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Magic And Wicca - Herbal Encyclopedia - L


Herbs & Oils

~ L ~


(Lavandula species)

Also called Elf Leaf; Nard; Nardus; Spike. There are 28 species of these aromatic, evergreen, shrubby, perennials, all with small, linear leaves and spikes of fragrant, usually purple or blue, two-lipped flowers. The best-quality essential oil is from L. stoechas and L. angustifolia. Aromatic oil glands cover all aerial parts of the plants but are most concentrated in the flowers. The flowers flavor jams, vinegar, sweets, cream, and Provençal stews, and are crystallized for decoration. Dried flowers add long-lasting fragrance to sachets and potpourri. Flower water is a skin toner useful for speeding cell renewal and is an antiseptic for acne. Flower tea treats anxiety, headaches, flatulence, nausea, dizziness, and halitosis. The essential oil is a highly valued perfume and healer. It is antiseptic, mildly sedative, and painkilling. It is applied to insect bites, and treats burns, sore throats and headaches. Queen Elizabeth I is said to have consumed up to 10 cups of lavender water a day to relieve migraines.
The oil is used for intestinal gas, migraine, and dizziness. Being antiseptic, lavender is added to healing salves. A tea of the leaf allays nausea and vomiting. Use two teaspoons per cup of water and steep for twenty minutes. The dose is one-fourth cup four times a day. Steep lavender blossoms in white wine and strain to make a natural antidepressant beverage. Lavender and rose petal vinagar is applied to the temples and brow to ease headache. Lavender oil is added to footbaths, eases toothaches and sprains, and is used as a rub for hysteria and palsy.
Parts Used: Flower and leaf
Magical Uses: Lavender is strewn into bonfires at Midsummer as an offering to the Gods and Goddesses. An ingredient of love spells, its scent is said to attract men. Lavender in the home brings peace, joy and healing. The essential oil is included in health; love; peace; and conscious mind-oriented formulas. Use to attract love; to produce sleep by anointing your forehead and pillow; to purify by adding to baths and to promote chastity and peace. Attracts elves, burn for purification, peace. Burn at Litha as an offering. Love; Psychic Awareness; Happiness; Creative Work; Money and Business; Anointing; Exorcism; Harmony; Peace; Healing. The odor of lavender is conducive to long life and so should be smelled as often as possible.
Aromatherapy Uses Abscess; Acne; Allergies; Athlete's Foot; Boils; Bruises; Burns; Dermatitis; Eczema; Inflammation; Insect Bites and Stings; Lice; Psoriasis; Ringworm; Scabies; Spots; Sunburn; Wounds; Lumbago; Rheumatism; Sprains; Asthma; Bronchitis; Catarrh; Flu; Halitosis; Throat Infections; Whooping Cough; Colic; Dyspepsia; Flatulence; Nausea; Cystitis; Dysmenorrhea; Leukorrhea; Depression; Headache; Hypertension; Insomnia; migraine; Nervous Tension; Stress. Key Qualities: Soothing; Sedative; Antidepressant; Calming; Relaxing; Balancing; Restorative; Cephalic; Appeasing; Cleansing; Purifying.


Citrus limon The fruit, juice, and peel of citrus fruits flavor food and drink and provide vitamin C. Essential oils from the peel scent food, cosmetics and perfume. The seed oils are used in soaps.
Magical Uses: Use in Lunar oils. Wear diluted lemon oil during the Full Moon to attune with its energies. Use in purification and healing oils. Purification; Love. A Lemon may serve as a poppet.
Aromatherapy Uses Acne; Anemia; Brittle Nails; Boils; Chilblains; Corns; Cuts; Greasy Skin; Herpes; Insect bites; Mouth Ulcers; Spots; Throat Infections; Warts; Arthritis; Cellulitis; High Blood Pressure; Nosebleeds; Obesity; Poor Circulation; Varicose Veins; Rheumatism; Asthma; Bronchitis; Catarrh; Dyspepsia; Colds; Flu; Fever; Infections. Key Qualities: Refreshing, Mental Stimulant; Cephalic; Purifying; Reviving; Strengthening; Soothing.


Melissa officionalis This bushy herb has square stems, lemon-scented foliage, and late-summer flowers that mature from white or yellow to pale blue. Fresh leaves add a delicate flavor to many dishes, oils, vinegars, and liqueurs, provide a relaxing bath, soothe insect bites, and make a sedative and tonic tea.
Parts Used: Leaf and Flower
Magical Uses: Soak in wine for 3 hours, remove and serve wine to friends and loved ones. Used in spells to ensure success.


(Cymbopogon citratus)

This aromatic grass has clumped, bulbous stems becoming leaf blades and a branched panicle of flowers. The stem and leaf, used widely in Thai cuisine, have a distinct lemon flavor. Leaf tea treats diarrhea, stomachache, headaches, fevers, and flu, and is antiseptic. The essential oil is used in cosmetics, food and aromatherapy.
Parts Used: Leaf, stem and oil
Magical Uses: The essential oil strengthens psychic awareness and is also useful in purification mixtures.
Aromatherapy Uses Acne; Athlete's Foot; Excessive Perspiration; Open Pores; Pediculosis; Scabies; Tissue Toner; Muscular Pain; Poor Circulation and Muscle Tone; Slack Tissue; Colitis; Indigestion; Gastroenteritis; Fevers; Infectious Diseases; Headaches; Nervous Exhaustion; Stress-Related Conditions; Insect Repellent (fleas, lice and ticks). Key Qualities: Refreshing; Active; Stimulating; Soothing.


(Aloysia triphylla syn. Lippia citriodora)

Lemon Verbena has strongly lemon-scented whorls of three or four leaves along its stems and panicles of tiny, pale summer flowers. The leaves are used to flavor drinks and fruit and sweet dishes, and to make herb tea. The tea is refreshing and mildly sedative. The leaves also yield a green coloring and essential oil.
The leaves and flowering tops are used to lower fevers and to relieve gas and indigestion. Lemon Verbena is calming, a sedative for the nerves. Steep two teaspoons per cup of water for twenty minutes and take one-fourth cup four times a day. Stimulating to the skin, lemon verbena makes a good facial scrub for pimples and blemishes. To make the scrub, grind the dry herb or use the powder and mix in a little natural clay and ground oatmeal, add water to make a paste.
Parts Used: Leaf and flowering top
Magical Uses: Often sold simply as "Verbena" This full lemon-scented essential oil is wonderful in love blends. Added to other mixtures to increase their strength, and is also used to purify an area or is added to bathwater for protection and purification purposes. Lemon Verbena is worn to make oneself attractive to the opposite sex, and is used in love spells and mixtures.


(Syringia vulgaris)

Lilac is a deciduous, twiggy shrub or small tree with a mass of heart-shaped leaves and showy panicles of small, waxy, spring flowers. The perfume is extracted from the flowers and used commercially. The flowers were once used to treat fever. In the language of flowers, Lilac symbolizes the first emotions of love. If inhaled too deeply, however, the strong flower fragrance can cause nausea.
Parts Used: Flower
Magical Uses: Lilac drives away evil where it is planted or strewn. It was originally planted in New England to keep evil from the property. The fresh flowers can be placed in a haunted house to clear it. Peace; Clairvoyance; Divination; Creativity; Happiness; Harmony; Exorcism; Protection: Psychic Awareness; Reincarnation.


(Citrus limata)

A small evergreen tree, up to 15 feet, with stiff, sharp soines, smooth ovate leaves, and small white flowers. The bitter fruit is a pale green color, about half the size of a lemon. The essential oil is extracted from the fruit peel.
Parts Used: Fruit
Magical Uses: (Peel)Useful in purification and protection spells. The peel is used in love mixtures and incenses.
Aromatherapy Uses: Antirheumatic, antiscorbutic, antiseptic, antiviral, aperitif, bactericidal, febrifuge, restorative, tonic. Use for Acne, anemia, brittle nails, boils, chilblains, corns, cuts, greasy skin, herpes, insect bites, mouth ulcers, spots, warts, arthritis, cellulitis, high blood pressure, nosebleeds, obesity, poor circulation, rheumatism, asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, dyspepsia, colds, flu, fever, throat infections, and other infections. Key Qualities: Refreshing, Uplifting; Active.


(Tilia spp.)

Linden have small highly fragrant flowers, and can be hard to identify, since they hybridize freely. The flowers are brewed to make a tea, the classic digestive end to a continental meal, and a treatment for insomnia, nervous tension, and overwrought children. The world's most valued honey is made from Linden blossoms and is used in liqueurs and medicines. The inner bark treats kidney stones, gout and coronary disease.
Parts Used: Flower, leaf, twigs, bark and wood
Magical Uses: Bark used for protection, leaves and flowers or immortality. Good Fortune, Sleep and Love. Hang branches over the door for protection or grow in the garden.


(Lythrum salicaria)

Purple Loosestrife has a creeping rootstock, angled stems with lance-shaped leaves, and spikes of purple-red flowers. The leaves are eaten as an emergency vegetable and fermented into a mild alcohol. The flowering plant is an intestinal disinfectant, treating diarrhea and food poisoning. It acts as a typhus antibiotic, a sore throat gargle, and is given for fever and liver problems.
Parts Used: Flower, leaf and stem
Magical Uses: Placed in the corners of each room, this herb restores harmony and brings peace. Give as a gift to bring about an accord.


(Nelumbo nucifera or Nymphaea lotus)

This aquatic herb's waxy leaves rise high above the water its long-stalked fragrant flowers open at dawn and close at sunset. Lotus stalks, leaves, petals, seeds and rhizome are all eaten. The flowers are a religious offering in many cultures and are planted for devotional reasons.
The leaf of Nelumbo nucifera is used for fever, sweating, irritability, dysentery, diarrhea, and scanty urine. It is a styptic (stops bleeding) and has been used to antidote alcohol and mushroom poisoning. It affects the liver, heart, and spleen energies. The nodes of the root are used to stop bleeding and to break down blood clots. All types of internal bleeding are affected. The plumule (bud) affects the heart, kidney, and spleen. It is used to calm mental agitation and worry, relieve insomnia, and lower fevers. The seed affects the kidney, heart, adn spleen. It is used for agitation, insomnia, palpitations, dry mouth, dark urine, and chronic diarrhea. It strengthens the heart and kidneys.
The leaf is steeped, and the bud, root, and seed are simmered, using two teaspoons of herb per cup of water, for twenty minutes. The dose is one-fourth cup, four times a day.
Parts Used: Leaf, node of the root, buds, and seeds
Magical Uses: Lotus is an all-purpose spiritual elixer. Burned as incense, it encourages the dead to seek their highest possible reincarnation. It reminds the living of their inner sanctity and divinity. Lotus plants thrive in murky waters. They float serenely on the stagnant surface and never a drop sticks to them. Anyone who breathes the scent of the lotus will receive its protection. It's said that if you place the root of a lotus under the tongue and say the words "SIGN, ARGIS" toward a locked door. It will open miraculously. Lotus sees and pods are used as antidotes to love spells and any part of the lotus carried or worn ensures blessing by the Gods and Good Luck.
There are no true Lotus oils. Perfumers simply haven't found a way to capture the scent of the flower. Use this mix to approximate the odor: Rose, White Musk, Jasmine and Ylang-Ylang; Mix until the scent is heavy, floral and warm. Use in spirituality, healing and meditation formulas.


Labrador Tea

Botanical: Ledum latifolium (JACQ.)
Family: N.O. Ericaceae
Medicinal Acition and Uses
Other Species
St. James's Tea. Ledum Groenlandicum.
---Parts Used---
Leaves and tops.
Greenland, Labrador, Nova Scotia, Hudson's Bay.
This evergreen shrub grows to a height of 4 to 5 feet, with irregular, woolly branches. The leaves are alternate, entire, elliptical or oblong, 1 to 2 inches long, the upper side smooth and woolly underneath, with the edges rolled back. The large, white, five-petalled flowers grow in flattened terminal clusters, opening in June and July. The plant grows in cold bogs and mountain woods. It is taller, more regularly formed, and has larger leaves than L. palustre. During the American War of Independence the leaves were much used instead of tea-leaves. They should be collected before flowering time, and the tops when the flowers begin to open.
Bees are much attracted by the flowers, but animals do not browse on the plants, which are said to be slightly poisonous.
Strewed among clothes, the leaves will keep away moths, and in Lapland the branches are placed among grain to keep away mice.
In Russia the leaves are used for tanning leather.
There has been found in the leaves tannin, gallic acid, a bitter substance, wax, resin, and salts.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
The leaves are tonic, diaphoretic, and pectoral, having a pleasant odour and rather spicy taste. They yield their virtues to hot water or to alcohol. It is useful in coughs, dyspepsia, and irritation of the membranes of the chest. An infusion has been used to soothe irritation in infectious, feverish eruptions, in dysentery, leprosy, itch, etc. The strong decoction, as a wash, will kill lice. The leaves are also used in malignant and inflamed sore throat.
Of infusion, 2 to 4 fluid ounces, three to four times a day. Overdoses may cause violent headache and symptoms of in toxication.
---Other Species---
L. PALUSTRE (Marsh Tea, Marsh Cistus,Wild Rosemary, Wild Rosmarin, Rosmarinus Sylvestris [This species is used in Homeopathy.- EDITOR.], Porsch, Sumpfporsch, Finne Thé) grows in swamps and wet places of northern Europe, Asia, and America, and on the mountains of southern districts. The leaves are reputed to be more powerful than those of L. latifolium, and to have in addition some narcotic properties, being used in Germany to make beer more intoxicating. The leaves contain a volatile oil, including ledum camphor, a stearopten, with valeric and volatile acids, ericolin, and ericinol. The tannin is called leditannic acid.


Botanical: Cytisus Laburnam (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Leguminosae
Yellow Laburnurn.
---Part Used---Seeds.
The Laburnum, indigenous to the higher mountains of Europe, is cultivated throughout the civilized world for its flowers, which appear early in the spring, in rich, pendent, yellow clusters.
All parts of the plant are probably poisonous and children should be warned never to touch the black seeds which contain this highly poisonous alkaloid, as cases of poisoning after eating the seeds have been frequent.
The Laburnum is a native of the mountains of France, Switzerland, and southern Germany, where it attains the height of 20 feet and upwards. It was introduced into England previously to 1597, at which time Gerard appears to have grown it in his garden under the names of Anagyris, Laburnum, and Bean Trefoil.
The heart-wood is of a dark color, and though of a coarse grain it is very hard and durable, will take a polish, and may be stained to resemble ebony. It is much in demand among turners, and is wrought into a variety of articles which require strength and smoothness.
Cytisus purpurascens (Fr. C. d'Adam), the PURPLE LABURNUM, is a hybrid between C. Laburnum and C. purpureus. It was originated in Paris in 1828, by M. Adam, and has since been much cultivated in England. A curious result of hybridizing appears in this variety occasionally. The branches below the graft produce the ordinary yellow Laburnum flowers of large size; those above often exhibit a small purple Laburnum flower, as well as reddish flowers intermediate between the two in size and color. Occasionally, the same cluster has some flowers yellow and some purple (Balfour).
Laburnum trees should not be allowed to overhang a field used as a pasture, for when cattle and horses have browsed on the foliage and pods, the results have proved deadly.
Symptoms of poisoning by Laburnum root or seeds are intense sleepiness, vomiting, convulsive movements, coma, slight frothing atthe mouth and unequally dilated pupils. In some cases, diarrhoea is very severe and at times the convulsions are markedly tetanic.
In an article on the use of insecticides against lice, by A. Bacot, Entomologist to the Lister Institute of Preventive Medicine, in the British Medical Journal of September 30, 1916, the writer records the results of experiments with various reputedly insecticidal substances, but mainly with Cytisine, the alkaloid obtained from the seeds of the Gorse and Laburnum, the physiological properties of which resemble those of Nicotine. He found that while Cytisine is quite satisfactory from an experimental point of view, its use is contraindicated, because the degree of concentration required is such as to entail risk of absorption over a wide area of the body, with almost certain toxic consequences.
Cytisine was discovered in 1863 by Husemann and Marme, as one of the poisonous alkaloids present in the seeds of the Laburnum. It is a white, crystalline solid, of a bitter, somewhat caustic taste, with a very poisonous action. It has been recommended in whooping cough and asthma.
The same alkaloid has been isolated from the seeds of several leguminous plants. Plugge, in 1895, stated that he found it in eight species of the genus Cytisus, two of the genus Genista, two of the genus Sophara, two of the genus Baptisia, in Anagyris Joetida, and in other plants. He considered the Ulexine of Gerrard from Ulex Europaea (Linn.) to be identical with Cytisine.


Botanical: Lachnanthes tinctoria (ELL.)
Family: N.O. Haemodoraceae
Medicinal Action and Uses
Gyrotheca capitata. Gyrotheca tinctoria. Wool Flower. Red Root. Paint Root. Spirit Weed.
---Parts Used---
Root, herb.
The drug Lachnanthes is prepared from the entire plant, but especially from the rhizome and roots of Lachnanthes tinctoria, a plant indigenous to the United States of America, growing in sandy swamps along the Atlantic coast, from Florida to New Jersey and Rhode Island, and also found in Cuba, blossoming from June to September, according to locality.
It was introduced into England as a greenhouse plant in 1812 and then propagated from seed.
The plant is a perennial herb, 1 1/2 to 2 feet high, the upper portion whitewoolly, hence one of its local names: Woolflower. The rhizome is about 1 inch in length and of nearly equal thickness, and bears a large number of long, coarse, somewhat waxy, deep-red roots, yielding a red dye, to which its popular names of Paintroot and Redroot are due.
The leaves are mostly borne in basal rosettes and are somewhat succulent, 1/5 to 3/5 inch wide and reduced to bracts on the upper part of the stem. The flowers are in a close, woolly cyme, the ovary inferior, the perianth sixparted, the sepals narrower than the petals, the stamens three, alternately with the petals on long filaments; the style is solitary, threadlike, its stigma slightly lobed; the fruit, a three-celled, many seeded, rounded capsule.
The root yields a fine red dye and a little resin, but so far no analysis determining the nature of its specific constituents has been made: they are, however, quite active, producing a peculiar form of cerebral stimulation or narcosis.
The drug has a somewhat acrid taste, but no odour.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
'The root,' says Millspaugh, 'was esteemedan invigorating tonic by the American aborigines, especially by the Seminole tribe, who use it, it is said, to cause brilliancy and fluency of speech. A tincture of the root has been recommended in typhus and typhoid fevers, pneumonia, severe forms of brain disease,' rheumatic wry-neck and laryngeal cough.'
Apart from its narcotic uses among the Indians, it has been used in the United States for dyeing purposes.
The drug is employed for various nervous disorders. A homoeopathic tincture is prepared from the whole fresh plant, while flowering. Doses varying from a few drops of the tincture to a drachm, cause mental exhilaration, followed by ill-humour, vertigo and headache.
Fluid extract, 1 to 5 drops.
Although the drug is not related to the Solanaceae, the effects of overdoses are said to resemble those of poisoning by Belladonna and other solanaceous drugs.
In the countries where it grows, there is a legend that the Paintroot plant is fatally poisonous to white pigs, but not injurious to black ones. Darwin, on the authority of Professor I. J. Wyman, cites the strange effect on albino pigs after eating the roots of this plant. In Virginia, where it grows abundantly, Professor Wyman noticed that all the pigs in this district were black, and upon inquiring of the farmers he found that all the white pigs born in a litter were destroyed, because they could not be reared to maturity. The roots of Lachnanthes, when eaten by white pigs, caused their bones to turn to a pink color and their hoofs to fall off, but the black pigs, it was said, could eat the same plant with impunity. Heusinger has shown that white sheep and pigs are injured by the ingestion of certain plants, while the pigmented species may eat them without harm.

