Cunila. Cunila origanoides (L.) Britt. (C. Mariana L.) (Fam. Labiatae), American or Common Dittany. Sweet Horsemint. Stonemint.—A small indigenous perennial herb, growing on dry, shady hills, from New York to Georgia, and Illinois and Arkansas westward, and flowering in June and July. The whole herb has a warm, pungent taste and a fragrant odor, dependent on an essential oil. This, according to Philip Milleman, of Chicago, is of reddish-amber color, becoming light yellow by exposure to light, of a delicate, fragrant odor, very similar to that of oil of monarda, of a warm pungent taste, and of the sp. gr. 0.920. It is readily soluble in alcohol, ether, and chloroform. On spontaneous evaporation, it leaves a small crystalline residue. Iodine decomposes it, producing white vapors; by sulphuric acid it is reddened and decomposed, by nitric acid resinified, and by hydrochloric acid decolorized, though its color returns on exposure. It is slightly rubefacient; in the dose of five or ten minims (0.3-0.6 mil) it is carminative, and of from fifteen to twenty minims (0.9-1.3 mils) diaphoretic. The same author found in the dried herb tannic acid, a trace of glucose, gum, bitter extractive, resin, and salts of potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron. (A. J. P., Nov., 1866, 495.) American dittany is a gently stimulant aromatic, analogous to the mints.
The Dispensatory of the United States of America, 1918, was edited by Joseph P. Remington, Horatio C. Wood and others.