This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Paralysis: a plant with oblong wrinkled leaves, hairy on the upper sides of the ribs; and naked stalks, bearing monopetalous flowers, each of which is divided about the edge into five fegments, and set in a loose tubulous, ridged cup, which, after the flower has fallen, incloses a husk full of roundish seeds. It is perennial, aud flowers early in the spring.
1. Verbasculum pratense odoratum C. B. Primula veris major Gerard. Primula veris officinalis Linn. Cowslip, paigil, or peagle: with several flowers set together on one stalk, of a deep yellow colour, drooping downwards. It grows wild in marshes and moist meadows.
Cowslip flowers have a moderately strong pleasant smell, and a somewhat roughish bitter-ish taste; both which they impart, together with a yellow tincture, to watery and to spiri-tuous menstrua. Vinous liquors, impregnated with their flavour by maceration or fermentation, and strong infusions of them drank as tea, are supposed to be mildly corroborant, antifpaf-modic, and anodyne. An infusion of three pounds of the fresh flowers in five pints of boiling water is made in the shops into a syrup, of a fine yellow colour, and agreeably impregnated with the flavour of the cowslips.
2. Primula veris minor Ger. Verbafculum filveftre majus fingulari flore C. B. Primula veris acaulis Linn. Primrose: with pale yellow soli-tary flowers. It grows wild in woods and hedges.
The flowers of this species are much weaker and less agreeable in smell than those of the preceding. The leaves and the roots seem to partake in some degree of the nature of those of afarum; acting as strong errhines or sternu-tatories, when snuffed up the nose, and as emetics (the roots at least when taken internally. Gerard reports, as from the experience of a skilful practitioner, that "a dram and a half of the powder of the dried roots (taken up in autumn) purgeth by vomit very forcibly, but safely, in such manner as afarum doth."