This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Acanthus Pharm. Paris. Branca-ursina: Acanthus sativus vel mollis virgilii C. B. Acanthus mollis Linn. Brankursine or Bears-breech: a plant with large, elegantly sinuated, soft leaves; among which arises a single stalk, bearing a long spike of irregular monopetalous labiated flesh-coloured flowers, the upper lip of each of which is wanting, the stamina ftanding in its place. This plant is a native of moist warm foils in the southern parts of Europe, and cultivated with us in gardens. It is perennial, and flowers in June and July.
The roots and leaves of Brankurfine abound with a soft, insipid, mucilaginous substance; which is readily extracted by coction or infusion in water, and remains entire upon evaporating the liquid. The roots are the mod mucilaginous; and the mucilage, obtained from them, is the moft viscous and tenacious.
Rectified spirit, digested on the leaves, extracts from them a fine deep green tincture; which, as the editor of the Wirtemberg pharmacopoeia observes, is more durable than the green communicated to spirit by other herbs. The menstruum receives no particular taste or flavour from the plant.
Brankurfine has long been a stranger to practice in this country. In those places where it is common, it is employed for the same pur-poses, to which the althea and other mucilaginous vegetables are applied among us.