Parthenium Integrifolium. Cutting Almond, Nephritic Plant.
Description: Natural Order, Compositae. A perennial plant, from one to four feet high, with erect and pubescent stems, with corymbose branches, bearing the flower-heads terminally. Leaves alternate, at considerable distances apart, three to six inches long by one-third as wide, tapering, crenate toothed, the lower ones often cut-lobed below the middle; those low down on the stem on petioles often six to ten inches long, which are gradually reduced till the upper leaves are small and sessile. Flower-heads numerous, inconspicuously radiate, many whitish flowers in each; involucre hemispherical, of two rows of short, ovate or roundish scales; ray florets five, with short and broad obcordate ligules not projecting beyond the woolly disk, fertile; disk florets tubular, staminate, with imperfect styles, sterile. Receptacles conical and chaffy. Five somewhat compressed achenes in each head, with the ray corolla persistent, and the pappus of two small chaffy scales. July to September.
This plant is found on dry soils in the Middle and Western States. The root is two or more fusiform bodies, nearly horizontal in position, with a number of long fibers; black-brown without and bluish-gray within.
Properties and Uses: The root of this plant is relaxant and very moderately stimulant, and expends its chief power upon the kidneys. By its use, the amount of watery discharge in the urine is greatly increased; and at the same time a soothing impression made upon the mucous membranes of the renal apparatus. This action fits it for use in suppressed (but not retained) urine, with scalding, pain, or difficulty in its voidance; for which conditions its influence is prompt and vigorous. Some physicians speak well of it in gonorrhea. Like other agents of the same energetic character, as the apium, it can easily be overused, and thus exhaust the kidneys. The best method of employing it, is by macerating half an ounce of the root in eight ounces of lukewarm water; of which a fluid ounce may be given every hour or oftener till its impression is obtained. Heat impairs its strength.
The Physiomedical Dispensatory, 1869, was written by William Cook, M.D.
It was scanned by Paul Bergner at http://medherb.com