Ladie's Bedstraw
See Bedstraw, Lady's.

Lady's Mantle

Botanical: Alchemilla vulgaris (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Rosaceae
Part Used Medicinally
Medicinal Action and Uses
Other Species
Lion's Foot. Bear's Foot. Nine Hooks. Leontopodium. Stellaria
(French) Pied-de-lion.
(German) Frauenmantle.
---Parts Used---Herb, root.
The Lady's Mantle and the Parsley Piert, two small, inconspicuous plants, have considerable reputation as herbal remedies. They both belong to the genus Alchemilla of the great order Rosaceae, most of the members of which are natives of the American Andes, only a few being found in Europe, North America and Northern and Western Asia. In Britain, we have only three species, Alchemilla vulgaris, the Common Lady's Mantle, A. arvensis, the Field Lady's Mantle or Parsley Piert, and A. alpina, less frequent and only found in mountainous districts.
The Common Lady's Mantle is generally distributed over Britain, but more especially in the colder districts and on high-lying ground, being found up to an altitude of 3,600 feet in the Scotch Highlands. It is not uncommon in moist, hilly pastures and by streams, except in the south-east of England, and is abundant in Yorkshire, especially in the Dales. It is indeed essentially a plant of the north, freely found beyond the Arctic circle in Europe, Asia and also in Greenland and Labrador, and only on high mountain ranges, such as the Himalayas, if found in southern latitudes.
The plant is of graceful growth and though only a foot high and green throughout- flowers, stem and leaves alike, and therefore inconspicuous - the rich form of its foliage and the beautiful shape of its clustering blossoms make it worthy of notice.
The rootstock is perennialblack, stout and short - and from it rises the slender erect stem. The whole plant is clothed with soft hairs. The lower, radical leaves, large and handsome, 6 to 8 inches in diameter, are borne on slender stalks, 6 to 18 inches long and are somewhat kidneyshaped in general outline, with their margins cut into seven or mostly nine broad, but shallow lobes, finely toothed at the edges, from which it has obtained one of its local names: 'Nine Hooks.' The upper leaves are similar and either stalkless, or on quite short footstalks and are all actually notched and toothed. A noticeable feature is the leaflike stipules, also toothed, which embrace the stem.
The flowers, which are in bloom from June to August, are numerous and small, only about 1/8 inch in diameter, yellow-green in color, in loose, divided clusters at the end of the freely-branching flower-stems, each on a short stalk, or pedicle. There are no petals, the calyx is four-cleft, with four conspicuous little bracteoles that have the appearance of outer and alternate segments of the calyx. There are four stamens, inserted on the mouth of the calyx, their filaments jointed.
The rootstock is astringent and edible and the leaves are eaten by sheep and cattle.
The common name, Lady's Mantle (in its German form, Frauenmantle), was first bestowed on it by the sixteenth-century botanist, Jerome Bock, always known by the Latinized version of his name: Tragus. It appears under this name in his famous History of Plants, published in 1532, and Linnaeus adopted it. In the Middle Ages, this plant had been associated, like so many flowers, with the Virgin Mary (hence it is Lady's Mantle, not Ladies' Mantle), the lobes of the leaves being supposed to resemble the scalloped edges of a mantle. In mediaeval Latin we also find it called Leontopodium (lion's foot), probably from its spreading root-leaves, and this has become in modern French, Pied-de-lion. We occasionally find the same idea expressed in two English local names, 'Lion's foot' and 'Bear's foot.' It has also been called 'Stellaria,' from the radiating character of its lower leaves, but this belongs more properly to quite another group of plants, with star-like blossoms of pure white.
A yellow fungus sometimes attacks the plant known as Uromyces alchemillae, and has the curious effect of causing abnormal length of the leaf-stalk and rendering the blade of the leaf smaller and of a paler green color; this fungus produces the same effect in other plants.
The generic name Alchemilla is derived from the Arabic word, Alkemelych (alchemy), and was bestowed on it, according to some old writers, because of the wonder-working powers of the plant. Others held that the alchemical virtues lay in the subtle influence the foliage imparted to the dewdrops that lay in its furrowed leaves and in the little cup formed by its joined stipules, these dewdrops constituting part of many mystic potions.
---Part Used Medicinally---
The whole herb, gathered in June and July when in flower and when the leaves are at their best, and dried.
The root is sometimes also employed, generally fresh.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
The Lady's Mantle has astringent and styptic properties, on account of the tannin it contains. It is 'of a very drying and binding character' as the old herbalists expressed it, and was formerly considered one of the best vulneraries or wound herbs.
Culpepper says of it:
'Lady's Mantle is very proper for inflamed wounds and to stay bleeding, vomitings, fluxes of all sorts, bruises by falls and ruptures. It is one of the most singular wound herbs and therefore highly prized and praised, used in all wounds inward and outward, to drink a decoction thereof and wash the wounds therewith, or dip tents therein and put them into the wounds which wonderfully drieth up all humidity of the sores and abateth all inflammations thereof. It quickly healeth green wounds, not suffering any corruption to remain behind and cureth old sores, though fistulous and hollow.'
In modern herbal treatment, it is employed as a cure for excessive menstruation and is taken internally as an infusion 1 OZ. of the dried herb to 1 pint of boiling water) in teacupful doses as required and the same infusion is also employed as an injections.
A strong decoction of the fresh root, by some considered the most valuable part of the plant, has also been recommended as excellent to stop all bleedings, and the root dried and reduced to powder is considered to answer the same purpose and to be good for violent purgings.
In Sweden, a tincture of the leaves has been given in cases of spasmodic or convulsive diseases, and an old authority states that if placed under the pillow at night, the herb will promote quiet sleep.
Fluid extract, dose, 1/2 to 1 drachm.
Horses and sheep like the plant, and it has therefore been suggested as a profitable fodder plant, but the idea has proved unpractical. Grazing animals will not eat the leaves till the moisture in them is dissipated.
---Other Species---
Alchemilla alpine, a mountain variety,found on the banks of Scotch rivulets. The leaves are deeply divided into five oblong leaflets and are thickly covered with lustrous silky hairs. A form of this plant in which the leaflets are connate for one-third of their length is known as A. conjuncta.



Lady's Slipper
See American Valerian.

Lady's Tresses

Botanical: Spiranthes autumnalis (ORICH.)
Family: N.O. Spiranthideoe
---Part Used---Tuberous root.
Dry, hilly fields all over Europe - towards the Caucasus.
(Lady's Tresses grow on the Sussex downs near Amberley. - EDITOR.)
This orchis takes its name from speira (a 'spiral') and anthos (a flower), inallusion to the spiral arrangement of the flowers. Rootstock produces every season two or three oblong tubers and a tuft of spreading, radical, ovate leaves about 1 inch long, a flowering stem 6 or 8 inches high by the side of the tuft of leaves. Blooms in autumn, flowers a greenishwhite, smelling like almonds, in a close spinal spike about 2 inches long, diverging horizontally to one side - with the bracts erect on opposite side, in appearance not unlike lilies of the valley.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Formerly used as an aphrodisiac.
A tincture of the root is used in homeopathy for skin affections, painful breasts, pain in the kidneys and eye complaints.
---Other Species---
Spiranthes diuretica, used in Chile in cases of ischury.

Pine (Larch)
Pine, White
Pine (Ground)
Pine, American Ground

Larkspur, Field

Botanical: Delphinium Consolida
Family: N.O. Ranunculacae
Medicinal Action and Uses
Lark's Heel. Lark's Toe. Lark's Claw. Knight's Spur.
---Part Used---Seed.
The Field Larkspur grows wild in cornfields throughout Europe. Though a doubtful native, it is found occasionally in England in considerable quantities in sandy or chalky cornfields, especially in Cambridgeshire.
It is an annual, with upright, round stems a foot high or more, pubescent and divided into alternate, dividing branches. The leaves are alternate, the lower ones with petioles 1/2 inch long, the upper ones sessile, or nearly so. The plant closely resembles some of the species commonly cultivated in gardens.
The flowers are in short racemes, pink, purple or blue, followed by glabrous follicles containing black, flattened seeds with acute edges and pitted surfaces. The seeds are poisonous, have an acrid and bitter taste, but are inodorous.
The active principle of the plant- Delphinine - is the same as in Stavesacre and is an irritant poison. Children should be warned against putting any part of this plant, or of its garden representatives, into their mouths. The seeds are especially dangerous, and cause vomiting and purging if eaten.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
As in Stavesacre, the part used medicinally is the seed, a tincture of which in like manner acts as a parasiticide and insecticide, being used to destroy lice and nits in the hair. (During the Great War, when the men in the trenches took the trouble to use it, the results were said to be quite successful. - EDITOR.)
The tincture, given in 10-drop doses, gradually increased, is also employed in spasmodic asthma and dropsy.
The expressed juice of the leaves is considered good as an application to bleeding piles, and a conserve made of the flowers was formerly held to be an excellent medicine for children when subject to violent purging.
The juice of the flowers and an infusion of the whole plant was also prescribed against colic.
The expressed juice of the petals with the addition of a little alum makes a good blue ink.
The name Delphinium, from Delphin (a dolphin), was given to this genus because the buds were held to resemble a dolphin. Shakespeare mentions the plant under the name of Lark's Heel.
The name Consolida refers to the plant's power of consolidating wounds.

Laurel (Bay)

Botanical: Laurus nobilis (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Lauraceae
Medicinal Action and Uses
Sweet Bay. True Laurel. Bay. Laurier d'Apollon. Roman Laurel. Noble Laurel. Lorbeer. Laurier Sauce. Daphne.
---Parts Used---Leaves, fruit, oil.
Shores of the Mediterranean.
The Sweet Bay is a small tree, growing in Britain to a height of about 25 feet, but in warmer climates reaching as much as 60 feet. The smooth bark may be olive-green or of a reddish hue. The luxurious, evergreen leaves are alternate, with short stalks, lanceolate, 3 to 4 inches long, the margin smooth and wavy. They are thick, smooth, and of a shining, dark green color. The flowers are small, yellow and unisexual, and grow in small clusters. The shrub has been cultivated in Britain since the sixteenth century. It is the source of the ancients' crowns and wreaths for heroes and poets, and the modern term of 'bachelor,' given for degrees, is probably derived from bacca-laureus, or laurel-berry, through the French bachelier.
The Delphic priestesses are said to have made use of the leaves. It grows well under the shade of other trees if they are not too close, and is useful in evergreen plantations. The leaves are much used in cookery for flavouring. They are often packed with stick liquorice or dried figs. They are used fresh, and may be gathered all the year round.
The volatile oil is sometimes used in perfumery.
The dried, black, aromatic berries come from Provence, Spain, Italy and Morocco. They are ovoid, and the kernel of the seed is loose.
The wood is sweet-scented, and is used for marqueterie work.
Onguent de Laurier is prepared from the oil with axonge and the coloring and scenting principles of the leaves and fruit.
A greenish-yellow volatile oil is yielded by distillation from the leaves which contains a high percentage of oxygenated compounds. The berries contain both fixed and volatile oils, the former, known as Oil of Bays, includes laurostearine, the ether of lauric acid. Laurin can be extracted by alcohol.
A frequent substitute for the expressed oil is said to be lard-colored with chlorophyll or indigo and turmeric, scented with the berries. Boiling alcohol, which dissolves the true oil, will detect this.
The volatile oil contains pinene, geraniol, eugenol, cineol, etc.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Leaves, berries and oil have excitant and narcotic properties. The leaves are also regarded as a diaphoretic and in large doses as an emetic.
Except as a stimulant in veterinary practice the leaves and fruit are very rarely used internally. They were formerly employed in hysteria, amenorrhoea, flatulent colic, etc. The berries have been used to promote abortion.
Oil of Bays is used externally for sprains, bruises, etc., and sometimes dropped into the ears to relieve pain. The leaves were formerly infused and taken as tea, and the powder or infusion of the berries was taken to remove obstructions, to create appetite, or as an emmenagogue. Four or five moderate doses were said to cure the ague. The berries were formerly used in several French carminative preparations.
The following products are often mistaken for those of Laurus nobilis.
The fruits of Cocculus Indicus or Anamirta paniculata. They are odourless and kidneyshaped.
The oil of Pimenta Acris, from which bay rum is distilled in the West Indies, and which is also called oil of bay.
The leaves of Prunus Laurocerasus, or Cherry Laurel, to which the name of Laurel is now always applied. The margin of these short, strong serrations at intervals. Caution should be observed in distinguishing these, owing to their poisonous properties.

Laurel, Cherry

Botanical: Prunus Laurocerasus (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Rosaceae
Medicinal Action and Uses
Laurocerasifolia. Cherry-Bay. Common Laurel. Laurier-armande. Laurier aux Crèmes. Laurier-cérise.
---Part Used---Fresh leaves.
A native of Asia Minor. Largely cultivated in Europe.
This small, evergreen tree, growing to 20 feet in height, has spreading, slender branches, smooth, shining, and pale green. The leaves are thick, alternate, on short, thick stalks, oblong-ovate, from 5 to 7 inches long, growing narrower at each end, and with a slightly serrate margin. The dark green upper surface is smooth and shining and the under one much paler, dull, and the midrib very prominent. There are glandular depressions and hairs near the base.
The five-petalled, small white flowers grow in erect, oblong racemes. The fruit resembles black cherries, but grows in clusters like grapes. The leaves are without odour except when bruised and added to water, when they have the ratafia or almond odour of prussic acid. The taste is bitter, aromatic, and astringent.
The shrubs were introduced into Europe about 1580, and shortly afterwards into England.
The leaves are used for flavouring, but should be used with great care, owing to the risk of poisoning.
Cherry-Laurel Water has been used in Paris fraudulently to imitate the cordial called Kirsch.
The most active essence is reserved for perfumery.
There is difference of opinion as to the best season for gathering the leaves. Drying destroys the active principle.
The bruised leaves, like those of peach or almond, when rubbed within any vessel will remove the odour left by oil of cloves, balsam of copaiba, etc., if the grease has first been cleaned away with alcohol.
The leaves yield a volatile oil in the proportion of 40.5 grains to 1 lb. of leaves. This resembles oil of bitter almonds, and in Europe is sometimes sold for it, as flavouring, but the glucoside decomposes more slowly than crystallized amygdalin, and is liable to hold hydrocyanic acid, when it becomes poisonous. This glucoside was called Laurocerasin, or Amorphous amygdalin, and now Prulaurasin.
With emulsin and water, prulaurasin is decomposed, and yields benzaldehyde, hydrocyanic acid, and dextrose.
Cherry Laurel Water (Aqua Laurocerasi), according to the British Pharmacopceia, is prepared as follows:
'One pound of fresh leaves of cherrylaurel, 2 1/2 pints of water. Chop the leaves, crush them in a mortar, and macerate them in the water for 24 hours; then distil 1 pint of liquid; shake the product, filter through paper, and preserve it in a stoppered bottle.'
In America, oil of Bitter Almonds is often substituted, owing to the variability of the above.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
The water is a sedative narcotic, identical in its properties, to a diluted solution of hydrocyanic acid, but of uncertain strength.
Water, B.P., 1/2 to 2 drachms. Used for asthma, coughs, indigestion and dyspepsia, 1 drop of sulphuric acid added to a pint of Cherry Laurel Water will keep it unchanged for a year.

Laurel Mountain

Botanical: Kalmia latifolia (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Ericaceae
Medicinal Action and Uses
Preparations and Dosages
Other Species
Broad-leafed Laurel. Calico Bush. Spoon Wood. Ledum Floribus Bullates. Cistus Chamaerhodendros.
---Part Used---Leaves.
---Habitat---New Brunswick, Florida, Ohio, Louisiana, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Alleghany Mountains.
A beautiful evergreen shrub from 4 to 20 feet. When in full flower it forms dense thickets, the stems are always crooked, the bark rough. It was called Kalmia by Linnaeus in honour of Peter Kalm, a Swedish professor. The hard wood is used in the manufacture of various useful articles. Leaves ovate, lanceolate, acute on each end, on petioles 2 to 3 inches long. Flowers numerous, delicately tinted a lovely shade of pink; these are very showy, clammy, interminal, viscid, pubescent, simple or compound heads, branches opposite, flowering in June and July. The flowers yield a honey said to be deleterious. The leaves, shoots and berries are dangerous to cattle, and when eaten by Canadian pheasants communicate the poison to those who feed on the birds. The fruit is a dry capsule, seeds minute and numerous.
Leaves possess narcotic poisoning properties and contain tannic acid, gum, fatty matter, chlorophyll, a substance resembling mannite, wax extractive, albumen, an acrid principle, Aglucosidearbutin, yellow calcium iron.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Indians are said to use the expressed juice of the leaves or a strong decoction of them to commit suicide. The leaves are the official part; powdered leaves are used as a local remedy in some forms of skin diseases, and are a most efficient agent in syphilis, fevers, jaundice, neuralgia and inflammation, but great care should be exercised in their use. Whisky is the best antidote to poisoning from this plant. An ointment for skin diseases is made by stewing the leaves in pure lard in an earthenware vessel in a hot oven. Taken internally it is a sedative and astringent in active haemorrhages, diarrhoea and flux. It has a splendid effect and will be found useful in overcoming obstinate chronic irritation of the mucous surface. In the lower animals an injection produces great salivation, lachrymation, emesis, convulsions and later paralysis of the extremities and laboured respiration. It is supposed, but not proved, that the poisonous principle of this plant is Andromedotoxin.
---Preparations and Dosages---
A saturated tincture of the leaves taken when plant is in flower, is the best form of administration, given in doses of 10 to 20 drops every two or three hours. Decoction, 1/2 to 1 fluid ounce of powdered leaves from 10 to 30 grains. Salve made from juice of the plant is an efficient local application for rheumatism.
---Other Species---
Kalmia augusfifolia (Sheep's Laurel or Lambkill, or Narrow-leaved Laurel, so called because it poisons sheep, which feed on its leaves), this species is said to be the best for medicinal use. A decoction of its leaves, 1 OZ. to 1 quart of water reduced to a pint, is used by the negroes as a wash for ulcerations between the toes. A poisonous glucoside is found in the leaves of this species called asebotoxin, and also in K. latifolia.
K. Glauca, or Swamp Laurel, has similar properties.

