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.
MEDICINAL PART. The herb.
Description. -- This plant is an annual or biennial weed, from six to fifteen inches in length, with a prostrate, brittle, and leafy stem. The leaves are ovate-cordate; the lower ones on hairy petioles. The flowers are small and white, petals two-parted, stamens three, five, or ten.
History. -- It is a common plant in Europe and America, growing in fields and around dwellings, in moist, shady places. It flowers from the beginning of spring till the last of autumn. The seeds are eaten by poultry and birds. The whole herb is used when recent.
Properties and Uses. -- It is a cooling demulcent. The fresh leaves bruised and applied as a poultice to indolent, intractable ulcers, even when of many years' standing, will produce most immediate and decided beneficial results, to be changed two or three times a day. The bruised leaves will likewise be found an invaluable application in acute ophthalmia. An ointment made by bruising the recent leaves in fresh lard, may be used as a cooling application to erysipelatous and other forms of ulceration, as well as many forms of cutaneous diseases.
CHOCOLATE ROOT, GEUM RIVALE (Water Avens), GEUM VIRGINIANUM (White
COMMON NAMES. Throat Root, Purple Avens.
MEDICINAL PART. The root.
Description. -- GEUM RIVALE, or Purple Avens, is a perennial, deep green herb; woody root; leaves nearly lyrate, crenate-dentate, and from four to six inches long. The flowers are few and yellowish purple in color.
GEUM VIRGINIANUM, or Throat Root, is also a perennial, with a small, crooked root. The stem is two or three feet high. The leaves are pinnate or lyrate; flowers rather small and white; and the fruit an achenium. The former is common to the United States and Europe, flowering in June or July, and the latter only to the United States, flowering from June to August.
History. -- These plants, with other varieties, have long been used in domestic practice. The whole herb contains medicinal properties, but the officinal and most efficient part is the root. Boiling water or alcohol extracts their virtues.
Properties and Uses. -- Is tonic and astringent. It is used in passive and chronic hemorrhages, chronic diarrhoea and dysentery, leucorrhoea, dyspepsia, pulmonary affections, congestions of the abdominal viscera, etc.
Dose. -- Of the powder, from twenty to thirty grains; of the decoction, from two tablespoonfuls to a wineglassful, three or four times a day.