Botanical Source.—Echinacea angustifolia is an herbaceous plant, the thick, black, pungent root of which sends up from year to year, a slender, sometimes somewhat stout stem, bristling with hairs, and from 2 to 3 feet high. The leaves (see illustration), which are 3-veined and hispid-pubescent, vary in shape from broad lanceolate to lance-linear. At the base they become slender, and the lowermost have short petioles. The involucre consists of about 2 rows of lanceolate, scaly bracts. As the flower develops the disk is at first concave, but as the growth progresses it becomes ovoid, the receptacle taking on a sharply conical form. The linear-lanceolate, chaff-like bracts of the receptacle are firm, remain permanently attached, are boat-shaped and concave, and become narrowed into a stiff, spine-like crisp, extending beyond the disc-flowers. The ray-flowers are narrow, and from 1 to 2 inches long. They are rose or purple, and drooping or pendant, and, while withering, are yet persistent. They are generally "imperfectly styliferous." Rarely these ray-flowers or ligules are white. The disc-florets are cylindraceous, presenting fine, erect teeth, and the tubular portion upon which the stamens are inserted, is scarcely a tube proper, but merely a ring. The fruit consists of acutely 4-angled akenes (1-seeded, dry, indehiscent pericarps, tipped with the remains of the style), of a firm, tough, yet cork-like texture. They are beset with a thick, crown-like pappus, which is extended somewhat into triangular teeth.
History.—Conspicuous among the remedies introduced within recent years, echinacea undoubtedly takes the first rank. As with all new remedies, it has suffered the usual over-estimation, and the exaggerated claims made for it led Prof. Lloyd to view it with suspicion for a long time. Prof. H. T. Webster (Dynam. Therap.), was the first to give an extensive, though sectional. account of the therapy of the drug. Though now a well-known drug, echinacea stands peculiarly alone in being essentially a new remedy. Many remedies which have lately been introduced can be traced back for years, and some of them for centuries, as having at some time occupied a place in either domestic or professional practice, but our ancient scientific works are silent concerning this species of echinacea. Gray, in his Synoptical Flora of North America, published some years ago, wrote: "Used in popular medicine under the name black sampson," but since he refers to the plant as "black sampson,'' a name applied to Echinacea purpurea, it may be accepted that he referred to that drug. A careful search through the large number of works upon domestic medicine, herbals, medical botanies, and the so-called "irregular" works upon practice, contained in the Lloyd Library, failed to reveal even a mention of Echinacea angustifolia as a medicinal agent. In this connection, the following from the pen of Mr. C. G. Lloyd, who identified the drug first used by Dr. Meyer and Dr. King, will serve to distinguish between black sampson and Echinacea angustifolia:
"Echinacea purpurea, Moench, is a plant growing in the eastern states from Pennsylvania west. It was introduced in King's Dipensatory under the name of Rudbeckia purpurea, and the common name black sampson. Echinacea angustifolia, De Candolle, is an entirely different plant, found only in prairie regions, and not occurring east of the prairie regions of Illinois, and has never been used under the name black sampson. There is no mention of it in medical literature preceding the paper of Drs. Meyer and King." The first notices concerning echinacea are from Eclectic physicians, and the drug is, from start to finish, an Eclectic medicine.
Echinacea angustifolia is an indigenous plant of the composite order, growing chiefly in the western states, from Illinois to Nebraska, and southward through Missouri to Texas, thriving best in rich prairie soil. That which grows in marshy places is of inferior quality. It has also been stated that it grows in rocky and sandy soil. The plant, however, which is abundant in Kansas, Nebraska, and neighboring localities, is not mentioned by P. A. Rydberg, in his recently published Flora of the Sand Hills of Nebraska (Contributions to the U. S. Nat. Herbarium, Vol. III, No. 3, 1895). The plant blooms from June to August. Echinacea is sometimes known in Kansas as nigger-head, a name derived from the shape and somber hue of its fruiting head. The scientific appellations are derived from physical features of the plant, and are therefore descriptive. The generic term Echinacea, is derived from the Greek echinos, meaning hedge-hog or sea-urchin, referring to the spiny, hedge-hog-like fruiting head; while the specific name angustifolia, comes from the two Latin words, angustus (narrow) and folium (leaf), contrasting thereby this species with the other forms of Echinacea, this being the narrow-leaved species.
