Orobanche. Epifagus virginiana. Beech-drops, Cancer Root.
Orobanche. Epifagus virginiana (L.) Bart. (Fam. Orobanchaceae.) Beech-drops. Cancer Root. Orobanche de Virginie, Fr. Krebswurz, G.—This is a parasitic, fleshy plant, found in Northeastern America, growing upon the roots of the beech tree. The plant has a bitter, nauseous, astringent taste, which is said to be diminished by drying. It has been given internally in bowel affections; but its credit depends mainly upon the idea that it is useful in obstinate ulcers of a cancerous character, to which it was directly applied. Other species of orobanche, growing in America and Europe, have been employed. They are all parasitic, fleshy plants, without verdure, and of a bitter, nauseous taste. In Europe they are called broom rape. C. Charaux believes that chlorogenic acid which can be easily converted into caffeic acid exists in plants of the fam. Orobanchaceae and other families. The allied plants, Conopholis americana (L. f.) Wallr. (Orobanche americana L. f.) and Orobanche uniflora L., growing throughout the United States, are used for the same purposes as the species above noticed, and, like it, are called cancer root.