Family: N.O. Labiatae
Description - Engligh Lavender
Description - Spike Lavender
Description - L. Stoechas
Medicinal Action and Uses
Preparations and Dosages
Lavender is a shrubby plant indigenous to the mountainous regions of the countries bordering the western half of the Mediterranean, and cultivated extensively for its aromatic flowers in various parts of France, in Italy and in England and even as far north as Norway. It is also now being grown as a perfume plant in Australia.
The fragrant oil to which the odour of Lavender flowers is due is a valuable article of commerce, much used in perfumery, and to a lesser extent in medicine. The fine aromatic smell is found in all parts of the shrub, but the essential oil is only produced from the flowers and flower-stalks. Besides being grown for the production of this oil, Lavender is widely sold in the fresh state as 'bunched Lavender,' and as 'dried Lavender,' the flowers are used powdered, for sachet making and also for pot-pourri, etc., so that the plant is a considerable source of profit.
Various species of Lavender are used in the preparation of the commercial essential oil, but the largest proportion is obtained from the flowers of Lavandula vera, the narrow-leaved form, which grows abundantly in sunny, stony localities in the Mediterranean countries, but nowhere to such perfection as in England. (The Editor has often come across fields of French Lavender in bloom and the scent has been poor compared with English Lavender grown under the worst conditions. -- EDITOR.) English Lavender is much more aromatic and has a far greater delicacy of odour than the French, and the oil fetches ten times the price. The principal English Lavender plantations are at Carshalton and Wallington in Surrey, Hitchin in Herts, Long Melford in Suffolk, Market Deeping (Lincs) and in Kent, near Canterbury. Mitcham in Surrey used to be the centre of the Lavender-growing industry, but with the extension of London the famous Lavender plantations of Mitcham and surrounding districts have been largely displaced by buildings, and during the War the cultivation of Lavender was still further diminished to give place to food crops, so that in 1920 not more than ten acres under Lavender cultivation could be stated to be found in the whole of Surrey, though some of the oil is still distilled in the neighbourhood, and the finest products continue to be described as 'Mitcham Lavender Oil.'
---Description--- ENGLISH LAVENDER
(Lavandula vera), the common narrow-leaved variety, grows 1 to 3 feet high (in gardens, occasionally somewhat taller), with a short, but irregular, crooked, much-branched stem, covered with a yellowish-grey bark, which comes off in flakes, and very numerous, erect, straight, broom-like, slender, bluntly-quadrangular branches, finely pubescent, with stellate hairs. The leaves are opposite, sessile, entire, linear, blunt; when young, white with dense stellate hairs on both surfaces; their margins strongly revolute; when full grown, 1 1/2 inch long, green with scattered hairs above, smoothly or finely downy beneath, and the margins only slightly revolute. The flowers are produced in terminating, blunt spikes from the young shoots, on long stems. The spikes are composed of whorls or rings of flowers, each composed of from six to ten flowers, the lower whorls more distant from one another. The flowers themselves are very shortly stalked, three to five together in the axils of rhomboidal, brown, thin, dry bracts. The calyx is tubular and ribbed, with thirteen veins, purple-grey in color, five-toothed (one tooth being longer than the others) and hairy; shining oil glands amongst the hairs are visible with a lens. The majority of the oil yielded by the flowers is contained in the glands on the calyx. The two-lipped corolla is of a beautiful bluish-violet color.
French Lavender oil is distilled from two distinct plants, found in the mountain districts of Southem France, both included under the name of L. officinalis by the sixteenth-century botanists, and L. vera by De Candolle. The French botanist Jordan has separated them under the name of L. delphinensis, the Lavender of Dauphine, and L. fragrans. The oils from the two plants are very similar, but the former yields oils with the higher percentage of esters.
---Description---The SPIKE LAVENDER
(L. spica, D.C., or latifolia, Vill.) is a coarser, broadleaved variety of the Lavender shrub, also found in the mountain districts of France and Spain, though preferring alluvial ground which has been brought down by water from higher levels. In this country it cannot so easily be cultivated in the open as the common Lavender, to which it has a very close similarity, but from which it can be distinguished by the inflorescence, which is more compressed, by the bracts in the axils of which the flowers are placed being much narrower and by the leaves which are broader and spatula shaped. The flowers yield three times as much of the essential oil - known as Spike oil - as can be got from our narrowleaved plant, but it is of a second-rate quality, less fragrant than that of the true Lavender, its odour resembling a mixture of the oils of Lavender and Rosemary.
Parkinson in his Garden of Pleasure says the L. spica 'is often called the Lesser Lavender or minor, and is called by some, Nardus Italica.' Some believe that this is the Spikenard mentioned in the Bible.
Dr. Fernie, in Herbal Simples, says:
'By the Greeks the name Nardus is given to Lavender, from Naarda, a city of Syria near the Euphrates, and many persons call the plant "Nard." St. Mark mentions this as Spikenard, a thing of great value.... In Pliny's time, blossoms of the Nardus sold for a hundred Roman denarii (or L.3 2s. 6d.) the pound. This Lavender or Nardus was called Asarum by the Romans, because it was not used in garlands or chaplets. It was formerly believed that the asp, a dangerous kind of viper, made Lavender its habitual place of abode, so that the plant had to be approached with great caution.'
L. SPICA and L. FRAGRANS often form hybrids, known as 'Bastard Lavender,' which grow in the mountain districts of France and Spain. Great care is necessary to avoid admixture in the still during distillation of Lavender, as Spike and the hybrids both injure the quality of the essential oil of true Lavender.
'White Lavender,' which is sometimes found in the Alps at extreme altitudes, is considered to be a form of L. delphinensis, the white flowers being a case of albinism. Attempts to propagate this form in this country rarely meet with much success.
L. Stoechas Another species of LAVENDER, L. Stoechas, known also as French Lavender, forms a pretty little shrub, with narrow leaves and very small, dark violet flowers, terminated with a tuft of brightcolored leaflets, which makes it very attractive. It is an inhabitant of the coast, but only occurs on sand or other crystalline rocks, and never on limestone. It is very abundant on the islands of Hyères, which the Ancient Romans called the 'Stoechades,' after this plant. This was probably the Lavender so extensively used in classical times by the Romans and the Libyans, as a perfume for the bath (whence probably the plant derived its name - from the Latin, lavare, to wash). It is plentiful in Spain and Portugal and is only used as a rule for strewing the floors of churches and houses on festive occasions, or to make bonfires on St. John's Day, when evil spirits are supposed to be abroad, a custom formerly observed in England with native plants. The odour is more akin to Rosemary than to ordinary Lavender. The flowers of this species were used medicinally in England until about the middle of the eighteenth century, the plant being called by our old authors, 'Sticadore.' It was one of the ingredients of the 'Four Thieves' Vinegar' famous in the Middle Ages. It is not used for distillation, though in France and Spain, the country people, in a simple manner extract an oil, used for dressing wounds, by hanging the flowers downwards in a closed bottle in the sunshine. The Arabs make use of the flowers as an expectorant and antispasmodic.
The Dwarf Lavender is more compact than the other forms and has flowers of a deeper color. It makes a neat edging in the fruit or kitchen garden, where the larger forms might be in the way, and the flowers, borne abundantly, are useful for cutting.
All the forms of Lavender are much visited by bees and prove a good source of honey.
Lavender was familiar to Shakespeare, but was probably not a common plant in his time, for though it is mentioned by Spencer as 'The Lavender still gray' and by Gerard as growing in his garden, it is not mentioned by Bacon in his list of sweet-smelling plants. It is now found in every garden, but we first hear of it being cultivated in England about 1568. It must soon have become a favourite, however, for among the long familiar gardenplants which the Pilgrim Fathers took with them to their new home in America, we find the names of Lavender, Rosemary and Southernwood, though John Josselyn, in his Herbal, says that 'Lavender Cotton groweth pretty well,' but that 'Lavender is not for the Climate.'
Parkinson has much to say about Lavender:
'Of Sage and of Lavender, both the purple and the rare white (there is a kinde hereof that beareth white flowers and somewhat broader leaves, but it is very rare and seene but in few places with us, because it is more tender and will not so well endure our cold Winters).'
'Lavender,' he says, 'is almost wholly spent with us, for to perfume linnen, apparell, gloves and leather and the dryed flowers to comfort and dry up the moisture of a cold braine.
'This is usually put among other hot herbs, either into bathes, ointment or other things that are used for cold causes. The seed also is much used for worms.'
Lavender is of 'especiall good use for all griefes and paines of the head and brain,' it is now almost solely grown for the extraction of its essential oil, which is largely employed in perfumery.
Of French Lavender he says:
'The whole plant is somewhat sweete, but nothing so much as Lavender. It groweth in the Islands Staechades which are over against Marselles and in Arabia also: we keep it with great care in our Gardens. It flowreth the next yeare after it is sowne, in the end of May, which is a moneth before any Lavender.'
Lavender was one of the old street cries, and white lavender is said to have grown in the garden of Queen Henrietta Maria.
Lavender is of fairly easy culture in almost any friable, garden soil. Itgrows best on light soil - sand or gravel - in a dry, open and sunny position. Loam over chalk also suits it. It requires good drainage and freedom from damp in winter.
The plant flourishes best on a warm, welldrained loam with a slope to the south or south-west. A loam that is too rich is detrimental to the oil yield, as excessive nourishment tends to the growth of leaf. Protection against summer gales by a copse on the southwest is also of considerable value, as these gales may do great damage to the crop by causing the tall flower-spikes to break away at their junction with the stem. Lavender also is liable to injury by frost and low-lying situations and those prone to become weatherbound in winter are to be avoided.
The founding of a Lavender plantation for the purpose of oil production is an enterprise which requires very careful consideration. The land should first be carefully cleaned of weeds in the autumn; these should be burnt, and the ashes distributed over the ground, together with some ordinary wood ashes if obtainable. The soil should then be prepared by 'trenching in' a quantity of shortstraw and stable refuse, but not much rich dung, and should lie fallow until the following spring, when any weeds remaining should be dealt with as before and the whole ploughed over. Towards late spring, the young plants should be dibbed in in rows running from north to south. Some growers plant out in rows 2 feet apart, leaving a foot between each plant. Another mode of planting favoured is to plant out 18 inches apart each way and when these plants have occupied the ground for one year, each intervening plant and those of every other row are taken out, leaving the land planted 36 inches by 36 inches, the wide spaces being judged to allow the plant full growth for flower-bearing, room for cutting flowers and for keeping the ground quite clear of weeds. The plants removed are utilized for planting up fresh ground, each being divided into about three.
The crop may be grown from seed, sown in April, but is mainly propagated by cuttings and layerings. It may also be propagated by division of roots. Cuttings of the young wood, or small branches, with a root or heel, pulled off the large plants, may be inserted in free, sandy soil, under hand-lights in August and September, and planted out during the following spring. The 'cuttings' are taken by pulling the small branches down with a quick movement, when they become detached with the desired 'heel' at their base. Cuttings root freely in April, also, in the open, protection being given in cold weather. They should be of young growths. A certain amount of watering will be required in dry weather until the cuttings are thoroughly established.
Young plants should as far as possible be kept from flowering during the first year by clipping, so that the strength of the plant is thrown into the lateral shoots to make it bushy and compact. A full picking is usually obtained from the second to the fifth year. After the third year, the bushes are apt to become straggly. They can be pruned in March and care should be taken to always have young plants ready to follow on, to take the place of exhausted, over-straggly bushes. In commercial practice, the bushes are seldom retained after their fifth year. It follows, therefore, that in order to keep up a continuous supply of bushes in their prime, planting and grubbing must, on an established plantation, be done every year. Most growers plant say a fifth portion of the ultimate area of Lavender aimed at in the first instance and this is repeated each year until the fifth year, when the area first planted is grubbed immediately after flowering, the old plants burnt, the ashes put upon the ground, and the land ploughed and manured and left fallow until the following spring, when re-stocking can commence.
At Mitcham, Lavender was grown for even six years in succession by judiciously removing worn plants and inserting young ones. Severe frost will often kill rows of plants and their place must be renewed.
During the last few years, plants have been subject to Lavender disease, caused by the fungus, Phoma lavandulae; this causes a heavy loss, as the disease spreads rapidly. It can be eradicated, however, by eliminating and burning the infested plants. English Lavender is more robust in habit than the French plant.
A parasitic plant, Cuscuta epithymum, one of the Dodders, will attack and destroy the fine Lavenders, delphinensis and fragrans, but does not affect the less valuable 'Bastard' Lavender, which eventually survives by itself.
Insect pests are principally small caterpillars and similar animals, which feed upon the leaves of the plant.
The bulk of the flowers are used for the distillation of the volatile oil, which is commonly distilled from the flowerstalks and flowers together, the spikes being cut with a small hook about 6 to 9 inches below the flowers, at the end of July or August, according to season. It will be necessary to provide a small distilling plant on the grower's premises, unless arrangements can be made for the distillation of the crop at a local distillery.
Cutting for distilling takes place generally about a week later than for market; the blooms must all be fully developed, because the oil at this time contains the maximum amount of esters.
Harvesting should be carried out rapidly - the cutting managed in a week if possible - so long as the weather is dry and there is no wind, the morning and evening of a fine day being particularly favourable to the flower gathering, on account of the fact that a certain amount of the ester portion of the oil is dissipated by a hot sun, as is easily seen by the fact that the Lavender plantations, and all fields of aromatic plants, are most highly perfumed about mid-day. Further, if there is any wind, the mid-day is the time when it will be hottest and most saturated with moisture, thus easily taking up the more volatile and more soluble particles of the essential oil. Very cold weather prevents the development of esters and rain is fatal for harvesting. If rain or fog appears, cutting should cease and not be resumed till the sun shines again. The cut Lavender should be laid on clean dry mats and covered from sun scorch immediately. There must be no moisture in the stook, neither must it be dried up by wind or sun. The mats will be rolled up in the cool of the evening before the dew is falling and carted to the still. For some purposes, the stalks are shortened to about 6 inches before stilling, but, generally, the whole of the contents of the mat are placed carefully in the still right away.
If more flowers are cut than can be dealt with quickly in the still, the flowers should be stored in a closed shed so as to prevent them drying and losing a portion of the essential oil. Every effort should be taken to prevent the slightest fermentation of the flowers before distillation. Fermentation means a smaller yield and a poorer quality of oil.
In making the most refined Lavender oil, the blossoms are carefully stripped off the stalk previous to distillation and distilled alone, but this is necessarily a more expensive way of proceeding. The oil in the stalks has a much coarser odour. The British Pharmacopoeia directs that Lavender oil for medicinal use should be thus distilled from the flowers after they have been separated from their stalks, and the oil distilled in Britain is alone official, as it is very superior to foreign oil of Lavender.
The stills usually employed by growers are of simple construction, any fault in the distillate being subsequently rectified by fractional distillation. The stills are constructed of copper, and generally built to take a charge of about 5 cwt. of flowers at a time. It is important to avoid burning, and the practice is to provide the stills with two chambers, with a perforated false bottom between, the lower chamber being filled with water which should be as soft as possible. Distillation is conducted by boiling the water beneath the charge with steam brought from a boiler to a coil, the top of which must be at least 1 foot beneath the bottom of the charge chamber. The oilflow from the condenser must be watched for, and complete distillation of the charge usually takes about six hours from commencement of the flow.
The yield of the oil is apt to vary considerably from season to season, as the age of the bushes and the weather will affect both the quantity and quality of the product. The amount of sunlight in the weeks before distillation has a great influence: the best oil is obtained after a hot, droughty season, heavy rains detract from the yield.
An acre of Lavender in its prime would in a favourable year yield from 15 to 20 lb. of oil, but taking the whole of the area planted as described above, an average yield of 12 lb. to the area would be a fair estimate.
The distillate should be left for several months to become quite clear and transparent before it is offered for sale.
At Hitchin, it has been calculated that 60 lb. of good flowers will yield on the average 16 fluid ounces of oil.
Growers not doing their own distilling, but preparing the flowers dry for market, should spread the stalks out in the open, on trays or sieves, in a cool, shady position, out of the sun, so that they may dry slowly. The trays should be raised a few feet from the ground, to ensure a warm current of air, and the stems must not be allowed to touch, or the flowers will be spoilt by the moist heat engendered. They must be taken indoors before there is any risk of them getting damp either by dew or showers. When dry, they should be stored in a dry place and made up into bundles. The flowers may also be stripped from the stalks and dried by a moderate heat. They have a greyish-blue color when dried.
The principal constituent of Lavender is the volatile oil, of which the dried flowers contain from 1.5 to 3 per cent fresh flowers yielding about 0.5 per cent. It is pale yellow, yellowish-green or nearly colorless, with the fragrant odour of the flowers and a pungent, bitter taste. The chief constituents of the oil are linalool and its acetic ester, linalyl acetate, which is also the characteristic ingredient of oil of bergamot and is present in English oil of Lavender to the extent of 7 to 10 per cent. Other constituents of the oil are cineol (in English oil, only a trace in French oils), pinene, limonene, geraniol, borneol and some tannin. Lavender oil is soluble in all proportions of alcohol.
It is principally to the esters that Lavender oil owes its delicate perfume. In the oil there are two esters which practically control the odour, of these the principal is linalyl acetate, the second is linalyl butyrate, and Lavender oil nowadays is very largely valued by chemical analysis, involving a determination of the esters. Many things influence the ester value of Lavender oil. In the first place, the preponderance of one or other of the varieties of Lavender used for distillation makes an appreciable difference; in cultivated material, the use of artificial manures not only increases the ester value of the oil, but also increases the yield. The gathering of the flowers when fully expanded and their rapid transport to the stills has considerable influence and the rapid distillation by steam shows a very marked advantage over water distillation. The proportion of esters in Lavender also depends on the period of development of the flower. In June, the estersare found disseminated throughout all the green parts of the plant. From this time onwards, as the plants develop, the esters commence to concentrate in the flowering spikes: the accumulation of oil in these spikes can be distinctly seen by the naked eye in brilliant sunshine, the tiny oil globules shining like little diamonds. The delicacy is completed by the concentration of the esters during the following month, in an ordinary year, the maximum odour is developed by the end of July. About the middle of August, the perfume commences to deteriorate. Oil distilled from the earliest flowers is pale and contains a higher proportion of the more valuable esters, oil distilled from the later flowers has a preponderance of the less valuable esters and is darker in color. It is evident from these facts that the correct time of gathering is directly flowering is at the full, and English Lavender is always entirely harvested in under a week, and the flowers are distilled on the spot.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Lavender was used in earlier days as a condiment and for flavouring dishes 'to comfort the stomach.' Gerard speaks of Conserves of Lavender being served at table.
It has aromatic, carminative and nervine properties. Though largely used in perfumery, it is now not much employed internally, except as a flavouring agent, occurring occasionally in pharmacy to cover disagreeable odours in ointments and other compounds.
Red Lavender lozenges are employed both as a mild stimulant and for their pleasant taste.
The essential oil, or a spirit of Lavender made from it, proves admirably restorative and tonic against faintness, palpitations of a nervous sort, weak giddiness, spasms and colic. It is agreeable to the taste and smell, provokes appetite, raises the spirits and dispels flatulence. The dose is from 1 to 4 drops on sugar or in a spoonful or two of milk.
A few drops of the essence of Lavender in a hot footbath has a marked influence in relieving fatigue. Outwardly applied, it relieves toothache, neuralgia, sprains, and rheumatism. In hysteria, palsy and similar disorders of debility and lack of nerve power, Lavender will act as a powerful stimulant.
'It profiteth them much,' says Gerard, 'that have the palsy if they be washed with the distilled water from the Lavender flowers, or are annointed with the oil made from the flowers and olive oil in such manner as oil of roses is used.'
Culpepper says that:
'a decoction made with the flowers of Lavender, Horehound, Fennel and Asparagus root, and a little Cinnamon, is very profitably used to help the falling-sickness (epilepsy) and the giddiness or turning of the brain.'
Salmon in his Herbal (1710) says that:
'it is good also against the bitings of serpents, mad-dogs and other venomous creature, being given inwardly and applied poultice-wise to the parts wounded. The spirituous tincture of the dried leaves or seeds, if prudently given, cures hysterick fits though vehement and of long standing.'
In some cases of mental depression and delusions, oil of Lavender proves of real service, and a few drops rubbed on the temple will cure nervous headache.
Compound Tincture of Lavender, sold under the name of Lavender drops, besides being a useful coloring and flavouring for mixtures, is still largely used for faintness. This tincture of red Lavender is a popular medicinal cordial, and is composed of the oils of Lavender and Rosmary, with cinnamon bark, nutmeg and red sandle wood, macerated in spirit of wine for seven days. A teaspoonful may be taken as a dose in a little water after an indigestible meal, repeating after half an hour if needed.
It has been officially recognized in the successive British Pharmacopceia for over 200 years. In the eighteenth century, this preparation was known as 'palsy drops' and as 'red hartshorn.' The formula which first appeared in the London Pharmacopceia at the end of the seventeenth century was a complicated one. It contained nearly thirty ingredients, and was prepared by distilling the fresh flowers of lavender, sage, rosemary, betony, cowslips, lily of the valley, etc., with French brandy; in the distillate such spices as cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, cardamoms were digested for twenty-four hours, and then musk, ambergris, saffron, red roses and red sanders-wood were tied in a bag and suspended in the spirit to perfume and color it. The popularity of this remedy for two hundred and fifty years may be understood by referring to the statements made concerning its virtues when it was first made official. It was said to be useful:
'against the Falling-sickness, and all cold Distempers of the Head, Womb, Stomach and Nerves; against the Apoplexy, Palsy, Convulsions, Megrim, Vertigo, Loss of Memory, Dimness of Sight, Melancholy, Swooning Fits and Barrenness in Women. It was given in canary, or the Syrup of the Juice of Black-cherries, or in Florence wine. Country people may take it in milk or fair water sweetened with sugar.... It is an excellent but costly medicine.'
In the London Pharmacopceia of 1746 a very drastic change was made in the recipe and practically no change has been made since that time.
A tea brewed from Lavender tops, made in moderate strength, is excellent to relieve headache from fatigue and exhaustion, giving the same relief as the application of Lavender water to the temples. An infusion taken too freely, will, however, cause griping and colic, and Lavender oil in too large doses is a narcotic poison and causes death by convulsions.
'The chymical oil drawn from Lavender,' to quote Culpepper, 'usually called Oil of Spike, is of so fierce and piercing a quality, that it is cautiously to be used, some few drops being sufficient to be given with other things, either for inward or outward griefs.'
Lavender oil is found of service when rubbed externally for stimulating paralysed limbs. Mixed with 3/4 spirit of turpentine or spirit of wine it made the famous Oleum Spicae, formerly much celebrated for curing old sprains and stiff joints. Fomentations with Lavender in bags, applied hot, will speedily relieve local pains.
A distilled water made from Lavender has been used as a gargle and for hoarseness and loss of voice.
Its use in the swabbing of wounds obtained further proof during the War, and the French Academy of Medicine is giving attention to the oil for this and other antiseptic surgical purposes. The oil is successfully used in the treatment of sores, varicose ulcers, burns and scalds. In France, it is a regular thing for most households to keep a bottle of Essence of Lavender as a domestic remedy against bruises, bites and trivial aches and pains, both external and internal.
Lavender oil is also used in veterinary practice, being very efficacious in killing lice and other parasites on animals. Its germicidal properties are very pronounced. In the south-east of France it is considered a useful vermifuge.
The oil is used in the embalming of corpses to a steadily increasing extent.
---Preparations and Dosages---
Fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm. Compound Tincture, B.P., and U.S.P., 1/2 to 1 drachm. Oil, 1 to 3 drops. Spirit, B.P. and U.S.P., 5 to 30 drops.
Adulteration of Lavender Oil. French oils containing less than 30 per cent of esters are very often mixed with Spike or Bastard Lavender oils. Formerly adulteration used to be with oil of Turpentine, often mixed with coco-nut oil, but this has given place to various artificial esters prepared chemically, which are practically odourless and only added to make the oil appear to have a higher ester percentage than it really has. Recently, crude mixtures of Lavender oil with Petitgrain oil have been noticed on the market.
Spanish Lavender Oil, distilled in Spain and sold largely to England as Lavender oil, is not a genuine Lavender oil at all, but an oil practically free from esters, having the general character of Spike Lavender oil. The production of this oil now reaches about 40,000 kilos per annum.
Spike Lavender Oil is of a penetrating, camphoraceous odour and is never worth more than about one-fifth of the value of genuine Lavender oil. The oil is used in veterinary practice in considerable quantities, as a prophylactic in cases of incipient paralysis. It is also employed (together with that from L. Stoechas) in the manufacture of certain types of fine varnishes and lacquers, with oil of turpentine, and used by painters on porcelain. It is used to a very great extent in cheap perfumery and for scenting soaps, especially in England and the United States. The annual production of Spike Lavender oil in France is about 25,000 kilos.
This oil of Latifolia or Spica is said to admirably promote the growth of the hair when weakly or falling off. A decoction - Spike Water - can be made from the plant.
Dried Lavender flowers are still greatly used to perfume linen, their powerful, aromatic odour acting also as a preventative to the attacks of moths and other insects. In America, they find very considerable employment for disinfecting hotrooms and keeping away flies and mosquitoes, who do not like the scent. Oil of Lavender, on cotton-wool, tied in a little bag or in a perforated ball hung in the room, is said to keep it free from all flies.
Not only are insects averse to the smell of Lavender, so that oil of Lavender rubbed on the skin will prevent midge and mosquito bites, but it is said on good authority that the lions and tigers in our Zoological Gardens are powerfully affected by the scent of Lavender Water, and will become docile under its influence.
The flowers and leaves were formerly employed as a sternutatory and probably stillenter into the composition of some snuffs.
In the East, especially in Turkey and Egypt, they are used, as of old, for perfuming the bath.
The 'straw,' completely freed from the flowers, is sold and used as litter and also for making ointment. If burnt, for deodorizing purposes, the stalks diffuse a powerful, but agreeable odour.
Lavender Water can easily be prepared at home. Into a quart bottle are put 1 OZ. essential oil of Lavender, one drop of Musk and 1 1/2 pint spirits of wine. These three ingredients are well mixed together by shaking. The mixture is left to settle, shaken again in a few days, then poured into little perfume bottles fitted with air-tight stoppers. This is another recipe from an old family book:
'Put into a bottle half a pint of spirit of wine and two drachms of oil of lavender. Mix it with rose-water, five ounces, orange-flower water, two ounces, also two drachms of musk and six ounces of distilled water.'
This is stated to be 'a pleasant and efficacious cordial and very useful in languor and weakness of the nerves, lowness of spirits, faintings, etc.'
Another recipe is to mix 2 oz. of refined essence of Lavender with 3/4 pint of good brandy. This Lavender Water is so strong that it must be diluted with water before it is used.
Lavender Vinegar. A refreshing toilet preparation is made by mixing 6 parts of Rosewater, 1 part of spirits of Lavender and 2 parts of Orleans vinegar.
It can also be prepared from freshly gathered flower-tops. These are dried, placed in a stoppered bottle and steeped for a week in Orleans vinegar. Every day the bottle must be shaken, and at the end of the week the liquid is drained off and filtered through white blotting paper.
Another delicious and aromatic toilet vinegar is made as follows: Dry a good quantity of rose leaves, lavender flowers and jasmine flowers. Weigh them, and to every 4 oz. of rose leaves allow 1 OZ. each of lavender and jasmine. Mix them well together, pour over them 2 pints of white vinegar, and shake well, then add 1/2 pint of rose-water and shake again. Stand aside for ten days, then strain and bottle.

