Cytisus Scoparius. Broom Tops.

Description: Natural Order, Leguminosae. "A large bushy shrub, with numerous long, angular, dark-green branches. Leaves deciduous, scattered, stalked, ternate below, simple above; leaflets uniform, obovate, entire; silky when young. Flowers axillary, solitary, or in pairs, on simple stalks, longer than the leaves, large, brilliant yellow or bright lemon color. Pod brown, flat, an inch or more in length, nearly smooth at the sides but fringed with harsh hairs at each margin. Seeds fifteen or sixteen." (Lindley.) When this plant is spoken of, many imagine it to be the top of the common broom-corn--Sorghum saccharatum. A moment's attention to the botanical description, will show the wide difference between the two plants. The genus cytisus is a native shrub of Europe, closely allied to the laburnum; and sometimes cultivated in light garden soils for the beauty of its very large purplish or rose-pink and pea-shaped flowers.

Properties and Uses: The young shoots of this shrub have been used in medicine, though not in much repute at the present time. They are largely stimulant, and moderately relaxant, acting somewhat slowly but decidedly. Their chief influence is expended upon the kidneys, from which they secure the elimination of a very large amount of watery materials. They have been used in dropsy; but will readily overwork the kidneys. (See Diuretics. ) Large doses will prove emetic, and sometimes cathartic. Half an ounce of the dried tops boiled in ten ounces of water for a few minutes, and strained, forms the usual decoction; and of this from one to two fluid ounces may be given three times a day. Small quantities may prove a good adjuvant to hepatics and tonics.

The Physiomedical Dispensatory, 1869, was written by William Cook, M.D.
It was scanned by Paul Bergner at