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 leaves.
Description. -- This is an elegant little annual plant, with a square, downy, leafy stem, from one to five inches in height. The leaves are entirely opposite, ovate or cordate, and downy; the flowers very abundant, inodorous, with a brilliant variety of colors. The fruit is an oblong pod, filled with numerous seeds.
History. -- This plant is indigenous to Europe and America, bearing red or white flowers in July. The leaves are commonly employed; they are inodorous, but of a bitter, astringent taste. Water extracts their virtues.
Properties and Virtues. -- Slightly tonic and astringent. Useful in form of infusion or poultice, in catarrhal ophthalmia; also of service in all mucous diseases attended with increased discharges; also, in cough, hoarseness, ear-ache, and head-ache, which have supervened upon catarrhal affections. Four fluid ounces of the infusion taken every morning upon an empty stomach, and also every night at bed-time, has been found successful in helping epilepsy.