeds at Aleppo, where they are used to provoke an appetite before meals. The shrub is frequent in our gardens, retaining its dense clusters of deep red, rough berries till winter, after the leaves have fallen. It is quite hardy, and like most of the Sumachs is easily propagated by seed.
See (POISON) IVY.


Sumbul

Botanical: Ferula Sumbul (HOOK, F.)
Family: N.O. Umbelliferae
Description
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Dosages
---Synonyms---
Euryangium Musk Root. Jatamansi. Ouchi. Ofnokgi. Sumbul Radix. Racine de Sumbul. Sumbulwurzel. Moschuswurzel.
---Parts Used---
Root and rhizome.
---Habitat---
Turkestan, Russia, Northern India.
---Description---
The plant reaches a height of 8 feet, and has a solid, cylindrical, slender stem which gives rise to about twelve branches. The root-leaves are 2 1/2 feet long, triangular in outline, while the stem-leaves rapidly decrease in size until they are mere sheathing bracts. The pieces of root, as met with in commerce, are from 1 to 3 inches in diameter and 3/4 to 1 inch in thickness. They are covered on the outside with a duskybrown, papery, transversely-wrinkled cork, sometimes fibrous; within they are spongy, coarsely fibrous, dry, and dirty yellowishbrown, with white patches and spots of resin. The odour is strong and musk-like, the taste bitter and aromatic.
Sumbul - a Persian and Arabic word applied to various roots - was discovered in 1869 by the Russian Fedschenko, in the mountains south-east of Samarkand near the small town of Pentschakend on the River Zarafshan, at an elevation of 3,000 to 4,000 feet. A root was sent to the Moscow Botanical Gardens, and in 1872 two were sent from there to Kew, one arriving alive. In 1875 the plant died after flowering. The genus Euryangium (i.e. 'broad reservoir') was based by Kauffmann on the large, solitarv dorsal vittae, or oil tubes, which are filled with a quantity of latex - the moisture surounding the stigma - which pours out freely when a section is made, smelling strongly of musk, especially if treated with water, but they almost disappear in ripening, making the plant difficult to classify.
The root has long been used in Persia and India medicinally and as incense in religious ceremonies.
The physicians of Moscow and Petrograd were the first to employ it on the Continent of Europe, and Granville first introduced it to Great Britain and the United States.
The root of Ferula suaveolens, having only a faint, musky odour, is one of the species exported from Persia to Bombay by the Persian Gulf. It is the Sambul Root of commerce which differs from the original drug, being apparently derived from a different species of Ferula than that officially given.
The recognized source in the United States Pharmacopceia is F. Sumbul (Hooker Fil.). False Sumbul is the root of Dorema Ammoniacum; it is of closer texture, denser, and more firm, of a red or yellow tinge and feeble odour.
---Constituents---
Volatile oil, two balsamic resins, one soluble in alcohol and one in ether; wax, gum, starch, a bitter substance soluble in water and alcohol, a little angelic and valeric acid. The odour seems to be connected with the balsamic resins. The volatile oil has a bitter taste like peppermint, and on dry distillation yields a bluish oil containing umbelliferone. A 1916 analysis shows moisture, starch, pentrosans, crude fibre, protein, dextrin, ash, sucrose, reducing sugar, volatile oil and resins. Alkaioids were not detected. The volatile oil did not show the presence of sulphur. Both betaine and umbelliferon were detected. In the resin, vanillic acid was identified and a phytosterol was present. Among the volatile acids were acetic, butyric, angelic and tiglic acid, and among the nonvolatile oleic, linoleic, tiglic, cerotic, palmitic and stearic.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Stimulant and antispasmodic, resembling valerian in its action, and used in various hysterical conditions. It is believed to have a specific action on the pelvic organs, and is widely employed in dysmenorrhoea and allied female disorders. It is also a stimulant to mucous membranes, not only in chronic dysenteries and diarrhoeas, but in chronic bronchitis, especially with asthmatic tendency, and even in pneumonia.
Half an ounce of a tincture produced narcotic symptoms, confusing the head, causing a tendency to snore even when awake, and giving feelings of tingling, etc., with a strong odour of the drug from breath and skin which only passed off after a day or two.
The tincture of 10 per cent Sumbul, with 2 volumes of alcohol and 1 of water, is used as an antispasmodic and nervine. The fluid extract, being superior, superseded the tincture. (Sumbul, in No. 30 powder, 1,000 grams, with a mixture of 4 volumes of alcohol and 1 of water as the menstruum.)
---Dosages---
B.P., 1/2 to 1 drachm. Of fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 fluid drachm. Of extract ofSumbul or Muskroot, 2 to 5 grains. Solid extract, U.S.P., 4 grains.


Sundew

Botanical: Drosera rotundifolia (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Droseraceae
Description
Constitutents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Dosages
---Synonyms---
Dew Plant. Round-leaved Sundew. Red Rot. Herba rosellae. Sonnenthau rosollis. Rosée du Soleil.
---Part Used---
The flowering plant dried in the air, not artificially.
---Habitat---
Britain, and in many parts of Europe, India, China, Cape of Good Hope, New Holland, North and South America, Russian Asia.
---Description---
This little insectivorous plant is found growing in muddy edges of ponds, bogs and rivers, where the soil is peaty. It is a small herbaceous, perennial, aquatic plant, with short and slender fibrous root, from which grow the leaves. These are remarkable for their covering of red glandular hairs, by which they are readily recognized, apart from their flowers which only open in the sunshine. Their leaves are orbicular on long stalks, depressed, Iying flat on ground and have on upper surface long red viscid hairs, each having a small gland at top, containing a fluid, which looks like a dewdrop, hence its name. This secretion is most abundant when the sun is at its height. Flower-stems erect, slender, 2 to 6 inches high, at first coiled inward bearing a simple raceme, which straightens out as flowers expand; these are very small and white, appearing in summer and early autumn. Seeds numerous, spindleshaped in a loose chaffy covering contained in a capsule. These hairs are very sensitive, they curve inward slowly and catch any insects which alight on them; the fluid on the points also retains them. After an insect has been caught, the glandular heads secrete a digestive fluid which dissolves all that can be absorbed from the insect. It has been noted that secretion does not take place when inorganic substances are imprisoned.
---Constituents---
The juice is bitter, acrid, caustic, odourless, yielding not more than 30 per cent ash, and contains citric and malic acids.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Used with advantage in whooping-cough, exerting a peculiar action on the respiratory organs; useful in incipient phthisis, chronic bronchitis, asthma, etc., the juice is said to take away corns and warts, and may be used to curdle milk. In America it has been advocated as a cure for old age; a vegetable extract is used together with colloidal silicates in cases of arterio sclerosis.
---Dosages---
2 fluid drachms of the saturated tincture added to 4 fluid drachms of water or wine and a teaspoonful taken for a dose. Fluid extract, 10 to 20 drops. Solid extract, 2 to 5 grams.


