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



Description:  Natural Order, Caprifoliaceae. A tree-like shrub, from twelve to twenty feet high, most abundant in dry woods and copses through the Middle and Southern States. Leaves opposite, broad oval, obtuse, finely serrate, smooth, dark- green and shining above; petioles naked. Flowers all perfect, white, in compound and flattened cymes. Fruit black, shining, ovoid-oblong, sweet, and edible. May.

Properties and Uses:  The bark of this shrub is used, that of the root being preferred, but that of the stem and branches being most common in market. It is a good tonic of the mildly astringent class, acting slowly and rather soothingly, and influencing the kidneys and other secernents to a limited extent. The best use to be made of it, is as a tonic for uterine weaknesses, as prolapsus with flaccidness of the structures, chronic leucorrhea, and passive menorrhagia. The influence it exerts over this organ is of the best character; and the following compound is one that I can commend highly in the cases just named: Black haw, four ounces; prunus, liriodendron, and caulophyllum, each, two ounces ; scutellaria and menispermum, each, one ounce; treat with Madeira wine so as to obtain two quarts of tincture. Dose, half to a whole fluid ounce three or four times a day. This is also an excellent compound for threatened abortion from feebleness, a use to which the black haw itself may be put. This article is also good for passive diarrhea, aphthous sores, indolent scrofulous ulcers, and some cases of chancre. The profession has generally passed it by, but it deserves careful attention. Dose of the powder, half a drachm. Other species of viburnum are no doubt medicinal.

 Medical Herbalism journal and