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 NAME. Indian Physic.
MEDICINAL PART. The bark of the root.
Description. -- Gillenia is an indigenous, perennial herb, with an irregular, brownish, somewhat tuberous root, having many long, knotted, stringy fibres. The several stems are from the same root, about two or three feet high, erect, slender, smooth, and of a reddish or brownish color. The leaves are alternate, subsessile; leaflets lanceolate, acuminate, sharply dentated; flowers are white, with a reddish tinge; and the fruit a two-valved, one-celled capsule. Seeds are oblong, brown, and bitter.
History. -- This species is found scattered over the United States from Canada to Florida, on the eastern side of the Alleghanies, occurring in open hilly woods, in light gravelly soil. The period of flowering is in May, and the fruit is matured in August. The root yields its virtues to boiling water and alcohol.
Properties and Uses. -- It is emetic, cathartic, diaphoretic, expectorant, and tonic. It resembles ipecac in action. It is useful in amenorrhoea, rheumatism, dropsy, costiveness, dyspepsia, worms, and intermittent fever. It may be used in all fevers where emetics are required.
Dose. -- As an emetic, twenty to thirty-five grains of the powder, as often as required; as a tonic, two to four grains; as a diaphoretic, six grains in cold water, and repeated at intervals of two or three hours.