Sunflower

Botanical: Helianthus annuus
Family: N.O. Compositae
Chemical Constituents
Extractions
Cultivation
Harvesting
Sunflower-seeds as Poultry and Cattle Food
Sunflower Plants as Green Food
Litter
Silage
As Fuel. As Source of Potash for Manure
As Soil Improver
Textile Use
A Bee Plant
As Vegetable
Medicinal Actin and Uses
---Synonyms---
Marigold of Peru. Corona Solis. Sola Indianus. Chrysanthemum Peruvianum.
The common Sunflower is a native of Mexico and Peru, introduced into this country in the sixteenth century and now one of our most familiar garden plants.
It is an annual herb, with a rough, hairy stem, 3 to 12 feet high, broad, coarselytoothed, rough leaves, 3 to 12 inches long, and circular heads of flowers, 3 to 6 inches wide in wild specimens and often a foot or more in cultivation. The flower-heads are composed of many small tubular flowers arranged compactly on a flattish disk: those in the outer row have long strap-shaped corollas, forming the rays of the composite flower.
The genus Helianthus, to which the Sunflower belongs, contains about fifty species, chiefly natives of North America; many are indigenous to the Rocky Mountains, others to tropical America, and a few species are found in Peru and Chile.
They are tall, hardy, annual or perennial herbs, several of which are grown in gardens, being of easy cultivation in moderately good soil, and that useful plant of the kitchen garden, the Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus), is also a member of the genus.
The name Helianthus, being derived from helios (the sun) and anthos (a flower), has the same meaning as the English name Sunflower, which it is popularly supposed has been given these flowers from a supposition that they follow the sun by day, always turning towards its direct rays. But since the word 'Sunflower' existed in English literature before the introduction of H. annuus, or at any rate before its general diffusion in English gardens, it is obvious that some other flower must have been intended. The Marigold (Calendulu officinalis) is considered by Dr. Prior to have been the plant described by Ovid as turning to the sun, likewise the solsaece of the Anglo-Saxon, a word equivalent to solsequium (sun-following). The better explanation for the application of the name to a flower is its resemblance to 'the radiant beams of the sun.'
In Peru, this flower was much reverenced by the Aztecs, and in their temples of the Sun, the priestesses were crowned with Sunflowers and carried them in their hands. The early Spanish conquerors found in these temples numerous representations of the Sunflower wrought in pure gold.
In some of the old Herbals we find the Rock-rose (Helianthemum vulgare) also termed Sunflower, its flowers opening only in the sunshine. The so-called 'Pigmy sunflower' is Actinella grandiflora, a pretty perennial 6 to 9 inches high, from the Colorado mountains.
The Sunflower is valuable from an economic, as well as from an ornamental point of view. Every part of the plant may be utilized for some economic purpose. The leaves form a cattle-food and the stems contain a fibre which may be used successfully in making paper. The seed is rich in oil, which is said to approach more nearly to olive oil than any other vegetable oil known and to be largely used as a substitute. In prewar days, Sunflower seed was sometimes grown in this country, especially on sewage farms, as an economical crop for pheasants, as well as poultry. The flowers contain a yellow dye.
One of the many effects of the War in its relation to agriculture was the increase in the use of the Sunflower.
It forms one of the well-known crops in Russia, Spain, France, Germany, Italy, Egypt, India, Manchuria and Japan. The average acre will produce about 50 bushels of merchantable seeds, and each bushel yields approximately 1 gallon of oil, for which there is a whole series of important uses.
The oil is produced mainly in Russia, but to an increasing extent also in Roumania, Hungary, Bulgaria and Poland. In 1913 some 180,000 tons of oil were produced, practically all of which was consumed locally.
The oil pressed from the seeds is of a citron yellow color and a sweet taste and is considered equal to olive oil or almond oil for table use. The resulting oil-cake when warm pressed, yields a less valuable oil which is used largely for technical purposes, such as soap-making, candle-making and in the art of wool-dressing. As a drying oil for mixing paint, it is equal to linseed oil and is unrivalled as a lubricant.
The residue after the oil is expressed forms an important cattle-food. This oil-cake is relished by sheep, pigs, pigeons, rabbits and poultry.
The seed makes excellent chicken-food and feeding fowls on bruised Sunflower seeds is well known to increase their laying power.
The seeds of the large-seeded varieties are also much liked by Russians and are sold in the street as are chestnuts in this country. Big bowls of Sunflower seeds are to be seen in the restaurants of railway stations, for people to eat. Indian natives are also fond of the seeds.
Roasted in the same manner as coffee, they make an agreeable drink, and the seeds have been used in Portugal and Russia to make a wholesome and nutritious bread.
The pith of the sunflower stalk is the lightest substance known; its specific gravity is 0.028, while that of the Elder is 0.09 and of Cork 0.24. The discovery of the extreme lightness of the pith of the stalk has essentially increased the commercial value of the plant. This light cellular substance is now carefully removed from the stalks and applied to a good many important uses, chiefly in the making of life-saving appliances. The pith has been recommended for moxa, owing to the nitre its contains.
---Chemical Constituents---
The black-seeded variety yield between 50 and 60 per cent of the best grade of oil.
The oil has a specific gravity of from 0.924 to 0.926, solidifies at 5 degrees F., is slightly yellowish, limpid, of a sweetish taste and odourless. It dries slowly and forms one of the best burning oils known, burning longer than any other vegetable oil.
Ludwig and Kromayer obtained a tannin which they called Helianthitanic acid, and gave it the formula Cl4H9O8. On boiling with moderately diluted hydrochloric acid, they obtained a fermentable sugar and a violet coloring matter. E. Diek found only small quantities of Inulin, large quantities of Levulin and a dextro-rotatory sugar.
All parts of the plant contain much carbonate of potash.
---Extraction---
For the extraction of the oil, the seeds are bruised, crushed and ground to meal in a five-roller mill, under chilled iron or steel cylinders. The meal, after being packed in bags, is placed in hydraulic presses, under a pressure of 300 atmospheres or more, and allowed to remain under pressure for about seven minutes. All edible oils are thus obtained and are known in commerce as 'cold-drawn oils' or 'cold pressed oils.' As a preliminary operation, the seeds are freed from dust, sand and other impurities by sifting in an inclined revolving cylinder or sieving machine, covered with woven wire, having meshes varying according to the size and nature of the seeds operated upon. This preliminary purification is of the greatest importance. The seeds are then passed through a hopper over the rollers, which are finely grooved, so that the seed is cut up whilst passing in succession between the first and second rollers in the series, then between the second and the third, and so on to the last, when the grains are sufficiently bruised, crushed and ground. The distance between the rollers can be easily regulated, so that the seed leaving the bottom roller Las the desired fineness. The resulting more or less coarse meal is either expressed in this state, or subjected to a preliminary heating, according to the quality of the product to be manufactured. The oil exuding in the cold dissolves the smallest amount of coloring matter, etc., and hence has suffered least in its quality.
By pressing in the cold, only part of the oil or fat is recovered. A further quantity is obtained by pressing the seed meal at a somewhat elevated temperature, reached by warming the crushed seeds either immediately after they leave the five-roller mill, or after the 'cold-drawn oil' has been taken off. The cold pressed cakes are first disintegrated, generally under an edge-runner. This oil is of a second-grade quality.
Vertical hydraulic presses are at present almost exclusively in use, the AngloAmerican type of press being most employed. It represents an open press, fitted with a number (usually sixteen) of iron press plates, between which the cakes are inserted by hand. A hydraulic ram then forces the table carrying the cakes against a press-head and the exuding oil flows down the sides into a tank below.
According to the care exercised by the manufacturer in the range of temperature to which the seed is heated, various grades of oils are obtained.
---Cultivation---
In growing crops of the Sun flower, various methods of planting andspacing are recommended in different countries. It is best, says a scientific American authority, to plant in rows running north and south, the seeds to be placed 9 inches apart, in rows 30 inches apart.
But in this country, instead of sowing in the open, the most successful growers sow in boxes, or singly in pots under glass, afterwards planting the seedlings out in ground that has been well prepared and enriched with manure. Not that rich soil is essential, practically any kind of soil is suitable so long as it is open to sun and light and splendid returns of seed have been obtained from waste land without any preparation beyond digging the soil.
A well-tilled soil is, however, desirable for successful Sunflower cultivation, preferably with not too much clay in its composition. It should be well ploughed in the autumn and harrowed in the spring. A certain depth is necessary, as the roots will spread from 12 inches to 15 inches in each direction.
In the latter years of the War, the Ministry of Food and the Food Production Department supplied full information as to cultivation and harvesting and undertook to purchase the ripened seed in quantities of 1/2 cwt. and upwards: they were used in the manufacture of margarine and other essential fats used in the making of munitions.
The seed should be sown thinly in boxes in March and when the plants have made three or four leaves, they should be potted off into small pots and grown on if possible in gentle heat. Where no heat is available, a cold frame is the next best thing. Provided that frost can be excluded, a cool, unheated glasshouse may be used.
When established, they should be gradually hardened off for planting out in May, after all danger of late spring frosts is past.
Suitable compost for seeds and potting off is: 1 part leaf mould, 1 part sand, 2 parts loam. If this is not available, any good garden soil will do and it need not be very finely sifted. The seeds germinate readily and grow very rapidly.
Ordinary farmyard manure should be dug into the soil at the rate of 3 cwt. per rod, as they are gross feeders. The Sunflower plants should be planted 3 feet apart between the rows and 2 feet from plant to plant in good soils, and slightly closer on poor soils.
An application of superphosphate before or at the time of planting, at the rate of 1 1/2 OZ. per square yard will encourage early maturing of the seed.
It is of interest to note that the plant assimilates a large quantity of potash and therefore it must not be planted in the same soil the second year.
Seeds should not be sown in the open until late in April, only a sunny border being chosen.
The Food Production Department advised cultivators who intended growing largely for munitions to sow seed early in May, in drills 1 to 1 1/2 inch deep and stated the amount of seed required to be at the rate of 1 OZ. to 8 rods, or 1 1/2 lb. per acre.
In exposed positions, the plants will require support and this is best done by placing a good strong stake each end and one in centre of row, and running a length of wire or thick string from stake to stake and tying the plants to this loosely.
---Harvesting---
No more attention will be needed until the heads commence to ripen, when they should be looked to daily, as the seed soon falls if left too long and also, as the seed ripens, garden pests of the larger sort, birds and squirrels in particular, are always troublesome.
Some growers prevent the loss caused by the attacks of birds to whom the seeds are particularly attractive and by the shaking out of the ripe seeds, by surrounding the heads with bags of rough muslin, but this can only be done when growing on a small scale. With a large plantation, scare away birds by any of the usual methods.
It is, of course, impossible to say exactly when the harvesting should commence. Everything depends upon climatic conditions. If the weather is warm and dry, the best plan is to leave the plants alone, so that the ripening process can be carried out naturally, the heads being cut when about to shed their seeds. In a fine autumn, Sunflower seed will ripen well in the open and the best results are got when the seed can thus beallowed to mature.
When the head shrivels and the seeds are ripe, cut the plants at the ground level, standing them with their heads uppermost, like shocks or sheaves of corn. When the heads are thoroughly dry, cut them off and thresh out the remaining seeds by standing each head on its side and hammering it with a mallet. Store the seeds in bags, in a dry place.
If the weather is dull or wet, unfavourable for ripening of the seed out-of-doors, hasten the ripening by cutting the plants at ground level as soon as the seeds are plump.
Stand them shock-wise, if possible under cover, in a damp-proof outside house, barn or room, and wind being as good a drying agent as the sun, see that the store is well ventilated and leave windows and doors wide open when the weather is propitious. When the heads shrivel, cut them off and complete drying in a very slow oven. Place the heads in single layers on the shelves of the oven in the evening, leaving the door slightly open. Remove them when the fire is made up in the morning and replace them in the evening.
If a kiln or hop oast is available, it may be used for finishing off the drying, but if the seeds are exposed to a high temperature, they will be useless for next year's sowing.
The important things to remember are that the seeds are not ready if they cannot be removed from the heads without difficulty, and they will not keep very long if not dry when stored.
In Russia, where Sunflowers are extensively grown for human food the method adopted by the peasants for removing the seed from the heads is interesting. A wooden disk is made, through which nails are hammered in rows radiating from the centre. The disk is attached to a handle and the seed-head is held in contact with the nails when the disk is turned, with the result that the seed, which is collected in sacks, is raked out very quickly. The disk is so arranged that one man can hold the seed-head in position and at the same time turn the handle to extract the seeds.
The Mammoth or Giant Sunflower, which comes from Russia and is called the Russian Sunflower, is the best kind to grow, these being nearly double the size of the ordinary variety. During the War, the only seed available was the American Giant, which was said, however, to be equal to the Russian.
The tall Mammoth Sunflower, bearing heads of an average width of 15 inches, containing 2,000 seeds, yields about 50 bushels an acre, producing 50 gallons of oil and about 150 lb. of oil-cake, the stems giving 10 per cent of potash.
It has been estimated in Denmark, that the crops of one season in that country would produce 2,000 tons of seed, yielding 350 tons of oil, and about 1,550 tons of oil-cake and oil waste to be used as fodder.
With the exception of Cambridgeshire, the Sunflower grows best in England in the Southern and South-Western counties.
They have been proved to do best on deep, stony soil, and it is an advantage to grow them where bees are kept, as they are much visited by the honey-bee, fertilization of the flowers ensuing.
---Sunflower-seeds as Poultry and Cattle Food---
Sunflower seeds have a high feeding value - the analysis in round figures is 16 per cent albumen and 21 per cent fat.
Being so rich in oil, they are too stimulating to use alone and should only be used in combination with other feeding stuffs. Fed with oats in equal quantities, they make a perfectly balanced ration. Since both of these articles contain a big proportion of indigestible matter, particularly in the husks, grit must on no account be withheld, if the birds are to derive full benefit.
As food for laying poultry, it ought in the opinion of some authorities, not to be used in excess of one-third of the total mixture of corn, owing to its fat-producing properties.
The seeds are palatable to poultry and greedily devoured by them. A very common way to supply the birds with the seeds is to hang up the ripe heads just high enough to compel the chicks to pick them out, for when the heads are thrown into the yard, they are trodden on and wasted.
Sunflower-seed oil-cake is a valuable article for bringing up the feeding value of some of the poultry foods and was specially in demand for this purpose in war-time, when the supply of good cereals ran short. It is more fattening to cattle than Linseed cake, being richer in nitrogenous substances, containing 34 per cent albumen. As well as being an excellent food for poultry, and also for rabbits, it keeps both horses and cattle in good condition. It is said that cows, fed on Sunflower-seed oil-cake, mixed with bran, will have an increased flow of good, rich milk.
It is largely exported by Russia to Denmark, Sweden and elsewhere for stock feeding.
---Sunflower Plants as Green Food---
With Sun flowers there need be little waste. Thegreen leaves, when gathered young, make a good succulent green food for poultry stock of all ages. They can be finely minced up and added - raw - to the mash for young or adult stock, or they can be boiled and put in the soft food. The leaves are much appreciated by rabbits, horses, cows and other stock.
The dried leaves can be rubbed up or reduced to a meal form and be well scalded prior to inclusion in the mash, and the ripe seeds can also be ground into a meal if desired.
---Litter---
Even the stems and seedless heads need not be wasted where fowls are kept. Many may prefer to use them as fire-kindlers, but they will, when thoroughly dry, come in useful as litter for the laying-houses. When dry, they can be passed through a chaffcutting machine and be added to the other litter - peat-moss or dried leaves. They need to be made into a scratchable material for hens, but for ducks, the material can be placed deeply in the house as a bedding. Ducks need litter to 'squat' on rather than to scratch in.
---Silage---
The value of the Giant Sunflower as a silage crop is discussed in the March, 1918, number of The Journal of Heredity, by F. B. Linfield, the Director of the Montana Agricultural Station. Trials were made of this plant in the higher valleys, where Beans and Maize were not well adapted, owing to the uncertainty of their yield. In three successive years, the yield of the Sunflower varied from 22 to 30 tons of green fodder per acre, being about two and a half times that of Maize, and more than twice as great as that of Lucerne, for the season. It had, moreover, the advantage of so shading the ground as to keep all weeds under. Feeding experiments were made with it, both as a green crop and as silage. Cows were found to eat it as readily as Maize fodder, and control experiments showed that the milk flow was maintained as readily as with the latter crop; nor was there evidence of any taint in the milk. A portion of the Sunflower fodder was put into the silo and fed in the winter, both to cows and fattening steers, with satisfactory results. It matures in the English climate better than Maize, and, consequently, would not be so liable to become sour in the silo and its relatively high oil content would probably render it valuable.
---As Fuel. As Source of Potash for Manure---
Sunflowers, when the stalks are dry, are as hard as wood and make an excellent fire.
Those who undertake to grow Sunflowers should, however, bear in mind that the ash obtained from the plants after the seed has been harvested is, owing to its richness in potash, a manure of considerable value, so that it is really wasteful to use up the dry stems merely on the domestic fire; it is of more advantage to make them up in heaps on the ground, burn them there and save the ash.
At the time of cutting, strip off the leaves and feed them to rabbits or poultry. When the stems are dry and after the seed crop has been gathered, choose a fine day to burn both stems and empty seed-heads.
Of the ash obtained from burning the Sunflower stems and heads (apart from seeds) 62 per cent consists of potash, and as an acre of Sunflowers produces from 2,500 to 4,000 lb. of top, the total yield of potash is considerable. Allowing 3,000 lb. of top, there would be produced 160 lb. of ashes per acre of crop, which should contain upwards of 50 lb. of potash.
The ash should either be spread at once or stored under cover; if left exposed to rain, the potash will be washed away and the ash rendered of little manurial value. It can be used with advantage for the potato or other root crop in the following year, being spread a little while before the crop is planted, at the rate of from 1/2 to 1 OZ. to the square yard.
---As Soil Improver---
The growing herb is extremely useful for drying damp soils, because of its remarkable ability to absorb quantities of water. Swampy districts in Holland have been made habitable by an extensive culture of the Sunflower, the malarial miasma being absorbed and nullified, whilst abundant oxygen is emitted.
---Textile Use---
The Chinese grow this plant extensively, and it is believed that a large portion of its fibre is mixed with their silks.
---A Bee Plant---
The Sunflower is a good bee plant, as it furnishes hive bees with large quantities of wax and nectar.
---As Vegetable---
The unexpanded buds boiled and served like Artichokes form a pleasant dish.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
The seeds have diuretic and expectorant properties and have been employed with success in the treatment of bronchial, laryngeal and pulmonary affections, coughs and colds, also in whooping cough.
The following preparation is recommended: Boil 2 OZ. of the seeds in 1 quart of water, down to 12 OZ. and then strain. Add 6 OZ. of good Holland gin and 6 OZ. of sugar. Give in doses of 1 to 2 teaspoonsful, three or four times a day.
The oil possesses similar properties and may be given in doses of 10 to 15 drops or more, two or three times a day.
A tincture of the Howers and leaves has been recommended in combination with balsamics in the treatment of bronchiectasis.
The seeds, if browned in the oven and then made into an infusion are admirable for the relief of whooping cough.
Tincture of Helianthus has been used in Russia. Kazatchkoft says that in the Caucasus the inhabitants employ the Sunflower in malarial fever. The leaves are spread upon a bed covered with a cloth, moistened with warm milk and then the patient is wrapped up in it. Perspiration is produced and this process is repeated every day until the fever has ceased.
A tincture prepared from the seed with rectified spirit of wine is useful for intermittent fevers and ague, instead of quinine. It has been employed thus in Turkey and Persia, where quinine and arsenic have failed, being free from any of the inconveniences which often arise from giving large quantities of the other drugs.
The leaves are utilized in herb tobaccos.


