(Corallorhiza odontorhiza, C. maculata and others: Coral Root)
This plant occupies high, sandy banks, in sandy woods. The leaves spring forth all around the bottom of the stem, at the top of the root. The stock rises from six to eight inches high, bearing yellow blossoms. The upper side exhibits a smooth, dark green surface; underneath they have a silvery appearance. The roots are of a dark brown or blackish color, are tender, and easily broken, resembling the claw of the dunghill fowl. It grows plentifully in almost all the United States.
The pulverized root of this plant composes the fever powder, so often recommended in Dr. Elisha
Smith's botanical work. It is not commonly known among botanical practitioners, and as we have not sufficiently tested it ourself, shall depend on the testimony of Dr. Smith, of New York. "It is," says he, "a powerful febrifuge, and an agreeable anodyne. I have found it a sure and quick medicine to excite perspiration, without increasing the heat of the body. This root is effectual in all remittent, typhus, nervous, and inflammatory fevers, and will relieve cramps, constrictions, and all pains caused by colds, etc. It produces a general relaxation of the system, equalizes the circulation, and brings a moisture on the surface. It is an excellent medicine in pleurisy, inflammation of the chest and brain, and is a pure remedy in erysipelatous inflammation."
"Pulverize the root fine, sift it, and put it in bottles well stopped from the air. After proper evacuation of the stomach and bowels, a small teaspoonful of this powder may be given every twenty minutes, in a little pennyroyal or other herb tea, till a gentle breathing moisture appears on the skin, or till from four to six are taken, which has never failed in my practice of answering the purpose."