The Physiomedical Dispensatory by William Cook, M.D., 1869
Description: Natural Order, Compositae. This is a well-known garden plant, of which several varieties are in cultivation. The variety here alluded to is about one foot high, with a striated and dichotomous stem; leaves alternate, oblong, slightly cordate at base, with sub-dentate margins; flower-heads terminal, solitary, large, with brilliant orange-colored radiant corollas. The whole plant has a peculiar, strong smell, not particularly disagreeable, and which is lost in drying. It yields its properties to water and diluted alcohol.
Properties and Uses: The flowers and also the leaves, have been used medicinally from very remote times, especially as a family remedy. They are a mild and diffusive stimulant, with some relaxing properties, expending their power chiefly upon the nerves, and moderately upon the capillary circulation. Like all other articles of such qualities, they are nervine and antispasmodic; and have been used in hysteria and general nervousness, and to promote moisture at the surface. They are reputed to act upon the uterus beneficially in painful menstruation, slightly promoting the catamenia; and also upon the gall-ducts. Their action is mild, and they are best fitted to light cases. As a local application, they are said to promote granulation, to advance the healing of contused wounds, and to prevent mortification. The last repute would not do to depend on. An ounce of the flowers to a quart of water, is the ordinary infusion.
Medical Herbalism journal and medherb.com