Description: Natural Order, Polygonaceae. This is a well-known but humble plant, often growing in door-yards upon sandy soils, where its procumbent stems form soft and even masses of pale green. Stems slender, light purplish-red, with several slender branches, all procumbent and spreading. Leaves alternate, small, oblong lanceolate, sessile, sheathed at the joints. Flowers axillary, two or three together, greenish-white tinged with pale purplish-red, small, almost sessile; calyx petaloid and five-parted; stamens eight or nine; styles three. Blooming all the season.
Properties and Uses: This insignificant herb, a member of the smartweed Family, is usually overlooked by physicians, but possesses qualities deserving of attention. It is a mild and quite diffusive relaxant and stimulant, antispasmodic in action, and of decided usefulness in flatulent colic and painful menstruation. A warm infusion, of an ounce to a pint, may be used freely; and its efficacy is usually increased by the addition of a little ginger. It acts rather efficiently upon the kidneys, relieving sudden suppression, with aching through the back and bladder; and the cold infusion not unfrequently relieves tickling coughs.
The Physiomedical Dispensatory, 1869, was written by William Cook, M.D.
It was scanned by Paul Bergner at http://medherb.com