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 NAMES. Yellow Jessamine, Woodbine, Wild Jessamine.
MEDICINAL PART. The root.
Description. -- This plant has a twining, smooth, glabrous stem, with opposite, perennial, lanceolate, entire leaves, which are dark green above and pale beneath. The flowers are yellow, and have an agreeable odor. Calyx is very small, with five sepals, corolla funnel-shaped, stamens five, pistils two, and the fruit a two-celled capsule.
History. -- Yellow jessamine abounds throughout the Southern States, growing luxuriantly, and climbing from tree to tree, forming an agreeable shade. It is cultivated as an ornamental vine, and flowers from March to May. The root yields its virtues to water and alcohol. Gelsemin is its active principle. It also contains a fixed oil, acrid resin, yellow coloring matter, a heavy volatile oil, a crystalline substance, and salts of potassa, lime, magnesia, iron, and silica.
Properties and Uses. -- It is an unrivalled febrifuge, possessing relaxing and antispasmodic properties. It is efficacious in nervous and bilious headache, colds, pneumonia, hemorrhages, leucorrhoea, ague-cake, but especially in all kinds of fevers quieting all nervous irritability and excitement, equalizing the circulation, promoting perspiration, and rectifying the various secretions, without causing nausea, vomiting, and purging, and is adapted to any stage of the disease. It may follow any preceding treatment with safety. Its effects are clouded vision, double-sightedness, or even complete prostration, and inability to open the eyes. These, however, pass completely off in a few hours, leaving the patient refreshed, and completely restored. When the effects are induced no more of the remedy is required. It is also of great service in various cardiac diseases, spermatorrhoea, and other genital diseases; but its use should be confined entirely to the advice of the physician.
Dose. -- The tincture is the form in which it is employed. The dose is from ten to fifty drops in a wineglass half full of water; to be repeated every two hours, as long as required.