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. White Bay, Beaver-tree, Sweet Magnolia, Swamp Sassafras, etc.
MEDICINAL PART. The bark.
Description. -- This tree varies in height from six to thirty feet, being taller in the South than in the North. The leaves are alternate, petioled, entire, and of elliptical shape. The flowers are large and solitary, and of grateful odor. The fruit is a cone.
History. -- The therapeutical virtues of these trees are found in the bark and fruit. The bark of both the trunk and the root is employed. The odor is aromatic, and the taste bitterish, warm, and pungent. It is gathered during the spring and summer. It has smooth and ash-colored bark, elegant, odoriferous, cream-colored flowers, and can be found in morasses from Massachusetts to the Gulf of Mexico. It flowers from May to August. There are other varieties which do not require especial mention or description.
Properties and Uses. -- The bark is an aromatic, tonic bitter, and is also anti-periodic. It is used much in the stead of cinchona, and will remedy the intermittent fevers when cinchona has failed. It is used frequently as a substitute for Peruvian Bark, as it can be continued for a longer time and with more safety. Properly prepared it may be used as a substitute for tobacco, and will break the habit of tobacco-chewing.
Dose. -- In powder, half-drachm or drachm doses, five or six times a day. The infusion is taken in wineglassful doses, five or six times a day. The tincture, made by adding two ounces of the cones to a pint of brandy, will be found beneficial in dyspepsia and chronic rheumatism.