Galium. Galium Aparine L. Cleavers. Goose-grass. Grateron, Rieble, Fr. Klebkraut, G.—This is an annual, succulent, rubiaceous plant, common to Europe and the United States, growing along the seashore and much in shaded ground inland. It is inodorous, and has a bitterish, herbaceous, somewhat acrid taste. Analyzed by Schwartz, it was found, besides chlorophyll, starch, and other principles common to all plants, to contain three distinct acids—viz., a variety of tannic acid, which he names galitannic acid, citric acid, and a peculiar acid, previously discovered by Schwartz and Eochleder, and named ribichloric acid, C14H8O9. (P. J., xii, 190.) The expressed juice is said to be aperient, diuretic, and antiscorbutic, and has been used in dropsy, congestion of the spleen, scrofula, scorbutic eruptions, and lepra. Orwin (T. G., vol. i, 767) commends it highly in psoriasis. Three ounces (90 mils) may be given twice a. day.
Galium verum L. Yellow Ladies' Bedstraw. Cheese Rennet. Caille-lait jaune, Fr. Meger-kraut, Liebfrauenstroh, G.—This European Galium (fam. Rubiaceae) is inodorous, but has an astringent, acidulous, bitterish taste. The bruised plant is sometimes used to color cheese yellow, being introduced into milk before coagulation. It is also used for dyeing yellow. The roots of this and of most other species dye red, and the plant, eaten by animals, colors the bones like madder. Schwartz found the same principles in it as in G. Aparine. It was formerly highly esteemed as a remedy in epilepsy and hysteria, and was applied externally in cutaneous eruptions, in the form either of the recently expressed juice or of a decoction from the fresh plant. Of the American species, G. tinctorium L. is closely allied in properties to G. verum. It is said to be useful in cutaneous diseases, and the root is employed by the Indians for staining their feathers and other ornaments red. G. triflorum Michx. contains coumarin, as pointed out by L. von Cotzhausen. (A. J. P., 1876, 405.)