Description: Natural Order, Boraginaceae. This is the Lithospermum Virginicum of Linnaeus. This genus is made up of perennial herbs, coarse and bristly. Stems one to two feet high, slender. Calyx five-parted, the divisions linear and erect. Corolla tubular, three lines long, yellowish-white, of fine acute and somewhat awl-shaped lobes, naked in the throat, lobes bearded with long bristles on the outside. Stamens five, all included, with very short filaments; anthers arrow-shaped, in the throat of the corolla. Flowers in terminal and leafy racemes. Leaves one to two inches long, narrow, tapering at the base, sessile, strongly veined. Fruit a smooth, shining, grayish, ovoid nutlet, (achenia,) small. Common on banks and hill-sides. June to August.
Properties and Uses: The root of this plant is demulcent, tough, and sweetish; brownish without, yellowish-white within, and flexible when dried. An infusion or decoction acts quite decidedly upon the kidneys, proving relaxant and mildly tonic, promoting a free flow of water, and relieving sub-acute and chronic irritation of the kidneys and bladder. The people in some sections ascribe to it almost miraculous powers in the treatment of gravel and dropsy. Of its soothing and moderately strengthening influence on the renal apparatus, I am well satisfied; but its solvent properties on the stone may well be doubted, though it will usually give relief to the irritation of the bladder in such cases. A too free use of the decoction is liable to exhaust the kidneys.
The Physiomedical Dispensatory, 1869, was written by William Cook, M.D.
It was scanned by Paul Bergner at http://medherb.com