Veronica Officinalis. Speedwell.
Description: Natural Order, Scrophulariaceae. The Leptandra Virginica is now placed in the genus Veronica. Stem prostrate, six to twelve inches long, with ascending branches, pubescent. Leaves opposite, an inch or more in length, oval or obovate, serrate. Flowers in racemes from alternate axils, dense with numerous flowers; calyx four-parted; corolla wheel-shaped. Fruit a flattened and notched pod. July. On the Alleghenies. The V. SCUTELLATA resembles the above, and is much more abundant, with few flowers, and growing in bogs throughout the North. All the other species of the speedwell genus are erect, and usually from eight to fifteen inches high. Probably the most of them bear a medical resemblance to the officinalis.
Properties and Uses: This herb once had a most fabulous reputation in England as a tonic alterant of relaxing and somewhat diaphoretic powers; and was used in old coughs, pulmonary weakness of all classes, skin diseases, jaundice, affections of the kidneys, and scrofula. While the article certainly has excellent qualities, it is of mild powers; yet it deserves more consideration than has been given to it in this country. Being scarce with us, it is probable that attention might be directed with profit to the more abundant species of the genus.
The Physiomedical Dispensatory, 1869, was written by William Cook, M.D.
It was scanned by Paul Bergner at http://medherb.com