American Medicinal Leaves And Herbs by Alice Henkel

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By Alice Henkel

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Sample text

Benedict's thistle, Our Lady's thistle, bitter thistle, spotted thistle, cursed thistle, blessed cardus, spotted cardus. —The blessed thistle is a weed which has been introduced into this country from southern Europe and is found in waste places and stony, uncultivated localities from Nova Scotia to Maryland and the Southern States; also on the Pacific coast. It is cultivated in many parts of Europe. —In height this annual plant of the aster family (Asteracese) scarcely exceeds 2 feet, with coarse erect stems, branched and rather woolly.

The individual flowers are about 2 inches long and vary in color from whitish through lavender and purple; the inside of the lower lobe is white, with crimson spots and furnished with long, soft, white hairs. (Fig. ) The capsule is ovoid, two celled, and many seeded. —The leaves, which are official in the United States Pharmacopoeia, are collected from plants of the second year's growth just about the time that they are coming into flower. They should be very carefully dried in the shade soon after collection and as rapidly as possible, preserving them in dark, airtight receptacles.

The leaves and tops should be dried in the shade and when dry kept in covered receptacles. The price paid for the dried leaves and tops is about 3 cents a pound. Lobelia has expectorant properties, acts upon the nervous system and bowels, causes vomiting, and is poisonous. The seed of lobelia is also employed in medicine. BONESET. Eupatorium perfoliatum L. —Eupatorium. —Eupatorium connatum Michx. —Thoroughwort, thorough-stem, thorough-wax, wood boneset, teasel, agueweed, feverwort, sweating plant, crosswort, vegetable antimony, Indian sage, wild sage, tearal, wild Isaac.

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