The Physiomedical Dispensatory by William Cook, M.D., 1869
Description: Natural Order, Labiatae. An evergreen shrub, three or four feet high, erect, with many slender branches, native to the shores of the Mediterranean, but much cultivated in the gardens in Europe, and occasionally in America. Leaves numerous, opposite, sessile, linear, an inch and a quarter long, light-green above, downy-white underneath, turned backward, stiff. They have a strong and pleasant balsamic odor, which is diminished by drying and age. They yield a moderate percentage of a volatile oil, obtained by distillation, colorless, of a strong odor, and lighter than water.
Properties and Uses: The leaves are diffusively stimulating and relaxing in action; and when used as a warm infusion prove slightly diaphoretic and nervine, and somewhat emmenagogue. They are useful in recent colds, recent suppression of the menses from exposure, and as an antispasmodic in mild hysteria, painful menstruation, and other difficulties. Its tincture is sometimes added to other medicines as an adjuvant. The oil is a good nervine stimulant for external uses, as in neuralgia and other acute pains; and enters into compounds named under camphor and spearmint. The leaves are an ingredient in the Compound Spirits of Lavender.
Medical Herbalism journal and medherb.com