The root, leaves, and twigs of Diervilla trifida, Moench. (Diervilla canadensis, Mühlenberg).
COMMON NAMES: Bush honeysuckle, Gravelweed.
Botanical Source.—This plant is a low shrub, with a branching, pithy stem, about 2 or 3 feet high. The leaves are from 2 to 4 inches long by 1 to 1 1/2 broad, ovate, acuminate, finely serrate, opposite, deciduous, and borne on short petioles. The peduncles are axillary and terminal, dichotomous, and from 1 to 3-flowered. The flowers are greenish-yellow. Calyx tube oblong, limb 5-cleft, with 2 bracts; corolla twice as long as the calyx, greenish-yellow, 5-cleft, funnel-shaped; border 5-cleft, spreading. Stamens 5, which, with the style, are much exserted; stigma capitate. Capsule oblong, attenuate above, 2-celled, and naked, with many seeds (W.).
History.—This is a woody shrub, growing in the United States from Canada to Carolina, in hedges and thickets, and by the sides of fences and rocks, flowering in June. The leaves, twigs, and roots are the parts used, and they yield their properties to alcohol, and boiling water in infusion.
Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—Diuretic, astringent, and alterative. A cold infusion of the bruised leaves and twigs, used freely, has been very beneficial in inflammation of the bladder, with gravelly deposit in the urine, in nephritic and calculous affections, and in gonorrhoea. The root, in decoction or syrup, has been lauded for the cure of syphilis. Externally applied in erysipelas, or erysipelatous inflammations, and over the inflamed surface occasioned by the rhus, ivy, or poison vine, it soon relieves the itching, burning, inflammation, and swelling.