Directions for preparation and use of plants having medicinal properties, including those recently discovered.

PEACH LEAVES (Amygdalus Persica).

Everyone is familiar with the appearance of the common peach tree.

Part used—the leaves.

They are laxative and exert a sedative influence over the nervous system. They have been used for worms with reported success. An infusion is highly recommended in irritability of the bladder, in sick stomach and in whooping-cough. Half an ounce of the dried leaves may be infused in a pint of boiling water and a tablespoonful given for a dose three times a day.

PURPLE WILLOW HERB (Lythrum Salicaria).

Part used—the bark and root.

It is demulcent and astringent, and is efficacious in diarrhoea and chronic dysentery. The dose of the powdered bark is about a teaspoonful two or three times a day. A decoction of the root is prepared by boiling an ounce in a pint of water and given in doses of a tablespoonful every two or three hours.

WILD INDIGO (Baptisia Tinctoria).

Part used—the root.

It has proved useful in scarlet fever, typhus fever and in that state of the system which attends gangrene or mortification. It is highly recommended as an external application to obstinate and painful ulcers. It is given in decoction made in the proportion of an ounce of the root to a pint of water, of which two tablespoonfuls are administered every four or eight hours.

YELLOW ROOT (Hydrastis Canadensis).

Part used—the root.

Possesses the virtues of the ordinary bitters and popularly employed as a tonic. Used in dyspepsia and stomach affections, and as a topical application to ulcers and sores in the form of a decoction made with a drachm of the dried root to a pint of water and a syringeful injected three times a day. It is most useful in gonorrhoea.

MASTERWORT (Imperatoria Obstruthium).

Part used—the root.

It has been used with such beneficial effects as a diuretic, emmenagogue, stomachic and diaphoretic and in such a wide circle of complaints with so much success that it has gained the title of divine remedy. The dose of the infusion, made with an ounce of the root to a pint of water, is a teaspoonful every three or four hours.

BALSAM APPLE (Momordica Balsamina).

Part used—fruit and seeds.

A liniment formed by infusing the fruit in olive oil is applied to burns, old sores, piles, prolapsus ani, and so forth, and the fruit itself is mashed and used in the form of poultices. An extract prepared from it is useful in dropsy in the dose of from 5 to 15 grains, two or three times a day.

WATER HEMLOCK (Phellandrium Aquaticum).

Part used—the seeds.

They have been used most successfully in chronic pectoral affections, such as bronchitis, pulmonary consumption, asthma, and so forth, and in dyspepsia and intermittent fever. The dose is from five to six grains every three or four hours.

Description.—The seeds have been used for a considerable time in the treatment of disease. They are from a line to a line and a half in length, narrow above, somewhat compressed, marked with ten delicate ribs. Their color is yellowish brown, the odor strong, their taste acrid and aromatic. In over-doses they produce vertigo, intoxication and other narcotic effects.

WALL PELLITORY (Parietaria Officinalis).

Part used—the bark.

It is used in complaints of the urinary passages, dropsy and febrile affections in the form of a decoction made with an ounce of the bark to a pint of water, the dose of which is a tablespoonful every three or four hours. The expressed juice is also used and the fresh plant applied in the form of a poultice to painful tumors.

SOAPWORT (Saponaria Officinalis).

Part used—the root and leaves.

It has been used in venereal and scrofulous affections, cutaneous eruptions, and so forth. It appears to act as an alterative like sarsaparilla.

It is given in the form of a decoction which may be taken freely. The expressed juice given in the quantity of half an ounce in the course of a day is claimed to be a specific in the cure of gonorrhoea.

Description.—The root and leaves are inodorous, of a bitterish-sweetish taste. They impart to water the property of forming a lather when agitated, like a solution of soap, whence the name of the plant was derived.

SCULLCAP (Scutellaria Lateriflora).

Part used—the leaves.

Very efficacious as a nervine and successfully employed in neuralgic and convulsive affections, St. Vitus' dance, delirium tremens and nervous exhaustion. An infusion of the dried leaves is made with half an ounce of the leaves to a teacupful of water, to be drank during the day. It has been found useful in epilepsy.

Description.—Its stem is erect, smooth and one or two feet high. The leaves are rather acute, opposite and supported upon long petioles. The flowers are small and of a pale blue color.

MUSK-ROOT (Sumbul).

Part used—the root.

The virtues appear to be those of a nervous stimulant. It has been used with asserted success in diarrhoea, dysentery and malignant cholera; also in gastric spasm, hysteria, painful menstruation, palsy of the limbs, epilepsy and other nervous disorders. It may be given in infusion or decoction in tablespoonful doses every three or four hours.

