This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Anonis fpinofa flore purpureo C. B. Refta levis. Arefta bovis. Remora aratri. Ononis fpinofa. Linn, Rest-harrow: a plant with flexible branches terminating in sharp prickles; small oval indented leaves, (landing generally three together, without pedicles; and purplish papilionaceous flowers, set in pairs, followed each by a short pod containing three unequal kidney-shaped seeds. It is perennial, grows wild in waste grounds and dry fields, and with its long tough spreading roots obstructs the plough or harrow.
The roots of rest-harrow have a faint unplea-sant smell, and a sweetish, bitterish, somewhat nauseous taste. Their active matter is confined to the cortical part; which has been sometimes given in powder, in doses of a dram, and made an ingredient in apozems or decoctions, as an aperient and diuretic. Its virtue is extracted both by water and spirit.