Lavender Cotton

Botanical: Santolina Chamaecyparissus (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Compositae
---Part Used---Herb.
Lavender Cotton (also sometimes called French Lavender, like L. Stoechas) is botanically known as Santolina Chamaecyparissus. It is not a true Lavender at all, buthas yellow, clustered buttons of composite flowers and finely-cut, grey, rather disagreeably-scented leaves, whose odour somewhat resembles Chamomile. It is used as a vermifuge for children. This plant was once also esteemed for its stimulant properties, and the twigs have been used for placing amongst linen, etc., to keep away moths. All the species of Santolina have a strong resemblance to one another, except S. fragrantissima, which differs in having the flowerheads in flat inflorescences termed corymbs, the flowers all being at the same level, instead of singly at the apex of the twigs.
The Arabs are said to use the juice of this plant for bathing the eyes. Culpepper tells us that Lavender Cotton 'resists poison, putrefaction and heals the biting of venomous beasts.' It is now chiefly used as an edging to borders, spreading like a silvery carpet close to the ground.
A perfume oil is also extracted from it.

Lavender, Sea, American

Botanical: Statice Caroliniana (WALT.)
Family: N.O. Plumbaginaceae
Statice Limonium. Ink Root. Sea Lavender. Marsh Rosemary.
---Part Used---Root.
America, Europe and England. A perennial maritime plant with a large, fleshy, fusiform, brownish-red root; limnal leaves in tufts - obovate, entire, obtuse, mucronate, smooth, and on long foot-stalks. Flowers, pale bluish-purple. Fruit an oblong utricle, one-seeded, enclosed in calyx, usually called Marsh Rosemary. It is common in the salt marshes of the Atlantic shore. Flowers August to October.
---Part Used---
is the root. This is large, heavy, blackish, inodorous, with a bitter, saltish and very astringent taste.
Volatile oil, resin, gum, albumen, tannic acid, caoutchouc, extractive and coloring matter, woody fibre, and various salts. It has long been in use as a domestic remedy for diarrhoea, dysentery, etc., but is only used as an astringent tonic after the acute stage has passed. It is also very useful as a gargle or wash in ulcerations of mouth and throat, scarlatina, anguinosa, etc. The powdered root is applied to old ulcers, or made with a soothing ointment for piles. As an injection the decoction is very useful in chronic gonorrhoea, gleet, leucorrhoea, prolapsus of womb and anus, and in some ophthalmic affections. It can otherwise be used where astringents are indicated and may be applicable to all cases where kino and catechu are given. It is said to be a valuable remedy for internal and local use in cynanche maligna. Decoction is 1 ounce of powdered root to 1 pint, in wineglassful doses.


Botanical: Citrus Limonum (RISSO.)
Family: N.O. Rutaceae
Medicinal Action and Uses
Preparations and Dosages
Substitutes and Adulterations
Other Species
Citrus medica. Citrus Limonum. Citronnier. Neemoo. Leemoo. Limoun. Limone.
---Parts Used---Rind, juice, oil.
Indigenous to Northern India. Widely cultivated in Mediterranean countries.
The name Limonum is derived from the Arabic Limun or Limu, which in its turn probably comes from the Sanscrit Nimbuka. There are several varieties of Citrus medica, only differing in the character of their fruits. The principal ones are the lemon, citron or cedrat, and lime. The Bergamot is also closely related. The trees reached Europe by way of Persia or Media and were grown first in Greece and then in Italy in the second century.
The Lemon is a small, straggling tree about 11 feet high, irregularly branched, the bark varying in color from clear grey on the trunk, green on the younger branches to a purplish color on the twigs. The evergreen leaves are ovate-oval, about two inches long, the margin serrate with sharp spines in the axils of the stalks. The solitary, fivepetalled flowers, white inside and tinged with deep pink outside, grow on stems in the axils. The well-known fruit is an ovoid berry, about three inches long, nipple-shaped at the end, smooth, bright yellow, indented over the oil-glands, having an acid, paleyellow pulp. About forty-seven varieties are said to have been developed during the centuries of cultivation.
The finest fruits arrive wrapped separately in paper, cases of the Messina lemons containing 360, and of Murcia lemons 200. Those from Naples and Malaga are thought to be less fine. Inferior fruits, preserved in salt water, are packed in barrels. It is stated that they can be kept fresh for months if dipped in melted paraffin or varnished with shellac dissolved in alcohol.
The peel, Limonis Cortex, is white and spongy inside, varying much in thickness, and the yellow outer layer, formerly called the flavedo, has a fragrant odour and aromatic, bitter taste. Only the fresh rind is official.
Candied lemon peel may be prepared by boiling the peel in syrup and then exposing it to the air until the sugar is crystallized.
The juice, L. succus, is largely imported as a source of citric acid, but is mixed with that of lime and bergamot. It does not keep well, and several methods are tried for preserving it, such as covering it with a layer of almond oil, mixing with alcohol and filtering, or adding sulphur dioxide, but none appear to be very satisfactory. The juice should be pressed fresh for pharmaceutical purposes, the amount of citric acid being greatest in December and January and least in August.
In Sicily, the pulp left after the production of the volatile oil is pressed for juice in large quantities and the solid matter left is used as cattle food.
The oil, Oleum Limonis, is more fragrant and valuable if obtained by expression than by distillation. It is usually prepared in Sicily and Calabria, and sometimes at Nice and Mentone, where the 'Essence de Citron distillée' is prepared by rubbing fresh lemons on a coarse, tin grater, and distilling the grated peel with water. The better 'Essence de Citron au zeste' is prepared with the aid of a saucer-shaped, pewter dish with a pouring lip at one side and a closed funnel sunk from the middle. In the bottom are sharp, strong brass pins on which the peel is rubbed. This vessel is called an écuelle à piquer, but a machine called scorzetta is gradually coming into use.
The method of expression in Sicily is that of squeezing large slices of peel against sponges fixed in the hand, the sponges when soaked being wrung into an earthen bowl with a spout, in which the oil separates from the watery liquid. The peel is afterwards pickled in brine and sold to manufacturers for candying.
The roots and wood are cut in winter. The latter takes a beautiful polish and is nicely veined.
The dried flowers and leaves are used in pharmacy in France.
The Lemon is widely used in cookery and confectionery. A thousand lemons yield between 1 and 2 lb. of oil. The immature fruit yields less and the quality is inferior.
Messina alone exported 155,000 kilos of oil in 1919.
Lemon Peel yields its virtues to alcohol, water, or wine. It contains an essential oil and a bitter principle. Crystals of the glucoside Hesperidin are deposited by the evaporation of the white pulpy portion boiled in water. Diluted acids decompose it into Hesperitin and glucose.
Lemon Juice contains from 6.7 to 8.6 per cent of citric acid. It is officially described as 'a slightly turbid yellowish liquor, possessing a sharp, acid taste and grateful odour. '
It contains also sugar, gum, and a very little potash. An imitation lemon juice has been made by dissolving tartaric acid in water, adding sulphuric acid and flavouring with oil of Lemon. It is useless therapeutically.
Oil of Lemon is dextrogyre. It contains 7 to 8 per cent of citral, an aldehyde yielding geraniol upon reduction, a small amount of pinene and citronellal, etc. It is stated that citral, citronellal, and an ester of geraniol are all necessary for the true odour.
The oil is not very active, and is used chiefly for flavouring.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Lemon juice is probably the best of all antiscorbutics, being almost a specific in scurvy. English ships are required by law to carry sufficient lemon or limejuice for every seaman to have an ounce daily after being ten days at sea. Its value in this direction has been stated to be due to its vitamines.
It is valuable as a cooling drink in fevers, and for allaying thirst. When unobtainable, a solution of 8 drachms of crystallized citric acid in 16 OZ. of water, flavoured with oil of lemon, may be substituted.
The juice may be used in diaphoretic and diuretic draughts. It is highly recommended in acute rheumatism, and is sometimes given to counteract narcotic poisons, especially opium.
Locally, it is a good astringent, whether as a gargle in sore throat, in pruritis of the scrotum, in uterine haemorrhage after delivery, or as a lotion in sunburn. It is said to be the best cure for severe, obstinate hiccough, and is helpful in jaundice and hysterical palpitation of the heart. The decoction has been found to be a good antiperiodic, useful as a substitute for quinine in malarial conditions, or for reducing the temperature in typhoid.
It is probable that the lemon is the most valuable of all fruit for preserving health.
The oil, externally, is a strong rubefacient, and taken internally in small doses has stimulating and carminative properties.
Preparations of the rind are used as an aromatic addition to tonics, and also the syrup of the fresh peel, and the juice.
---Preparations and Dosages---
Fresh juice (for rheumatism), 4 to 6 fluid ounces. Oil, B.P., 3 to 5 minims. Juice, B.P., 1/2 to 4 drachms. Tincture, B.P. and U.S.P., 1/2 to 1 drachm. Syrup, B.P., 1/2 to 4 drachms.
---Substitutes and Adulterations---
The most dangerous adulterant of the oil is citrene, the terpene left after extracting citral from oil of lemon which has been used in making terpeneless oil.
Fixed oils, alcohol, and purified oil of turpentine are sometimes found, the last causing a terebinthinate odour if evaporated from heated paper.
The pure oil should show scarcely any pinene.
Artificial lemon juice should not be used as an antiscorbutic.
---Other Species---
Lime juice, the product of C. medica acida, is recognized by the National Formulary under the name of Succus Citri.
Cedrat Lemon, or C. medica cedra, yields the essential oils of citron and cedra used in perfumery.
Lippia citriodora, yielding verbena oil, is commonly known as Lemon Verbena.
Java Lemon is C. Javanica. Median Lemon is a variety of C. medica. Pear Lemon is a variety of C. Limetta. Pearl Lemon is C. margarita. Sweet Lemon is C. Lumia. Water Lemon is Passiflora laurifolia. Wild Lemon or Ground Lemon is Podophyllum peltatum. Lemon Yellow is the name of Chrome Yellow, a neutral lead-chromate.

