A COMMON wild plant, with weak, but woody stalks, that runs among our hedges, and bears bunches of very pretty blue flowers in summer, and in autumn red berries. The stalks run to ten feet in length, but they cannot support themselves upright: they are of a bluish colour, and, when broken, have a very disagree able smell like rotten eggs. The leaves are oval, but sharp-pointed, and have each two little ones near the base; they are of a dusky green and indented, and they grow singly on the stalks. The flowers are small, and of a fine purplish blue, with yellow threads in the middle. The berries are oblong. This is little regarded in medicine, but it deserves to be better known; we account the night-shades poisonous, and many of them are so; but this has no harm in it (Bittersweet is indeed toxic. -Henriette). The wood of the larger branches and the young shoots of the leaves, are a safe and excellent purge. I have known a dropsy taken early cured by this single medicine.
The Family Herbal, 1812, was written by John Hill.