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 NAMEES. American Senna, Wild Senna.
MEDICINAL PART. The leaves.
Description. -- This is a perennial herb, growing from four to six feet high, with round, smooth, and slightly hairy stems. The leaves have long petioles, ovate at base; each petiole has eight or ten leaflets, which are oblong, smooth, mucronate, an inch or two long, and quite narrow. The flowers are bright yellow, and the fruit is a legume from two to four inches long.
History. -- The American Senna is to be found from New England to Carolina, growing in rich soils here and there. It flowers from June to September, and the leaves are gathered, for their medicinal virtues, while the plant is in bloom. They yield their virtues to alcohol or water.
Properties and Uses. -- It is one of the most important herbal cathartics furnished by America, and is mentioned here solely on the gound that it is equally valuable as the foreign Senna, or ordinary Senna of the drug-shope, and costs much less. The analysis of the leaves shows that they contain albumen, mucilage, starch, yellow coloring matter, volatile oil, fatty matter, resin, lignin, and salts of potassa, and lime.
Dose. -- Of the powder, from a half-drachm to two and a half drachms; infusion, four or five ounces.