This section is from the book "Materia Medica And Therapeutics - Vegetable Kingdom", by Charles D. F. Phillips. Also available from Amazon: Materia Medica And Therapeutics: Vegetable Kingdom.
Active Ingredients. - The fruit of the Illicium anisatwn contains a substance, anithol (Anisi Camphor), which is chemically, though not physically, identical with the nitrogen-containing element of the volatile oils of common anise, of Anethum janiculum, and Artemisia Dracitn-cuius. Its formula is C10H12O.
Therapeutic Action. - The Chinese employ the fruit as a carminative.
Preparations And Dose. - The fruit may be made into a confection, or the volatile oil may be prepared in the same way as true anise oil. The dose is much the same as that of true anise and of anise-oil.
It is probable that other members of the Magnoliacese really possess more positive therapeutic powers than the so-called Winteracete. Perhaps the most widely esteemed for tonic and also diaphoretic powers (on the continent of America, for it has not been used in Europe), is the Magnolia glauca.
This tree is common in the morasses of the middle and southern United States, and bears the vernacular names of "beaver-tree" and "swamp-sassafras." The bark has an aromatic odor, diminishing, however, after it has been kept for some time; and a warm, pungent, and rather bitter flavor.
The bark of the root corresponds, as to properties, with that of the stem or trunk, and, for pharmaceutical purposes, is considered preferable.
The Pharmacopoeia of the United States likewise includes the Magnolia acuminata, called in the vernacular the "cucumber-tree," and the M. tripetala, or "umbrella-tree." The bark of both these trees is reputed to possess the same properties as that of the glauca.
All three species being cultivated in England, it might be worth while to inquire, by experiment, if the difference of climate in any degree impairs the medicinal value.
It should be added that the tincture of the fruits has been found equally valuable with that of the bark; and that an infusion of the fruits, while green, in whiskey or brandy, is extensively employed in the United States against intermittent fevers and for rheumatism.