Ambrosia Artemisiaefolia. Rag Weed, Roman Wormwood, Bitter Weed, Hog Weed.
Description: Natural Order, Compositae. Stem one to three feet high, slender, pale- green, pubescent when young, branched; leaves twice pinnatifid, nearly smooth, light-green; flowers small, green, sterile ones in terminal racemes, fertile in the axils of upper leaves. A somewhat common nuisance along roads, in meadows, and through fields everywhere.
Properties and Uses: The leaves are stimulating and astringing, bitter, and permanent in action. An infusion is useful in diarrhea and dysentery of a passive character; in uterine, gastric, and pulmonic hemorrhages; and in degenerate leucorrhea as an injection and drink. It is also a valuable local styptic; and may be applied to bleeding surfaces, as in piles, epistaxis, wounds, etc., either in powder or infusion. A use of a strong decoction influences the kidneys considerably, sustains the tone of the stomach, and slowly elevates the circulation; and these actions render it useful in the treatment of chronic dropsies, especially when combined with hepatics and stimulating diaphoretics. A very strong decoction, used freely, is reputed among the people in some sections to be a reliable antiperiodic; and many of the actions of the agent certainly suggest properties analogous to cinchona. It is said to be useful in poultices to phagedaenic ulcers–checking putrescence; and I do not doubt but such is the case. The article is too much overlooked by the profession.
Ambrosia Trifida is probably similar in properties to the above species.
Pharmaceutical Preparations: I. Infusion. Macerate an ounce of ambrosia and one drachm of zingiber in a quart of hot water. Dose, one to two fluid ounces every two, three, or four hours, pro re nata.
II. Compound decoction. Ambrosia, four ounces; fraxinus acuminata, two ounces; liatris spicata, two ounces. Macerate in four pints of water, strain and reduce to two pints. Dose, a fluid ounce four or five times a day. Useful in dropsies, in conjunction with baths, and with physic if the case should need it. The same article may be formed into a sirup in the usual manner.
The Physiomedical Dispensatory, 1869, was written by William Cook, M.D.
It was scanned by Paul Bergner at http://medherb.com