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. Woodbine, Virginia Creeper, Five Leaves, False Grape, Wild wood-vine.
MEDICINAL PARTS. The bark and twigs.
Description. -- This is a woody vine, with a creeping stem, digitate leaves; leaflets acuminate, petiolate, dentate, and smooth; flowers inconspicuous, greenish, or white; and the fruit a berry, acid, dark blue, and small.
History. -- The American Ivy is a common, familiar, shrubby vine, climbing extensively, and, by means of its radiating tendrils, supporting itself firmly on trees, stone walls, churches, etc., and ascending to the height of from fifty to a hundred feet. The bark and the twigs are the parts usually used. Its taste is acrid and persistent, though not unpleasant, and its decoction is mucilaginous. The bark should be collected after the berries have ripened. It is like the ivy of England and other countries.
Properties and Uses. -- Alterative, tonic, astringent, and expectorant. It is used principally in form of syrup in scrofula, dropsy, bronchitis, and other pulmonary complaints. An old author affirms that there is a very great antipathy between wine and ivy, and therefore it is a remedy to preserve against drunkenness, and to relieve or cure intoxication by drinking a draught of wine in which a handful of bruised ivy leaves have been boiled.
Dose. -- Of the decoction of syrup, from one to four tablespoonfuls, three times a day.