This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Spigelia Pharm. Lond. & Edinb. An-tbelmia Dris. Lining. Spigelia marilandica Linn. Periclymeni virginiani flore coccineo planta marilandica, spica erecta, foliis conjugal is Catefby carol. Indian pink.: this plant has a perennial fibrous-root, whence rife fingle items, beset with op-posite oval-lanceolate, entire leaves, and crowned with a spike of tubular monopetalous red flowers, with five stamina and one pistil. Each flower is succeeded by two round united byval-vular capsules, containing several small seeds. It grows spontaneously in South Carolina, and other southern provinces of North America.
The use of the root of this plant as an anthelmintic was communicated from the native Indians to the colonists, and it has since been much employed in that country. The first account of its virtues is to be met with in a paper of Dr. Lining's, in vol. i. of the Essays Phyfical and Literary; and Dr. Garden has confirmed it in vol. iii. of the same publication, and has given a figure and particular description of the plant.
The root is given both in powder and in-fusion; but the powder is esteemed most efficacious. The dole is not accurately ascertained, but extends from twelve to sixty or seventy grains of the powder. It is found to be most efficacious when it purges, which it does not always do without some additions, The exhibition of a vomit previous to the use of the Indian pink has proved very serviceable. It sometimes produces disagreeable effects on the nervous system, such as giddiness, dimness of the fight, and convulsive motions of the muscles of the eye. These, according to Dr. Garden, are more likely to happen from a small dose than a large one, the latter more certainly proving purgative or emetic. Dr. Lining, on the other hand, represents these effects as con-sequent upon too large a dose. It is said to act powerfully as a sedative in abating the exacerbations of low remittent worm-fevers.