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. Wild Turkey-pea, Stagger-weed, Choice Dielytra.
MEDICINAL PART. The root.
Description. -- This indigenous perennial plant has a tuberous root, and a stem from six to ten inches in height. The leaves are radical, rising from ten to fifteen inches high, and somewhat triternate. The scape is naked, eight to twelve inches high, and bearing from six to ten reddish-purple nodding flowers. The fruit is a pod-shaped, many-seeded capsule.
History. -- This beautiful little plant flowers very early in the spring, and the root should only be gathered while the plant is in flower. It grows in rich soil, on hills, among rocks, and old decayed timber, and is found westward and south of New York to North Carolina. The alkaloid, Corydalia, is the active principle.
Properties and Uses. -- Tonic, diuretic, and alterative. In all syphilitic, scrofulous, and cachectic conditions it is one of the best remedies. Its tonic properties render it valuable as an alterative in all enfeebled conditions. Its tonic properties are similar to Gentian, Columbo, and other pure bitters. Its magical properties as an alterative renders it one of the most valuable remedies in the whole range of medicine. Corydalia may be substituted for the herb. It is one of the ingredients in my "Blood Purifier." (See page 469.)
Dose. -- Of the infusion, one to four ounces; saturated tincture, half to two drachms; corydalia, one-half to a grain.