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. One Berry, Checkerberry, Winter Clover, Deerberry, Squaw-vine, etc.
MEDICINAL PART. The vine.
Description. -- This indigenous evergreen herb has a perennial root, from which arises a smooth and creeping stem. The leaves are ovate, slightly cordate, opposite, flat and dark-green; flowers are white, often tinged with red, in pairs, very fragrant, and have united ovaries. Calyx four-parted; corolla funnel-shaped; stamens four, inserted on the corolla. The fruit is a dry berry-like double drupe.
History. -- Partridge Berry is indigenous to the United States. It grows both in dry woods and swampy places, and flowers in June and July. The berry is bright scarlet and edible, but nearly tasteless. The leaves, which look something like clover, remain green throughout the winter. The whole plant is used, readily imparting its virtues to alcohol or boiling water.
Properties and Uses. -- Partridge Berry is parturient (producing or promoting child-birth, or labor), diuretic, and astringent. In all uterine diseases it is highly beneficial. The Indian women use it for weeks before confinement, in order to render parturition safe and easy. Ladies who wish to use it for that purpose, however, should consult an herbal physician of experience for a proper, safe, and effectual preparation. The remedy is exclusively American, not being used, or even noticed, by European practitioners.
Dose. -- Of a strong decoction, from two to four fluid ounces, three or four times a day. The berries are good for dysentery. They are also highly spoken of as a cure for sore nipples. The application for the nipples is made by boiling a strong decoction of the leaves down to a thick liquid, and then adding cream to it. It is not, however, equal to the Herbal Ointment, for an account of which see page 469.