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. -- Peony has many thick, long-spreading, perennial roots, running deep into the ground, with an erect, herbaceous, large, green, and branching stem, about two or three feet high. The leaves are large; leaflets ovate-lanceolate and smooth. The flowers are large, red, and solitary; and fruit a many-seeded, fleshy follicle.
History. -- This plant is indigenous to Southern Europe, and is cultivated in gardens in the United States and elsewhere, on account of the elegance of its large flowers, which appear from May to August. The root is the officinal part. This, with the seeds and flowers, yields its virtues to diluted spirits
Properties and Uses. -- It is antispasmodic and tonic, and can be advantageously employed in chorea, epilepsy, spasms, and various nervous affections. An infusion of value is made by adding an ounce of the root, in coarse powder, to a pint of a boiling liquid, composed of one part of good gin and two parts of water.
Dose. -- Two or three fluid ounces (sweetened), three or four times a day.