Related entry: Silphium perfoliatum
Description: Natural Order, Compositae. This is a plant peculiar to the western and south- western prairies. Stem three to six feet high, round, naked above, alternate-leaved toward the base, rough-bristly throughout. Leaves large, pinnately parted, divisions lanceolate; lower leaves a foot to two feet long, ovate in outline, fully developed before the stem rises, and standing with their faces uniformly north and south. Flower-heads few, one to two inches broad; flowers radiate; rays numerous, fertile, with their ovaries in two or three rows; disks numerous, sterile; achenia broad, winged, and notched. July.
Properties and Uses: The leaves of this singular and coarse plant contain much resinous material, which is bitter and stimulating. They are reputed of good effect in asthma of the humid character, used by decoction; and also in spitting of blood and chronic diarrhea. They are said also to act upon the kidneys, as a diuretic and tonic. The root is quite nauseant, and in large quantities emetic; and is much used in some sections for the heaves of horses. The plant seems deserving of professional attention.
The Physiomedical Dispensatory, 1869, was written by William Cook, M.D.
It was scanned by Paul Bergner at http://medherb.com