This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
ChamaeDrys minor repens C. B. Cha-maedrys vulgo vera existimata J. B. Teucrium Chamaedrys Linn. Germander: a low creeping shrubby plant; with square italics; small stiff oval leaves, notched from about the middle to the extremity, like those of the oak tree, set in pairs at the joints; and purplish labiated flowers, set thick together, wanting the upper lip. It grows wild in some of the woods of France, Germany, and Switzerland: with us it is raised in gardens, and flowers in June and July.
The leaves and tops of germander have a moderately bitter taste, accompanied with a weak aromatic flavour, which is diminished a little in drying, but not totally dissipated in keeping for several months. They stand recommended as mild aperients and corroborants, in uterine and other obstructions, intermitting fevers, and in the rheumatism and gout. They make a principal ingredient in the alterative antiarthritic compositions prescribed by the ancients; whose use has lately been revived, with little variation; and which are said, when long persisted in, by strengthening the habit, rendering the blood more fluid, and promoting per-spiration, to prevent returns of the gouty pa-roxysms. In some arthritic cases, these and other warm bitter medicines have been of con-siderable service: in others, they have been continued for years without any apparent benefit: in others, particularly in hot dispositions, in persons of an advanced age, and who had long suffered the disease, the abatement they procured of the gouty paroxysms has been followed by symptoms more alarming.
The tops of the plant, gathered when the seeds are formed, are generally preferred to the leaves. Their dose, in substance, dried and powdered, is from half a dram to a dram or more. They give out their virtues both to watery and spirituous menstrua; and tinge the former of a yellowish colour inclining more or less to brown, according to the degree of satu-ration; the latter of a deep green. Water seems to dissolve the bitter matter more perfectly than pure spirit; the watery extract being stronger in taste than the spirituous, though the quantity of both extracts, according to Cartheufer's experiments, is very nearly alike.