The introduction of echinacea into professional practice is due conjointly to Dr. H. F. C. Meyer, of Pawnee City, Neb., and the late Prof. John King. The former had, for many years (since 1870), been using the plant without knowing its botanical position. In a letter to Prof King (see E. M. J., 1887), in 1886, he communicated to the latter his uses of the drug, as he had employed it for 16 years. His claims for the remedy were based upon the conclusion that it was "an antispasmodic and antidote for blood-poisoning." The enthusiastic doctor had been using it in a secret mixture with wormwood and hops, which be had denominated "Meyer's Blood Purifier." Among his claims for it was its antidotal action upon the poison of various insects, and particularly that of the rattlesnake. Meyer stated that he even allowed a rattler to bite him, after which he bathed the parts with some of the tincture, took a drachm of it internally, and laid down and slept, and upon awakening all traces of swelling bad disappeared! Prof. King wrote: "He (Dr. Meyer) kindly offered to send the writer a rattler 8 feet long, that the antidotal influence of the tincture upon dogs, rabbits, etc., bitten by said serpent, might be tested; but having no friendship for the reptile, and being unaccustomed to handling this poisonous ophidian, the generous offer was courteously declined."
The following range of affections were those in which Dr. Meyer claimed success for this remedy: Malarial fever, cholera morbus, cholera infantum, boils, and internal abscesses, typhoid fever (internally and locally to abdomen); ulcerated sore throat, old ulcers, poisoning from rhus, erysipelas, carbuncles, bites and stings of bees, wasps, spiders, etc.; in nasal and pharyngeal catarrh, hemorrhoids, various fevers, including typhoid, congestive, and remittent; trichinosis, nervous headache, acne, scrofulous ophthalmia, milk crust, scald head, and eczema; also in colic in horses. Subsequent use of the drug has in a measure substantiated the seemingly incredulous claims of its introducer, for it will be observed that most of these conditions were such as might be due to blood depravation, or to noxious introductions from without the body—the very field in which echinacea is known to display its power.
In the autumn of 1885, Dr. Meyer sent to Prof. J. U. Lloyd a quantity of the root, desiring the latter to enlighten him as to its botanical name. At the same time he expressed Dr. King a quantity of the tincture. Prof. Lloyd, questioning the claims of Meyer, wrote to him that be could not name the plant from the root alone, whereupon the latter shipped another quantity of the root, followed (September 28, 1886) by a specimen plant, which Mr. Curtis G. Lloyd then identified as Echinacea angustifolia of De Candolle (see paper by Prof. Lloyd on Echinacea, in E. M. Jour., Aug., 1897).
Prof. King, appearing to have more faith than Prof. Lloyd in the possibilities of the new drug, took an active interest in it, and by experimenting extensively was soon convinced of its great value. His use of it led him to report success in obstinate naso-pharyngeal catarrh; in rheumatism (one case being of the articular variety); in cholera morbus and cholera infantum; in chronic ulcers of the leg (one case of which was complicated with an eczematous eruption of years' standing); also in painful chronic hemorrhoids, vaginal leucorrhoea with ulceration of the os uteri, poisoning from poison ivy, and stings of wasps and bees, with very extensive swelling. Dyspepsia, with pain and great distress, aggravated by partaking of food, and long resisting treatment, also yielded to it. Goss (Chicago Medical Times, 1888), who became interested in the drug, praised it as a remedy for mad dog bites, chronic catarrh, chronic ulcers, gonorrhoea, and syphilis. Dr. A. Parker, of Wilber, Neb., also reported success with it in an apparently hopeless case of septicaemia. Then followed the reports of Dr. Hayes (see below), whose statements did much to obtain general recognition for the drug.
Description, Chemical Composition, and Preparations.—The root of echinacea varies in thickness, from that of an ordinary lead pencil to that of the little finger. The deep-brown or reddish-brown epiderm is shrunken and wrinkled longitudinally, and is often disposed in spiral folds upon the subdermal portion of the root. The woody portion, as seen upon transverse section (see illustration of root), is composed of medullary rays, separated by a greenish, pulp-like substance. When broken the dried root exhibits a grainy and apparently rotten aspect. When chewed the root, if of good quality, imparts at first a sweetish taste, subsequently becoming acrid and pungent, and finally leaving a persistent tingling sensation, followed by a peculiar numbness of the tongue and fauces, seemingly intermediate in character between that produced by aconite and cocaine. It has been compared to the prickling produced by prickly ash, but is essentially different, lacking the peculiar aromatic qualities of the latter.