Lettuce, Wild

Botanical: Lactuca virosa (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Compositae
Medicinal Action and Uses
Lactucarium. Strong-scented Lettuce. Green Endive. Lettuce Opium. Laitue vireuse. Acrid Lettuce.
---Parts Used---
The dried milk-juice (Lactuarium), the leaves.
Western and Southern Europe, including Britain.
The name lactuca is derived from the classical Latin name for the milky juice, virosa, or 'poisonous.'
It is a biennial herb growing to a maximum height of 6 feet. The erect stem, springing from a brown tap-root, is smooth and pale green, sometimes spotted with purple. There are a few prickles on the lower part and short horizontal branches above. The numerous, large, radical leaves are from 6 to 18 inches long, entire, and obovate-oblong. The stem leaves are scanty, alternate, and small, clasping the stem with two small lobes. The heads are numerous and shortly-stalked, the pale-yellow corolla being strap-shaped. The rough, black fruit is oval, with a broad wing along the edge, and prolonged above into a long, white beak carrying silvery tufts of hair. The whole plant is rich in a milky juice that flows freely from any wound. This has a bitter taste and a narcotic odour. When dry, it hardens, turns brown, and is known as lactucarium.
The Wild Lettuce grows on banks and waste places, flowering in July and August. It is cultivated in Austria, France, Germany and Scotland. Collectors cut the heads of the plants and scrape the juice into china vessels several times daily until it is exhausted. By slightly warming and tapping, it is turned out of its cup mould, is cut into quarters and dried.
In the United States, after importation from Germany via England it is said to be used as an adulterant for opium. It is usually found in irregular, reddish-brown lumps the size of a large pea, frequently mouldy on the outside. In the United States the German and French lactucarium is considered inferior to the British product.
All lettuces possess some of this narcotie juice, Lactuca virosa having the most, and the others in the following order: L. scariola, or Prickly Lettuce, L. altissima, L. Canadensis, or Wild Lettuce of America, and L. sativa, or Garden Lettuce. Cultivation has lessened the narcotic properties of the last, but it is still used for making a lotion for the skin useful in sunburn and roughness. The Ancients held the lettuce in high esteem for its cooling and refreshing properties. The Emperor Augustus attributed his recovery from a dangerous illness to it; built an altar to it, and erected a statue in its honour.
Lactucarium is not easily powdered, and is only slightly soluble in boiling water, though it softens and becomes plastic.
Thridace, or the inspissated juice of L. capitata, is now regarded as inert.
A mild oil, used in cooking, is said to be obtained from the seeds in Egypt.
L. virosa has been found to contain lactucic acid, lactucopicrin, 50 to 60 per cent lactucerin (lactucone) and lactucin. Lactucarium treated with boiling water and filtered is clear, but on cooling the filtrate becomes turbid. It is not colored blue by iodine test solution. The usual constituents of latex are albumen, mannite, and caoutchouc.
The fresh juice reddens litmus paper.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
The drug resembles a feeble opium without its tendency to upset the digestive system. It is used to a small extent as a sedative and narcotic.
Dissolved in wine it is said to be a good anodyne.
Dr. Collins stated that twenty-three out of twenty-four cases of dropsy were cured by taking doses of 18 grains to 3 drachms of extract in twenty-four hours. It is used in Germany in this complaint, but combined with more active drugs. It is said to be also a mild diaphoretic and diuretic, easing colic, inducing sleep and allaying cough.
Water distilled from lettuce (eau de laitre) is used in France as a mild sedative in doses of 2 to 4 OZ., and the fresh leaves boiled in water are sometimes used as a cataplasm.
Moderate doses given to the lower animals act as a narcotic poison, an injection having even caused death.
Of powder, 10 to 20 grains or more. Of tincture, 30 to 60 drops. Of alcoholic extract, 1 to 5 grains. Of Lactucarium, 5 to 20 grains. Of fluid extract leaves, 1/4 to 1 drachm. Of syrup, U.S.P., 2 drachms. Tincture, U.S.P., 30 drops.

Life Everlasting (Pearl-Flowered)
Botanical: Antennaria Margaritaceum
Family: N.O. Compositae
American Everlasting. Cudweed.
---Parts Used---
Leaves, flowers, stalks.
North America, Kamschatka and in English gardens. Grows wild in Essex, near Bocking, and in Wales. Cultivated in Whin's Cottage garden by the writer.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---Anodyne, astringent, pectoral, useful in diarrhoea, dysentery, pulmonary affections, as a poultice for sprains, bruises, boils, painful swellings. Said to produce sleep. When hops have failed, applied externally to the head, a decoction of the flowers and stalks used in America as a fomentation for pained and bruised limbs, and for bronchitis.
Leaves linear, lanceolate, acuminate; alternate stalk branched at top; corymbs fastigiate; root perennial, creeping, spreading, becoming almost a troublesome weed; stalks very downy, and white flowering branches form a flat broad bunch, each branch with numerous crowded heads, on short branched downy peduncles, the middle ones sessile; calyx scales bluntly ovate and white, but not downy, flowers July to September. Easily propagated by creeping roots. The plant is slightly fragrant.

Life Root
See Groundsel.

Lilacs (White and Mauve)

Botanical: Syringa vulgaris
Family: N.O. Oleaceae
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonym---Common Lilac.
---Parts Used---Leaves, fruit.
---Habitat---Persia, mountainous regions of Eastern Europe.
A shrub or small tree up to 20 feet in height producing a crowd of erect stems, occasionally a trunk over 2 feet in girth, clothed with spirally arranged flakes of bark. Shoots and leaves smooth, leaves heart-shape or ovate, 2 to 6 inches long, from 3/4 to almost as much wide near the base; stalk 3/4 to 1 1/2 inch long. Panicles pyramidal, 6 to 8 inches long, usually in pairs from the terminal buds, flowers fragrant; corolla tube 1/3 to 1/2 inch long; lobes concave; calyx and flower-stalks have gland tipped down; seed vessels smooth, 5/8 inch long, beaked.
Introduced to Britain during time of Henry VIII, mentioned in an inventory taken at Norwich by Oliver Cromwell.
Syringa Baccifera is a synonym of Mitchella repens or Partridge Berry and must not be confused with S. vulgaris.
---Medicinal Action and Uses--
-Used as a vermifuge in America and as a tonic anti-periodic and febrifuge; may be used as a substitute for aloes and in the treatment of malaria.


Family: N.O. Liliaceae
The Lilies belong to a genus consisting of less than 100 known species, occurring in all parts of the Northern Hemisphere. They are mostly found growing in fairly good soil in association with shrubs and other plants which shade their roots and help to keep the bulbs cool and in a uniform state as regards moisture.
With some exceptions, Lilies grown as garden plants in this country are fairly hardy, especially if planted deep enough and in doubtful cases given protection with ashes or dry litter. The majority of Lilies require a soil fairly rich in humus or vegetable mould, and if it is desirable to plant Lilies in poor soil or in chalky districts, an area must be dug out 2 feet deep and filled in with kitchen garden soil mixed with fibrous loam and sand. Plant the bulbs fully 3 inches deep in most cases and surround them with an envelope of sand 1/2 inch thick; this allows excessive moisture to pass away freely; it acts also as a guard against the attacks of slugs, and, by reason of its sterility, as a barrier against the spread of such fungoid diseases as may infest the surrounding soil and which would be likely to destroy the bulbs if they gained access to them. The bulbs of all Lilies root quicker and with greater freedom if a few pieces of peat are placed beneath them when planted. Many cases of failure can be traced to the condition of the soil, as the bulbs rot during winter owing to the presence of stagnant moisture: it is useless to plant Lilies in very poor ground or in any position which is waterlogged in winter. In their native countries they enjoy more sunshine in their growing season than we usually get and wet at the root during winter often proves fatal to many of them. When growing, however, all Lilies require plenty of moisture. If they are neglected in this respect they will not produce the glorious spikes of flowers they are capable of; moreover, a Lily once drought-stricken or in any way seriously checked in growth so as to produce debility, rarely recovers its health. Disappointment with Lilies is due often also to late planting, but if good home-grown bulbs of the different kinds are planted before the end of September, to give them time to make their natural autumn growth, they should, in suitable soil, flower well the next year.
A large number of varieties produce two distinct sets of root - those from the base of the bulb and others from the base of the stem, above the bulb. These are termed 'stem-rooting.'
In planting Lily bulbs, two points are essential to bear in mind: (1) Does the species relish lime or detest it? (2) Is it a stem-rooter, demanding in consequence to be deeply planted, or is it provided with basal roots only, requiring less depth in planting?
Lilium candidum, L. Martagon and L. tigrinum succeed in well-drained sandy loam and may with advantage be planted in the herbaceous border, all except candidum being planted at least 6 to 8 inches in depth.
The best manure for all Lilies is wood ash, provided it has been carefully stored in a dry place, because its virtue consists in the potash it contains, which a single shower suffices to dissolve and wash to waste. The ash of twigs and leaves contains a larger percentage of potash than that of large branches and logs.
Lilies are propagated by means of division or offsets, which as such increase freely, but increase by seed and bulbscales are the more usual methods.
L. tigrinum and some others produce little bulbs in the axils of the leaves, which form a ready means of increase and only need growing on under suitable conditions to produce flowering bulbs. L. candidum produces plenty of small bulbs around the parent bulb and thus affords a ready means of increase. For those that do not produce seeds or offsets readily, propagation by bulb-scales is resorted to, each healthy scale being capable of producing a new bulb at its base. The scales are pulled off and inserted in pans and boxes of sandy soil and stood in cold frames, when in about six months small bulbs are produced at the base of the scales.
All Lilies that do not afford a ready means of increase by bulbils or division, or bulbscales should be grown by seeds, which is the only way to attain success in this country with many of them. Imported bulbs as a rule only grow for one or two years and then die; although immense consignments of beautiful Asiatic species of Lilies are annually imported, less than 50 per cent of them survive to a second season, flowering, if at all, only once from nutriment stored within the bulb, the cause being probably want of care in raising and packing the bulb and the fact, also, that the great majority of bulbs on arrival are found to be infested with mites or fungus.
Lilies grown from seed take from two to six years to produce flowers. When raising from seed, a regular rotation should be maintained by sowing a quantity of seed each year. Many Lilies germinate exceedingly well in cold frames when sown in March, April or May. When the young seedlings have made their second or third leaf, they may be planted outdoors in a sheltered border during the spring, to get well-established before winter, the less hardy ones being grown in frames.
The mould Botrytis cinerea, which attacks so many garden plants, often attacks Lilies, especially L. candidum: it is usually the foliage that is attacked. On the first signs, the plants should be sprayed with a solution of sulphide of potassium, using an ounce to a gallon of warm water (temperature 100 degrees to 120 degrees F.), at the same time removing any affected leaves and burning them. If a little soft soap is dissolved with the mixture, it adheres muchbetter to the foliage and is not so easily washed off by rain. In bad cases, the bulbs may be affected, in which case they should be thoroughly dusted with flowers of sulphur. Cut off and burn the diseased stems, lift the bulbs, place them in a large paper bag containing flowers of sulphur, give a good shaking to work the sulphur well into the scales and then replant in a fresh site. This precaution has often proved successful in warding off a subsequent attack of the disease.
The disease is a more or less mysterious one: it often appears in a virulent form in one garden, whereas in a neighbouring one the plants may be quite free from it. Once it finds foothold in the soil of a garden it remains there, potent for evil whenever the atmospheric conditions are favourable. In dull, chilly, damp summers, the disease becomes epidemic, and does widespread harm to many plants besides Lilies. The sun is the most powerful antidote against the fungus, which is spread by spores too minute for the eye to see.
It is often said that white Lilies in cottage gardens are exempt from attacks of the disease, but in an epidemic they are spared no more than are those in manor gardens. Spraying the foliage with a solution of potassium sulphide helps to keep the disease in check, but it is not a cure; no absolute remedy has yet been discovered, and those who plant this lily must not expect to have it in full beauty every year. This country has relied too much on other nations for its supply of bulbs in the past, and quantities of infected bulbs of L. candidum are imported annually from Central and Southern France, where la Toile - as the French call B. cinerea - has even more of a grip than it has here; and the rapid spread of the disease may well be due in some measure to that tainted source. All the bulbs needed in Great Britain could be grown here. The wild Grecian form of L. candidum seems more resistant to Botrytis than the cultivated forms.
Lilies are on the whole singularly free from insect and other pests, though wood-lice sometimes prove troublesome. On some soils, slugs are the chief menace; the grey slug attacks the stem and leaves, but the black slug is the more insidious, as it attacks the bulbs and working underground is difficult to deal with. The best means of keeping slugs in check are good cultivation and trapping. One mode of trapping that is much recommended is, to place on the ground in the evening boards smeared on their under sides with a mixture of flour and stale beer.Examine the boards every morning and destroy the catch. Dry bran also catches many. Coarse, clean sand and small sifted cinders placed round the bulbs will also ward off attacks.
Mice will eat bulbs, especially L. tigrinum, and the edible Lilies of Japan.
In China, the dried scales of L. japonicum are considered nourishing and useful in diseases of the chest, as a substitute for Salep, the product of Orchis tubers.
L. Martagon (Linn.), the PURPLE TURK'S CAP LILY, is occasionally found growing wild in this country, but is rare, though it has been met with on chalk hills and in woody places in the south of England. It is, however, much cultivated, and is the hardiest of all Lilies, doing well in full sunshine, or in partial shade. It is a lime-lover, very easy to cultivate, usually increases very freely, and is easily raised from seed. It is strong-growing, but very graceful, producing twenty to thirty light spotted, purple flowers, on a tall stem, having reflexed petals, forming a sort of turban, the stamens appearing like a tuft of feathers at the top. The flowers give off their scent at night.
The Martagon group of Lilies, the form of whose flowers has led to their being called Turk's Cap, comprises many of our best known garden species whose habitats are in widely distant portions of the globe. From America have been introduced the so-called Swamp Lilies, L. pardalinum, the Panther Lily, L. canadense and L. superbum. L. Hansoni hails from Japan, and these with the Martagons proper carry their leaves in whorls, while in the best known of the remaining species the leaves are scattered on the stem. Of these may be mentioned the scarlet Turk's Cap (L. chalcedonicum) from Greece; L. pyrenaicum (straw-colored) from the Pyrenees; L. monadelphum from the Caucasus; L. pomponium verum (yellow) from Italy.
The old Martagon is the commonest European species, being distributed throughout the whole of the southern and central portions of the Continent. It was mentioned by Gerard in his list of garden plants in 1596, and, though now out of favour, owing to its dull purple color, has remained in cultivation, especially in cottage plots, ever since. Though interesting for its old associations, it is now superseded by the more striking forms. Although the purple Martagon bulbs are eaten in their native countries, they are too local here to be reckoned as one of our esculent herbs.

Lily, Crown Imperial

Botanical: Fritillaria imperialis (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Liliaceae
Fritillaria imperialis (Linn.), the Crown Imperial Lily of Persia, is said to be there cultivated as a food plant, its bulb possessing poisonous properties when raw, but being wholesome when cooked.
There are two kinds of this handsome plant, associated with the earliest type of English gardens. They bear a circle of pendulous flowers - one blooms pure lemon yellow, the other deep orange red - and have a crown of foliage above them. The same name is given to this Lily in all European languages.
The bulbs have a foetid odour, described as being like that of a fox, and are powerfully acrid and poisonous. Even honey from the flowers is said to be emetic.
Imperialine was isolated by Fragner in 1888, on extracting the bulbs with chloroform. This alkaloid and its salts are intensely bitter and are heart poisons.
No medicinal use is made of the plant.


