Sumach, Rhus glabra, is found in most of the temperate parts of the United States, to which it is indigenous. The North American Indians used the powdered seeds to treat piles and as an application to wounds, the juice of the fresh fruit being used as an application to warts and in skin diseases like tetter. In domestic medication, following the Indians, the roots were used by the settlers for rheumatism, in alcoholic tincture, as well as in infusion. In domestic medicine the berries were also employed in a decoction, as a gargle in quinsy, ulceration of the mouth and throat, and, following the Indian use of the drug, as a wash for ringworm, tetter, and offensive ulcers. These well-known uses of the American plant, so ornamental after the frost strikes its leaves in the fall, led to its introduction into professional medicine. In Turkey the berries of sumach are used (so this writer was informed) in starting their popular curd food.
The History of the Vegetable Drugs of the U.S.P., 1911, was written by John Uri Lloyd.