Description: Natural Order, Labiatae. The generic characters are the same as in catnip. This is a creeping plant, the stems radiating from the root, and extending from six to eighteen inches, which habit of growth has gotten it the old popular name of Gill-run-over-the-ground. Leaves round kidney-shaped, crenate along the edges, dark-green, smooth, half an inch or more broad. Flowers usually in clusters of three in the axils of the leaves; calyx an eighth of an inch long, curved; corolla twice as long as the calyx, purplish-blue. May to October. Common on shady hill-sides and in grassy places.
Properties and Uses: This herb is a popular family remedy, and is sometimes used by the profession; though the marvelous repute it once enjoyed in England, has very properly faded away. Water extracts from it a mild bitter quality, slightly stimulating, and associated with a very little mucilage. The lungs are chiefly influenced by it, and expectoration gently promoted, a fair tonic impression being left behind. Such an action fits it for use in sub-acute coughs, with debility, and it will be found of service in such cases. The kidneys receive a portion of its influence, and it will relieve aching and catarrhal discharges of the bladder. Old Dr. Culpepper, of England, used to state that it would cure jaundice, asthma, hypochondria, and even mania; but this reputation is too fabulous to be entertained, though it points to the fact that this article will mildly open the gall-ducts, and allay irritability and impart tone to the nervous system. It is rarely used for any thing but coughs of the milder class. An infusion of an ounce to a quart of hot water, well pressed and strained, may be sweetened (with honey, if desirable) and given in doses of two fluid ounces every second hour; or a sirup may be made of it at the rate of two and a half pounds to the gallon.
The Physiomedical Dispensatory, 1869, was written by William Cook, M.D.
It was scanned by Paul Bergner at http://medherb.com