Swamp Milkweed

Botanical: Asclepias incarnata (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Asclepiadaceae
Description
Constituents
Medicinal Action and Uses
Preparations and Dosages
---Synonyms---
Flesh-colored Asclepias. Swamp Silkweed. Rose-colored Silkweed.
---Part Used---Root.
---Description---
A herb growing in wet places, flowering in the United States in July and August. Stem erect, smooth, with two downy lines above, about 2 1/2 feet high, branched above, very leafy; leaves opposite, petiolate, oblong, lanceolate, hairy, acute, cordate at base, 4 to 7 inches long, 1 to 2 inches wide; flowers rose-purple, fragrant, disposed in terminal-crowded umbels two to six on a peduncle 2 inches long, consisting of ten to twenty small flowers; pods smooth; rhizome oblong, 1 inch in diameter, knotty, surrounded with rootlets, 4 to 6 inches long, yellow-brown externally, white internally; bark thin, wood with fine medullary rays.
The roots exudes a milky juice with a heavy odour, which is lost in drying.
Solvents: Alcohol, water.
---Constituents---
Asclepiadin (the emetic principle), an alkaloid, two acrid resins, volatile oil, fixed oil, albumen, starch, pectin and glucose.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Emetic, diuretic, anthelmintic, stomachic. Swamp Milkweed strengthens the heart in the same way as digitalis and is a quick and certain diuretic. It is given in dropsy as a diuretic in place of digitalis, also in coughs, colds, rheumatism from cold, threatened inflammation of the lungs. Also in diarrhoea, gastric catarrh, certain skin eruptions of an erysipelatous nature and in asthma and dyspnoea.It may also be used with advantage in the early stages of dysentery.
It acts as a vermifuge in doses of 10 to 20 grams.
---Preparations and Dosages---
Specific Swamp Milkweed, 1 to 20 minims. The infusion is made of 1/2 OZ. of the powdered root to a pint of boiling water. Dose of the powder, 15 to 60 grains.


