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 root and herb.
Description. -- This plant has an annual, herbaceous, thick, fleshy, branching, and roughish stem, from one to five feet high. The leaves are simple, alternate, large, lanceolate or oblong, acute, deeply dentate, sessile, and light green. The flowers are whitish, and the fruit an achenium, oblong and hairy.
History. -- This indigenous rank weed grows in fields throughout the United States, in moist woods, in recent clearings and is especially abundant in such as have been burned over. It flowers from July to October, and somewhat resembles the Sowthistle. The whole plant yields its virtues to water or alcohol. It has a peculiar, aromatic, and somewhat fetid odor, and a slightly pungent, bitter, and disagreeable taste.
Properties and Uses. -- It is emetic, cathartic, tonic, astringent, and alterative. The latter three qualities are the most valuable. It is an unrivalled medicine in diseases of the mucous tissues. The spirituous extract which I use in my practice is most excellent in cholera and dysentery, promptly arresting the discharges, relieving the pain, and effecting a speedy cure. It is invariably successful in summar complaints of children, even in cases where other means have failed.