A TALL, climbing, wild plant, which covers our hedges in many places. The leaves are some what like those of the vine; the flowers are inconsiderable; but the berries are red, and make a great shew. The root is vastly large, rough, and whitish; the stalks are tough, ten or twelve feet long; but weak and unable to support themselves; they have tendrils at the joints, and by these they affix themselves to bushes. The leaves are broad, and divided deeply at the edge, and they are hairy. The flowers are of a greenish white and small, but the berries are moderately large and full of seeds.
The root is the only part used in medicine; the juice of it operates very strongly by vomit and stool, and that in a small dose. All constitutions cannot bear it, but, for those that can, it is excellent in many severe diseases; dropsies have been cured by it. It is also good against hysteric complaints, but for this purpose it is to be given in very small doses and frequently repeated.
The Family Herbal, 1812, was written by John Hill.