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 PARTS. The tops and flowers.
Description. -- This is a beautiful shrub, and is a great ornament to our meadows. It has a hard and woody root, which abides in the ground many years, shooting anew every year. The stalks run up about two feet high, spreading many branches, having deep-green, ovate, obtuse, and opposite leaves, which are full of small holes, which are plainly seen when the leaf is held up to the light. At the tops of the stalks and branches stand yellow flowers of five leaves apiece, with many yellow threads in the middle, which, being bruised, yield a reddish juice, like blood, after which come small, round heads, wherein is contained small blackish seed, smelling like resin. The fruit is a three-celled capsule.
History. -- This plant grows abundantly in this country and Europe, and proves exceedingly annoying to farmers. It flowers from June to August. It has a peculiar terebinthine odor, and a balsamic, bitterish taste. It yields its properties to water, alcohol, and ether.
Properties and Uses. -- It is astringent, sedative, and diuretic. It suppresses the urine, and is very applicable in chronic urinary affections, diarrhoea, dysentery, jaundice, menorrhagia, hysteria, nervous affections, hemoptysis, and other hemorrhages. Externally, in fomentation, or used as an ointment, it is serviceable in dispelling hard tumors, caked breasts, bruises, etc.
Dose. -- Of the powder, from half a drachm to two drachms; infusion, one to two ounces.