This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Fumaria Pharm. Edinb. Fumaria officina-rum & dioscoridis C. B. Fumaria officinalis Linn, Fumitory: a plant with bluish green finely divided leaves; producing towards the tops of the stalks, opposite to the leaves, spikes of irregular purplish flowers followed each by a. single seed. It is an annual weed in shady grounds, and flowers in May and June.
Tinct fulig. Ph. Ed.
The leaves of fumitory are very juicy; of a bitter, somewhat saline taste; and no remarkable smell The expressed juice, and a decoction of the leaves in water, infpiffated to the consistence of extracts, are very bitter, and considerably saline: on (landing for some time, they throw up to the surface copious saline efflorescences, in figure somewhat resembling the crystals of nitre, to the taste bitterish and slightly pungent. A tincture of the dry leaves in rectified spirit yields, on infpiffation, an extract, less in quantity, and bitterer in taste, than either the watery extract or infpiffated juice; no saline matter separated from this extract, nor did it appear to the taste any other than simply bitter.
This herb is recommended as an aperient and resolvent, in obstructions of the viscera, in scorbutic and cutaneous maladies: Hoffman has a high opinion of it as a purifier of the blood, and gives it the preference to all the other herbs made use of in that intention (a). It appears from the above analysis to be a plant of no inconsiderable virtue, though at present a stranger to practice: its sensible operation is by loosening the belly and promoting urine.
(a) De praeflantia remediorum domeftiorum, & 19.