(Cypripedium calceolus and others)
This valuable plant has various names--(American) valerian, nerve root, yellow umbil, etc. "There are three or four species of lady's slipper, as the white, red, and yellow, from the color of their flowers, but the qualities are the same. It grows from one to two feet high, and sometimes has leaves all the way up the stock; but more frequently they lie on the ground;--the stock has one flower on it, in the form of a purse or round bag, with a small entrance near where it joins the stalk, and is something like a moccasin slipper, from which resemblance it probably derived the name of lady's slipper." The roots are fibrous, and thickly matted together. It is found in all parts of the United States (not THESE days!--editor.) The roots have a bitter, mucila-ginous taste and a peculiar smell, somewhat nauseous. Its properties are sedative, nervine, and anti-spasmodic. It is good in all nervous diseases and hysterical affections, allaying pain, quieting the nerves, and producing sleep. It is used in nervous head-aches, tremors, nervous fevers, etc. It is far preferable to opium, having no baneful nor narcotic effects. It has produced sleep when opium has failed. The dose is a teaspoonful of the powdered root to a cup of pennyroyal tea, or an ounce of the root may be infused in a pint of water, and drunk freely in nervous disorders. In giving courses of medicine in all cases where the patient is nervous, it should be given with the other medicine, say a tea-spoonful to each cup of the emetic. The root should be dug late in autumn, or early in the spring, and dried in the sun; it should then be pounded and sifted through a fine sieve, and bottled for use.