Botanical: Convallaria magalis (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Liliaceae
Medicinal Action and Uses
Preparations and Dosages
-May Lily. Convallaria. Our Lady's Tears. Convall-lily. Lily Constancy. Ladder-to-Heaven. Jacob's Ladder. Male Lily.
---Parts Used---
Flowers, leaves, whole herb.
It is a native of Europe, being distributed also over North America and Northern Asia, but in England it is very local as a wild flower. In certain districts it is to be found in abundance, but in many parts it is quite unknown. It is rare in Scotland and doubtfully native and only naturalized in Ireland. It grows mostly in the dryer parts of woods - especially ash woods - often forming extensive patches, and is by no means peculiar to valleys, though both the English and botanical names imply that it is so.
Culpepper reports that in his time these little Lilies grew plentifully on Hampstead Heath, but Green, writing about 100 years ago, tells us that 'since the trees on Hampstead Heath, near London, have been destroyed, it has been but sparingly found there.'
The Lily-of-the-Valley, with its broad leaves and fragrant little, nodding, white, bell-shaped flowers, is familiar to everyone.
In early spring days, the creeping rhizome, or underground stem, sends up quill-like shoots emerging from a scaly sheath. As they lengthen and uncoil, they are seen to consist of two leaves, their stalks sheathing one within the other, rising directly from the rhizome on long, narrowing foot-stalks, one leaf often larger than the other. The plain, oval blades, with somewhat concave surfaces, are deeply ribbed and slant a little backwards, thus catching the rain and conducting it by means of the curling-in base of the leaf, as though in a spout, straight down the foot-stalk to the root. At the back of the leaves, lightly enclosed at the base in the same scaly sheath, is the flower-stalk, quite bare of leaves itself and bearing at its summit a number of buds, greenish when young, each on a very short stalk, which become of the purest white, and as they open turn downwards, the flowers hanging, like a pearl of fairy bells, each bell with the edges turned back with six small scallops. The six little stamens are fastened inside the top of the bell, and in the centre hangs the ovary. There is no free honey in the little flowers, but a sweet, juicy sap is stored in a tissue round the base of the ovary and proves a great attraction to bees, who also visit the flower to collect its pollen and who play an important part in the fertilization of the flowers.
By September, the flowers have developed into scarlet berries, each berry containing vermilion flesh round a pale, hard seed. Though the plant produces fruit freely under cultivation, its propagation is mainly effected by its quickly-creeping underground stem, and in the wild state its fruit rarely comes to maturity. Its specific name, Majalis, or Maialis, signifies 'that which belongs to May,' and the old astrological books place the plant under the dominion of Mercury, since Maia, the daughter of Atlas, was the mother of Mercury or Hermes.
There is an old Sussex legend that St. Leonard fought against a great dragon in the w woods near Horsham, only vanquishing it after a mortal combat lasting many hours, during which he received grievous wounds, but wherever his blood fell, Lilies-of-theValley sprang up to commemorate the desperate fight, and these woods, which bear the name of St. Leonard's Forest to this day, are still thickly carpeted with them.
Legend says that the fragrance of the Lilyof-the-Valley draws the nightingale from hedge and bush, and leads him to choose his mate in the recesses of the glade.
The Lily-of-the-Valley is one of the British-grown plants included in the Pharmacopoeia, and its medicinal virtues have been tested by very long experience. Although not in such general use as the Foxglove, it is still prescribed by physicians with success. Its use dates back to ancient times, for Apuleius in his Herbal written in the fourth century, declares it was found by Apollo and given by him to Æsculapius, the leech.
In recent years it has been largely employed in experiments relating to the forcing of plants by means of anaesthetics such as chloroform and ether. It has been found that the winter buds, placed in the vapour of chloroform for a few hours and then planted, break into leaf and flower considerably before others not tested in this manner, the resulting plants being, moreover, exceptionally fine.
The leaves yield a green dye, with lime water.
Lily-of-the-Valley is fairly easy to cultivate, preferring well-drained, rich, sandy loam, in moist situations.
Plant towards the end of September. The ground for Lily-of-the-Valley should be thoroughly stirred to a depth of 15 inches, early in September, laying it up rough for a few weeks, then breaking it down and adding some rotten manure, or if that cannot be obtained, some kind of artificial manure must be used, but this is better applied later on, hoeing it in just as growth appears. Plant the crowns about 6 inches apart and work fine, rich soil, with some leaf mould if possible, in between. Leave at least 9 inches between the rows. Keep the crowns well below the surface and above all plant firmly.
In some soils the plants will last longer in the best form than in others, but should be transplanted about every fourth year and in light, porous soils it may be necessary to do so every third year. Periodic transplanting, deep culture and liberal feeding produce fine blooms. Autumn is the best time for remaking beds, which are best done in entirely fresh soil. Cut the roots from the old bed out into tufts 6 inches or 9 inches square, and divide into pieces 3 inches square. Replant the tufts the original 6 inches apart. It is best to prepare the entire beds before replanting. Replanted by October, the crowns will be well settled in by winter rains, and the quality of the spikes will show a marked difference in early spring.
---Parts Used Medicinally---
The whole plant, collected when in flower and dried, and also the root, herb and flowers separately. The inflorescence is said to be the most active part of the herb, and is preferred on that account, being the part usually employed.
The flowers are dried on the scape or flower-stalk, the whole stalk being cut before the lowermost flowers are faded. A good price is obtainable for the flowers, and in Lincolnshire, Derbyshire, Westmorland and other counties, where the plant grows freely wild, they would pay for collecting. During the process of drying, the white flowers assume a brownish-yellow tinge, and the fragrant odour almost entirely disappears, being replaced by a somewhat narcotic scent, the taste of the flowers is bitter.
If Lily-of-the-Valley flowers are thrown into oil of sweet almonds or olive oil, they impart to it their sweet smell, but to become really fragrant the infusion has to be repeated a dozen times with the same oil, using fresh flowers for each infusion.
The chief constituents of Lily-of-the-Valley are two glucosides, Convallamarin, the active principle, a white crystalline powder, readily soluble in water and in alcohol, but only slightly in ether, which acts upon the heart like Digitalin, and has also diuretic action, and Convallarin, which is crystalline in prisms, soluble in alcohol, slightly soluble in water and has a purgative action. There are also present a trace of volatile oil, tannin, salts, etc.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Lily-of-the-Valley is valued as a cardiac tonic anddiuretic. The action of the drug closely resembles that of Digitalis, though it is less powerful; it is used as a substitute and strongly recommended in valvular heart disease, also in cases of cardiac debility and dropsy. It slows the disturbed action of a weak, irritable heart, whilst at the same time increasing its power. It is a perfectly safe remedy. No harm has been known to occur from taking it in full and frequent doses, it being preferable in this respect to Digitalis, which is apt to accumulate in the blood with poisonous results.
It proved most useful in cases of poisonous gassing of our men at the Front.
It is generally administered in the form of a tincture. The infusion of 1/2 OZ. of herb to 1 pint of boiling water is also taken in tablespoonful doses. Fluid extracts are likewise prepared from the rhizome, whole plant and flowers and the flowers have been used in powdered form.
A decoction of the flowers is said to be useful in removing obstructions in the urinary canal, and it has been also recommended as a substitute for aloes, on account of its purgative quality.
---Preparations and Dosages---
Fluid extract, herb, 10 to 30 drops. Fluid extract, whole plant, 10 to 30 drops. Fluid extract, flowers, 1/2 to 1 drachm.
Russian peasants have long employed the Lily-of-the-Valley for certain forms of dropsy proceeding from a faulty heart.
Special virtues were once thought to be possessed by water distilled from the flowers, which was known as Aqua aurea (Golden Water), and was deemed worthy to be preserved in vessels of gold and silver. Coles (1657) gives directions for its preparation:
'Take the flowers and steep them in New Wine for the space of a month; which being finished, take them out again and distil the wine three times over in a Limbeck. The wine is more precious than gold, for if any one that is troubled with apoplexy drink thereof with six grains of Pepper and a little Lavender water they shall not need to fear it that moneth.'
Dodoens (1560) pointed out how this water 'doth strengthen the Memorie and comforteth the Harte,' and about the same time, Joachim Camerarius [Culpepper says it was Gerard who said this. - EDITOR.], a renowned physician of Nuremberg, gave a similar prescription, which Gerard quotes, saying that:
'a Glasse being filled with the flowers of May Lilies and set in an Ant Hill with the mouth close stopped for a month's space and then taken out, ye shall find a liquor in the glasse which being outwardly applied helps the gout very much.'
This spirit was also considered excellent as an embrocation for sprains, as well as for rheumatism.
We are told by old writers that a decoction of the bruised root, boiled in wine, is good for pestilential fevers, and that bread made of barley meal mixed with the juice is an excellent cure for dropsy, also that an ointment of the root and lard is good for ulcers and heals burns and scalds without leaving a scar.
Culpepper said of the Lily-of-the-Valley:
'It without doubt strengthens the brain and renovates a weak memory. The distilled water dropped into the eyes helps inflammations thereof. The spirit of the flowers, distilled in wine, restoreth lost speech, helps the palsy, and is exceedingly good in the apoplexy, comforteth the heart and vital spirits.'
The powdered flowers have been said to excite sneezing, proving serviceable in the relief of headache and earache; but to some sick people the scent of the flowers has proved harmful.
In some parts of Germany, a wine is still prepared from the flowers, mixed with raisins.

Lily, Madonna

Botanical: Lilium candidum (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Liliaceae
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonym---White Lily.
---Part Used---The bulb.
Mediterranean countries.
When found in Palestine, Lilium candidum is sometimes pointed out as the 'Lily of the Field,' but this more probably was L. chalcedonicum, the brilliantly scarlet Martagon Lily, which is specially abundant about the Lake of Gennesaret on the plains of Galilee. The Shushan, or Lily of Scripture, had probably a very broad meaning and might refer to any striking blossom.
This white Lily was a popular favourite with the ancient Greeks and Romans. In the early days of Christianity it was dedicated by the Church to the Madonna (hence its popular name), probably because its delicate whiteness was considered a symbol of purity. It is employed on the 2nd July, in connection with the celebration of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin.
It has been cultivated in this country for over three centuries, and no cottage garden was considered complete without this old favourite. Gerard, the famous apothecary, botanist and gardener of that period, says, 'Our English white lilie groweth in most gardens of England.'
It produces stiff, erect stems, 3 to 5 feet high, clothed with lance-shaped leaves. The flowers appear in June, flowering into July, and have a strong, sweet, penetrating perfume, so powerful as to be even annoying to some people. The honey is secreted in long grooves at the base of the white, floral leaves. There are several varieties, that with black stems, var. peregrinum, being the best for the garden.
The Madonna Lily, when it is immune from disease, to which it is very prone, has a vigorous constitution, being so hardy that frost does not injure it. It will thrive in almost any soil and situation and is easily cultivated. Though it will do well in ordinary garden soil - especially in raised beds - one of the chief causes of disease is planting in low, badly-drained soil. It produces the finest flowers when growing in a rich, deep, moist loam, where its roots remain undisturbed for years. It is a limelover and failures to grow it can often be ascribed to absence of lime in the soil. No plant dislikes removal or digging near the roots more than this lily. This really is the secret of its thriving so well in cottage gardens. It should, therefore, be assigned a home where it can be left, so to speak, to the care of itself (if grown from the horticultural point of view), when it will flower and flourish for a number of years, but the bulbs should be dug up and replanted as soon as they show signs of deteriorating. So long as the plants continue to thrive, it is not advisable to disturb them, for cases have been known where they failed entirely after being transplanted, although they were in a perfect condition previous to shifting them, and they should never be moved more frequently than once in three years.
Planting or replanting should not be delayed beyond the end of August. The bulbs should not be planted more than 4 inches deep and not less than 6 inches apart, as the plants grow tall and spread very fast, being increased by offsets, which the bulbs send out in such plenty, as to make it necessary to take them off every other, or at most every third year, to prevent them weakening the principal bulb. The time for removing them, to ensure flowering next year, is the end of July to August, soon after the stalks decay.
Besides wood ash, an annual top dressing of decayed manure and a dusting of bonemeal in autumn have been found most beneficial to this Lily.
The bulbs are collected in August, and used both dry and fresh. Each bulb is composed of imbricated, fleshy scales, lanceolate and curved, about 1 1/2 inch long and rather less than an inch broad at the widest part. It is odourless, with a slightly bitter and disagreeable taste. The scales should be stripped off separately for drying, and spread on shelves in a warm room for about ten days, then finished off by artificial heat.
The flowers of the Lily were formerly considered anti-epileptic and anodyne: a distilled water was employed as a cosmetic, and oil of Lilies was supposed to possess anodyne and nervine powers. But their odorous matter, though very powerful, is totally dissipated in drying and entirely carried off in distillation, either with spirit or water, so no essential oil can be obtained from them in this manner.
The petals communicate their fragrance to almond and olive oil, and also to lard, and have thus been employed in the past by perfumers.
The bulb, only, is now employed for medicinal purposes, having highly demulcent and also somewhat astringent properties.
Bulbs are collected in August, and used both dried and fresh.
Each bulb is composed of imbricated, fleshy scales, lanceolate and curved, about 1 1/2 inch long and rather less than 1/2 inch broad in the centre. It is without odour, but has a peculiar, disagreeable, somewhat bitter and mucilaginous taste.
To dry the scales, strip them off separately and spread them on shelves in a kitchen or other warm room for about ten days, then finish off more quickly in greater heat over a stove or gas fire, or in oven when the fire has just gone out.
The bulb contains a great deal of mucilage and a small proportion of an acrid principle, but the latter it loses by drying, roasting, or boiling; when cooked, the bulb is viscid, pulpy, sweet and sugary and is eaten by many people in the East. The Japanese are said to specially esteem the bulb of this species served with white sauce.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Demulcent, as tringent. Owing to their highly mucilaginous properties, the bulbs are chiefly employed externally, boiled in milk or water, as emollient cataplasms for tumours, ulcers and external inflammation and have been much used for this purpose in popular practice. The fresh bulb, bruised and applied to hard tumours, softens and ripens them sooner than any other application.
Made into an ointment, the bulbs take away corns and remove the pain and inflammation arising from burns and scalds, which they cure without leaving any scar.
The ointment also had the reputation of being an excellent application to contracted tendons. Gerard tells us:
'The root of the Garden Lily stamped with honey gleweth together sinewes that be cut asunder. It bringeth the hairs again upon places which have been burned or scalded, if it be mingled with oil or grease. . . The root of a white Lily, stamped and strained with wine, and given to drink for two or three days together, expelleth the poison of the pestilence.'
In the fresh state, the bulb is also said to have been employed with advantage in dropsy, for Culpepper (1652), besides confirming the uses of the Lily bulb which Gerard gives, tells us 'the juice of it being tempered with barley meal baked is an excellent cure for the dropsy.'
Combined with Life Root (Senecio aureus), it is recommended in modern herbal practice for healing female complaints generally.
---Dosage---Of infusion, in water or milk, 3 tablespoonsful.
Country people sometimes steep the fresh blooms in spirit and use the liquid as a lotion for bruises in the same manner as Arnica or Calendula.
The bulbs of several other species of Lilies besides those of L. candidum are eaten, as those of L. Kamschatcense, L. Martagon, the Turk's Cap, and L. Pomponium, the Turban or Yellow Martagon, in Siberia. The Chinese and Japanese eat regularly the bulbs of L. tigrinum, the Tiger Lily and the Goldenrayed Lily of Japan, L. auratum.

Lily, Tiger

Botanical: Lilium tigrinum
Family: N.O. Liliaceae
---Parts Used---
Leaves, stalks, flowers, collected when the plant is in full maturity.
---Habitat---China and Japan.
The plant flowers in July and August; the bloom is orange color and spotted. The upper leaves cordate and oval. It does not ripen seed in this country, but is propagated from the bulbils produced in the axils of the leaves which should yield flowering bulbs in three years from the time of planting.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
A tincture is made from the fresh plant and has proved of great value in uterine-neuralgia, congestion and irritation, also in the nausea and vomiting of pregnancy.
It relieves the bearing down pain accompanying uterine prolapse.
It is an important remedy in ovarian neuralgia. Poisoning by the pollen of the plant has produced vomiting, drowsiness and purging.
1/8 to 5 drops of the tincture.

Lily, White Pond

Botanical: Nymphaea odorata (SOLAND)
Family: N.O. Nymphaeaceae
Medicinal Action and Uses
Sweet Water Lily. Sweet-scented Water Lily. Water Nymph. Large White Water Lily.
---Part Used---
The fresh root.
---Habitat---Sluggish streams, ponds and marshes, in most parts of the United States, near the coast.
Perennial aquatic herb, grows to the surface of the water from a thick horizontal root-stock, stem absent, flowers growing on long peduncles and the leaves on separate petioles. Stipules deltoid or nearly reniform, emarginate; leaves always floating orbicular, smooth, and shining, dark green above, wine-color beneath. Flowers large white, showy and fragrant, often 6 inches in diameter; sepals four elliptical scaphoid, nearly free; petals numerous; stamens indefinite; ovary large globular, depressed, eighteen to twenty-four-celled. Fruit a depressed globular, fleshy body; seeds oblong, stipulate. The flowers open as the sun rises, after a few hours gradually closing, being entirely closed during the midday heat and at night.
The roots contain tannin, gallic acid and mucilage, starch, gum, resin, sugar, ammonia, tartaric acid, fecula, etc.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
The root is astringent, demulcent, anodyne, and antiscrofulous, used in dysentery, diarrhoea,gonorrhoea, and leucorrhoea externally. The leaves and roots have been used in form of poultice to boils, tumours, scrofulous ulcers and inflamed skin; the infusion is used as a gargle for ulcers in the mouth and throat.
The powdered root, 1/2 drachm. Infusion up to 2 fluid ounces.
The virtues of the root are quickly imparted to water.
A poultice of leaves and roots relieves boils, tumours, ulcers, and inflamed skin. A complete cure of uterine cancer by a decoction and a vaginal injection is recorded.
The dose of the powdered root is 1/2 drachm in milk or sweetened water; but the best form is an infusion of 1 OZ. in a pint of boiling water, macerated for thirty minutes, of which 2 to 4 fluid ounces may be given three or four times a day.
The EUROPEAN YELLOW POND-LILY (Nuphar Advena or Nuphar luteum - Spatterdock or Frog-lily) may be used as a substitute. It contains much nuphar-tannic acid.

Lime Fruit

Botanical: Citrus acida (ROXB.)
Family: N.O. Rutaceae
Medicinal Action and Uses
Other Species
Citrus acris. Limettae Fructus.
---Parts Used---
The juice, the fruit.
West Indies, especially Montserrat. A native of Asia.
The Lime is a small tree, crooked and prickly, only reaching as a rule a height of 8 feet. The leaves are ovateoblong, and the stalk is not winged like that of the orange and lemon tree. The flowers are small and white and the fruit about half the size of a lemon, with a smoother, thinner rind, having a greenish tinge in its yellow. In Jamaica it is often planted for fences.
In London nurseries several varieties are found, the principal ones being the Chinese spreading, the West Indian, the Common, the broad-leaved and the weeping.
The juice is principally used in the manufacture of citric acid, and for medicinal purposes is often used indiscriminately with that of the lemon, although its flavour is not so popular.
Oil of Limes is used for flavouring purposes, especially in mineral waters and artificial lime-juice cordials, consisting of sweetened solutions of tartaric acid.
The National Formulary IV of America has defined and standardized Lime Juice as follows: the expressed juice of the ripe fruit of Citrus medica acida, containing in each one hundred mils not less than 5 gm. nor more than 10 gm. of total acids, calculated as crystallized citric acid (H3C6H5O7 plus H2O: 210.08). It is clear or slightly turbid, pale yellow or greenish-yellow, with the characteristic odour and taste of limes. Specific gravity 1.025 to 1.040 at 25 degrees C.
It must be free from sulphuric acid, and may contain 0.04 gm. of SO2 in each 100 mils, but no other preservatives nor artificial colors.
The rind contains a volatile oil including the terpene limonene and citral.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Antiscorbutic. Used in dyspepsia with glycerine of pepsin.
Of 40 per cent glycerite of pepsin and 60 per cent. Lime juice, 2 fluid drachms.
---Other Species---
C. Limetta, grown in Italy, yields an oil resembling oil of Bergamot, called Italian Limette oil. It contains 26 per cent ling acetate. After standing it forms the yellow deposit limettin. It differs from the distilled West Indian oil of Limes.

