This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Pharm. Paris. Jacobaea vulgaris laciniata C. B. Senecio major five flos sancti jacobi Matthiol Senecio Jacobaea Linn. Ragwort: a plant with a firm round stalk generally pur- plifh; oblong dark green leaves, deeply jagged almost to the rib, and the sections jagged again and somewhat crumpled: on the tops of the stalks grow umbel-like clusters of yellow flowers, of the radiated discous kind, followed by small oblong seeds winged with down. It is perennial, common in uncultivated fields and by road sides, and flowers in July.
The leaves of ragwort have a roughish bit-terish subacrid taste, extremely naufeous, far different from that of the herbaceous grouadfel to which they have by some been accounted similar. Simon Paulli relates, that they were found of great service in an epidemic camp dy-sentery, many soldiers having been cured of that disease by drinking a decoction of them; and expresses some concern, that a medicine of so much efficacy should be at the same time so very disgustful to the plate. This however is an inconvenience that may be easily palliated: the active matter of ragwort, whatever its virtue may be, is dissolved both by water and by rectified spirit, and on inspiffating the filtered tinctures, remains concentrated in the extracts; which may be taken, without offence to the palate, in the form of a bolus or pill The spirituous extract is in less quantity than the watery, and proportionably stronger in taste; though rather less nauseous than the herb in substance.