SAFFRON

The herb needs no description, it being known generally where it grows.
Place :
It grows frequently at Walden in Essex, and in Cambridgeshire.
Government and virtues :
It is an herb of the Sun, and under the Lion, and therefore you need not demand a reason why it strengthens the heart so exceedingly. Let not above ten grains be given at one time, for the Sun, which is the fountain of light, may dazzle the eyes and make them blind; a cordial being taken in an immoderate quantity, hurts the heart instead of helping it. It quickens the brain, for the Sun is exalted in Aries, as he hath his house in Leo. It helps consumptions of the lungs, and difficulty of breathing. It is excellent in epidemical diseases, as pestilence, small-pox, and measles. It is a notable expulsive medicine, and a notable remedy for the yellow jaundice. My opinion is, (but I have no author for it) that hermodactyls are nothing else but the roots of Saffron dried; and my reason is, that the roots of all crocus, both white and yellow, purge phlegm as hermodactyls do; and if you please to dry the roots of any crocus, neither your eyes nor your taste shall distinguish them from hermodactyls.


SAGE

Our ordinary garden Sage needs no description.
Time :
It flowers in or about July.
Government and virtues :
Jupiter claims this, and bids me tell you, it is good for the liver, and to breed blood. A decoction of the leaves and branches of Sage made and drank, saith Dioscorides, provokes urine, brings down women's courses, helps to expel the dead child, and causes the hair to become black. It stays the bleeding of wounds, and cleanses foul ulcers. Three spoonfuls of the juice of Sage taken fasting, with a little honey, doth presently stay the spitting or casting of blood of them that are in a consumption. These pills are much commended: Take of spikenard, ginger, of each two drams; of the seed of Sage toasted at the fire, eight drams; of long pepper, twelve drams; all these being brought into powder, put thereto so much juice of Sage as may make them into a mass of pills, taking a dram of them every morning fasting, and so likewise at night, drinking a little pure water after them. Matthiolus saith, it is very profitable for all manner of pains in the head coming of cold and rheumatic humours: as also for all pains of the joints, whether inwardly or outwardly, and therefore helps the falling-sickness, the lethargy such as are dull and heavy of spirit, the palsy; and is of much use in all defluctions of rheum from the head, and for the diseases of the chest or breast. The leaves of Sage and nettles bruised together, and laid upon the imposthume that rises behind the ears, doth assuage it much. The juice of Sage taken in warm water, helps a hoarseness and a cough. The leaves sodden in wine, and laid upon the place affected with the palsy, helps much, if the decoction be drank. Also Sage taken with wormwood is good for the bloody-flux. Pliny saith, it procures women's courses, and stays them coming down too fast; helps the stinging and biting of serpents, and kills the worms that breed in the ear, and in sores. Sage is of excellent use to help the memory, warming and quickening the senses; and the conserve made of the flowers is used to the same purpose, and also for all the former recited diseases. The juice of Sage drank with vinegar, hath been of good use in time of the plague at all times. Gargles likewise are made with Sage, rosemary, honey-suckles, and plantain, boiled in wine or water, with some honey or allum put thereto, to wash sore mouths and throats, cankers, or the secret parts of man or woman, as need requires. And with other hot and comfortable herbs. Sage is boiled to bathe the body and the legs in the Summer time, especially to warm cold joints, or sinews, troubled with the palsy and cramp, and to comfort and strengthen the parts. It is much commended against the stitch, or pains in the side coming of wind, if the place be fomented warm with the decoction thereof in wine, and the herb also after boiling be laid warm thereunto.


WOOD-SAGE

Descript :
Wood-sage rises up with square hoary stalks, two feet high at the least, with two leaves set at every joint, somewhat like other Sage leaves, but smaller, softer, whiter, and rounder, and a little dented about the edges, and smelling somewhat stronger. At the tops of the stalks and branches stand the flowers, on a slender like spike, turning themselves all one way when they blow, and are of a pale and whitish color, smaller than Sage, but hooded and gaping like unto them. The seed is blackish and round; four usually seem in a husk together: the root is long and stringy, with divers fibres thereat, and abides many years.
Place :
It grows in woods, and by wood-sides; as also in divers fields and bye-lanes in the land.
Time :
It flowers in June, July, and August.
Government and virtues :
The herb is under Venus. The decoction of the Wood Sage provokes urine and women's courses. It also provokes sweat, digests humours, and discusses swellings and nodes in the flesh, and is therefore thought to be good against the French pox. The decoction of the green herb, made with wine, is a safe and sure remedy for those who by falls, bruises, or blows, suspect some vein to be inwardly broken, to disperse and void the congealed blood, and to consolidate the veins. The drink used inwardly, and the herb used outwardly, is good for such as are inwardly or outwardly bursten, and is found to be a sure remedy for the palsy. The juice of the herb, or the powder thereof dried, is good for moist ulcers and sores in the legs, and other parts, to dry them, and cause them to heal more speedily. It is no less effectual also in green wounds, to be used upon any occasion.


SOLOMON'S SEAL

Descript :
The common Solomon's Seal rises up with a round stalk half a yard high, bowing or bending down to the ground, set with single leaves one above another, somewhat large, and like the leaves of the lily-convally, or May-lily, with an eye of bluish upon the green, with some ribs therein, and more yellowish underneath. At the foot of every leaf, almost from the bottom up to the top of the stalk, come forth small, long, white and hollow pendulous flowers, somewhat like the flowers of May-lily, but ending in five long points, for the most part two together, at the end of a long foot-stalk, and sometimes but one, and sometimes also two stalks, and flowers at the foot of a leaf, which are without any scent at all, and stand on the top of the stalk. After they are past, come in their places small round berries great at the first, and blackish green, tending to blueness when they are ripe, wherein lie small, white, hard, and stony seeds. The root is of the thickness of one's finger or thumb, white and knotted in some places, a flat round circle representing a Seal, whereof it took the name, lying along under the upper crust of the earth, and not growing downward, but with many fibres underneath.
Place :
It is frequent in divers places of this land; as, namely in a wood two miles from Canterbury, by Fish-Pool Hill, as also in Bushy Close belonging to the parsonage of Alderbury, near Clarendon, two miles from Salisbury: in Cheffon wood, on Chesson Hill, between Newington and Sittingbourne in Kent, and divers other places in Essex, and other counties.
Time :
It flowers about May. The root abides and shoots a-new every year.
Government and virtues :
Saturn owns the plant, for he loves his bones well. The root of Solomon's Seal is found by experience to be available in wounds, hurts, and outward sores, to heal and close up the lips of those that are green, and to dry up and restrain the flux of humours to those that are old. It is singularly good to stay vomitings and bleeding wheresoever, as also all fluxes in man or woman; also, to knit any joint, which by weakness uses to be often out of place, or will not stay in long when it is set; also to knit and join broken bones in any part of the body, the roots being bruised and applied to the places; yea, it hath been found by experience, and the decoction of the root in wine, or the bruised root put into wine or other drink, and after a night's infusion, strained forth hard and drank, hath helped both man and beast, whose bones hath been broken by any occasion, which is the most assured refuge of help to people of divers counties of the land that they can have. It is no less effectual to help ruptures and burstings, the decoction in wine, or the powder in broth or drink, being inwardly taken, and outwardly applied to the place. The same is also available for inward or outward bruises, falls or blows, both to dispel the congealed blood, and to take away both the pains and the black and blue marks that abide after the hurt. The same also, or the distilled water of the whole plant, used to the face, or other parts of the skin, cleanses it from morphew, freckles, spots, or marks whatsoever, leaving the place fresh, fair, and lovely; for which purpose it is much used by the Italian Dames.


SAMPHIRE

Descript :
Rock Samphire grows up with a tender green stalk about half a yard, or two feet high at the most, branching forth almost from the very bottom, and stored with sundry thick and almost round (somewhat long) leaves of a deep green color, sometimes two together, and sometimes more on a stalk, and sappy, and of a pleasant, hot, and spicy taste. At the top of the stalks and branches stand umbels of white flowers, and after them come large seed, bigger than fennel seed, yet somewhat like it. The root is great, white, and long, continuing many years, and is of an hot and spicy taste likewise.
Place :
It grows on the rocks that are often moistened at the least, if not overflowed with the sea water.
Time :
And it flowers and seeds in the end of July and August.
Government and virtues :
It is an herb of Jupiter, and was in former times wont to be used more than now it is; the more is the pity. It is well known almost to every body, that ill digestions and obstructions are the cause of most of the diseases which the frail nature of man is subject to; both which might be remedied by a more frequent use of this herb. If people would have sauce to their meat, they may take some for profit as well as for pleasure. It is a safe herb, very pleasant both to taste and stomach, helps digestion, and in some sort opening obstructions of the liver and spleen: provokes urine, and helps thereby to wash away the gravel and stone engendered in the kidneys or bladder.


