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 PART. The root.
Description. -- Jalap has a fleshy, tuberous root, with numerous roundish tubercles. It has several stems, which are smooth, brownish, slightly rough, with a tendency to twine. The leaves are on long petioles, the first hastate, succeeding ones cordate, acuminate, and mucronate. The calyx has no bracts; corolla funnel-shaped, purple, and long. Fruit a capsule.
History. -- This plant grows in Mexico, at an elevation of nearly six thousand feet above the level of the sea, near Chicanquiaco and Xalapa, from which it is exported, and from which last-named place it also receives its name. It is generally imported in bags, containing one or two hundred pounds. The worm-eaten root is the most energetic, as the active part is untouched by them. It is soluble in water and alcohol.
Properties and Uses. -- Jalap is irritant and cathartic, operating energetically, and produces liquid stools. It is chiefly employed when it is desired to produce an energetic influence on the bowels, or to obtain large evacuations. In intestinal inflammations it should not be used.
Dose. -- Powder, ten grains.