This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Trifolium Paludosum Pharm. Lond. Menyanthes Pharm. Edinb. Trifolium palustre C. B. Menyantbes Irifoliata Linn. Buckbean: a plant with large oval leaves, pointed at each end like those of the garden bean, set three together on long pedicles, which embrace the stalk to some height, and there parting leave it naked to near the top, where issues a short spike of pretty large reddish white monopetalous flowers, each of which is cut into five segments, hairy on the inside, and followed by an oval seed-vessel. It is perennial, grows wild in marshy places, and flowers in May.
The leaves of buckbean have a bitter penetrating taste, which they impart both to watery and spirituous menstrua; without any remarkable smell or flavour. They have of late years come into common use, as an alterative and aperient, in impurities of the humours, and some hydropic and rheumatic cases. They are usually taken in the form of infusion, with the addition of some of the acrid antiscorbutic herbs, which in most cases improve their virtue, and of orange peel or some other grateful aromatic to alleviate their ill taste: they are sometimes, among the common people, fermented with malt liquors, for an antiscorbutic diet drink. Their sensible operation is by promoting urine and somewhat loosening the belly.