SANICLE

This herb is by many called Butter-wort.
Descript :
Ordinary Sanicle sends forth many great round leaves, standing upon long brownish stalks, every one somewhat deeply cut or divided into five or six parts, and some of these also cut in somewhat like the leaf of crow's-foot, or dove's-foot, and finely dented about the edges, smooth, and of a dark shining color, and somewhat reddish about the brims; from among which arise up small, round green stalks, without any joint or leaf thereon, saving at the top, where it branches forth into flowers, having a leaf divided into three or four parts at that joint with the flowers, which are small and white, starting out of small round greenish yellow heads, many standing together in a tuft, in which afterwards are the seeds contained, which are small round burs, somewhat like the leaves of clevers, and stick in the same manner upon any thing that they touch. The root is composed of many blackish strings or fibres, set together at a little long head, which abides with green leaves all the Winter, and perishes not.
Place :
It is found in many shadowy woods, and other places of this land.
Time :
It flowers in June, and the seed is ripe shortly after.
Government and virtues :
This is one of Venus's herbs, to cure the wounds or mischiefs Mars inflicts upon the body of man. It heals green wounds speedily, or any ulcers, imposthumes, or bleedings inward, also tumours in any part of the body; for the decoction or powder in drink taken, and the juice used outwardly, dissipates the humours: and there is not found any herb that can give such present help either to man or beast, when the disease falleth upon the lungs or throat, and to heal up putrid malignant ulcers in the mouth, throat, and privities, by gargling or washing with the decoction of the leaves and roots made in water, and a little honey put thereto. It helps to stay women's courses, and all other fluxes of blood, either by the mouth, urine, or stool, and lasks of the belly; the ulcerations of the kidneys also, and the pains in the bowels, and gonorrhea, being boiled in wine or water, and drank. The same also is no less powerful to help any ruptures or burstings, used both inwardly and outwardly. And briefly, it is as effectual in binding, restraining, consolidating, heating, drying and healing, as comfrey, bugle, self-heal, or any other of the vulnerary herbs whatsoever.


SARACEN'S CONFOUND, OR SARACEN'S WOUNDWORT

Descript :
This grows sometimes, with brownish stalks, and other whiles with green, to a man's height, having narrow green leaves snipped about the edges, somewhat like those of the peachtree, or willow leaves, but not of such a white green color. The tops of the stalks are furnished with many yellow star-like flowers, standing in green heads, which when they are fallen, and the seed ripe, which is somewhat long, small and of a brown color, wrapped in down, is therefore carried away with the wind. The root is composed of fibres set together at a head, which perishes not in Winter, although the stalks dry away and no leaf appears in the Winter. The taste hereof is strong and unpleasant; and so is the smell also.
Place :
It grows in moist and wet grounds, by wood-sides, and sometimes in moist places of shadowy groves, as also by the water side.
Time :
It flowers in July, and the seed is soon ripe, and carried away with the wind.
Government and virtues :
Saturn owns the herb, and it is of a sober condition, like him. Among the Germans, this wound herb is preferred before all others of the same quality. Being boiled in wine, and drank, it helps the indisposition of the liver, and freeth the gall from obstructions; whereby it is good for the yellow jaundice and for the dropsy in the beginning of it, for all inward ulcers of the reins, mouth or throat, and inward wounds and bruises, likewise for such sores as happen in the privy parts of men and women; being steeped in wine, and then distilled, the water thereof drank, is singularly good to ease all gnawings in the stomach, or other pains of the body, as also the pains of the mother: and being boiled in water, it helps continual agues; and the said water, or the simple water of the herb distilled, or the juice or decoction, are very effectual to heal any green wound, or old sore or ulcer whatsoever, cleansing them from corruption, and quickly healing them up. Briefly, whatsoever hath been said of bugle or sanicle, may be found herein.


SAUCE-ALONE, OR JACK-BY-THE-HEDGE-SIDE

Descript :
The lower leaves of this are rounder than those that grow towards the top of the stalks, and are set singly on a joint being somewhat round and broad, pointed at the ends, dented also about the edges, somewhat resembling nettle leaves for the form, but of a fresher green color, not rough or pricking. The flowers are white, growing at the top of the stalks one above another, which being past, follow small round pods, wherein are contained round seed somewhat blackish. The root stringy and thready, perishes every year after it hath given seed, and raises itself again of its own sowing. The plant, or any part thereof, being bruised, smells of garlic, but more pleasantly, and tastes somewhat hot and sharp, almost like unto rocket.
Place :
It grows under walls, and by hedge-sides, and path-ways in fields in many places.
Time :
It flowers in June, July, and August.
Government and virtues :
It is an herb of Mercury. This is eaten by many country people as sauce to their salt fish, and helps well to digest the crudities and other corrupt humours engendered thereby. It warms also the stomach, and causes digestion. The juice thereof boiled with honey is accounted to be as good as hedge mustard for the cough, to cut and expectorate the tough phlegm. The seed bruised and boiled in wine, is a singularly good remedy for the wind colic, or the stone, being drank warm. It is also given to women troubled with the mother, both to drink, and the seed put into a cloth, and applied while it is warm, is of singularly good use. The leaves also, or the seed boiled, is good to be used in clysters to ease the pains of the stone. The green leaves are held to be good to heal the ulcers in the legs.


WINTER AND SUMMER SAVOURY

Both these are so well known (being entertained as constant inhabitants in our gardens) that they need no description.
Government and virtues :
Mercury claims dominion over this herb, neither is there a better remedy against the colic and iliac passion, than this herb; keep it dry by you all the year, if you love yourself and your ease, and it is a hundred pounds to a penny if you do not; keep it dry, make conserves and syrups of it for your use, and withal, take notice that the Summer kind is the best. They are both of them hot and dry, especially the Summer kind, which is both sharp and quick in taste, expelling wind in the stomach and bowels, and is a present help for the rising of the mother procured by wind; provokes urine and women's courses, and is much commended for women with child to take inwardly, and to smell often unto. It cures tough phlegm in the chest and lungs, and helps to expectorate it the more easily; quickens the dull spirits in the lethargy, the juice thereof being snuffed up into the nostrils. The juice dropped into the eyes, clears a dull sight, if it proceed of thin cold humours distilled from the brain. The juice heated with the oil of Roses, and dropped into the ears, eases them of the noise and singing in them, and of deafness also. Outwardly applied with wheat flour, in manner of a poultice, it gives ease to the sciatica and palsied members, heating and warming them, and takes away their pains. It also takes away the pains that come by stinging of bees, wasps, &c.


SAVINE

To describe a plant so well known is needless, it being nursed up almost in every garden, and abides green all the Winter.
Government and virtues :
It is under the dominion of Mars, being hot and dry in the third degree, and being of exceeding clean parts, is of a very digesting quality. If you dry the herb into powder, and mix it with honey, it is an excellent remedy to cleanse old filthy ulcers and fistulas; but it hinders them from healing. The same is excellently good to break carbuncles and plague-sores; also helps the king's evil, being applied to the place. Being spread over a piece of leather, and applied to the navel, kills the worms in the belly, helps scabs and itch, running sores, cankers, tetters, and ringworms; and being applied to the place, may haply cure venereal sores. This I thought good to speak of, as it may be safely used outwardly, for inwardly it cannot be taken without manifest danger.


THE COMMON WHITE SAXIFRAGE

Descript :
This hath a few small reddish kernels of roots covered with some skins, lying among divers small blackish fibres, which send forth divers round, faint or yellow green leaves, and greyish underneath, lying above the grounds, unevenly dented about the edges, and somewhat hairy, every one upon a little foot-stalk, from whence rises up round, brownish, hairy, green stalks, two or three feet high, with a few such like round leaves as grow below, but smaller, and somewhat branched at the top, whereon stand pretty large white flowers of five leaves a-piece, with some yellow threads in the middle, standing in a long crested, brownish green husk. After the flowers are past, there arises sometimes a round hard head, forked at the top, wherein is contained small black seed, but usually they fall away without any seed, and it is the kernels or grains of the root which are usually called the White Saxifrage-seed, and so used.
Place :
It grows in many places of our land, as well in the lowermost, as in the upper dry corners of meadows, and grassy sandy places. It used to grow near Lamb's conduit, on the backside of Gray's Inn.
Time :
It flowers in May, and then gathered, as well for that which is called the seed, as to distil, for it quickly perishes down to the ground when any hot weather comes.
Government and virtues :
It is very effectual to cleanse the reins and bladder, and to dissolve the stone engendered in them, and to expel it and the gravel by urine; to help the stranguary; for which purpose the decoction of the herb or roots in white wine, is most usual, or the powder of the small kernelly root, which is called the seed, taken in white wine, or in the same decoction made with white wine, is most usual. The distilled water of the whole herb, root and flowers, is most familiar to be taken. It provokes also women's courses, and frees and cleanses the stomach and lungs from thick and tough phlegm that trouble them. There are not many better medicines to break the stone than this.


BURNET SAXIFRAGE

Descript :
The greater sort of our English Burnet Saxifrage grows up with divers long stalks of winged leaves, set directly opposite one to another on both sides, each being somewhat broad, and a little pointed and dented about the edges, of a sad green color. At the top of the stalks stand umbels of white flowers, after which come small and blackish seed. The root is long and whitish, abiding long. Our lesser Burnet Saxifrage hath much finer leaves than the former, and very small, and set one against another, deeply jagged about the edges, and of the same color as the former. The umbels of the flowers are white, and the seed very small, and so is the root, being also somewhat hot and quick in taste.
Place :
These grow in moist meadows of this land, and are easy to be found being well sought for among the grass, wherein many times they lay hid scarcely to be discerned.
Time :
They flower about July, and their seed is ripe in August.
Government and virtues :
They are both of them herbs of the Moon. The Saxifrages are hot as pepper; and Tragus saith, by his experience, that they are wholesome. They have the same properties the parsleys have, but in provoking urine, and causing the pains thereof, and of the wind and colic, are much more effectual, the roots or seed being used either in powder, or in decoctions, or any other way; and likwise helps the windy pains of the mother, and to procure their courses, and to break and void the stone in the kidneys, to digest cold, viscous, and tough phlegm in the stomach, and is an especial remedy against all kind of venom. Castoreum being boiled in the distilled water thereof, is singularly good to be given to those that are troubled with cramps and convulsions. Some do use to make the seeds into comfits (as they do carraway seeds) which is effectual to all the purposes aforesaid. The juice of the herb dropped into the most grievous wounds of the head, dries up their moisture, and heals them quickly. Some women use the distilled water to take away freckles or spots in the skin or face; and to drink the same sweetened with sugar for all the purposes aforesaid.


