Natural Order—Leguminosae or Papilionaceae.
Calyx campanulate, two-lipped, minutely toothed, and much shorter than the corolla. The flowers are large, bright yellow, papilionaceous, axillary. Standard broad; stamens either monodelphous or diadelphous—generally the latter; ovary one-celled; style one, very long; stigma one; pod of legume flat—much longer than the calyx—many seeded, and hairy at the margin. The lower leaves are on short stalks, and are composed of three small obvate leaflets; the upper leaves stalkless, and often single. It is a perennial. Flowers in May and June. It is a large shrub, and grows on dry, hilly wastes.
Medicinal Properties: Diuretic, Stomachic, Tonic, Cathartic.
Like Parsley Piert and Wild Carrot, this is a most powerful diuretic, and is one of the best medicines we have for removing obstruction of the kidneys, liver spleen, &c. It is almost a specific for dropsy if the patient uses the vapour bath at the same time, say, two or three times a week, according to his condition. In cases of uremic poisoning, Broom excels every other remedy, and should be given with hepatics. For dropsy make the decoction thus:—Take 2 ozs. of Broom tops, fresh or dried, and half an ounce of lump Ginger, crushed; boil gently in two pints of water from 10 to 15 minutes; when cool strain, and take half a teacupful of the decoction every hour until it operates by stool, and afterwards as the doses can be borne. Try the following recipe for liver and dropsical troubles:—
Broom, 1 oz.
Agrimony, 1 oz.
Dandelion, 1/2 oz.
Boil in three pints of water down to one quart. When cool strain, and take a wineglassful every four or five hours.
Health from British Wild Herbs was written by Richard Lawrence Hool, N.A.M.H., in 1918.