Lime Tree

Botanical: Tilia Europoea (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Tiliaceae
Medicinal Action and Uses
Tilia vulgaris. Tilia intermedia. Tilia cordata. Tilia platyphylla. Linden Flowers. Linn Flowers. Common Lime. Flores Tiliae. Tilleul.
---Parts Used---
The flowers, the charcoal.
Northern Temperate Zone, especially British Isles.
This tree will grow to 130 feet in height and when in bloom perfumes its whole neighbourhood. The leaves are obliquely heart-shaped, dark green above, paler below, from 2 1\2 to 4 inches long and sharply toothed. The yellowish-white flowers hang from slender stalks in flattened clusters. They have five petals and five sepals. The original five stamens have each developed a cluster, and there is a spoon-shaped false petal opposite each true one.
Linden Tea is much used on the Continent, especially in France, where stocks of dried lime-flowers are kept in most households for making 'Tilleul.'
The honey from the flowers is regarded as the best flavoured and the most valuable in the world. It is used exclusively in medicine and in liqueurs.
The wood is useful for small articles not requiring strength or durability, and where ease in working is wanted: it is specially valuable for carving, being white, close-grained, smooth and tractable in working, and admits of the greatest sharpness in minute details. Grinley Gibbons did most of his flower and figure carvings for St. Paul's Cathedral, Windsor Castle, and Chatsworth in Lime wood.
It is the lightest wood produced by any of the broad-leaved European trees, and is suitable for many other purposes, as it never becomes worm-eaten. On the Continent it is much used for turnery, sounding boards for pianos, in organ manufacture, as the framework of veneers for furniture, for packingcases, and also for artists' charcoal making and for the fabrication of wood-pulp.
The inner bark or bast when detached from the outer bark in strands or ribands makes excellent fibres and coarse matting, chiefly used by gardeners, being light, but strong and elastic. Fancy baskets are often made of it. In Sweden, the inner bark, separated by maceration so as to form a kind of flax, has been employed to make fishing-nets.
The sap, drawn off in the spring, affords a considerable quantity of sugar.
The foliage is eaten by cattle, either fresh or dry. The leaves and shoots are mucilaginous and may be employed in poultices and fomentations.
The flowers contain a fragrant, volatile oil, with no color, tannin, sugar, gum and chlorophyll.
The bark contains a glucoside, tilicin, and a neutral body, tiliadin.
The leaves exude a saccharine matter having the same composition as the manna of Mount Sinai.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Lime-flowers are only used in infusion or made into a distilled water as household remedies in indigestion or hysteria, nervous vomiting or palpitation. Prolonged baths prepared with the infused flowers are also good in hysteria.
In the Pyrenees they are used to soothe the temporary excitement caused by the waters, and M. Rostan has used them with success against spasms. The flowers of several species of Lime are used.
Some doctors prefer the light charcoal of lime wood to that of the poplar in gastric or dyspeptic disturbances, and its powder for burns or sore places.
If the flowers used for making the tisane are too old they may produce symptoms of narcotic intoxication.

See Flax.


Botanical: Lippia dulcis (TREV.)
Family: N.O. Verbenaceae
Medicinal Action and Uses
Other Species
Yerba dulce. Mexican Lippia.
---Part Used---
A dozen species of Lippias are utilized in medicine and in perfumery for their fragrant oils.
The drug Lippia Mexicana consists of the leaves and flowers of L. dulcis, an evergreen shrub, about 18 feet high, with rough bark, the branches and leaves in pairs, the flowerstalks in the axils of the leaves, bearing many pyramidal, scaly heads about the size of a small grey pea, in which are many small yellow flowers between the scales. The leaves are 1 to 1 1/2 inch long, ovate, narrowed into the petiole, acute, finely-toothed above, veiny and glandular-hairy. They have a peculiar, sweet and very delightful, aromatic odour and taste.
In 1886, Podwisrotzki separated an essential oil from the leaves,resembling that of fennel, as well as a camphor-like substance which he named Lippiol. (According to Maish, however, the plant used was probably the Cedronella Mexicana.)
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
The drug finds employment as a stimulating expectorant, the tincture, in doses of 1/2 to 1 fluid drachm, is given as a respiratory sedative in coughs. It acts as an alterative on the mucous membranc.
Lippiol, in doses of 4 1/2 grains, causes warmth, flushing, diaphoresis and drowsiness.
---Other Species---
L. GRAVEOLENS (H. B.) is similarly employed in Mexico, where it is known as Yerba dulce.
L. ORIGANOIDES (Kunth) is used as a substitute for origanum.
The yellowish-green leaves of L. CYMOSA of Jamaica are scented like Pennyroyal.
L. NODIELORA (Mx.) is employed in India under the names of Buccar, Vakhar, Ratolia; and in Chile it is called Yerba de la Sainte Maria.
In Brazil, L. PSEUDO-THEA (Schauer) is used as a substitute for tea and its fruit is eaten.
L. SCABERRIMA (Souder) is the South African shrub Benkess Boas, and its leaves yield about 0.25 per cent of volatile oil, somewhat resembling lavender in its odour. It contains the crystalline alcohol, Lippianol.
The Lemon-scented Verbena of gardens (the Verveine odorante of the French), so much valued for the fragrance of its leaves, was once referred to the genus Verbena, under the name of Verbena triphylla. Lyons subsequently assigned it to the genus Aloysia (hence a gardener's popular name for it: Herb Louisa, a corruption of the Latin name, Aloysia), but it is now classed in the genus Lippia and named L. CITRIODORA (Kunth). It differs from Verbena in having two, not four, nutlets in the fruit.

Lippia Citriodora
See Verbena.


Botanical: Glycyrrhiza glabra (LINN.) and Other Species
Family: N.O. Leguminosae
Medicinal Action and Uses
Preparations and Dosages
Liquiritia officinalis. Lycorys (thirteenth century).
(Welsh) Lacris.
(French) Reglisse.
(German) Lacrisse.
(Italian) Regolizia.
---Part Used---
The Liquorice plants are shrubs, natives of South-east Europe and South-west Asia, as far as Persia, the G. glabra ranging more especially to the westward, the G. glandulifera more to the eastward and being the source of the Eastern Liquorice root of commerce.
The Liquorice of medicine and commerce is derived from the sweet root of various species of Glycyrrhiza, a genus which contains about fourteen species, natives of warmer temperate countries in both the New and Old Worlds, ten of them having roots more or less sweet, but most of them not sufficiently so to be of use.
Hundreds of tons of Liquorice for commercial and medicinal purposes are imported annually from Spain, Russia, Germany, France and the East, most of our supply coming from Spain and Italy.
There are several well-marked species: G. glabra, glandulifera, echinata, etc. The chief source of the drug is G. glabra, which is cultivated in England, but is imported chiefly from Spain and Italy. There are several other varieties in commerce - Russian and Persian Liquorice - but these are not recognized by the British Pharmacopceia as suitable for medicinal purposes.
The use of the Liquorice plant was first learnt by the Greeks from the Scythians. Theophrastus (third century B.C.), in commenting on the taste of different roots (Hist. Plant. lib. IX. c. 13), instances the sweet Scythian root which grows in the neighbourhood of the Lake Maeotis (Sea of Azov), and is good for asthma, dry cough and all pectoral diseases.
Dioscorides, who names the plant Glyrrhiza (Greek glukos, sweet, and riza, a root), from his description of the plant possibly had in view G. echinata, as well as G. glabra.
The plant is often found under the name Liquiritia officinalis. The Latin name Liquiritia, whence is derived the English name Liquorice (Lycorys in the thirteenth century), is a corruption of Glycyrrhiza, as shown in the transitional form Gliquiricia. The Italian Regolizia, the German Lacrisse or Lakriz, the Welsh Lacris and the French Reglisse have the same origin.
The Roman writers, Celsus and Scribonius Largus, mention Liquorice as Radix dulcis. Pliny who describes it as a native of Cilicia, and Pontus makes no allusion to its growing in Italy.
Liquorice Extract was known in the times of Dioscorides and appears to have been in common use in Germany during the Middle Ages. In 1264, Liquorice (apparently the extract, not the root) is charged in the Wardrobe Accounts of Henry IV. Saladinus, who wrote about the middle of the fifteenth century, names it among the wares kept by the Italian apothecaries and it is enumerated in a list of drugs of the City of Frankfurt, written about the year 1450.
A writer in the first half of the sixteenth century notices the Liquorice plant as abundant in many parts of Italy, and describes the manner of making the Succus or Extract by crushing and boiling the fresh root.
The plant is described as being cultivated in Italy by Piero de Cresenzi of Bologna, who lived in the thirteenth century. As a medicine, the drug was well known in Germany in the eleventh century, and an extensive cultivation of the plant was carried on in Bavaria in the sixteenth century, but it is not mentioned in mediaeval lists of plants.
Cultivation on a small scale has existed in England for a very long time. It appears from Turner's Herbal that it was cultivated in England in 1562, and Stow says 'the planting and growing of licorish began about the first year of Queen Elizabeth (1558).' Gerard, in 1597, tells us that he has plenty in his garden. It was known to and described by Culpepper who says: 'It is planted in fields and gardens, in divers places of this land and thereof good profit is made.'
John Parkinson grew Liquorice in his Holborn garden and John Josselyn gives the recipe for a beer which he used to brew for the Indians when they had bad colds. It was strongly flavoured with elecampane, liquorice, aniseed, sassafras and fennel.
Culpepper says:
'The English liquorice root shoots up several woody stalks, whereon are set, at several distances, many narrow, long green leaves, set together on both sides of the stalks and an odd one at the end, nearly resembling a young ash tree sprung up from the seed. . . . This, by many years of continuance in a place without removal, and not else, will bring forth numerous flowers, standing together spike fashion, one above another upon the stalks in the form of pea-blossoms, but of a very pale blue color, which turn into long, somewhat flat and smooth pods, wherein is contained small, round, hard seed. The root runneth down exceeding far into the ground, with divers smaller roots . . . they shoot out suckers in every direction, by which means the product is greatly increased.'
Liquorice is official in all pharmacopoeias, which differ as to the variety or varieties recognized, as to the botanical name employed and as to the drug being peeled or unpeeled, dried Liquorice root being supplied in commerce either with or without the thin brown coat. In the latter state it is known as peeled or decorticated. The British Pharmacopoeia requires that it be peeled, but others require that it be unpeeled.
The plants are graceful, with light, spreading, pinnate foliage, presenting an almost feathery appearance from a distance. The leaflets (like those of the False Acacia) hang down during the night on each side of the midrib, though they do not meet beneath it. From the axils of the leaves spring racemes or spikes of papilionaceous small pale-blue, violet, yellowish-white or purplish flowers, followed by small pods somewhat resembling a partly-grown peapod in form. In the type species glabra, the pods are smooth, hence the specific name; in others they are hairy or spiny.
The underground system, as in so many Leguminosae, is double, the one part consisting of a vertical or tap root, often with several branches penetrating to a depth of 3 or 4 feet, the other of horizontal rhizomes, or stolons, thrown off from the root below the surface of the ground, which attain a length of many feet. These runners are furnished with leafbuds and throw up stems in their second year. The perennial downward-running roots as well as the long horizontal stolons are equally preserved for use.
Various indications point to the habit of this plant of fixing atmospheric nitrogen, as do many others of the family.
In the species glandulifera (W. and K.) the pods are covered with thick, glandular spines, and the whole plant is pubescent or roughly glandular. The underground portion is not so spreading and produces a carrot-shaped root larger than the Spanish root derived from G. glabra. This species is indigenous to South-east Europe, Syria and Western Asia, and is both wild and cultivated in Russia. Both the Russian and Persian Liquorice of commerce is derived from G. glandulifera, the Russian reaching this country is peeled or unpeeled: its taste although sweet, is accompanied by a more or less perceptible bitterness. It consists chiefly of roots, not runners.
Persian Liquorice root, collected in the valley of the Tigris and Euphrates, from G. glandulifera, and exported in bales from Bussorah, is usually unpeeled, and is in rather large, coarse pieces, closely resembling the Russian root. Both the Russian and Persian varieties are largely consumed in the United States the root of G. glandulifera is equally official in the United States Pharmacopaeia with that of G. glabra.
G. echinata, a native of Hungary, south Russia and Asia Minor, is the official German species. It has short globular heads of flowers and a small, ovoid pod with long spines. Probably a portion of the root from Italy and Sicily is the product of G. echinata, which grows wild in Apulia. The root is also somewhat bitter and there are contradictory statements concerning its quality, due perhaps to its having been confused with G. glandulifera.
Asiatic Liquorice is obtained from G. uralensis (Fisch.), found in Turkestan, Mongolia and Siberia, and little inferior to the best Russian Liquorice.
G. lepidota (Pursh), American Liquorice, is a species of the north-western United States. The rhizome is said to resemble that of Spanish Liquorice, but is smaller.
It is only grown now to a very limited extent in this country, being cultivated on a small scale near Pontefract in Yorkshire, though formerly it was extensively grown at Mitcham in Surrey, also at Godalming, and at Worksop (Notts).
The English Extract of Liquorice, made from the fresh home-grown root, sold in the lozenge form and known as Pontefract or Pomfrey cakes, is said to have a more delicate flavour than that imported, and it is considered that the cultivation of English Liquorice might well be extended, Essex and Surrey being suitable districts for its growth.
In southern Italy, large quantities of Liquorice root are grown, but it is chiefly converted into Extract, though some of the root is exported.
Spain and the south of France furnish quantities of carefully dried Liquorice root. Up to the year 1890, the cultivation of Spanish Liquorice was small or moderate in comparison with the wild collection. Owing, however, to the depletion of the natural supplies of root of good quality, this cultivation has grown rapidly in South and South-central Europe, where the climate is favourable.
Liquorice grows best on sandy soil near streams, usually not being found in the wild condition more than 50 yards from water.
It will not flourish on clay and prefers the rich, fine soil of bottom lands in river valleys, where there is an abundance of moisture during the growing period, but where the ground bakes hard during the hot, late summer months, when the dry heat is very favourable for the formation of the sweet constituents.
The plant succeeds most in a warm climate; not only can it not endure severe freezing, but cool weather interferes with the formation of its useful juice and renders it woody. It has been found that a climate particularly favourable to the production of the orange is favourable to that of Liquorice.
Owing to the depth to which the root penetrates and its ready propagation from detached pieces, the plant is a most persistent weed in cultivated grounds where it is indigenous and exceedingly difficult of extirpation. It is very healthy and robust and very little subject to disease, at the same time successfully occupying the ground to the exclusion of other plants. For this reason, the continuation of the natural supply may be considered as assured, though it is liable to suffer severe reduction from over-collection.
The supply of natural root has suffered severe fluctuations owing to the exhaustion of supplies in the districts previously worked, alternating with over-production from newlyopened districts. This fact, coupled with the operations of speculators, has resulted in equally great fluctuations in quality, the new districts yielding full-grown root of good quality, the older ones that which has not been allowed to develop properly.
The cultivation of Liquorice is easy, sure and profitable and, if properly conducted, conducive to the betterment of the soil.
On account of the depth to which the root strikes when the plant has room to flourish, the soil should have a good staple of mould 2 or 3 feet in depth and be manured if necessary.
The planting season is either October, or February and March; the latter is preferred. The plants are procured from old plantations, being waste from the harvesting process, consisting of those side roots or runners which have eyes or buds, cut into sections about 6 inches long. They are dibbled in, in rows 3 or 4 feet apart, about 4 inches underneath the surface and about 18 inches apart in the rows. In the autumn, the ground is dressed with farmyard manure, about 40 tons to the acre.
During the first two years the growth is slight, the plants not rising above a foot the first season, and in Calabria the intervening space is generally utilized for the production of potatoes, cabbages and similar crops. The soil being heavily fertilized for the production of Liquorice, these crops are usually very luxuriant. After the second year, the growing Liquorice plants cover the entire soil to the exclusion of other growth.
---Harvesting and Preparation for Market---
Not until the end of the third season will the roots be ready to take up for use, but harvesting generally occurs only in the autumn of the fourth year. The soil is carefully removed from the space between the rows to a depth of 2 or 3 feet as required, thus exposing the roots and rhizomes at the side, the whole being then removed bodily. The earth from the next space is then removed and thrown into the trench thus formed and these operations are repeated continuously.
Every portion of the subterranean part of the plant is carefully saved, the drug consisting of both runners and roots, the former constituting the major part. The roots proper are washed, trimmed and sorted, and either sold in their entire state or cut into shorter lengths and dried, in the latter case the cortical layer being sometimes removed by scraping. The older or 'hard' runners are sorted out and sold separately; the young, called 'soft,' are reserved for propagation.
The average yield per acre is from 4 to 5 tons. The same ground yields a crop every three or four years, the fourth-year growth being the best. That of the third year and earlier is deficient in sweet substances, but immediately after the fourth year the texture begins to take on a tough, coarse and woody character. It is desirable also to collect the roots of those plants which have never borne fruit since that process exhausts the sweet substance of the sap.
English-grown Liquorice is dug up in late autumn and sold mostly in the fresh state for making extract, only a small amount being dried.
Fresh Liquorice (English) when washed is externally of a bright yellowish brown. It is very flexible, easily cut with a knife, exhibiting a light-yellow, juicy internal substance, which consists of a thick bark surrounding a woody column. Both bark and wood are extremely tough, readily tearing into long, fibrous strings. The root has a peculiar earthy odour and a strong, characteristic, sweet taste.
Most of the dried Liquorice root imported into this country comes from Spain and Russia, supplies of the official drug being drawn chiefly from Spain, the better quality of which comes from Tortosa and Alicante. Both Spanish and Russian Liquorice are usually exported in large bales or bundles, or rarely, in the case of the Spanish variety derived from Alicante, loose, or in bags. Spanish Liquorice root is in long, straight, nearly cylindrical, unpeeled pieces, several feet in length, varying in thickness from 1/4 inch to about 1 inch, longitudinally wrinkled, externally greyish brown to dark brown, warty; internally tawny yellow; pliable, tough; texture coarsely fibrous; bark rather thick; wood porous, but dense, in narrow wedges; taste sweet, very slightly acrid. The underground stem which is often present has a similar appearance, but contains a thin pith. That from Alicante is frequently untrimmed and dirty in appearance, but that from Tortosa is usually clean and bright looking. When peeled, the pieces of root (including runners) are shorter, a pale yellow, slightly fibrous externally, and exhibit no trace of the small dark buds seen on the unpeeled runners here and there. Otherwise it resembles the unpeeled.
Nearly all the Russian Liquorice reaching this country has been peeled. It attains a much larger size than the Spanish, and the taste, although sweet, is accompanied by a more or less perceptible but not strong bitterness or acridity. It consists chiefly of roots, not runners, in long often crooked pieces, about 2 inches in thickness, pale yellow externally and internally of a lighter yellow than the Spanish and softer. The size of all cells (when examined microscopically) is seen to be much larger than in the Spanish.
The manufacture of Liquorice Juice, or Extract, is conducted on a liberal scale in Spain, southern France, Sicily, Calabria, Austria, southern Russia, Greece and Asia Minor, but the Extract with which England is supplied is almost exclusively the produce of Calabria, Sicily and Spain; Calabrian Liquorice is generally preferred. By far the larger part of the Italian and Sicilian crop is now manufactured there and exported in the form of Extract.
Spain formerly yielded most of the supply, hence the Extract is still termed 'Spanish Juice,' but that of the first grade has long since depleted to the point of scarcity.
The roots and runners of both wild and cultivated plants are taken up in late autumn and stacked through the winter in the cellars and yards of the factories. When required, they are crushed under millstones to a pulp, then transferred to boilers and boiled in water over a naked fire, the decoctions are run off and then evaporated in copper vessels over direct heat, till a suitable consistency is obtained, being constantly stirred to prevent burning. While warm, the mass is taken out and rolled into sticks, stamped and stacked on boards to dry. Vacuum pans and steam power have in some factories replaced the more simple methods.
The sticks vary in size, but are commonly about 1 inch in diameter and 6 or 7 inches in length and when imported are usually wrapped in bay leaves. At one end they are stamped with the maker's name or mark.
Stick Liquorice is very commonly impure, either from carelessness in its preparation, or from the fraudulent addition of other substances, such as starch, sand, carbonaceous matter, etc. Small particles of copper are also sometimes found in it.
Several varieties of Stick Liquorice are met with in English commerce, the most famous is the Solazzi Juice, manufactured at Corigliano, a small town of Calabria in the Gulf of Toranto.
The juice is also imported in a black form, having while warm and soft been allowed to run into the wooden cases of about 2 cwts. each, in which it is exported. This juice, known as Liquorice Paste, is largely imported from Spain and Asia Minor, but on account of a certain bitterness is unsuited for its use as a sweetmeat or in medicine, and is principally employed in the preparation of tobacco for chewing and smoking.
Extract of Liquorice in rolls has a black color, is somewhat glossy and has a sharp and shining fracture. Some small cavities are found in the interior. The product of the different manufacturers of Stick Liquorice differ from one another not only in size, but often in the odour and taste; while some specimens are almost purely sweet, others are persistently acrid, rendering them unsuitable for medicinal purposes, for which they must be almost devoid of acridity.
Hard Extract of Liquorice, as described, is essentially different in composition and properties to the Extract of Liquorice of the British Pharmacopceia, which is entirely soluble in cold water, whereas the so-called Spanish Juice, when treated with cold water, leaves a large residue undissolved, retaining the shape of the stick. The amount soluble in cold water varies considerably and reaches in the best brands about 70 or 75 per cent. The United States and nearly all other Pharmacopoeias recognize the commercial Extract of the root of G. glabra, but the British Pharmacopoeia does not, and gives a process for making an extract which somewhat resembles the purified Extract of Liquorice of the United States Pharmacopoeia. For the Liquid Extract of Liquorice, the British Pharmacopceiadirects the exhaustion of the Liquorice root with two successive portions of cold water, using each time 50 fluid ounces for 20 OZ. of the drug and allowing the mixture to macerate for 24 hours before expressing. The mixed infusions are heated to boiling point, strained through flannel and evaporated until the liquid has acquired, when cold, a specific gravity of 1.2, one-fourth of its volume of alcohol is added, and the mixture is set aside for 12 hours, after which it is filtered. It has a yellowish-brown color and a pure sweet taste, free from all acridity.
The chief constituent of Liquorice root, to which its sweet taste is due, is Glycyrrhizin (6 to 8 per cent), obtainable in the form of a sweet, white crystalline powder, consisting of the calcium and potassium salts of glycyrrhizic acid. The drug also contains sugar, starch (29 per cent), gum, protein, fat (0.8 per cent), resin, asparagin (2 to 4 per cent), a trace of tannin in the outer bark of the root, yellow coloring matter, and 0.03 of volatile oil.
The amount of Glycyrrhizin present in Extract of Liquorice varies from 5 to 24 per cent, and the amount of moisture from 8 to 17 per cent. Upon ignition, the extract yields from 5 to 9 per cent of ash.
The roots of G. glandulifera and echinata also contain in addition, Glycyrmarin, a bitter principle occurring mostly in the bark.
Glycyrrhizin, or a similar substance, has been obtained from other plants, viz. from the rhizome of Polypodium vulgare, the leaves of Myrrhis odorata, and the bark of Lucuma glycyphloea.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---The action of Liquorice is demulcent, moderately pectoral and emollient.
It is a popular and well-known remedy for coughs, consumption and chest complaints generally, notably bronchitis, and is an ingredient in almost all popular cough medicines on account of its valuable soothing properties.
The Extract enters into the composition of cough lozenges and pastilles, with sedatives and expectorants. It is largely used in conjunction with infusion of linseed in the treatment of irritable cough, sore throat and laryngitis, and an infusion made by boiling 1 OZ. of the bruised root deprived of its bark, with 1 pint of water for a few minutes, may be employed in the treatment of sore throat and in catarrhal conditions of the urinary intestinal tracts.
Beach mentions the following recipe as being used by the late Dr. Malone, of London, and speaks most highly of its efficacy:
'Take a large teaspoonful of Linseed, 1 ounce of Liquorice root, and 1/4 lb. of best raisins. Put them into 2 quarts of soft water and simmer down to 1 quart. Then add to it 1/4 lb. of brown sugar candy and a tablespoonful of white wine vinegar or lemon juice. Drink 1/2 pint when going to bed and take a little whenever the cough is troublesome.'
(N.B. - It is best to add the vinegar to that quantity which is required for immediate use.)
Fluid Extract of Liquorice is employed almost exclusively as a vehicle for disguising the taste of nauseous medicines, having a remarkable power of converting the flavour of acrid or bitter drugs, such as Mezereon, Quinine or Cascara.
The powdered root is useful in pill-making on account of its absorbent qualities, being used to impart stiffness to pill masses and to prevent the adhesion of pills.
As a remedial agent, powdered Liquorice root has been almost entirely replaced by the extract, though it is used in the well-known Compound Liquorice Powder, the mild laxative in which Senna and Fennel are the other ingredients. It is added mainly on account of its sweetness and emollient qualities, the action of the powder being mainly due to the Senna contained.
Liquorice was prescribed by early physicians from the time of Hippocrates, in cases of dropsy, to prevent thirst, for which it is an excellent thing, though probably the only sweet substance that has this effect. It is thought, however, that the property does not actually belong to the saccharine juice, but that if a piece of the root be chewed till all the juice is extracted, there remains a bitter, which acts on the salivary glands, and this may contribute to remove thirst.
The sugar of Liquorice may safely be taken by diabetic patients.
On the whole, Liquorice as a domestic medicine is far more largely used on the Continent than in Great Britain. It is much used in China and largely produced (both L. glabra and L. echinata) in some of the northern provinces, a variety of medicinal preparations being employed, not only as possessing tonic, alterative and expectorant properties, but also for the rejuvenating and highly nutritive qualities attributed to it.
It was recommended by Gervase Markham, a noted authority on husbandry and farriery in the early part of the seventeenth century, for the treatment of certain horses' ailments.
---Preparations and Dosages---
Powdered root, 1/2 to 1 drachm. Fluid extract, 1 to 4 drachms. Comp. powder, B.P., 1 to 2 drachms. Solid extract, 1 drachm. Comp. lozenges, U.S.P. Solid extract in stick form, known as Liquorice Juice.
Liquorice is also largely used by brewers, being added to porter and stout to give thickness and blackness.
Block Liquorice is employed in the manufacture of tobacco for smoking and chewing.
According to the United States press, a new use for Liquorice Root has lately been discovered, the waste root being now utilized for the manufacture of boards for making boxes. After extraction of the Liquorice, the crushed root was formerly considered a waste product and destroyed by burning, but under a recently discovered process this refuse can now be made into a chemical wood pulp and pressed into a board that is said to have satisfactory resisting qualities and strength.

