This tree, which grows in the Northern and Eastern States, attains to the height of about thirty feet, trunk slender, dividing in numerous branches, furnished with a rough and light-colored bark, and oblong leaves. The bark may be cut into small pieces and put into water, either hot or cold, and it will give out much of its mucilage; but the best way is to take the bark and dry it thoroughly, then reduce it to a fine powder. It is useful in cough, bowel complaints, strangury, sore throat, inflammation of the lungs and stomach, eruptions, etc. As an external application, in the form of poultice, it is a valuable remedy far exceeding any known production, for ulcers, tumors, swellings, chilblains, burns, sore mouth, thrush, and as a wash.
The surgeons in the revolutionary army experienced the most happy effects from its application to gunshot wounds, which were soon brought to a suppuration, and a disposition to heal. When a, tendency to mortification was evident, this bark bruised and boiled in water produced the most surprising good effects. The infusion of the bark is highly esteemed as a diet drink in pleurisy and catarrh, and also in diarrhea and dysentery. It is very nutritious, and much used as food for the sick.