This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics: An Introduction to the National Treatment of Disease", by John Mitchell Bruce. Also available from Amazon: The pharmacology and therapeutics of the materia medica.
The root of Anacyclus Pyrethrum. imported from the Levant.
Characters.-In pieces about the length and thickness of the little finger, covered with a thick brown bark, studded with S-8 black shining points. Breaks with a resinous fracture, and presents internally a radiated structure. When chewed, it excites a prickling sensation in the lips and tongue, and a glowing heat.
Substance resembling Pellitory Taraxacum, which is darker and of different taste.
Composition.-Pyrethrum contains one or more (ethereal oils and resins, inulin, and possibly a substance allied to piperin. See Piper Nigrum, page 329.
Tinctura Pyrethri.-1 in 5.
Pellitory causes a sharp burning sensation in the mouth, followed by persistent tingling and numbness, and a profuse flow of saliva, stimulating as it does the local nerves and vessels and afterwards depressing the former. It has been used only for these local effects, to relieve pain and paralysis in connection with the mouth, and as a sialagogue to promote a gentle flow of saliva in dryness of the throat. It gives a " clean " taste to flat dentifrices, such as chalk.