This section is from the book "Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics", by W. Hale White. Also available from Amazon: Materia Medica Pharmacy, Pharmacology And Therapeutics..
Grindelia. - The leaves and flowering tops of Grindelia robusta Nuttall, and of Grindelia squarrosa Dunal (nat. ord. Compositae).
(1) G. robusta, North America, west of the Rocky Mountains, in salt marshes.
(2) G. squarrosa, Western Plains to the Sierra Nevada and south to Texas. Characters. - Leaves about 5 cm. or less long, varying from broadly spatulate or oblong to lanceolate, sessile or clasping, obtuse, more or less sharply serrate, often spinosely toothed, or even lacinate-pinnatifid, pale green, smooth, finely dotted, thickish, brittle; heads many-flowered, subglobular or somewhat conical; the involucre hemispherical, about 10 mm. broad, composed of numerous imbricated, squarrosely-tipped or spreading scales; ray-florets yellow, ligulate, pistillate; disk-florets yellow, tubular, perfect; pappus consisting of two or three awns of the length of the disk-florets; odor balsamic, taste pungently aromatic and bitter.
Dose, 1/4 to 1 dr.; 1. to 4. gm.
In small doses, grindelia is a mild stomachic and cardiac sedative, but its main action depends upon the fact that in its excretion by the bronchial mucous membrane it acts as an expectorant, and also relaxes the muscular coat of the bronchial tubes, and this explains its efficacy in the symptom asthma. Two or three doses of twenty minims; 1.20 c.c., of the fluid extract in milk, which prevents precipitation of the resin, given every twenty minutes, will often allay the paroxysms of asthma. Between the attacks, this dose should be taken three times daily. The same quantity may with advantage be added to mixtures prescribed for chronic bronchitis, for not only is grindelia an expectorant, but it relieves the asthmatic paroxysms which so frequently accompany bronchitis. It is very bitter; its taste is best concealed by Spiritus Chloroformi. Linen soaked in a lotion of the fluid extract in water, 1 to 48, is applied to the skin for the dermatitis caused by Rhus toxicodendron, the poison ivy. The same lotion is used in burns and as an injection in gleet and leucorrhoea.