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 PARTS. The cormus and herb.
Description. -- This plant is not to be confounded with the Geranium maculatum, which is also called Crowfoot. The cormus or root of this herb is a perennial, solid, fleshy, roundish, and depressed, sending out radicles from its under sides. The root sends up annually erect hairy stems, six to eighteen inches in height. The leaves are on long petioles, dentate and hairy. Each stem supports several solitary golden-yellow flowers; sepals, oblong and hairy; petals, five, cordate; stamens numerous and hairy.
History. -- This plant is common in Europe and the United States, growing in fields and pastures, and flowering in May, June, and July. There a great many varieties, but all possess similar qualities, and designated by the general name of Butter-cup. When any part of these plants is chewed, it occasions much pain, inflammation, excoriation of the mouth, and much heat and pains in the stomach, if it be taken internally.
Properties and Uses. -- This plant is too acrid to be used internally, especially when fresh. When applied externally it is powerfully rubefacient and episgastic. It is employed in its recent state in rheumatic neuralgia and other diseases where vesication and counter-irritation are indicated. Its action, however, is generally so violent that it is seldom used. The beggars use it to produce and keep open sores to excite sympathy. It has been used with success in obstinate cases of nursing sore-mouth -- an infusion being made by adding two drachms of the recent root, cut into small pieces, to one pine of hot water, when cold a tablespoonful being given two or three times a day, and the mouth frequently washed with a much stronger infusion.