Description: Natural Order, Amarantaceae. Weedlike herbs, with alternate leaves four to eight inches long. Stem four to six feet high, furrowed, smooth; leaves on long petioles, oblong- lanceolate, light-green with a purple spot; flowers three-bracted, three to five-sepaled, in long, erect, crowded spikes; calyx and bracts a brilliant purplish-red. This plant is often cultivated for its flower-spikes.
Properties and Uses: The leaves are mildly astringent, with a little diffusively stimulating power. They have been used in dysentery, diarrhea, menorrhagia, leucorrhea, sore mouth, and other conditions to which the leaves of hamamelis are applicable.
The A. melancholicus, called Cock's Comb and Love-lies-bleeding, probably possesses the same properties. It is reputed to be of much value in menorrhagia and all uterine floodings; and R. H. Homer, M. D., of Greensboro, Ind., assures me it is reliable in such cases. Rafinesque speaks of it very favorably in his Medical Flora.
The Physiomedical Dispensatory, 1869, was written by William Cook, M.D.
It was scanned by Paul Bergner at http://medherb.com