Tincture of echinacea is transparent, and of a reddish-brown color. It mixes well with water, as does also the fluid extract, which gives at first no appreciable precipitation in that fluid. The preparations chiefly employed by Eclectic practitioners, and from which the medicinal value of the agent has been determined, are specific echinacea and Echafolta. The latter is simply a purified preparation of echinacea, free from coloring matters and extraneous substances, such as chlorophyll, extractive, and other "plant dirt." Much of the root collected has little medicinal value. This is due not to poorly kept and cured roots alone, but chiefly to the locality in which it grows. Much of the drug collected in the marshes and lowlands east of the Mississippi is of this negative quality. The best quality of root comes from the prairie lands of Nebraska (J. U. Lloyd in E. M. J., 1897, p. 427). The experience of the writer is to the effect that few drugs vary more in quality than crude echinacea.
According to Prof. Lloyd, who has made a complete pharmaceutical study of this drug, extending over a period of 13 years (since 1885), the best menstruum for the preparation of either the fluid extract or common tincture of echinacea is a mixture of alcohol 4 parts, and water 1 part. His investigations of echinacea reveal the presence of minute quantities of an alkaloid, which is devoid of color and unimportant so far as its medicinal qualities are concerned. His earlier analyses failed to show the existence of this principle. The characteristic principles of the root are those substances linked to an acid organic body of a resinous character, nearly, if not quite colorless, and possessing, in an exalted degree, the persistently acrid qualities of echinacea-so intensely that it is distressing to the taste, even in very small amount, when pure. The stinging sensation affects the tip of the tongue for hours. But small quantities of it are present, even in the best root—"less than 1/2 to 1 per cent." (Adapted in part from article by Prof. J. U. Lloyd in E. M. Jour., August, 1897).
Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—As a therapeutic agent echinacea is often used both internally and locally at the same time; therefore in this article the internal and external uses will not be given separately, but collectively. And inasmuch as echafolta is a name given to distinguish a purified form of echinacea, the remarks concerning the one are equally applied to the other, except in important surgical cases, where greater cleanliness is desired, when echafolta is to be preferred.
Under the older classification of remedies, echinacea would probably be classed as an antiseptic and alterative. Strictly speaking, it is practically impossible to classify an agent like echinacea by applying to it one or two words to indicate its virtues. The day is rapidly approaching when these qualifying terms will have no place in medicine, for they but inadequately convey to our minds the therapeutic possibilities of our drugs. Especially is this so with regard to such terms as alterative, stimulant, tonic, etc. If any single statement were to be made concerning the virtues of echinacea, it would read something like this: "A corrector of the depravation of the body fluids," and even this does not sufficiently cover the ground. Its extraordinary powers—combining essentially that formerly included under the terms antiseptic, antifermentative, and antizymotic—are well shown in its power over changes produced in the fluids of the body, whether from internal causes or from external introductions. The changes may be manifested in a disturbed balance of the fluids resulting in such tissue alterations as are exhibited in boils, carbuncles, abscesses, or cellular glandular inflammations. They may be from the introduction of serpent or insect venom, or they may be due to such fearful poisons as give rise to malignant diphtheria, cerebro-spinal meningitis, or puerperal and other forms of septicaemia. Such changes, whether they be septic or of devitalized morbid accumulations, or alterations in the fluids themselves, appear to have met their antagonist in echinacea. "Bad blood," so called, asthenia, and adynamia, and particularly a tendency to malignancy in acute and subacute disorders, seem to be special indicators for the use of echinacea.
Outside of the claims made for this remedy by its introducer, which included many of the conditions for which it is now valued, it first attracted general notice as a remedy for septicaemia, in which malady it appeared to promise more than any remedy previously in use. The reports of Dr. Hayes (E. M. J., 1888, pp. 68, 142) gave an impetus to the use of the drug in this direction; since which time physicians, whose statements are valued, have lauded it as a remedy in various forms of blood-poisoning. Thus it has been successfully employed in injuries complicated with septic infection. A crushed hand, thought to be beyond aid, with the intolerable stench of putrid flesh, was saved by the application of echinacea. It has given equally satisfactory results in alarming cases of venom infection, with great depression, from the bites of the rattlesnake, tarantula and other spiders, and from the stings of scorpions, bees, wasps, etc. Prof. Webster, among others, speaks highly of its action in slow forms of cerebro-spinal meningitis, using it as the basic remedy (in connection with other indicated drugs), because of its sedative virtues, controlling, as he believes, the vascular area concerned in the nutrition of the cerebro-spinal meninges, and for its effects upon the general circulation. The cases benefited were those characterized by a slow, feeble pulse, or at least a pulse not appreciably quickened, with the temperature scarcely elevated, and cold extremities. The evidences of cerebral disturbances were erratic. Headache, with a peculiar periodical flushing of the face, even to the neck, was present, and associated with these symptoms, dizziness and profound prostration. Prof. Webster was the first, we believe, to employ the remedy in this affection. He asserts that as a stimulant to the capillary circulation, no remedy is comparable with it, and that it endows the vessels with a recuperative power or formative force, so as to enable them to successfully resist local inflammatory processes due to debility and blood depravation.
