(Alkakangi, Arab). Winter cherry; also called halicacabum, solanum vesicarium, vesicaria vulgaris.
The species used in medicine is the physalis alke kengi Lin. Sp. Pi. 262.
It grows wild in France, Germany, and Italy, and thrives well in our gardens. The fruit ripens in October, and continues to December, when the plant die:; to the ground.
They are diuretic, but neither heat nor irrifete; five or six cherries, or an ounce of their juice, is a dose; and if given in the strangury from cantharides, a speedy relief is said to be obtained. Hoffman recommends them in haemoptysis, and some authors have thought them useful in dropsy. ij. of the berries infused in a pint of water, are extolled in the jaundice; but they are rarely called for in the English practice. The plant itself is of a poisonous class, and consequently suspicious; yet, as they seem to combine an anodyne with an astringent quality, they may deserve a trial.