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 bark of the root.
Description. -- This is a small tree, varying in height from ten to forty feet. The bark is rough and grayish, that of the twigs smooth and green. The leaves are alternate, petiolate, bright green, very variable in form, smooth above and downy beneath. The flowers appear before the leaves, are small, greenish-yellow; fruit an oval succulent drupe.
History. -- Indigenous to North America, and common to the woods from Canada to Florida, and flowering in the latter part of April or early in May. The bark has an aromatic, agreeable taste, and similar odor. It yields its properties to hot water by infusion, and to alcohol.
Properties and Uses. -- It is a warm, aromatic stimulant, alterative, diaphoretic, and diuretic. It is much used in alterative compounds as a flavoring adjuvant. In domestic practice it enjoys a wide field of application and use, especially as a so-called spring-renovator of the blood.