Description: Natural Order, Onagraceae. This beautiful perennial plant, with an herbaceous stem, is common to new lands and recent clearings from the latitude of Pennsylvania to the extreme northern regions. Stems sometimes single, or two or more from the same root-stalk; three to six feet high, erect, sometimes branched above. Leaves scattered, sessile, lanceolate, two to five inches long, smooth, with marginal and pellucid veins. Flowers in long, terminal, spicate racemes, numerous, showy, calyx and corolla both colored: calyx-limb deeply four-cleft; corolla of four petals, deep lilac-purple, varied to rose-white. July and August. This genus is in the same order with the beautiful cultivated genus fuchsia.
Properties and Uses: The root is a pleasant astringent tonic, resembling the cornus florida, but not so strong.
The leaves are a mild astringent, of a soothing and tonic action, not unlike that of uva ursi; and with a fair portion of demulcent property. They may be used to advantage in sub-acute and chronic dysentery and diarrhea, after inflammation has subsided, though the bowels remain tender and relaxed. They also have a good influence in catarrh of the bladder, leucorrhea, gonorrhea, and other mucous discharges, when the fibers are lax but not in a too degenerate condition. One of their best uses is in hemorrhages from the lungs, nose, bladder, or uterus, excessive and persistent lochia, and menorrhagia. They will not meet sudden cases with much prostration; but are excellent for their mild and yet effective influence when the loss of blood is not large but continuous. Combined with stimulants, they will meet severe cases. They also form a good wash for catarrhal ophthalmia, and for ordinary cases of aphthous sore-mouth. Used as a poultice, they are soothing and cleansing to scrofulous ulcers; but do not meet the wants of indolent ulcers.
Two ounces of the leaves digested for half an hour in a quart of hot water, make an infusion of which two fluid ounces may be given every six or four hours; or one fluid ounce every hour, in cases requiring its frequent repetition.
The Physiomedical Dispensatory, 1869, was written by William Cook, M.D.
It was scanned by Paul Bergner at http://medherb.com