This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Balsamita: a perennial plant, with undivided indented leaves, and yellow naked dis-cous flowers set in form of umbels on the tops of the stalks; a native of the southern parts of Europe, and cultivated in our gardens.
I. Balsamita mas. Coftus hortensis vel ta-nacetum hortense Pharm. Paris. Mentha sarace-nica Officinarum Germanise. Mentha hortensis corymbifera C. B. Tanacetum Balsamita Linn. Coftmary or alecoft; with oval leaves.
* (a) Scarce at all to spirit. Cullen.
2. Ageratum, Balsamita femina, Costus hor-torum minor, Eupatorium mesues, Herba julia, Mentha corymbifera minor. Ageratum foliis ser-ratis C. B. Achillaea Ageratum Linn. Maudlin; with numerous, small, oblong, narrow leaves.
These herbs have been used as mild corroborants and aperients, in weaknesses of the stomach, obstructions of the viscera, and cachectic indispositions; and though at present disregarded, they promise, from their sensible qualities, to be medicines of some utility.
They have a moderately strong pleasant smell, somewhat approaching to that of mint, and a weakly aromatic bitterish taste: the two sorts differ a little in flavour and in taste from one another, the first having the most of the mint smell, and likewise the greatest bitterishness. Infusions of them in water smell pretty strongly, and taste slightly, of the herbs: in the tinctures made with rectified spirit, which are of a deep green colour, the smell is in good measure covered by the menstruum. In distillation with water, they yield a small quantity of essential oil, of a pungent taste, and which smells strongly and agreeably of the balsamitae; that of the second species is the most grateful: the remaining decoction, thus deprived of the aromatic matter, is unpleasantly, though but weakly, rough, bitter, and subsaline. They give over a part of their flavour also in distillation with rectified spirit, particularly the second species, whose odorous matter appears to be of a more volatile kind than that of the first: the extracts, obtained by infpiffating the spirituous tinctures, are moderately, and not disagreeably, warm and bitterish.