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. Blooming Spurge, Milk-weed, Bowman's Root, etc.
MEDICINAL PART. The bark of the root.
Description. -- This is a perennial plant with a round, slender, erect stem, one or two feet high, with a yellowish, large, and branching root. The leaves are scattered, sessile, oblong-obovate, smooth in some plants, very hairy in others, and from one to two inches in length. Flowers white and showy, and fruit a three-celled capsule.
History. -- This plant grows plentifully in Canada and the United States, in dry fields and woods, and flowers from June to September. The bark of the root is the part used. The plant is readily detected by a milky fluid which exudes from the st em, when that is broken. The fluid, if applied to warts or wens, is of great benefit, in most cases banishing the offensive excrescences.
Properties and Uses. -- It is emetic, diaphoretic, expectorant, and epispastic. As an emetic the powdered bark of the root (say from fifteen to twenty grains) is mild, pleasant, and efficacious.
Dose. -- As an expectorant it is administered three grains at a time, mixed with honey, molasses, or sugar; as a cathartic, from four to ten grains are required. It is regarded, in doses of fifteen or twenty grains, as one of the very best remedies ever discovered for the dropsy. It has cured hydrothorax and ascites when all other means have failed.