The leaves of Hepatica nobilis var. acuta (Anemone acutiloba) (Pursh) Steyermark, and of Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa (A. hepatica) (Pursh) Steyermark (Nat. Ord. Ranunculaceae). Common in rich woods in the United States. Dose, 5 to 60 grains.
Common Names: Liverleaf, Liverwort, American Liverleaf, Kidney Liverleaf (A. Hepatica), Heart Liverleaf (A. acutiloba).
Principal Constituents.—Tannin, mucilage, and a bland oleoresin.
Preparation.—Specific Medicine Hepatica. Dose, 1 to 60 drops.
Specific Indication.—Irritation and hypersecretion of mucous membranes.
Action and Therapy.—A mild, mucilaginous astringent, used sometimes to allay bronchial irritation, with free secretion and similar conditions of the gastro-intestinal tract. It may be exhibited when there is subacute or acute inflammation, and in cough with expectoration of bloody mucus. It is one of the negative medicines that occasionally meets special conditions when more energetic agents, seemingly indicated, would aggravate. It came into use under mistaken identity for another plant and acquired a great reputation for virtues it did not possess. The infusion may be given liberally.
The Eclectic Materia Medica, Pharmacology and Therapeutics, 1922, was written by Harvey Wickes Felter, M.D.