This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Horminum sclarea dictum C. B. Galli-trichum sativum J. B. Salvia Sclarea Linn, Garden clary: a whitish green, slightly hairy plant, with square stalks, and large wrinkled oblong somewhat heart-shaped leaves: both the leaves, and the divisions and subdivisions of the branches, wtand in pairs: on the tops grow long spikes of bluish labiated flowers, at the origin of which are little concave purplish leaves without pedicles: the upper lip of the flower is long and arched, the lower smaller and cut into three segments, the middlemost of which is hollowed like a spoon. It is biennial, a native of the warmer climates, cultivated with us in gardens, and flowers in July and August.
The leaves and seeds of clary are recommended as corroborants and antispasmodics; particularly in the fluor albus and other like weaknesses, and in hysterical complaints. They have a bitterish warm taste; and a strong smell, of the aromatic kind, but to many persons not agreeable. The leaves discover to the touch a large quantity of unctuous resinous matter, in which the virtue of the herb appears to reside, which is readily dissolved by rectisied spirit, and which, on infpiffating the fine green tincture, remains nearly entire in the dark brownish extract: this extract smells more agreeably than the herb in subslance, and is in taste moderately warm, bitterish, and pungent. Water takes up likewise by infusion great part of the active matter of the clary, and carries off its whole flavour in evaporation, leaving a weak, disagreeably bitterish, roughish extract. In distil-lation with water, there arises both from the leaves and seeds, a small quantity of essential oil, smelling strongly of the clary: from sixty-four ounces, or five hundred and twelve drams, of the seeds, was obtained only about one dram of oil. The leaves or seeds, fermented with malt liquors, are said to remarkably increase their inebriative quality.