This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Kali majus cochleato semine C. B. Salfola quibufdam. Salfola Soda Linn. Snail seeded glasswort or saltwort: a plant with fpread-ing, reddifh, pretty thick branches; oblong, narrow, pointed, flefhy leaves like those of the houseleeks; and imperfect flowers in the bo-foms of the leaves, followed each by one seed spirally curled and inclofed in the cup. It is annual, and grows wild on the sea coasts in the southern parts of Europe, particularly of the Mediterranean.
This herb is very juicy, in taste bitterish and remarkably saline. The expresled juice, and insufions or decoctions of the leaves, are said to be powerfully aperient and diuretic, and in this intention have by some been greatly recommended in hydropic cases: half a dram of the juice is reckoned a sufficient dose. But the kali is principally regarded, on account of its yielding copioufly, when burnt, the sixt alkaline salt called soda or soude: an impure soda is prepared from it about Montpelier, where the plant is said to be cultivated for this use in the salt marshes; and a purer kind at Alicant in Spain the barilla Pharm. Lond. from a somewhat different species of kali (a). The salt called kelp, prepared among ourselves from different marine plants, contains an alkali of the same kind, but more impure.
The soda is much milder in taste than the common vegetable alkalies, and is in several other respecls also very considerably different from them, being of the same nature with the mineral alkali or basis of sea salt (see Natron). It promises to be an useful article of the materia medica, and has for some time pad been received in practice in this country, as it has long been among the French, both by itself, and combined with tartar into the neutral salt called sal rupellenfe. *The Edinburgh college have received a purified salt of this kind, under the title of sal alcalinus fixus foffilis purificatus; and the London, under that of natron praepara-turn,