Description: Natural Order, Labiatae. The root of hoarhound is perennial, while the stem is annual, growing in bushy tufts. Stem erect, one to two feet high, four sided, branching, looking gray from a fine woolly pubescence with which it is covered. Leaves round-ovate, wrinkled, crenate-toothed, petiolate, hoary beneath. Flowers numerous, small, white, sessile, crowded in axillary verticils; calyx with ten recurved teeth; corolla tubular, upper lip bifid, lower lip reflected and three-cleft. Common along fences near gardens, in thin soils.
This herb has a peculiar and slightly balsamic smell, and an aromatic and rather bitter taste. Water and diluted alcohol extract the greater portion of its properties, but water acts only to a very limited extent on its bitter principle. Boiling impairs its powers.
Properties and Uses: This herb is stimulating and relaxant, acting rather diffusively, but leaving behind a permanent impression which is somewhat tonic and astringent. The skin and mucous membranes are chiefly affected by it; and it is a longtime family remedy in recent colds and catarrhal coughs. A warm infusion acts moderately toward the surface, secures a slight perspiration, promotes the menses where they have been obstructed by recent exposure, relieves hysterical symptoms, and sometimes acts on the kidneys. A cold infusion creates a warm impression through the lungs, favors the ejection of viscid mucus, and sustains the vocal organs in congestion and hoarseness; but it is not a suitable agent to use in dry and irritable coughs, and patients with a tendency to spasmodic asthma often suffer a sense of suffocation on using it. Large quantities sometimes act on the bowels. The better mode of employing it for recent colds, is by infusing an ounce in a quart of warm water, of which from one to three fluid ounces may be given every hour or two. It enters into combination with various relaxing expectorants to form cough sirups, and is an ingredient of the Compound Sirup of Aralia. A popular candy is made with a decoction in sugar. A fluid extract has been prepared, after the manner of fluid extract of eupatorium perfoliatum; but it is seldom used.
The Physiomedical Dispensatory, 1869, was written by William Cook, M.D.
It was scanned by Paul Bergner at http://medherb.com