This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Epithymum Pharm. Parid. Epithymum five cuscuta minor C. B. Cufcuta Epithymum Linn. Dodder of thyme: a plant without leaves, growing on thyme, confuting of a number of slender juicy filaments, producing here and there small heads of white or reddish flowers, which are followed by roundish capsules full of minute seeds. Dodder receives its nourishment from the vegetable on which it climbs, its own roots quickly perisliing. A large kind, vulgarly called hellweed, is common in heaths, upon furzes, nettles, etc. and in fields of flax and other manured herbs. The smaller sort, found upon thyme, has been generally preferred for medicinal use, and imported to us from Turkey and Leghorn, intermixed with stalks and tops of thyme. It is suppofed by some, that the dodder partakes of the qualities of the plant by which it is supported.
Dodder of thyme has a pretty strong not disagreeable smell, and a peculiar kind of sub-tile pungent taste, very durable in the mouth, and finking as it were into the tongue. Though it was early received into medicine, its medicinal qualities are not as yet known. The ancients accounted it cathartic, but when given by itself it is found to have very little purgative virtue. Some late writers recommend it rather as a deobstruent, in melancholic and other disorders. It is in this country an entire stranger to practice; though the remarkable subtility of its taste seems to promise some considerable medicinal power.