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



Description:  Natural Order, Rosaceae.  The numerous varieties of the cultivated strawberry are so well known that it would be useless to occupy space in their description.  The various wild strawberries, though botanically different in species, medicinally possess the same properties.  The edible portion, called the berry, is a peculiar succulent expansion of the receptacle, and is not the fruit at all; while the real fruit of the plant consists of the small seeds (achaniae) which are imbedded upon the surface of this receptacle.

Properties and Uses:  The leaves are mildly astringent, with slight tonic qualities.  They make a pleasant and useful remedy, especially for children, in diarrhea, laxity of the bowels, subacute dysentery, and similar recent forms of intestinal debility.  They act somewhat upon the kidneys and bladder; and can be used to advantage in catarrh of the bladder, and mucous discharges from the vagina in scrofulous children, and are serviceable in recent cases of leucorrhea in nervous women.  They are not among the distinctly drying astringents; but are soothing and strengthening, and have an aroma which is agreeable to the stomach.  The berries (receptacles) are among the sharper vegetable acids, fragrant, and grateful to most persons; but dyspeptics, and some who are not dyspeptic, yet have not a sound digestion, usually suffer heart-burn, pain, and even nettle-rash or hives, after using them.  They make a pleasant acid drink in bilious and typhoid febrile cases, when an acid is admissible.  The seeds are quite indigestible, and will often irritate the bowels in persons who can use the pulp alone to advantage.  When crushed, and the juice will strained off from the seeds, a fine sirup may be made by dissolving a pound of sugar in each pint of juice.

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