The Physiomedical Dispensatory by William Cook, M.D., 1869    



Description:  Natural Order, Caprifoliaceae.  Allied to the common elder and cranberry.  Formerly placed in lonicera. Low shrubs, two feet high. Leaves opposite, finely serrate, ovate or oblong, taper-pointed, on short petioles, two to four inches long.  Flowers axillary and terminal, two or three together, greenish yellow;  corolla funnel-shaped, five-cleft; stamens five.  In hedges and thickets from Canada to Carolina.

Properties and Uses:  The bark from the roots and branches is, when dried, a relaxant  and moderately stimulating agent, of rather an unpleasant taste, and likely to cause nausea if united with other relaxants. (§262.)   It acts pretty largely upon the kidneys; and has been found useful in gleet, sub-acute gonorrhea, and scanty and sedimentous urine.  From such an action, it  is evidently a  gentle  tonic  to  the  mucous  membranes.    The people of some sections have great faith in its curing gravel, but this opinion can not be verified by experience.   It is a general alterative of the mildly relaxing grade; and may be employed in  scrofulous  and  cutaneous  difficulties.   Locally, it soothes phlegmonous sores, and is good in irritable and scrofulous ulcers. It is not astringent, as commonly described; and is an article of only moderate power.   Prof. C. S. Rafinesque first called the attention of the profession to it.  The leaves are said to make a more soothing application than the bark, and to be an equally good diuretic, but not alterative.  An ounce of the bark digested in a pint of hot water, may be given in doses of two fluid ounces every four hours.

 Medical Herbalism journal and