Description: Natural Order, Compositae. Genus BIDENS: Annual or perennial herbs, with opposite and various leaves; deriving their generic name from the fact that their flat fruit is crowned with two teeth or awns, which are barbed downwardly, and thereby made very troublesome when they get a hold upon one's clothing. Heads many flowered; flowers small, yellow; achenia flattened, crowned with the persistent awns, shining brown. B. BIPINNATA: Stem smooth, brown, two to four feet, branched; leaves bipinnately dissected, nearly smooth, petioled; heads small, with inconspicuous rays. Very common in dry waste places. The swamp beggar tick and the burr marigold are species of the same genus. They are employed indiscriminately in medicine.
Properties and Uses: The seeds are a diffusive stimulant and relaxant, promoting expectoration, and securing a good outward flood of blood. They soothe and sustain the nervous system, and seem also to be of benefit in light cases of painful and deficient menstruation. Some physicians consider them of great efficacy in painful menstruation) especially as accompanied by palpitation, general nervousness, or other light hysterical symptoms. They are generally given in warm infusion. The root is said to be a good tonic expectorant in chronic cough; and the leaves are reputed diaphoretic and emetic, capable of relieving membranous croup. This latter idea seems to require some modification; especially as the late Dr. W. T. Craig, of Illinois, told me he made much use of the leaves as a local application to arrest the flow of blood, and with great success. He used a wash in piles, nose bleed, bleeding gums, etc.
The Physiomedical Dispensatory, 1869, was written by William Cook, M.D.
It was scanned by Paul Bergner at http://medherb.com