SCABIOUS, THREE SORTS

Descript :
Common field Scabious grows up with many hairy, soft, whitish green leaves, some whereof are very little, if at all jagged on the edges, others very much rent and torn on the sides, and have threads in them, which upon breaking may be plainly seen; from among which rise up divers hairy green stalks, three or four feet high, with such like hairy green leaves on them, but more deeply and finely divided and branched forth a little. At the tops thereof, which are naked and bare of leaves for a good space, stand round heads of flowers, of a pale blueish color, set together in a head, the outermost whereof are larger than the inward, with many threads also in the middle, somewhat flat at the top, as the head with the seed is likewise; the root is great, white and thick, growing down deep into the ground, and abides many years.
There is another sort of Field Scabious different in nothing from the former, but only it is smaller in all respects.
The Corn Scabious differs little from the first, but that it is greater in all respects, and the flowers more inclining to purple, and the root creeps under the upper crust of the earth, and runs not deep into the ground as the first doth.
Place :
The first grows more usually in meadows, especially about London every where.
The second in some of the dry fields about this city, but not so plentifully as the former.
The third in standing corn, or fallow fields, and the borders of such like fields.
Time :
They flower in June and July, and some abide flowering until it be late in August, and the seed is ripe in the mean time.
There are many other sorts of Scabious, but I take these which I have here described to be most familiar with us. The virtues of both these and the rest, being much alike, take them as follow.
Government and virtues :
Mercury owns the plant. Scabious is very effectual for all sorts of coughs, shortness of breath, and all other diseases of the breast and lungs, ripening and digesting cold phlegm, and other tough humours, voids them forth by coughing and spitting. It ripens also all sorts of inward ulcers and imposthumes; pleurisy also, if the decoction of the herb dry or green be made in wine, and drank for some time together. Four ounces of the clarified juice of Scabious taken in the morning fasting, with a dram of mithridate, or Venice treacle, frees the heart from any infection of pestilence, if after the taking of it the party sweat two hours in bed, and this medicine be again and again repeated, if need require. The green herb bruised and applied to any carbuncle or plague sore, is found by certain experience to dissolve and break it in three hours space. The same decoction also drank, helps the pains and stitches in the side. The decoction of the roots taken for forty days together, or a dram of the powder of them taken at a time in whey, doth (as Matthiolus saith) wonderfully help those that are troubled with running or spreading scabs, tetters, ringworms, yea, although they proceed from the French pox, which, he saith he hath tried by experience. The juice or decoction drank, helps also scabs and breakings-out of the itch, and the like. The juice also made up into an ointment and used, is effectual for the same purpose. The same also heals all inward wounds by the drying, cleansing and healing quality therein. And a syrup made of the juice and sugar, is very effectual to all the purposes aforesaid, and so is the distilled water of the herb and flowers made in due season, especially to be used when the green herb is not in force to be taken. The decoction of the herb and roots outwardly applied, doth wonderfully help all sorts of hard or cold swellings in any part of the body, is effectual for shrunk sinews or veins, and heals green wounds, old sores, and ulcers. The juice of Scabious, made up with the powder of Borax and Samphire, cleanses the skin of the face, or other parts of the body, not only from freckles and pimples, but also from morphew and leprosy; the head washed with the decoction, cleanses it from dandriff, scurf, sores, itch, and the like, used warm. The herb bruised and applied, doth in a short time loosen, and draw forth any splinter, broken bone, arrow head, or other such like thing lying in the flesh.


SCURVYGRASS

Descript :
The ordinary English Scurvygrass hath many thick flat leaves, more long than broad, and sometimes longer and narrower; sometimes also smooth on the edges, and sometimes a little waved; sometimes plain, smooth and pointed, of a sad green, and sometimes a blueish color, every one standing by itself upon a long foot-stalk, which is brownish or greenish also, from among which arise many slender stalks, bearing few leaves thereon like the other, but longer and less for the most part. At the tops whereof grow many whitish flowers, with yellow threads in the middle, standing about a green head, which becomes the seed vessel, which will be somewhat flat when it is ripe, wherein is contained reddish seed, tasting somewhat hot. The root is made of many white strings, which stick deeply into the mud, wherein it chiefly delights, yet it will well abide in the more upland and drier ground, and tastes a little brackish and salt even there, but not so much as where it hath the salt water to feed upon.
Place :
It grows all along the Thames sides, both on the Essex and Kentish shores, from Woolwich round about the sea coasts to Dover, Portsmouth, and even to Bristol, where it is had in plenty; the other with round leaves grows in the marshes in Holland, in Lincolnshire, and other places of Lincolnshire by the sea side.
Descript : There is also another sort called Dutch Scurvygrass, which is most known, and frequent in gardens, which has fresh, green, and almost round leaves rising from the root, not so thick as the former, yet in some rich ground, very large, even twice as big as in others, not dented about the edges, or hollow in the middle, standing on a long foot-stalk; from among these rise long, slender stalks, higher than the former, with more white flowers at the tops of them, which turn into small pods, and smaller brownish seed than the former. The root is white, small and thready. The taste is nothing salt at all; it hath a hot, aromatical spicy taste.
Time :
It flowers in April and May, and gives seed ripe quickly after.
Government and virtues :
It is an herb of Jupiter. The English Scurvygrass is more used for the salt taste it bears, which doth somewhat open and cleanse; but the Dutch Scurvygrass is of better effect, and chiefly used (if it may be had) by those that have the scurvy, and is of singular good effect to cleanse the blood, liver, and spleen, taking the juice in the Spring every morning fasting in a cup of drink. The decoction is good for the same purpose, and opens obstructions, evacuating cold, clammy and phlegmatic humours both from the liver and the spleen, and bringing the body to a more lively color. The juice also helps all foul ulcers and sores in the mouth, gargled therewith; and used outwardly, cleanses the skin from spots, marks, or scars that happen therein.


SELF-HEAL

Descript :
The common Self-heal which is called also Prunel, Carpenter's Herb, Hook-heal, and Sickle-wort, is a small, low, creeping herb, having many small, roundish pointed leaves, like leaves of wild mints, of a dark green color, without dents on the edges; from among which rise square hairy stalks, scarce a foot high, which spread sometimes into branches with small leaves set thereon, up to the top, where stand brown spiked heads of small brownish leaves like scales and flowers set together, almost like the heads of Cassidony, which flowers are gaping, and of a blueish purple, or more pale blue, in some places sweet, but not so in others. The root consists of many fibres downward, and spreading strings also whereby it increases. The small stalks, with the leaves creeping on the ground, shoot forth fibres taking hold on the ground, whereby it is made a great tuft in a short time.
Place :
It is found in woods and fields everywhere.
Time :
It flowers in May, and sometimes in April.
Government and virtues :
Here is another herb of Venus, Self-heal, whereby when you are hurt you may heal yourself. It is a special herb for inward and outward wounds. Take it inwardly in syrups for inward wounds: outwardly in unguents, and plaisters for outward. As Self-heal is like Bugle in form, so also in the qualities and virtues, serving for all the purposes whereto Bugle is applied to with good success, either inwardly or outwardly, for inward wounds or ulcers whatsoever within the body, for bruises or falls, and such like hurts. If it be accompanied with Bugle, Sanicle, and other the like wound herbs, it will be more effectual to wash or inject into ulcers in the parts outwardly. Where there is cause to repress the heat and sharpness of humours flowing to any sore, ulcers, inflammations, swellings, or the like, or to stay the fluxes of blood in any wound or part, this is used with some good success; as also to cleanse the foulness of sores, and cause them more speedily to be healed. It is an especial remedy for all green wounds, to solder the lips of them, and to keep the place from any further inconveniencies. The juice hereof used with oil of roses to anoint the temples and forehead, is very effectual to remove head ache, and the same mixed with honey of roses, cleanses and heals all ulcers, in the mouth, and throat, and those also in the secret parts. And the proverb of the Germans, French, and others, is verified in this, That he needs neither physician nor surgeon that hath Self-heal and Sanicle to help himself.


THE SERVICE-TREE

It is so well known in the place where it grows, that it needs no description.
Time :
It flowers before the end of May, and the fruit is ripe in October.
Government and virtues :
Services, when they are mellow, are fit to be taken to stay fluxes, scouring, and casting, yet less than medlers. If they be dried before they be mellow, and kept all the year, they may be used in decoctions for the said purpose, either to drink, or to bathe the parts requiring it; and are profitably used in that manner to stay the bleeding of wounds, and of the mouth or nose, to be applied to the forehead and nape of the neck; and are under the dominion of Saturn.


