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 NAME. Pride of China.
MEDICINAL PART. The bark of the root.
Description. -- This is an elegant tree, which attains the height of thirty or forty feet, with a trunk about a foot and a half in diameter. The bark is rough; leaves bipinnate; flowers lilac color; calyx five-parted; corolla has five petals; stamens deep violet; anthers yellow. The fruit is a five-celled bony nut.
History. -- It is a native of China, but cultivated in the warm climates of Europe and America. It does not grow to any extent north of Virginia, and flowers early in the spring. Its name of Bead Tree is derived from the uses to which its hard nuts are put in Roman Catholic countries, viz., for making rosaries. The recent bark of the root is the most active part for medicinal purposes. It has a disagreeably bitter taste and a very unpleasant odor, and imparts its properties to boiling water.
Properties and Uses. -- The bark is anthelmintic, and in large doses narcotic and emetic. It is useful in worm fevers and in infantile remittents, in which, although worms are absent, yet the symptoms are similar to those accompanying the presence of worms.
The fruit is somewhat saccharine, and is an excellent remedy to expel worms. Its pulp is used as an ointment for destroying lice and other ectozoa, as well as in treatment of scald head and other diseases of the skin. The oil of the nuts is useful as a local application in rheumatism, cramps, obstinate ulcers, etc.
Dose. -- Of the powdered bark, twenty grains; of the decoction (which is the best form for administration--two ounces of the bark to a pint of water, and boiled down to a half a pint), a tablespoonful every one, two, or three hours, till the desired effect is obtained. A purgative should follow its employment. -- See "Renovating Pill," page 469.