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. Queen's Root, Queen's Delight, Yawroot, and Silver-leaf.
MEDICINAL PART. The root.
Description. -- This perennial herb has a glabrous, somewhat angled stem, from two to four feet high, which, when broken, gives out a milky sap. The leaves are sessile, somewhat leathery, and tapering at the base. The flowers are yellow, and arranged on a terminal spike. Fruit a three-grained capsule.
History. -- Queen's Root grows in sandy soils, and is a native of the southern part of the United States. The root is the part used. It should be used as soon after being gathered as possible, as age impairs its properties. The latter yield to water, but are better extracted by diluted alcohol. Its properties appear to be owing to a very acrid oil, known as the Oil of Stillingia.
Properties and Uses. -- In large doses stillingia vomits and purges, accompanied with more or less prostration of the system. In less doses it is an alterative, exerting an influence over the secretory functions unsurpassed by any other known alterative. It is very extensively used in all the various forms of primary and secondary syphilitic affections; also in scrofulous, hepatic, and cutaneous affections; also, with combinations of anise or caraway, for laryngitis and bronchitis. The oil, unless well incorporated with some mucilaginous or saccharine substance, should never be used internally. This great alterative is one of the principal constituents in my "Blood Purifier." See page 469.
Dose. -- Tincture, half a drachm to a drachm; decoction, one or two ounces.