While clinical evidence is strong in support of the curative action of echinacea in diphtheria, the writer can not but feel that in some instances, at least, the reports have been based upon mistaken diagnoses, and upon non-malignant cases. He is forced to this view from a liberal use of the drug in several cases of a malignant type, in which it utterly failed to accomplish the results desired. Nonmalignant forms of diphtheria tend to recovery, and we should be careful about endorsing remedies as curatives in such cases, lest we bring discredit upon a good remedy by making sweeping claims for it which can not be substantiated when the drug is put to a test in the severer forms of the disease. Nevertheless, in these non-malignant cases it appears to expedite convalescence.
In the various forms of tonsilitis it has given better results, particularly in the necrotic form, with dirty-looking ulcerative surfaces. It comes well endorsed as a remedy for that malignant form of quinsy known in some of the western states as "black tongue." Echinacea will contribute much to the cure of various catarrhal affections of the nose, naso-pharynx, and other portions of the respiratory tract. It is specially indicated by ulcerated and fetid mucous surfaces, with dusky or dark coloration, and a general debilitated habit. Many patients who have taken echinacea for other purposes have remarked its beneficial effects upon catarrh, from which they were suffering at the same time. Chronic catarrhal bronchitis and fetid bronchitis have been signally benefited by echinacea, and it has done that which few remedies can accomplish, i. e., it has overcome the stench of pulmonary gangrene, and, if given early, it is asserted to avert a gangrenous termination in pulmonic affections. A case of typhoid pneumonia reported by Shelley (Med. Gleaner, 1894) with a "jet-black coating of the tongue," evidencing sepsis, improved rapidly under echinacea, in about 2-drop doses every 3 hours.
Echinacea is a good appetizer, and improves digestion. The writer has used it with good results in fermentative dyspepsia, with offensive breath and gastric pain as prominent symptoms, which was also aggravated upon taking food. It is also efficient in duodenal catarrh, and other forms of intestinal indigestion, with pain and debility. Few remedies are as efficient in ulcerative stomatitis, and in nursing sore-mouth it is asserted to be promptly curative. It has been praised in diarrhoea, cholera morbus, cholera infantum, and dysentery, all of the semi-inflammatory type, with a tendency to malignancy. Applied externally and given internally, it has been of service in aborting typhlitis and perityphlitis.
Echinacea has been prominently mentioned as a remedy for fevers. In the eruptive fevers, as measles, chicken-pox, and scarlet fever, it has received some praise, especially for its control over the catarrhal phases of the former, and its influence in masking the odor and controlling the pain of the scarlatinal angina. The fevers, however, in which it has accomplished the best results are of the typhoid and typho-malarial types, as well as in sympathetic fevers from septic infection and rheumatic attacks. Notwithstanding that it has been recommended as one of the best anti-malarial remedies, it appears to exert but little influence over periodicity. Prof. King reported signal failure in every case of ague in which he gave it a trial. Others, however, speak of it as a remedy for malaria when of an asthenic character. Possibly in such conditions it might prove of value, as the fevers in which it has proved so successful have been chiefly characterized by adynamia. Very likely its usefulness here depends more upon its influence over the asthenia than upon the miasmatic poison. However, Dr. Snyder, of Cameron, Mo., a good authority, contends that it is an excellent remedy for chronic malaria, a personal use of it having first convinced him of its value. The doctor has not, however, given us the special cases to which it is adapted. Epidemic influenza (la grippe) is occasionally ameliorated by echinacea, and in all such cases, with great debility, it assists materially in securing a good convalescence.
