This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Anagallis Pharm. Paris. Anagallis flore phaeniceo & anagallis caeruleo flore C. B. Ana-gallis arvensis Linn. Pimpernel: a low, creeping, juicy plant, resembling chickweed; from which it differs, in the leaves being spotted underneath, and having no pedicles; in the seed vessel not opening at top, but horizontally; in the flowers being not white, but red or blue. The red flowered pimpernel is called male, and the blue female: they are both annual, grow wild in corn-fields and other cultivated grounds, chiefly in sandy ones, and flower from May to August; the first is frequent, the other rare.
The leaves of both the pimpernels have hardly any smell; and when chewed in sub-stance, discover little other than an herbaceous taste. They are not however wholly destitute of medicinal powers: for the expressed juice, on being depurated by fettling, and then infpif-fated to the consistence of an extract, affects the organs of taste with a pungent saline austerity. It appears therefore that these herbs have some claim to the resolvent and detergent virtues ascribed to them by some writers; though neither a decoction or tincture of them, nor their juice in its dilute state, and much less their distilled water, can exert those virtues in any considerable degree.