The root and leaves of Hieracium venosum, Linné.
COMMON NAMES: Hawkweed, Veiny-leaved hawkweed, Rattlesnake weed, Striped Woodwort.
Botanical Source.—This plant has a perennial root, with a stem or scape from 1 to 2 feet in height, dark-brown, slender, sometimes naked, sometimes with 1 or more glabrous, cauline leaves, forking above several times into a spreading, loose corymb, with an awl-shaped bract at each division. The radical leaves are obovate or oblong, somewhat acute, nearly entire, subsessile, thin and pale, purplish, and glaucous underneath, a little hairy above, often hairy along the midrib, marked with purple veins, and the first that unfold are close to the ground. The heads are very small, in a loose panicle on slender diverging peduncles, 12 to 20-flowered; the involucre glabrous, hispid at the base; the flowers bright-yellow; the achenia short, linear, and not tapering at the summit (G.—W.).
History and Description.—Hawkweed grows in many parts of the United States, but more commonly in the East and North, upon dry hills and in pine woods. It bears yellow flowers from May to July. The leaves and roots are employed; they are inodorous, with a bitter and astringent taste; they seem not to have been analyzed. Water extracts their virtues.
Action, Medical Uses, and Dosage.—This plant is tonic, astringent and expectorant; it has been used in decoction in scrofula, menorrhagia, hemoptysis, and other hemorrhages. The powdered leaves and root, combined with bloodroot, have been used as a snuff in polypus of the nose. Said to be efficient against the bites of poisonous snakes, over which it undoubtedly has some power. The juice of the fresh leaves is recommended as a cure for warts. Dose, of the infusion or syrup, from 2 to 4 fluid ounces.
Hieracium scabrum, Linné. Rough hawkweed.—Has been employed for the relief of toothache.
Hieracium Gronovii, Linné. Hairy hawkweed.—Used like the preceding. Said to be fully as useful in snake-bites as H. venosum.
Hieracium murorum, Linné.—Astringent and faintly bitter. Vulnerary.
Hieracium pilosella, Linné.—Astringent and bitter.