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. Ice Plant, Fit Plant, Ova-ova, Indian Pipe.
MEDICINAL PART. The root.
Description. -- This plant has a dark-colored, fibrous, perennial root, matted in masses like a chestnut vine, from which arise one or more short ivory-white stems, four to eight inches high, adorned with white, sessile, lanceolate leaves.
History. -- This singular plant is found from Maine to Carolina, and westward to Missouri, growing in shady, solitary places, in rich moist soil, or soil composed of decayed wood and leaves. The whole plant is ivory-white, resembling frozen jelly, and when handled melts away like ice. It flowers from June to September. It is evidently a parasite of the roots at the base of trees.
Properties and Uses. -- It is tonic, sedative, and antispasmodic. It is useful in fevers, and employed in instances of restlessness, pains, nervous irritability, etc., in place of opium. It cures remittent and intermittent fevers, and may be employed instead of quinine. Prompt success has followed its use in convulsive diseases. The juice of the plant mixed with rose-water forms an excellent application to sore eyes, or as an injection in gonorrhoea. It is very singular that people will use injurious drugs, or permit themselves to take them, when in this queer little herb that grows all around them, and which by its singular character invites attention to it, they can find a sovereign remedy for numberless ills.
Dose. -- Of the powdered root, half a drachm to a drachm, two or three times a day.