SHEPHERD'S PURSE

It is called Whoreman's Permacety, Shepherd's Scrip, Shepherd's Pounce, Toywort, Pickpurse, and Casewort.
Descript :
The root is small, white, and perishes every year. The leaves are small and long, of a pale green color, and deeply cut in on both sides, among which spring up a stalk which is small and round, containing small leaves upon it even to the top. The flowers are white and very small; after which come the little cases which hold the seed, which are flat, almost in the form of a heart.
Place :
They are frequent in this nation, almost by every pathside.
Time :
They flower all the Summer long; nay some of them are so fruitful, that they flower twice a year.
Government and virtues :
It is under the dominion of Saturn, and of a cold, dry, and binding nature, like to him. It helps all fluxes of blood, either caused by inward or outward wounds; as also flux of the belly, and bloody flux, spitting blood, and bloody urine, stops the terms in women; being bound to the wrists of the hands, and the soles of the feet, it helps the yellow jaundice. The herb being made into a poultice, helps inflammations and St. Anthony's fire. The juice being dropped into the ears, heals the pains, noise, and mutterings thereof. A good ointment may be made of it for all wounds, especially wounds in the head.


SMALLAGE

This is also very well known, and therefore I shall not trouble the reader with any description thereof.
Place :
It grows naturally in dry and marshy ground; but if it be sown in gardens, it there prospers very well.
Time :
It abides green all the Winter, and seeds in August.
Government and virtues :
It is an herb of Mercury. Smallage is hotter, drier, and much more medicinal than parsley, for it much more opens obstructions of the liver and spleen, rarefies thick phlegm, and cleanses it and the blood withal. It provokes urine and women's courses, and is singularly good against the yellow jaundice, tertian and quartan agues, if the juice thereof be taken, but especially made up into a syrup. The juice also put to honey of roses, and barley-water, is very good to gargle the mouth and throat of those that have sores and ulcers in them, and will quickly heal them. The same lotion also cleanses and heals all other foul ulcers and cankers elsewhere, if they be washed therewith. The seed is especially used to break and expel wind, to kill worms, and to help a stinking breath. The root is effectual to all the purposes aforesaid, and is held to be stronger in operation than the herb, but especially to open obstructions, and to rid away any ague, if the juice thereof be taken in wine, or the decoction thereof in wine used.


SOPEWORT, OR BRUISEWORT

Descript :
The roots creep under ground far and near, with many joints therein, of a brown color on the outside and yellowish within, shooting forth in divers places weak round stalks, full of joints, set with two leaves a-piece at every one of them on a contrary side, which are ribbed somewhat like to plantain, and fashioned like the common field white campion leaves, seldom having any branches from the sides of the stalks, but set with flowers at the top, standing in long husks like the wild campions, made of five leaves a-piece, round at the ends, and dented in the middle, of a rose color, almost white, sometimes deeper, sometimes paler; of a reasonable scent.
Place :
It grows wild in many low and wet grounds of this land, by brooks and the sides of running waters.
Time :
It flowers usually in July, and so continues all August, and part of September, before they be quite spent.
Government and virtues :
Venus owns it. The country people in divers places do use to bruise the leaves of Sopewort, and lay it to their fingers, hands or legs, when they are cut, to heal them up again. Some make great boast thereof, that it is diuretical to provoke urine, and thereby to expel gravel and the stone in the reins or kidneys, and do also account it singularly good to void hydropical waters: and they no less extol it to perform an absolute cure in the French pox, more than either sarsaparilla, guiacum, or China can do; which, how true it is, I leave others to judge.


SORREL

Our ordinary Sorrel, which grows in gardens, and also wild in the fields, is so well known, that it needs no description.
Government and virtues :
It is under the dominion of Venus. Sorrel is prevalent in all hot diseases, to cool any inflammation and heat of blood in agues pestilential or choleric, or sickness and fainting, arising from heat, and to refresh the overspent spirits with the violence of furious or fiery fits of agues; to quench thirst, and procure an appetite in fainting or decaying stomachs. For it resists the putrefaction of the blood, kills worms, and is a cordial to the heart, which the seed doth more effectually, being more drying and binding, and thereby stays the hot fluxes of women's courses, or of humours in the bloody flux, or flux of the stomach. The root also in a decoction, or in powder, is effectual for all the said purposes. Both roots and seeds, as well as the herb, are held powerful to resist the poison of the scorpion. The decoction of the roots is taken to help the jaundice, and to expel the gravel and the stone in the reins or kidneys. The decoction of the flowers made with wine and drank, helps the black jaundice, as also the inward ulcers of the body and bowels. A syrup made with the juice of Sorrel and fumitory, is a sovereign help to kill those sharp humours that cause the itch. The juice thereof, with a little vinegar, serves well to be used outwardly for the same cause, and is also profitable for tetters, ringworms, &c. It helps also to discuss the kernels in the throat; and the juice gargled in the mouth, helps the sores therein. The leaves wrapt in a colewort leaf and roasted in the embers, and applied to a hard imposthume, botch, boil, or plague sore, doth both ripen and break it. The distilled water of the herb is of much good use for all the purposes aforesaid.


WOOD SORREL

Descript :
This grows upon the ground, having a number of leaves coming from the root made of three leaves like a trefoil but broad at the ends, and cut in the middle, of a yellowish green color, every one standing on a long foot-stalk, which at their first coming up are close folded together to the stalk, but opening themselves afterwards, and are of a fine sour relish, and yielding a juice which will turn red when it is clarified, and makes a most dainty clear syrup. Among these leaves rise up divers slender, weak foot-stalks, with every one of them a flower at the top, consisting of five small pointed leaves, star-fashion, of a white color, in most places, and in some dashed over with a small show of blueish, on the back side only. After the flowers are past, follow small round heads, with small yellowish seed in them. The roots are nothing but small strings fastened to the end of a small long piece; all of them being of a yellowish color.
Place :
It grows in many places of our land, in woods and woodsides, where they be moist and shadowed, and in other places not too much upon the Sun.
Time :
It flowers in April and May.
Government and virtues :
Venus owns it. Wood Sorrel serves to all the purposes that the other Sorrels do, and is more effectual in hindering putrefaction of blood, and ulcers in the mouth and body, and to quench thirst, to strengthen a weak stomach, to procure an appetite, to stay vomiting, and very excellent in any contagious sickness or pestilential fevers. The syrup made of the juice, is effectual in all the cases aforesaid, and so is the distilled water of the herb. Sponges or linen cloths wet in the juice and applied outwardly to any hot swelling or inflammations, doth much cool and help them. The same juice taken and gargled in the mouth, and after it is spit forth, taken afresh, doth wonderfully help a foul stinking canker or ulcer therein. It is singularly good to heal wounds, or to stay the bleeding of thrusts or scabs in the body.


SOW THISTLE

Sow Thistles are generally so well known, that they need no description.
Place :
They grow in gardens and manured grounds, sometimes by old walls, pathsides of fields, and high ways.
Government and virtues :
This and the former are under the influence of Venus. Sow Thistles are cooling, and somewhat binding, and are very fit to cool a hot stomach, and ease the pains thereof. The herb boiled in wine, is very helpful to stay the dissolution of the stomach, and the milk that is taken from the stalks when they are broken, given in drink, is beneficial to those that are short winded, and have a wheezing. Pliny saith, That it hath caused the gravel and stone to be voided by urine, and that the eating thereof helps a stinking breath. The decoction of the leaves and stalks causes abundance of milk in nurses, and their children to be well colored. The juice or distilled water is good for all hot inflammations, wheals, and eruptions or heat in the skin, itching of the hæmorrhoids. The juice boiled or thoroughly heated in a little oil of bitter almonds in the peel of a pomegranate, and dropped into the ears, is a sure remedy for deafness, singings, &c. Three spoonfuls of the juice taken, warmed in white wine, and some wine put thereto, causes women in travail to have so easy and speedy a delivery, that they may be able to walk presently after. It is wonderful good for women to wash their faces with, to clear the skin, and give it a lustre.


SOUTHERN WOOD

Southern Wood is so well known to be an ordinary inhabitant in our gardens, that I shall not need to trouble you with any description thereof.
Time :
It flowers for the most part in July and August.
Government and virtues :
It is a gallant mercurial plant, worthy of more esteem than it hath. Dioscorides saith, That the seed bruised, heated in warm water, and drank, helps those that are bursten, or troubled with cramps or convulsions of the sinews, the sciatica, or difficulty in making water, and bringing down women's courses. The same taken in wine is an antidote, or counter-poison against all deadly poison, and drives away serpents and other venomous creatures; as also the smell of the herb, being burnt, doth the same. The oil thereof anointed on the back-bone before the fits of agues come, takes them away. It takes away inflammations in the eyes, if it be put with some part of a roasted quince, and boiled with a few crumbs of bread, and applied. Boiled with barley-meal it takes away pimples, pushes or wheals that arise in the face, or other parts of the body. The seed as well as the dried herb, is often given to kill the worms in children. The herb bruised and laid to, helps to draw forth splinters and thorns out of the flesh. The ashes thereof dries up and heals old ulcers, that are without inflammation, although by the sharpness thereof it bites sore, and puts them to sore pains; as also the sores in the privy parts of man or woman. The ashes mingled with old sallad oil, helps those that have hair fallen, and are bald, causing the hair to grow again either on the head or beard. Daranters saith, That the oil made of Southern-wood, and put among the ointments that are used against the French disease, is very effectual, and likewise kills lice in the head. The distilled water of the herb is said to help them much that are troubled with the stone, as also for the diseases of the spleen and mother. The Germans commend it for a singular wound herb, and therefore call it Stabwort. It is held by all writers, ancient and modern, to be more offensive to the stomach than worm-wood.


