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. Wing-seed, Shrubby Trefoil, Swamp Dogwood, etc.
MEDICINAL PART. The bark of the root.
Description. -- This is a shrub from six to eight feet in height, with the leaves trifoliate, and marked with pellucid dots; the leaflets are sessile, ovate, shortly acuminate, downy beneath when young. The flowers are polygamous, greenish-white, nearly half an inch in diameter, and of disagreeable odor. Stamens, mostly four; style short, and fruit a two-celled samara.
History. -- Wafer-Ash, or Ptelea, is a shrub common to America, growing most abundantly west of the Alleghanies, in shady, moist places and edges of woods, and also in rocky places. It flowers in June. The bark of the root is officinal, and yields its virtues to boiling water. Alcohol, however, is its best solvent. Ptelein is its active principle.
Properties and Uses. -- It is especially tonic and unirritating. It is said to be very useful as a promoter of the appetite, and as a remedy for general debility. It will be tolerated by the stomach when other tonics are rejected. Some think it equal, in cases of fever (intermittent), to quinia. In convalescence from fever it serves an admirable purpose.
Dose. -- Of the powder, ten to thirty grains; of the tincture, one or two drachms; of the extract, five to ten grains; ptelein, one or two grains.