The leaves and bark of Amygdalus persica.
Therapeutic Action.—The leaves of the Peach tree, containing as they do a considerable quantity of hydrocyanic acid, are poisonous when taken in large quantities; the bark is much milder in its action. An infusion of either the bark or leaves exerts a sedative influence upon the system, and is some times employed to lessen nervous irritability and the frequency of the heart's action in fevers. It has likewise been employed in irritation of the respiratory passages, combined with expectorants and demulcents, and in irritable states of the bladder, urethra, etc.
We consider an infusion of the bark one of our most powerful means of checking irritation of the stomach; and we have frequently found it beneficial in gastritis. In the extreme irritability of the stomach and consequent vomiting, which frequently proves one of the most dangerous symptoms in cholera infantum or summer complaint, we know of no agent that exceeds this in value. We have employed it in many cases with entire success when all other remedies failed to produce any benefit. It also appears to exert a beneficial influence upon the bowels, quieting the irritation and lessening the frequency of the discharges.