COLT'S-FOOT (Tussilago Farfara).

Parts used—root and leaves.

Its demulcent properties prove its efficacy in chronic coughs, consumption and other affections of the lungs. It is used in form of decoction made with an ounce of the plant to a pint of boiling water, of which a teacupful may be given several times a day.

Description.—A perennial herb with a creeping root. The flower, which stands singly, is large and yellow in color. The leaves do not appear until after the flowers have blown. The flowers have an agreeable odor.

WORMSEED (Santonici Semen).

Part used—the seeds.

They contain a volatile oil, to which its virtues have been ascribed. But it owes its efficacy to a peculiar principle which it contains called santonin, used in the treatment of worms. The dose is from one to four grains twice a day. The dose of the powdered seeds is from ten to thirty grains, which should be repeated morning and evening for several days and then followed by a brisk cathartic. It has also been employed with success in intermittent fever.

CAYENNE PEPPER (Capsicum Annuum).

The stem is thick, smooth and branching, about three feet in height. The fruit is of a bright scarlet color and contains numerous kidney-shaped, whitish seeds. A powerful stimulant. Employed with great advantage in la grippe. Two tablespoonfuls of the powder, with a teaspoonful of common salt, infused for an hour in a pint of boiling water with half a pint of vinegar. This is strained and a teaspoonful given every hour. The same is useful as a gargle. In scarlet fever the same infusion diluted gives much relief and is of positive advantage. Dose: The same.

PUMPKIN (Cucurbita Pepo).

The seeds of the common garden pumpkin are the parts employed. Have gained considerable reputation in the treatment of tape-worm, and with never-failing success. The dose is about two ounces of the seeds powdered, given at one dose in the morning, fasting, and in about two or three hours followed by a dose of castor oil. It rarely fails to expel the worm with the head attached.

TOMATOES (Lycopersicum Esculentum).

The common tomato of our own country. A remedy employed in the treatment of cholera infantum and bowel affections generally. The whole fruit is used, having been cooked with the addition of a small quantity of sugar. A teaspoonful of this is given every half hour if the symptoms are severe; less when not.

GRAPE VINE (Vitis Vinifera).

The vine is too well known to require description. Most useful in dropsy and chronic dysentery. The dried fruit is the part employed, of which an infusion is made, placing about two ounces of the fruit in a pint of boiling water, straining and cooling. Dose: A tablespoonful, in either case, every two or three hours, according to the urgency of the symptoms.

CHITTIM BARK (Rhamnus Prushiana).

A shrub about seven or eight feet in height, with branches terminating in a sharp spine. The leaves, on short footstalks, ovate and veined. The bark is officinal and the part employed. It stands without an equal in the treatment of constipation in all its varied forms. An infusion of one ounce of the bark to a pint of boiling water; infuse for one hour and strain. Dose: One teaspoonful, morning and evening, according to symptoms or until the bowels are thoroughly regulated.

OREGON WILD GRAPE (Berberis Aquifolium).

A fruit native of the Northwest. The seeds are the part employed. It is both alterative and antisyphilitic. Most valuable as a blood purifier and spring medicine generally; also in the leucorrheal affections of women. A decoction is made of the powdered seeds, two ounces to one part of boiling water, and the dose, a tablespoonful three times a day. For leucorrhea the same dose to be given internally, with a tablespoonful of same to cup of lukewarm water, to be used as an injection three times a day.

INDIAN HEMP (Apocynum Cannabinium).

A perennial plant, from three to six feet in height. The stem is erect. The leaves are opposite, smooth on both sides and about three inches long. The flowers are white. The fruit contains numerous seeds. The dried root is the part employed. Has been found most efficacious in the treatment of gonorrhea and gleet. The dose of the powdered root is about ten to fifteen grains three or four times a day.

NAVY BEAN (Vicia Vulgaris)

A smooth, green bark. Yellow flowers and pods containing the beans are the parts employed. As a remedy for erysipelas it has gained quite a reputation on account of successful cures. It is used both externally and internally. For internal use about one ounce of the dried bark is boiled with one pint of water. Dose: One tablespoonful three times a day. It is a most cooling medicine to the system. For external use a paste is made with the bruised beans and applied to the erysipelatous parts. It rarely fails to relieve all inflammatory symptoms.

BURDOCK (Lappa Minor).

Boot spindle shaped, about a foot in length. Flowers purple and seeds quadrangular. The root is the part employed, and in venereal and cutaneous diseases supplants mercury, the iodides and arsenic, eliminating very rapidly the specific poison from the blood. Best administered in decoction by boiling two ounces of the root in three pints of water to two, and given in the dose of a tablespoonful four times a day.

