Gratiola. Hedge-hyssop, Gratiole. Gratiola officinalis.
Gratiola. Gratiola officinalis L. Hedge-hyssop; Gratiole, Fr. Gnadenkraut, Gottesguadenkraut, Gr. (Fam. Scrophulariaceae.)—This is a perennial herb, indigenous in the south of Europe, in meadows and other moist grounds. The whole herb is used. It is nearly inodorous, but has a bitter nauseous taste. The indigenous G. virginiana L. closely resembles the European plant and indeed was regarded by Michaux as identical with it. Both water and alcohol extract its active properties. F. G. Walz found in it the following constituents: 1, gratiolin; 2, gratiosolin; 3, gratioloic acid; 4, gratiola fat; and 5, a brown resin. For chemistry, see P. J., lxix, 295, and lxx, 385. The gratiolin is decomposed on prolonged boiling with diluted H2SO4 into gratioletin, gratiolaretin, and sugar; the gratiosolin is similarly decomposed by dilute acids or alkalies into gratiosoletin and sugar; the gratioloic acid is obtained in the form of pearly white scales of a fatty odor. Hedge-hyssop is a drastic cathartic and emetic, possessing also diuretic properties, and has been used in Europe for the relief of dropsy, jaundice, worms, chronic hepatic affections, and scrofula. The dose of the powdered herb is from fifteen to thirty grains (1.0-2.0 Gm.); of the infusion (half an ounce to the pint of boiling water), half a fluidounce (15 mils).