Puerperal fever, due to septicaemia, yields somewhat to echinacea with potassium chlorate and other indicated remedies; yet, in some cases it is inadequate to check the disease unless a thorough curetting of the womb, to insure against the absorption of imprisoned fragments of placenta or unhealthy discharges, be first resorted to. Frequently this procedure alone, with a free use of hydrogen dioxide solution as a douche, is sufficient to cure, but a marked debility often persists. It is this debility that is so pronouncedly benefited by echinacea, and in two instances the writer has thought that the high temperature was averted, and the weakened system greatly sustained, by the liberal use of echinacea, until curetting had been accomplished. Others have been more fortunate in the use of the drug, giving it the credit of being the main agent in accomplishing cures. Its internal and local use is recommended. Hayes commends it in "mountain fever," an affection often mistaken for typhoid fever.
Echinacea is in some respects a remedy for pain. It relieves the pain of erysipelas, and contributes largely to a resolution of the swelling when extensive, tense, and of a purplish-red hue. It is reported to have relieved the pain of cancerous growths, particularly when involving the mucous membranes, as cancer of the fauces. Prof. Farnum calls attention to the wonderful rapidity with which the odor of carcinoma is overcome by echafolta. He strongly recommends it as an application for cancer, and relates a case of mammary cancer long held in check by it. He also advises its internal administration in cancerous cachexia. So great is the confidence placed in this agent by our foremost surgeons that they have been content to use it with sterilized water to cleanse and dress, after operations, discharging tubercular abscesses, gangrene, empyema with gangrene of the lung, appendicitis, and carcinoma of the breast and testicle (Farnum). Prof. L. E. Russell advises echafolta as a preventative of sepsis, giving it internally previously to operations, to act as an intestinal antiseptic, and, locally, as a corrective, to dress any traumatism showing signs of sepsis, and as a wash in abdominal and pelvic operations. into which any organ has discharged septic contents. Phlegmonous swellings, old sores, erysipelas with sloughing phagedena, dissecting or surgical wounds, phlegmasia dolens, dermatitis venenata, and pus cavities should be treated with echinacea or echafolta, both locally and internally. A most remarkable case came under the writer's care in which a high fever with marked adynamia, associated with the development of cellular abscesses and a hemorrhagic diarrhoea, yielded to echinacea and Rhus aromatica. Other medicines did but little good until these remedies were brought into use. The abscesses were of a non-active variety, somewhat painful, but not excessively so; they numbered about 10 or 12 at any given time in various parts of the body. The alvine discharges were passed involuntarily, except when kept under control by the fragrant sumach. The boy, whose age was but 4 years, lingered in this condition for over 2 months. Echinacea surely kept the child alive, for whenever the dose, which was 10 drops every 3 hours, was lessened, the symptoms were greatly exaggerated. In spite of his low condition and the very unsanitary surroundings, recovery took place rapidly, as soon as the active symptoms subsided.
Echinacea is highly endorsed as a topical dressing for malignant carbuncle. Painful mammitis has been very successfully treated with it, and, used as an injection, it relieves the pain and inflammation in gonorrhoea. Several physicians have used it in syphilis, and declare it a good remedy for that disease, but this seems like claiming too much. It is, however, like thuja, efficient in allaying the pain and healing the ulcers, particularly of the mouth, throat, and tongue, affecting syphilitics. Dr. Snyder extols echinacea as an efficient remedy for impotence. It acts admirably in purulent salpingitis, contributing toward a cure and allaying the distressing pain. Evidence is abundant, concerning its value in leucorrhoea, with offensive discharges; and Webster reports it as valuable in erythematous or erysipelatous vulvitis, being especially effective in that form affecting strumous children. Echinacea is a remedy for eczema. It is adapted to chronic cases with sticky or glutinous exudations associated with asthenia and general depravity. Liberal doses should be administered for a prolonged period. A striking malady, which had been diagnosed as psoriasis, resulting from vaccination, came under the care of Prof. Ellingwood, of Chicago. A shedding of the hair and a diffuse skin disease, with loss of the nails and thick skin from the palms and soles ensued, followed by a destructive iritis of the left eye and corneal ulcer of the right eye. Prospects were fair for a fatal termination. Perfect recovery, with the exception of the loss of the left eye, followed the use of liberal doses of echinacea, together with syrup of iodide of iron and phospho-albumen.
Dropsy after scarlatina is said to have been cured by echafolta. As this condition usually tends to a spontaneous cure it is difficult to determine how much any remedy contributes to such a result. Likewise echinacea has been recommended to prevent (!) hydrophobia. How one can prevent a result of this kind from a dog bite, and especially as the very existence of that so-called disease is denied by many, is not clear. Like many other new remedies echinacea has been reported curative in smallpox. It appears to have mitigated many of the severer symptoms of tubercular phthisis, and renders expectoration easier in "Stone-cutter's" or "grinder's" consumption. It would be no great surprise if this remedy should prove effective in impressing a tubercular diathesis, thereby preventing a termination in consumption.
