The rhizomes of several species of Liatris (Nat. Ord. Compositae). Middle and southern United States. Dose, 10 to 60 grains.
Common Names: Button Snake Root (L. spicata.; Blazing Star (L. squarrosa.; Gay Feather (L. scariosa.; Deer's Tongue (Carphephorus odoratissimus.L. odoratissima]).
Principal Constituents.—Resins, volatile, bitter principle, and in some coumarin (C9H6O2), a principle having a vanilla odor.
Preparation.—Infusum Liatridis, Infusion of Liatris (1 ounce to 16 fluidounces). Dose, 1 to 4 fluidounces.
Action and Therapy.—This drug is stimulant, bitter tonic, diuretic, and emmenagogue. It is sometimes used as a gastric tonic in dyspeptic conditions associated with renal inactivity. Rarely it is used to relieve pain in spasmodic bowel complaints and colic in children, in backache in adults, and to relieve dysmenorrhea. It is seldom employed. Button snake root derives its name from its traditional Indian reputation as a local alexipharmic (freshly-bruised root) for rattle-snake bite, a myth, it is needless to say, as yet unverified.