Description: Natural Order, Cornaceae. Genus CORNUS: Shrubs or trees, with mostly opposite leaves, small flowers, and sometimes a very large involucre. Calyx minutely four- toothed; petals four, oblong, spreading; stamens four, with slender filaments; fruit a small drupe, with a two-celled and two-seeded stone. C. CIRCINATA: Shrubs six to seven feet high, erect, grayish; branches opposite, slender, greenish, with numerous warty dots. Leaves large, nearly, round, abruptly pointed, four to five inches broad, downy beneath. Flowers in open, flat, and spreading cymes, small, white, without any involucre. Fruit small, spherical, soft, light blue, with the style clinging to the summit. June.
This shrub is common on the shaded hill-sides and water courses of the Northern States and Canada. The dried bark is very slightly aromatic, and quite bitter; and imparts its virtues to water and alcohol.
Properties and Uses: The bark is a tonic of the rather astringent class; with mild stimulating and somewhat alterant properties. It is less astringent than the cornus florida, but is used in the same general classes of cases. A moderate portion of it may be used to some advantage with relaxant alterants in the treatment of feeble scrofulous ulcers and abscesses, and to make a good application to weak and scrofulous ulcers, and has been spoken of as a wash for scalled-head.
The Physiomedical Dispensatory, 1869, was written by William Cook, M.D.
It was scanned by Paul Bergner at http://medherb.com