Description: Natural Order, Umbelliferae. A biennial. Stem two feet, narrowed, branched above. Leaves bi-pinnate, with linear segments. Umbels numerous, dense, rarely involuceled. Flowers small, pale; calyx adherent. Fruit oblong, with five equal ridges, strongly aromatic. This plant is indigenous to Europe, but is now much cultivated there and in America. The seeds are much used by cooks and confectioners, and are the medicinal part. They contain from four and a half to five percent of volatile oil, on which their properties depend. This oil is nearly colorless, when new; but age turns it pale yellow, and finally reddish brown. It is obtained by distillation, is lighter than water, and is freely dissolved by alcohol.
Properties and Uses: The oil, or its alcoholic solution, is a pleasant aromatic adjuvant to cathartics of a griping nature. It is a good carminative in colics and flatulence, but is seldom employed alone. Dose, one to five drops. The oil may be prepared into a medicated water; or the seeds may be infused.
The Physiomedical Dispensatory, 1869, was written by William Cook, M.D.
It was scanned by Paul Bergner at http://medherb.com