Aristolochia serpentaria is a perennial herb found in woodlands of the temperate parts of the United States, especially in the Allegheny and Cumberland Mountains, although it seldom prevails abundantly. It is by some believed to have been first mentioned in 1636, by Thomas Johnson, an apothecary of London, who issued an edition of Gerarde's (262) Herbal, and it is commonly believed that this was its introduction to England. Others, however, question whether the "snakeweed" mentioned in this work was not a species of aristolochia, from Crete. The early use of serpentaria in America was as a remedy for snakebite, which gave it the name Virginia snakeroot, but in this direction it has not, to our knowledge, been used in recent times anywhere in America. The domestic use of this drug has been in the direction of a stimulant to the organs of digestion, and in the form of a tincture as a stomachic, it being one of the ingredients of the old-time popular stomach bitters of American home medication.
The History of the Vegetable Drugs of the U.S.P., 1911, was written by John Uri Lloyd.