The Physiomedical Dispensatory by William Cook, M.D., 1869
WATER PLANTAIN, MAD-DOG WEED
Description: Natural Order, Alismaceae. Genus ALISMA: Acaulescent marsh-herbs, with expanded leaves and panicled flowers. Flowers perfect, three-petaled and three-sepaled; stamens six; styles and ovaries numerous, and arranged in a circle. A. PLANTAGO: Leaves radical, ovate, sub-cordate, abruptly acuminate, five-veined, four to six inches long, long-petioled. Scape one to two feet high, panicled. Flowers verticillate, numerous, small, rose-white, appearing in July and August. Carpels fifteen to twenty. This smooth little plant is common in our ditches and pools.
Properties and Uses: The leaves, when fresh, are highly stimulating, and even vesicant. When dry, a strong infusion of them proves relaxing and stimulating, acting on the skin and kidneys. Used warm, this will secure gentle moisture on the surface, and quiet nervous agitation. Used cold, it procures a free discharge of urine; and has been considered of service in lithic acid gravel, and torpor of the kidneys connected with common colds, dysentery, and typhoid. A fomentation of the dried leaves is good in bruises; and the coetaneous outward and inward use of the plant has a popular reputation for the treatment of hydrophobia. It is not likely that it can be relied upon in such a connection; but no doubt it will prove deserving of confidence as a mild nervine depurator. The insignificant appearance of the plant has led to its being slighted.
Medical Herbalism journal and medherb.com