This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Staphisagria Pharm. Lond. & C. B. Staphy,s pedicularia, & berba pedicularis quibus-dam. Delphinium Staphysagria Linn, Stave-sacre: a plant with large leaves, set on long pedicles, deeply divided into several segments; producing irregular blue flowers with a tail behind like those of larkspur, followed by pods containing large, rough, triangular, dark-coloured seeds. It is annual, a native of the southern parts of Europe, from whence the shops have been generally supplied with the seeds.
The seeds of stavesacre have a disagreeablc smell, and a very nauseous bitterish burning taste. They were formerly employed sometimes as a cathartic, in doses of from twelve grains to a scruple: but they operate with so much violence both upwards and downwards, and are so liable not only to disorder the bowels, but likewise to inflame the throat, that their internal use has been long laid aside. They are now used only in external applications, for some kinds of cutaneous eruptions, and for destroying infects. Their acrimony is extracted partially by water, totally by rectified spirit, and not elevated in distillation by either.