The herb of Gerardia pedicularia, Linné (Dasystoma pedicularia, Bentham).
COMMON NAMES: Bushy gerardia, Lousewort, Fever weed, American fox-glove.
Botanical Source.—This is a perennial plant, whose stem is tall and bushy, with a scattered woolly pubescence, 2 or 3 feet in height, and brachiate-panicled. The leaves are numerous, opposite, ovate-lanceolate or oblong, pinnatifid, the segments being doubly cut-dentate. The flowers are large, yellow, axillary, trumpet-shaped, opposite, and pediceled; the pedicels are longer than the calyx. Calyx 5-cleft, cut-dentate, segments as long as the hairy tube. Corolla yellow, an inch or more in length, subcampanulate, unequally 5-lobed, segments mostly rounded, spreading, leaf-like, and woolly inside. Capsule 2-celled, dehiscent at the top (L.—W.)
History.—This is a most elegant plant, found growing in airy copses, pine ridges, and barren woods and mountains from Canada to Georgia and Kentucky, and flowering in August and September. The whole plant is used. Water or spirit extracts its virtues. It has not been analyzed. There are several varieties of the species, which probably possess analogous virtues.
Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—Diaphoretic, antiseptic, and sedative. Used principally in febrile and inflammatory diseases; a warm infusion produces a free and copious perspiration in a short time. Dose of the infusion, from 1 to 3 fluid ounces.
King's American Dispensatory, 1898, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D., and John Uri Lloyd, Phr. M., Ph. D.