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. Hardhack, Horseweed, Heal-all, Richweed, Oxbalm, etc.
MEDICINAL PART. The plant.
Description. -- This plant has a knobby root, and a four-sided stem, from one to four feet in height. The leaves are thin, broadly ovate, acuminate, coarsely serrate, from six to eight inches long, and from two to four broad. Flowers large, corolla greenish-yellow; stamens two, and very long; seeds four, of which two or three are sterile.
History. -- This plant grows in moist woods from Canada to Carolina, and flowers from July to September. The whole plant has a strong odor and a pungent and spicy taste. The odor of the fresh root is slightly disagreeable. The whole plant is generally used, and has its value. The chief virtues of the plant are, however, concentrated in the root, which should always be used when fresh. Its active principle is Collinsonin, which name is derived from its discoverer, Peter Collinson.
Properties and Uses. -- It is used with good effect in chronic catarrh of the bladder (as are other plants mentioned elsewhere), whites, and weak stomach. It exerts a strong influence over all the mucous tissues. It is a very fair stimulant, and a gentle tonic and diuretic. The preparation called Collinsonin is very valuable as a remedy for hemorrhoids, and all other diseases of the rectum, and for such afflictions I recommend it highly. It is chiefly used in inveterate and chronic cases. The largest dose is five grains; the average dose two grains. The infusion or decoction of the plant may be moderately used without additional remedies, and in some instances so may the Collinsonin; but in about every case a skilful combination of the latter with other standard preparations is necessary to insure easy and speedy restoration to good health. Stoneroot is used externally -- the leaves particularly -- in fomentation and poultice, and bruises, wounds, blows, sprains, contusions, cuts, ulcers, sores, etc. I cannot call the attention of the reader too strongly to the effect the preparation called Collinsonin has upon all affections of the urinary organs. It should be combined with other indicated remedies.