The dose of either specific echinacea or echafolta ranges from 1 to 5 drops; larger doses (even 60 drops) may be employed, but small doses are generally most efficient if frequently repeated. They may be given in water or syrup, or water and glycerin, as: Rx Echafolta, flℨj to flℨij; water, q. s., fl℥iv. Mix. Sig. Teaspoonful every 1/2 or 1 hour in acute cases; every 3 or 4 hours in chronic affections. If these preparations are to be dispensed in hot weather, or are to be used in fermentative gastro-intestinal disorders, the substitution of 1 ounce of glycerin for 1 fluid ounce of the water is advisable. For external use both preparations may be employed, though in point of cleanliness echafolta is to be preferred. Solutions of from 1 to 60 per cent strength may be applied by means of a saturated compress every 2 hours, or oftener, if necessity demands.
Specific Indications and Uses.—To correct fluid depravation, "bad blood," tendency to sepsis and malignancy, as in gangrene, sloughing and phagedenic ulcerations, carbuncles, boils, and various forms of septicaemia; foul discharges, with weakness and emaciation; deepened, bluish or purplish coloration of skin or mucous membranes, with a low form of inflammation; dirty-brownish tongue; jet-black tongue; tendency to the formation of multiple cellular abscesses of semi-active character, with marked asthenia. Of especial importance in typhoid, septicaemic and other adynamic fevers, and in malignant carbuncle, pulmonary gangrene, cerebro-spinal meningitis and pyosalpinx. Echafolta is advised as a cleansing wash in surgical operations, and to annul the pain of and to deodorize carcinomata.
Related Species.—Rudbeckia laciniata, Linné; Thimbleweed. This plant, also known by the names of Cone-disk sunflower and Tall cone-flower, is a tall, showy, indigenous perennial plant, with a round, glabrous, stem, 3 to 8 feet in height. Leaves alternate, smooth or roughish; lower ones pinnate, with from 5 to 7 cut or 3-lobed leaflets, petiolate; upper ones irregularly 3 to 5-parted; lobes ovate-lanceolate, pointed. Flowers large, terminal; pappus crenate; chaff truncate and downy at the tip. Rays 1 or 2 inches long, oblanceolate, bright-yellow, spreading or drooping. Disk oblong-conical and columnar in fruit, greenish-yellow (G-W.). This plant grows in various parts of the United States, in damp places, low thickets, edges of swamps and ditches, etc., flowering from July to September. It was introduced into Europe from America and cultivated in Paris early in the seventeenth century (see Amer. Jour. Pharm., 1872, p. 107). The whole herb is recommended to be used. It has not been investigated chemically. It imparts its properties to water. Thimbleweed is a valuable diuretic, tonic, and balsamic. Ɣ Useful in many diseases of the urinary organs, and highly recommended in strangury, Bright's disease (?), and wasting or atrophy of the kidneys. Dose of the decoction, ad libitum.
Echinacea purpurea, Moench (Rudbeckia purpurea, Linné), variously called Red sunflower, Comb-flower, or Purple cone-flower, has a thick, black root, with branched, sulcate, smooth, or rough stems, 3 to 5 feet in height. Leaves alternate, 4 to 8 inches long, and about 1/5 as wide, rough, with short, stiff bristles; lower ones broad-ovate, attenuate at base, 5-nerved, veiny, long-petioled, remotely-toothed; cauline ones lanceolate-ovate, acuminate, nearly entire. Heads large, solitary, on long peduncles. Disk thickly beset with the stiff, pointed, brown chaff. Rays from 15 to 20, 2 or 3 inches long, dull-purple, pendulous, bifid. This plant is common to the western prairies and banks, and is found also in the southern states, flowering from July to September. The root is very pungent to the taste, and has been popularly used in medicine under the name of Black sampson. It is stated to have been employed with much benefit in syphilis (W.—G.). Both of the above plants deserve a full and thorough investigation from the profession. From all that I have been able to learn, the latter plant is equal to stillingia in medicinal efficacy (King).
Bouvardia triphylla, Trompatila.—Mexico. Stem and small branches an aboriginal remedy for hydrophobia (A. J. P., 1874).
Acerates decumbens.—New Mexico. Reputed specific for snake-bites (W. J. Wilson, M. D.).
King's American Dispensatory, 1898, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D., and John Uri Lloyd, Phr. M., Ph. D.