Hepatica Triloba. Liverwort.
Description: Natural Order, Ranunculaceae. This is a small plant common to mountain and hill sides in all parts of America. Leaves all radicle, on peduncles three to five inches long, three- lobed, heart-shaped at the base, rather thick and tough, faintly purple beneath, mottled white above, persistent through the winter. Flower stems several in number from the roots, as high as the leaf-stalks, each bearing a single pale bluish-purple flower, closely subtended by a three-leaved involucre. March and early April.
Properties and Uses: This little plant has enjoyed an almost fabulous reputation, in some sections, for the treatment of coughs, phthisis, spitting of blood, liver complaints, etc. It is a mild article, slightly tonic and astringent, with a fair portion of demulcent property, and is of some use in the maladies named; but I am satisfied that its action is extremely mild, and that it has been quite over-praised. A decoction of two ounces in a quart of water, reduced to a pint, may be drank freely. It is usually combined with other pectoral tonics in the form of sirup.
The Physiomedical Dispensatory, 1869, was written by William Cook, M.D.
It was scanned by Paul Bergner at http://medherb.com