WAHOO (Euonymus Atropurpureus).

Small shrub, which, in autumn, from their rich red color, have obtained for them the name of burning bush. Most effective in the different forms of dropsy. The root is the part employed. Given in the form of decoction, one ounce to the pint of water. Dose: A wine-glassful three or four times a day.


A small, trailing plant, ovate leaves and small, fragrant flowers. It has been employed with marked success in diseases of the urinary organs and of the pelvic viscera generally. The leaves and stems are the parts used. An infusion is made with two ounces of either to one and a half pints of water, boiled to one pint. Dose: A tablespoonful three or four times a day.

GARDEN ARTICHOKE (Cynara Scolymus).

A perennial plant, cultivated in our gardens. A tincture prepared from the leaves is most efficacious in rheumatic, gouty and neuralgic affections. Dose: A teaspoonful three times a day.

HOUNDS' TONGUE (Cynoglossum Officinale).

A biennial plant, named from the shape of its leaves. The root is the part employed. It has been found most useful as a sedative in coughs, catarrh, spitting of blood and dysentery. An infusion is made with one ounce of the root to a pint of water. Dose: A tablespoonful four times a day.

STONE ROOT (Collinsonia Canadensis).

This plant is used in numerous complaints in practice. A decoction of the fresh root, one ounce to the pint of water, has been used with advantage in hemorrhoids or piles, catarrh of the bladder, gravel and dropsy. The dose is one tablespoonful four times a day. The leaves are applied in the form of fomentation to wounds, bruises and sores, and in cases of internal abdominal pains.

BEET (Beta Vulgaris).

There are several varieties, differing in form, size, color and sweetness of their roots. Those of a deep red color are called blood beets, and are most extensively used. They have been found very efficacious in gravel and a number of urinary complaints, as catarrh of the bladder, inflammation of the kidneys, and so forth. For use see page 1258.

COMMON RUSH (Juncus Effusus).

A common plant, growing in water, or in wet soil, with pithy or hollow, rarely branching stems. A tea made of a handful of the root in a pint and a half of water boiled down to a pint, and taken in tablespoonful doses every two or three hours is good for the kidneys, dropsy, bladder affections, and incontinence of urine or wetting the bed. For a child of 10 years the dose should be a teaspoonful four times a day, and for a child of 4 to 6 years, half a teaspoonful four times a day.

CELERY (Opium Graveoleus).

In its wild state, as found in ditches throughout Europe, it is rank, coarse and even poisonous. One variety, the celeraic, is raised only for the root or base of the leaves. It is sweet, crisp and juicy in taste, and of an agreeable flavor. The root and expressed juice have found much favor as a remedy for rheumatism and neuralgic pains generally.

AGUE ROOT (Aletris Farinosa).

Height, from a foot to eighteen inches; leaves, pale and smooth; bears white flowers; grows mostly in sandy soils. It has proved useful in dyspepsia and flatulent colic, and is especially useful for the purpose of restoring the activity of the generative organs, giving them vigor and healthy action. A valuable agent to prevent tendency to miscarriage and falling of the womb. The dose of the tincture is from six to ten drops three times a day, and of the powdered root five to eight grains.

LADIES' SLIPPER (Cypripedium Parviflorum).

Grows in different portions of our own country and is marked for its beautiful flowers. The root is the part used. Has been used with marked success in epilepsy and in other various nervous diseases. A decoction is made with two ounces of the root to two pints of water, boiled to one and a half pints. Dose: A tablespoonful four times a day.

SWEET FERN (Comptonia Asplenifolia).

A shrubby plant. Grows in thin, sandy woods in New England. The root is the part used. Most useful in diarrhoea. Given in the form of decoction. Made with two ounces of the root, boiled in one and a half pints of water to a pint. Dose: A tablespoonful several times a day, as required.

RED ROOT (Ceanothus Americanus).

A small, indigenous shrub, growing in the United States. The root is the part employed. Said to be useful in syphilitic complaints; given in the form of decoction; two drachms of the root to a pint of water. Dose: A teaspoonful four times a day. A strong infusion is useful in aphthous ulcers of the mouth, applied locally several times a day.

BITTER ASH (Bittera Febrifuga).

A tree indigenous to the West Indies. The bark is the part used. A decoction is made with one ounce to a pint. Dose: A tablespoonful four times a day. Has been found most useful in intermittent fever, for which it is claimed to be almost a specific.