SPIGNEL, OR SPIKENARD

Descript :
The roots of common Spignel do spread much and deep in the ground, many strings or branches growing from one head, which is hairy at the top, of a blackish brown color on the outside, and white within, from whence rise sundry long stalks of most fine cut leaves like hair, smaller than dill, set thick on both sides of the stalks, and of a good scent. Among these leaves rise up round stiff stalks, with a few joints and leaves on them, and at the tops an umbel of pure white flowers; at the edges whereof sometimes will be seen a shew of the reddish blueish color, especially before they be full blown, and are succeeded by small, somewhat round seeds, bigger than the ordinary fennel, and of a brown color, divided into two parts, and crusted on the back, as most of the umbelliferous seeds are.
Place :
It grows wild in Lancashire, Yorkshire, and other northern counties, and is also planted in gardens.
Government and virtues :
It is an herb of Venus. Galen saith, The roots of Spignel are available to provoke urine, and women's courses; but if too much thereof be taken, it causes head-ache. The roots boiled in wine or water, and drank, helps the stranguary and stoppings of the urine, the wind, swellings and pains in the stomach, pains of the mother, and all joint-aches. If the powder of the root be mixed with honey, and the same taken as a licking medicine, it breaks tough phlegm, and dries up the rheum that falls on the lungs. The roots are accounted very effectual against the stinging or biting of any venomous creature.


SPLEENWORT, CETERACH, OR HEART'S TONGUE

Descript :
The smooth Spleenwort, from a black thready and bushy root, sends forth many long single leaves, cut in on both sides into round dents almost to the middle, which is not so hard as that of polypody, each division being not always set opposite unto the other, cut between each, smooth, and of a light green on the upper side, and a dark yellowish roughness on the back, folding or rolling itself inward at the first springing up.
Place :
It grows as well upon stone walls, as moist and shadowy places, about Bristol, and other the west parts plentifully; as also on Framlingham Castle, on Beaconsfield church in Berkshire, at Stroud in Kent, and elsewhere, and abides green all the Winter.
Government and virtues :
Saturn owns it. It is generally used against infirmities of the Spleen. It helps the stranguary, and wasteth the stone in the bladder, and is good against the yellow jaundice and the hiccough; but the juice of it in women hinders conception. Matthiolus saith, That if a dram of the dust that is on the back-side of the leaves be mixed with half a dram of amber in powder, and taken with the juice of purslain or plantain, it helps the gonorrhea speedily, and that the herb and root being boiled and taken, helps all melancholy diseases, and those especially that arise from the French diseases. Camerarius saith, That the distilled water thereof being drank, is very effectual against the stone in the reins and bladder; and that the lye that is made of the ashes thereof being drank for some time together, helps splenetic persons. It is used in outward remedies for the same purpose.


STAR THISTLE

Descript :
A common Star Thistle has divers narrow leaves lying next the ground, cut on the edges somewhat deeply into many parts, soft or a little woolly, all over green, among which rise up divers weak stalks, parted into many branches, all lying down to the ground, that it seems a pretty bush, set with divers the like divided leaves up to the tops, where severally do stand small whitish green heads, set with sharp white pricks (no part of the plant else being prickly) which are somewhat yellowish; out of the middle whereof rises the flowers composed of many small reddish purple threads; and in the heads, after the flowers are past, come small whitish round seed, lying down as others do. The root is small, long and woody, perishing every year, and rising again of its own sowing.
Place :
It grows wild in the fields about London in many places, as at Mile-End green, and many other places.
Time :
It flowers early, and seeds in July, and sometimes in August.
Government and virtues :
This, as almost all Thistles are, is under Mars. The seed of this Star Thistle made into powder, and drank in wine, provokes urine, and helps to break the stone, and drives it forth. The root in powder, and given in wine and drank, is good against the plague and pestilence; and drank in the morning fasting for some time together, it is very profitable for fistulas in any part of the body. Baptista Sardas doth much commend the distilled water thereof, being drank, to help the French disease, to open the obstructions of the liver, and cleanse the blood from corrupted humours, and is profitable against the quotidian or tertian ague.


STRAWBERRIES

These are so well known through this land, that they need no description.
Time :
They flower in May ordinarily, and the fruit is ripe shortly after.
Government and virtues :
Venus owns the herb. Strawberries, when they are green, are cool and dry; but when they are ripe, they are cool and moist. The berries are excellently good to cool the liver, the blood, and the spleen, or an hot choleric stomach; to refresh and comfort the fainting spirits, and quench thirst. They are good also for other inflammations; yet it is not amiss to refrain from them in a fever, lest by their putrifying in the stomach they increase the fits. The leaves and roots boiled in wine and water, and drank, do likewise cool the liver and blood, and assuage all inflammations in the reins and bladder, provoke urine, and allay the heat and sharpness thereof. The same also being drank stays the bloody flux and women's courses, and helps the swelling of the spleen. The water of the Berries carefully distilled, is a sovereign remedy and cordial in the panting and beating of the heart, and is good for the yellow jaundice. The juice dropped into foul ulcers, or they washed therewith, or the decoction of the herb and root, doth wonderfully cleanse and help to cure them. Lotions and gargles for sore mouths, or ulcers therein, or in the privy parts or elsewhere, are made with the leaves and roots thereof; which is also good to fasten loose teeth, and to heal spungy foul gums. It helps also to stay catarrhs, or defluctions of rheum in the mouth, throat, teeth, or eyes. The juice or water is singularly good for hot and red inflamed eyes, if dropped into them, or they bathed therewith. It is also of excellent property for all pushes, wheals and other breakings forth of hot and sharp humours in the face and hands, and other parts of the body, to bathe them therewith, and to take away any redness in the face, or spots, or other deformities in the skin, and to make it clear and smooth. Some use this medicine: Take so many Strawberries as you shall think fitting, and put them into a distillatory, or body of glass fit for them, which being well closed, set it in a bed of horse dung for your use. It is an excellent water for hot inflamed eyes, and to take away a film or skin that begins to grow over them, and for such other defects in them as may be helped by any outward medicine.


SUCCORY, OR CHICORY

Descript :
The garden Succory hath long and narrower leaves than the Endive, and more cut in or torn on the edges, and the root abides many years. It bears also blue flowers like Endive, and the seed is hardly distinguished from the seed of the smooth or ordinary Endive.
The wild Succory hath divers long leaves lying on the ground, very much cut in or torn on the edges, on both sides, even to the middle rib, ending in a point; sometimes it hath a rib down to the middle of the leaves, from among which rises up a hard, round, woody stalk, spreading into many branches, set with smaller and less divided leaves on them up to the tops, where stand the flowers, which are like the garden kind, and the seed is also (only take notice that the flowers of the garden kind are gone in on a sunny day, they being so cold, that they are not able to endure the beams of the sun, and therefore more delight in the shade) the root is white, but more hard and woody than the garden kind. The whole plant is exceedingly bitter.
Place :
This grows in many places of our land in waste untilled and barren fields. The other only in gardens.
Government and virtues :
It is an herb of Jupiter. Garden Succory, as it is more dry and less cold than Endive, so it opens more. An handful of the leaves, or roots boiled in wine or water, and a draught thereof drank fasting, drives forth choleric and phlegmatic humours, opens obstructions of the liver, gall and spleen; helps the yellow jaundice, the heat of the reins, and of the urine; the dropsy also; and those that have an evil disposition in their bodies, by reason of long sickness, evil diet, &c. which the Greeks call Cachexia. A decoction thereof made with wine, and drank, is very effectual against long lingering agues; and a dram of the seed in powder, drank in wine, before the fit of the ague, helps to drive it away. The distilled water of the herb and flowers (if you can take them in time) hath the like properties, and is especially good for hot stomachs, and in agues, either pestilential or of long continuance; for swoonings and passions of the heart, for the heat and headache in children, and for the blood and liver. The said water, or the juice, or the bruised leaves applied outwardly, allay swellings, inflammations, St. Anthony's fire, pushes, wheals, and pimples, especially used with a little vinegar; as also to wash pestiferous sores. The said water is very effectual for sore eyes that are inflamed with redness, for nurses' breasts that are pained by the abundance of milk.
The wild Succory, as it is more bitter, so it is more strengthening to the stomach and liver.


STONE-CROP, PRICK-MADAM, OR SMALL-HOUSELEEK

Descript :
It grows with divers trailing branches upon the ground, set with many thick, flat, roundish, whitish green leaves, pointed at the ends. The flowers stand many of them together, somewhat loosely. The roots are small, and run creeping under ground.
Place :
It grows upon the stone walls and mud walls, upon the tiles of houses and pent-houses, and amongst rubbish, and in other gravelly places.
Time :
It flowers in June and July, and the leaves are green all the Winter.
Government and virtues :
It is under the dominion of the Moon, cold in quality, and something binding, and therefore very good to stay defluctions, especially such as fall upon the eyes. It stops bleeding, both inward and outward, helps cankers, and all fretting sores and ulcers; it abates the heat of choler, thereby preventing diseases arising from choleric humours. It expels poison much, resists pestilential fevers, being exceeding good also for tertian agues. You may drink the decoction of it, if you please, for all the foregoing infirmities. It is so harmless an herb, you can scarce use it amiss. Being bruised and applied to the place, it helps the king's evil, and any other knots or kernels in the flesh; as also the piles.

 

 

 

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