This is a pretty indigenous plant, and grows in many parts of the country. The stem is leafless, and the leaves are all radical, palmate, green, smooth, and glossy. The flowers are sessile, and white in colour. It grows to from one to two feet high, and is a perennial, flowering from June to July.
Medicinal Properties: Astringent, Expectorant, Anodyne, Tonic.
Its virtues resemble those of Coltsfoot, Comfrey, Marshmallow, and Mullein. In cases of diseases of the chest and lungs, spitting of blood, scrofula, ulcers and tumours, or internal abscesses and ulcerations, there is no plant superior to Wood Sanicle. It is useful in sore or ulcerated mouth and throat.
For ulceration of the lungs or stomach, try the following:—
Wood Sanicle ... 1 oz.
Marshmallow ... ½ oz.
Mullein ... ½ oz.
Infuse in one quart of boiling water, and take one or two wine-glassfuls every three hours.
Used alone, one ounce of the dried herb or root, simmered in 1½ pints of water to one pint, and strained, can be taken in wineglassful doses four or five times a day as a general strengthener of the bronchial tubes and lungs. Milk may be added with advantage when phlegm is not profuse.
Dr. Skelton states, in his "Botanic Record," that a certain man told him that he had cured himself of consumption by using this plant combined with Ginger, sweetened, and taken in strong decoction at the rate of a pint daily.
Health from British Wild Herbs was written by Richard Lawrence Hool, N.A.M.H., in 1918.