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 leaves and root.
Description. -- This biennial plant has an erect stem one or two feet high. The leaves are hoary, with soft down on both sides, acute, lanceolate, radical ones petiolate, cauline ones sessile, with cordate bases. The flowers are in clusters, calyx downy, corolla reddish purple, and fruit a depressed achenium.
History. -- Cynoglossum Officinale grows on the road-sides and waste places of both Europe and America. The leaves and the root are the parts used in medicine; but the preference I give to the root. This, upon being gathered, emits an unpleasant and somewhat heavy odor, which vanishes when it is dried. Its taste is bitter and mawkish. The fresh root is spoken of by several herbalists as being better than the desiccated or dried, but this probably arises from the fact that the roots they used had not been gathered at the proper time, dried in the correct way, or kept in a skilful manner. The dried root is quite as active as the fresh, if prepared by a person who knows its qualities.
Properties and Uses. -- It is chiefly valuable for coughs, catarrhs, bleeding from the lungs, and other disorganizations of the respiratory apparatus. The leaves and root are both applied, with great benefit, as a poultice to old ulcers, scrofulous tumors, burns, goitre, and recent bruises and abrasions. In my several remedies the values of many of the plants described at length in these pages are most thoroughly embraced. The object in giving such plants a descriptive space each is to enable the reader, in extraordinary emergencies, to be his own physician until he can get a better one, and to show him that what he treads on may, without his knowledge, contain the germs of the rejuvenation.
CYNOGLOSSUM MORRISONI, or Virginia Mouse-ear, Beggar's Lie, Dysentery Weed, etc., is an annual weed with an erect hairy, leafy stem, two to four feet high. Leaves three to four inches long, oblong lanceolate; flowers very small, white, or pale blue. It grows in rocky grounds and among rubbish. The whole plant has an unpleaseant odor. The root is the medicinal part. It is very efficacious in diarrhoea and dysentery. The root may be chewed or given in powder or infusion ad libitum.