Ajuga Chamaepitys. Ground Pine.
Nat. Ord. — Lamiaceae. Sex. Syst. — Didynamia Gymnospermia.
Description. — Ground-Pine has an annual diffused stem, with three-cleft leaves; and the flowers solitary and axillary, shorter than the leaves. Corolla with the upper lip minute and two-toothed. Stamens longer than the upper lip ; anthers all reniform, one-celled.
History. — This is a low-creeping plant, a native of Europe, but found also in some parts of the United States, and known sometimes under the names of Bugle or Germander. The leaves, which are the parts used, bear some resemblance to those of the pine in shape, and possess a strong, peculiar, resinous, not disagreeable odor, and a bitter, balsamic taste. By distillation with water, they yield a small proportion of volatile oil, resembling that of turpentine. Their virtues are imparted to diluted alcohol.
Properties and Uses. — Ground-pine is stimulant, tonic, diuretic, and aperient ; it has been successfully employed in palsy, gout, rheumatism, and amenorrhea. It is said to be especially useful in uterine diseases, and paralytic disorders ; also in dropsy, jaundice, strangury, and all visceral obstructions. Externally, the decoction forms an excellent wash for old and indolent ulcers. Dose of the leaves in powder, one or two drachms; but the vinous infusion is considered the best preparation ; its dose is from half a fluidrachm to two fluidrachms.