This section of the book is from "The Complete Herbalist" by Dr. O. Phelps Brown. Also available from Amazon: The Complete Herbalist: The People Their Own Physicians By The Use Of Nature's Remedies.
COMMON NAMES. Snake head, Turtle bloom, Saltyrheum weed.
MEDICINAL PART. The leaves.
Description. -- This is a perennial, smooth, herbaceous plant, with simple erect stem about two or three feet high. The leaves are opposite, sessile, oblong-lanceolate, acuminate, serrate, and of a dark shiing green color. The fruit is a capsule.
History. -- This valuable medical plant is found in the United States, in damp soils, flowering in August and September. The flowers are ornamental, and vary in color according to the variety of the plant. The leaves are exceedingly bitter, but inodorous, and impart their virtues to water and alcohol.
Properties and Uses. -- It is tonic, cathartic, and anthelmintic; very valuable in jaundice, liver diseases, and for the removal of worms. In small doses it is a good tonic in dyspepsia, debility of the digestive organs, and during convalescence from febrile and inflammatory diseases. An ointment made from the fresh leaves is valuable for piles, inflamed breasts, tumors, and painful ulcers.
Dose. -- Of the powdered leaves, one drachm; of the tincture, one or two teaspoonsful; of the active principle, Chelonia, one or two grains.