This section is from the book "The London Medical Dictionary", by Bartholomew Parr. Also available from Amazon: London Medical Dictionary.
(From genu, a knee; from the inflection and angularity of its twigs). Cytisogenista, cytisus sco-fiarius vulgaris. Common broom; spartium scopuri-um Lin. Sp. Pl. 996. It is a shrubby plant, with numerous angular twigs; the leaves are small, and somewhat oval, set three on a pedicle; the flowers are papilionaceous, and of a deep yellow colour; seeds flat, hard, and brownish, in broad pods; common on heaths and uncultivated sandy grounds; flowers in May and June.
The leaves and tops have a nauseous bitter taste, which they yield by infusion in water and spirit, and which remains concentrated in the extracts. They are commended for their purgative and diuretic powers, and have been successfully employed in dropsies. Half an ounce of the fresh tops are boiled in a pint of water to half a pint, and two spoonfuls given every hour till it operates by stool, or the whole is taken, repeating it every day, or every other day. (See Lewis, and Gulten's Materia Medica). The ashes of broom have been much used in dropsies by the recommendation of Sydenham; and their utility has been confirmed by the experience of other practitioners; but their whole power is supposed to depend upon the alkaline salt, and not on the vegetable from whence it is obtained, though the taste of the ashes shows that they contain no small portion of its essential oil. Lemery recommends the seeds.
An extract, called extractum cacuminis genistae, is ordered to be made by the college of physicians, London. (See Chamaemelium.) It is given as an aperient and diuretic, in doses from 3 ss. to 3 i. in hydropic cases.
Genista Canariensis. See Aspalathus. Genista Hispanica, and Gemsta June'a Spartium arborescens, spartium Hispanicum frutex, and Spanish broom: genista Hisfianica Lin. Sp. Pi. 999; common in gardens, flowers in June and July. It is ot the same nature as the common broom, but said to be more efficacious.
Gexista spartium spinosum. see Alhagi.
Genista spartium. .Nepa Theophrasti, genista spi-nosa minor,genista Germanica, Lin. Sp. Pl. 999; and the lesser furze. It is so generally known as not to need a description, and its virtues are insignificant.
Genista spixosa Indica, etc. See Bahel-schvlli.
Genista spinosa major; sparlium majus, scor-pius, genistellae spinosae affinis,bahel-schulli,nefia,rvv.z'e. or gorse, ulex Europaeus Lin. Sp. Pl. 1045. Its medicinal virtues, if it has any, are the same with those of common broom.
Gexistatinctoria,Lin. Sp. Pl. 998,chamae spartium genistella, tinctorius flos, green weed, and dyer's weed; found in pasture ground, flowers in June and July, and seems to resemble common broom. See Raii Hist. Plant.