This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Alsine media C. B. & Linn. Chick-weed: a small, creeping, juicy herb; annual, common at all times of the year in shady cultivated grounds.
This herb was formerly employed in cata-plasms against inflammations; and its expressed juice, or decoction, given also internally, as an aperient, antiscorbutic, antiphlogistic, and as a restorative, that is, perhaps, for abating hectic heats, in atrophies and consumptions. Nor do the virtues ascribed to it appear to be wholly without foundation: experiment discovers, that it is not destitute of active matter, though this matter is so far divided and diluted in the herb, as scarcely to manifest itself till separated from the groffer parts.
The fresh leaves have an herbaceous some-what saline taste, without any remarkable smell: in distillation, with water or with spirit, they give over nothing. On expression they yield a large quantity of green coloured turbid juice; which difficultly deposites its feces upon standing, but immediately parts with them on being heated to ebullition, and being now passed through a strainer, looks clear and reddish. The depurated juice, infpiffated to the consist-ence of an extract, discovers to the taste a cool penetrating saline pungency, which quickly goes off, leaving a slight austerity in the mouth.