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. New Jersey Tea, Wild Snow-ball.
MEDICINAL PART. The bark of the root.
Description. -- The root of this plant has a large root with a red or brownish bark, tolerably thick, and body of dark-red color. The stems are from two to four feet high, slender, with many reddish, round, smooth branches. The leaves are ovate or oblong-ovate, serrate, acuminate, rather smooth above, and cordate at the base. The flowers are minute and white, and fruit a dry capsule.
History. -- This plant is very abundant in the United States, especially in the western portions thereof. It grows in dry woodlands, bowers, etc., and flowers from June to August. The leaves are sometimes used as a substitute for Chinese tea, which, when dried, they much resemble. The root, which is officinal, contains a large amount of Pruseic acid. Ceanothine is the name that has been given to its active principle.
Properties and Uses. -- Red Root is astringent, expectorant, sedative, anti-spasmodic, and anti-syphilitic. It is used with great good effect in dysentery, asthma, chronic bronchitis, whooping-cough, and consumption. It is also successfully used as a gargle in aphthae of children, sore mouth subsequent to fevers, and sore throats.
Dose. -- Of decoction, one tablespoonful three times a day.