Some years since the cotton-root was in considerable demand as an abortive. It was claimed that the Negro women of the South made common use of it, and that it was so certain and safe that they could rid themselves of the product of conception whenever they wished, and without impairment of health. It was singular what a demand sprung up for cotton-root bark; but fortunately for the unborn it had no influence on the gravid uterus.
Still the reports from the South seemed well authenticated, that, at least in some cases, it was abortive, and was a very certain emmenagogue, and a stimulant diuretic. It is only another example of a fact I have insisted on, that many plants possessing medicinal properties when fresh, lose them when dried, and especially when gathered at the wrong season and kept in stock.
If some of our manufacturers will get the bark of the cotton-root before the boll opens, and will prepare a tincture from it whilst fresh, we will probably find it possessing marked medicinal properties.
Specific Medication and Specific Medicines, 1870, was written by John M. Scudder, M.D.