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. American Valerian, Umbel, Nerve-root, Yellow-Moccasin flowers, Noah's Ark.
MEDICINAL PART. The root.
Description. -- This indigenous plant has a perennial, fibrous, fleshy root, from which arise several round leafy stems, from twelve to eighteen inches high. The leaves are from three to six inches long, by two or three broad, oblong, lanceolate, acuminate, pubescent, alternate, generally the same number on each side. Flowers large and very showy, and pale yellow.
History. -- This plant grows here in rich woods and meadows, and flowers in May and June. There are several varieties of it, but as they all possess the same medicinal properties, a description of each is not requisite or desirable.
Properties and Uses. -- The fibrous roots are the parts used in medicine, and they should be gathered and carefully cleansed in August or September. The properties and uses are various. The preparations made from these roots are tonic and stimulant, diaphoretic, and antispasmodic, and are considered to be unequalled in remedying hysteria, chorea, nervous headache, and all cases of nervous irritability Combined with a certain foreign plant of a mucilaginous character, and growing near the sea-shore, it is an unfailing cure of fever and ague. The preparation has, however, to be skilfully compounded. Any one afflicted by fever and ague may write to me for particulars and I will gladly and promptly furnish them. They are also used for delirium, neuralgia, and hypochondria. The form of preparation is an alcoholic extract.
Dose. -- From ten to twenty grains; tincture, from one to three fluid drachms; infusion, from one to four fluid ounces. When made into powder, one drachm in warm water is a dose, and may be repeated, in season, as often as may be required.