A little wild shrub in our hedges. It grows four feet high. The stalks are slender, tough, and covered with a smooth brown bark. The leaves are oblong and narrow: they are small, of a dusky green colour, broadest in the middle, and placed in pairs opposite to oue another, and tbey are of a somewhat firm substance, and have no indenting at the edges. The flowers are white and little, but they stand in tufts at the ends of the branches, and by that make a good appearance. The fruit is a black berry: one succeeds to every flower in the cluster.
The tops are used; and they are best when the flowers are just beginning to bud. A strong infusion of them in water, with the addition of a little honey and red wine, is excellent to wash the mouth and throat, when there are little sores in them, and when the gums are apt to bleed.