This is generally a symptom of some other disorder, and can be relieved only by curing the primary trouble. There are five distinct kinds of headache, which may be described as follows:

Sick Headache.—This is caused by some derangement of the stomach and liver, and is apt to occur more or less regularly at intervals of two or four weeks. It is a most distressing form of the malady. The pain is often confined to the temples, or is most severe there; occasionally the back of the head seems most affected. There is really no trouble in the head; it is all in the digestive tract. The following method of treatment will usually cure:

Treatment.—Soak the feet in hot water containing a handful of either mustard or salt; at the same time give an emetic, such as two teaspoonfuls of wine of ipecac; or an infusion of lobelia (made by steeping two teaspoonfuls of the powdered leaves for twenty minutes in a half-pint of boiling water). Before taking this emetic, it is well to drink a half-pint or pint of some warm tea, like sage or pennyroyal. When free vomiting has occurred, give patient a little gruel and let him rest in bed for two or three hours. Then give an active cathartic.

Auxiliary Treatment.—Keep the bowels open by giving one or two cathartic pills every night for several days. Bathing the whole body with weak saleratus water often affords relief, in conjunction with this treatment; also applications of cold water to the head when the heat is intense.

Nervous Headache.—This form of headache denotes a weak, debilitated condition of the nervous system, caused by long-continued illness, loss of blood, unwonted mental excitement, etc. There is more or less stupidity and confusion of ideas, sometimes dimness of vision, and a dull pain in the head.

Rheumatic and Sympathetic Headache.—In cases of fever of any kind the heated blood passing through the brain gives rise to pains in the head that may be relieved somewhat by the application of cold water or cracked ice, but cannot be cured without removing the primary trouble. Disease of the kidneys gives rise to headache, caused by insufficient elimination of the uric acid; women often suffer from headache during pregnancy

Treatment.—These forms of the malady can only be relieved by cooling the head, as above directed. When a person is suffering from rheumatism, it sometimes seems as if the pain jumps from the affected part to the head and back again at intervals. In such cases the employment of remedies for the original trouble is required.

Chronic Headache.—Sometimes there appears a chronic form of headache, originating, perhaps, in some severe spell of sickness and persisting in spite of all remedies. This form is likely to affect some one part of the head, and whilst it may vary in intensity is seldom entirely absent.

Treatment.—The treatment consists of laxative medicines to keep the bowels always free, but without violent purging. Keep the feet warm and the circulation equalized. Diet must be plain and nourishing. A certain form of chronic headache sometimes accompanies catarrh, and is relieved only by curing the catarrh. As a good general rule—keep the feet warm, the head cool, the skin clean, and the bowels open.

Plethoric Headache.—This type of headache most affects persons of full habit, and is caused by too great flow of blood to the brain. It can easily be recognized; stooping down and then raising the head gives a sense of fullness and pain; suddenly jarring or shaking the head aggravates the pain; blowing or straining, or pressure on the neck gives rise to pain, with more or less giddiness. Sometimes the excess of blood in the brain indicates an over-supply all through the body; in other cases it is caused by a derangement of the circulation, other parts of the body suffering from an insufficient amount of blood. In the latter case the extremities will be cold while the head is flushed and hot, with severe throbbing sensations.

Treatment.—In such cases the feet and legs must be soaked in hot mustard water, with a sprinkling of cayenne pepper, and thoroughly rubbed with a coarse towel. Give an active hydragogue cathartic (see pill recommended under pleurisy), repeat every three days, if necessary, until complete relief is obtained.

Diet.—Diet should be light and unstimulating—fruits, oatmeal porridge, etc.


Causes.—Our present high-pressure system of education does not favor the development of the organs of generation in women. But, aside from this, sterility may be caused by faults in the ovaries, absence or imperfect development, displacements, inflammations or degenerations, faults in the oviducts or fallopian tubes, faults in the uterus, faults in external organs.

Treatment.—Correct morbid condition of the vagina. Overcome contractions of entrance to the uterus by dilatation. Morbid conditions in interior of womb must be remedied by direct applications. Hot injections or baths are of great service in removing inflammations. All in all, it may be easier to prevent sterility by a suitable physical development of girls than to cure it in many cases.


Causes.—Advanced age, weakness, disease of testicles, apoplexy or injury to the head may extinguish the sexual desire, diseases of the spinal cord, want of self-confidence, excessive and too early indulgence in sexual intercourse, constitutional complaints, diseases of the kidneys, malformations.

Treatment.—The most direct and useful remedy is cantharides, in ten- or fifteen-drop doses every three or four hours previous to desired intercourse. Dilute phosphoric acid, phosphate of iron and ergot of rye are also valuable remedies. A newly-married person who Is impotent from lack of confidence should not get disheartened. A full understanding of his situation and a reassertion of confidence will prove of more avail than medicines.

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Last Modified: Monday, 13-May-2013 15:31:47 EDT