Liquorice, Indian

Botanical: Abrus precatorius (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Leguminosae
---Synonyms---Jequirity. Wild Liquorice. Prayer Beads.
(Indian) Gunga. (Indian) Goonteh. (Indian) Rati.
---Parts Used---Root, seeds.
The root of an Indian leguminous plant, Abrus precatorius (Linn.), under the native names of Gunga or Goonteh, has been used as a demulcent. It contains Glycyrrhizin, and has been termed Indian Liquorice and used as a substitute for true Liquorice. Acrid resins, however, render the root irritant and poisonous.
An infusion and a paste of the seeds are included in the British Pharmacopoeia. It has a strongly irritating effect upon the eyes and has been used both to produce and to allay certain ophthalmic diseases.
The hard, red, glossy seeds, nearly globular, with a large, black spot at one end, are known as Prayer Beads, or Jequirity seeds. The seeds, weighing about 1 carat each, have been used in India from very ancient times for the purpose of weighing gold, under the name of Rati. They are largely employed also for the making of rosaries and for ornamental purposes.
The weight of the famous Koh-i-noor diamond was ascertained by means of these seeds.
There is also a variety with perfectly white seeds.
Their medical importance is not great, but they have a notorious history in India as an agent in criminal poisoning. This practice has been directed chiefly against cattle and other live stock, but the poisoning of human beings has been not infrequent. That the attractive seeds form dangerous playthings for children has been proved by the records of a number of cases of poisoning which have occurred in this way.
The name Wild Liquorice has also been given to Aralia nudicaulis (Linn.), indigenous to Canada and the United States, and to the root of Cephalanthus occidentalis, a member of the Madder family, a large shrub, with rich, glossy foliage, growing in swamps almost throughout the United States and extending into Southern Canada, the bark and stem of which is used commercially.
Rest-Harrow has also been called Wild Liquorice.

Liquorice, Wild



Botanical: Roccella tinctoria (D. C.)
Family: N.O. Lichenes
Medicinal Action and Uses
Other Species
Lacmus. Orchella Weed. Dyer's Weed. Lacca caerulea. Lacca musica. Orseille. Persio. Rock Moss. Lichen Roccella. Roccella phycopsis. Roccella Pygmaea. Turnsole. Touresol. Laquebleu.
---Part Used---
The whole plant, for its pigment.
Seashore rocks on all warm coasts and some mountain rocks.
Various origins are ascribed to the name Roccella. It may be derived from rocca (a rock), or from the red color produced by the plants. It occurs in an Italian Natural History of 1599.
Roccella tinctoria is a small, dry, perennial lichen, in appearance a bunch of wavy, tapering branched, drab-colored stems from 2 to 6 inches high, springing from a narrow base. These bear nearly black warts at intervals, the apothecia or means of fructification peculiar to lichens. It is found principally on the Mediterranean coasts but other species from other localities are also sources of commercial Litmus.
Blue and Red Orchil or Archil are used for dyeing, coloring and staining. The red is prepared by steeping the lichen in earthen jars and heating them by steam. The blue is similarly treated in a covered wooden vessel. They are used as a thickish liquid for testing purposes.
Cudbear, prepared in a similar way, is also used as a dye. It is dried and pulverized, and becomes a purplish-red in color.
The preparation of Litmus is almost exclusively carried on in Holland, the details being kept a secret. About nineteen kinds seem to be there, varying very much in value.
The lichens are coarsely ground with pearlashes, and macerated for weeks in wooden vessels in a mixture of urine, lime and potash or soda, with occasional stirring. In fermentation the mass becomes red and then blue, and is then moulded into earthy, crumbling cakes of a purplish-blue color. The scent is like violets and indigo and the taste is slightly saline and pungent. Indigo is mixed with inferior kinds to deepen the color.
Blue Litmus Paper is prepared by steeping unsized white paper in an infusion or Test Solution of Litmus, or by brushing the infusion over the paper, which must be carefully dried in the open air.
Red Litmus Paper is similarly prepared with an infusion faintly reddened by the addition of a small percentage of sulphuric or hydrochloric acid.
Vegetable red, much used in coloring foods, is a sulphonated derivative of orchil.
The lichen contains a brown resin, wax, insoluble and lichen starches, yellow extractive, gummy and glutinous matters, tartrate and oxalate of lime and chloride of sodium. The coloring principles are acids or acid anhydrides, themselvescolorless but yielding color when acted upon by ammonia, air and moisture.
The chief of these are Azolitmin and Erythro-litmin, sometimes called leconoric, orsellic and erythric acids.
The dye is tested by adding a solution of calcium hypochlorite to the alcoholic tincture, when a deep blood-red color, quickly fading, should appear, or the plants can be macerated in a weak solution of ammonia, which should produce a rich violet-red.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Demulcent and emollient. A decoction is useful in coughs and catarrhs.
Litmus is used officially as a test for acids and alkalis. Acids impart a red color to blue Litmus and alkaloids cause reddened Litmus to return to its original blue. It may be used in solid or liquid forms as well as on the papers.
Orchil is often adulterated with extracts of colored woods, especially logwood and sappan wood.
---Other Species---
Two of the chief sources of Litmus are now R. Montagnei of Mozambique and Dendrographa leucophoea of California.
Lecanora Tartare, or Tartarean Moss, was formerly much used in Northern Europe.
R. pygmaea is found in Algeria\.
R. fuciformis is larger, with flatter, paler branches.
R. phycopsis is smaller and more branched.
Inferior kinds of Litmus are prepared from species of Variolaria, Lecanora and Parmelia.

Liverwort, American

Botanical: Anemone hepatica (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Ranunculaceae
Medicinal Action and Uses
Other Species
Hepatica triloba. Hepatica triloba, var. americana or obtusa. Round-leaved Hepatica. Noble Liverwort. Liverleaf. Liverweed. Trefoil. Herb Trinity. Kidneywort. Edellebere.
---Parts Used---
Leaves and flowers.
Cooler latitudes of the North Temperate Zone.
The name of the genus may be derived from epatikos (affecting the liver) or from epar (the liver), from a likeness in its appearance to that organ. The Hepaticas are distinguished by having carpels without feathery tails and by the involucre of three simple leaves being so close to the flower as to resemble a calyx.
The leaves are broad kidney or heart shaped, about 2 inches long and broad, with three broad, angular lobes, leathery, smooth and dark green above, almost evergreen, placed on long, slender foot-stalks growing direct from the root. In the wild state the flowers are generally blue, more rarely rose or white, but in cultivation many other tints are to be found. There are numerous garden varieties, growing best in deep loam or clay, several having double flowers.
The leaves should be gathered during flowering time in March.
Liverwort contains tannin, sugar, mucilage, etc.; its value is due to its astringent principle. A full analysis has not been made.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Demulcent, tonic, astringent, vulnerary. It has been described as 'an innocent herb which may be taken freely in infusion and in syrup.' It is a mild remedy in disorders of the liver, indigestion, etc., and possessing pectoral properties it is employed in coughs, bleeding of the lungs and diseases of the chest generally.
The infusion, made from 1 OZ. of the dried herb to 1 pint of boiling water, is slightly astringent and mucilaginous. Frequent doses of 1/2 teacupful have been recommended in the early stages of consumption. In some countries the whole plant is regarded as a vulnerary and astringent. In cataplasms it is valued in hernia, affections of the urinary passages and skin diseases.
A distilled water is used for freckles and sunburn. Though in use from ancient days, its mild character has caused it to be little used.
30 to 120 grains. Fluid extract, 1/2 to 2 drachms.
---Other Species---
Marchantia polymorpha is the true Liverwort.
The lichen Pettigora canina is known as English or Ground Liverwort. It was formerly regarded as a remedy for hydrophobia.
Hepaticas are hardy, longlived plants of a deep-rooting nature, preferring a rich, porous soil and a sheltered situation. They flourish best in a deep loam, but will thrive in clay: one condition of success is good drainage. It is not advisable to transplant them frequently; when left undisturbed for a few years, they form fine clumps.
The double varieties are propagated by division of roots. The strongest clumps should be lifted immediately after flowering and carefully divided into separate crowns, each division to have as many roots as can be secured to it. These must be at once planted in fresh soil and carefully closed in, and then lightly covered with some very fine earth. They will become established in the course of the season if the soil is well drained, care being taken to water when necessary. Being by nature woodside plants, they should not be exposed to long-continued sunshine.
The single varieties are raised by seed, which must be sown as soon as ripe in pans or shallow boxes, which should be filled with light rich, sandy loam, kept moist, and sheltered in a frame throughout the winter. Germination is very slow and the young plants will not appear till the end of September. Keep the seedlings in their seed-boxes, freely ventilated to prevent damping off, and in April remove them to a sheltered shady border. As the young plants make their proper leaves, carefully lift them out with a thin slip of wood and plant them in a border prepared for the purpose, where the soil must be sweet and sandy, without manure and a little shaded.

Liverwort, English

Botanical: Peltigera Canina (HOFFM.)
Family: N.O. Lichenes
Lichen Caninus. Lichen Cinereus Terrestis. Ash-colored Ground Liverwort.
---Part Used---Lichen.
Britain where the drainage is good; on mudwalls and molehills.
The marginal disks of this lichen are at first veiled and project from the thallus, retaining fragments of the veil of the margin. The fronds are foliaceous, coriaceous, ascending, soft, underside is veined and attached to the ground or to whatever substance it grows upon - where they make handsome plants, especially when in fruit or studded with the little red parasite to which they are subject. The plant was formerly considered of great value in hydrophobia.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Deobstruent, slightly purgative and held in esteem as a remedy for liver complaints.
---Preparations and Dosages---
Infusion, 1 OZ. to 1 pint of boiling water, take 4 OZ. daily. Fluid extract, 1/2 to 2, drachms.


Botanical: Lobelia inflata (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Lobeliaceae
Medicinal Action and Uses
Poisonous, if any, with Antidotes
Other Species
Steadman Shorter's Medical Dictionary, 1942, Poisons & Antidotes: Lobela
Rapuntium inflatum. Indian-Tobacco. Pukeweed. Asthma Weed. Gagroot. Vomitwort. Bladderpod. Eyebright.
---Parts Used---
The dried flowering herb, and seeds.
Dry places in the northern United States, Canada and Kamchatka. Grown in English gardens.
The herb is named after the botanist Matthias de Lobel, a native of Lille, who died in London in 1616. It is an erect annual or biennial herb, 1 to 2 feet high; lower leaves and also flower are stalked, the latter being pale violet-blue in color, tinted pale yellow within. Commercially, it is usually prepared in compressed, oblong packages, by the Shakers of New Lebanon for importation into England. The color is a yellowish green, the odour irritating, the taste, after chewing, very like that of tobacco, burning and acrid, causing a flow of saliva. The powder has a greenish color, but that of the seeds is brown, and stains paper with grease.
Several species are cultivated in English gardens for the splendour of their flowers, in every shade of scarlet, purple, and blue. Lobelia Dortmanna and L. Urens are British. The fixed oil, with constituents rather like that of linseed oil, possesses the drying qualities common to the fixed oils together with all the medicinal properties of the seed.
The plant was known to the Penobscot Indians and was widely used in New England long before the time of Samuel Thomson, who is credited with its discovery. It was brought into general professional use by Cutler of Massachusetts.
The activity of Lobelia is dependent upon a liquid alkaloid first isolated by Proctor in 1838 and named Lobeline. Pereira found a peculiar acid which he named Lobelic acid. Also, gum, resin, chlorophyl, fixed oil, lignin, salts of lime and potassium, with ferric oxide. Lobelacrine, formerly considered to be the acrid principle, is probably lobelate of lobeline. The seeds contain a much higher percentage of lobeline than the rest of the plant.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Expectorant, diaphoretic, anti-asthmatic. It should not be employed as an emetic. (Herbalists, who use lobelia far more than the ordinary practitioners, nearly always prescribe it in doses large enough to prove emetic, and regard it as of greater value thus used. - EDITOR.) Some authorities attach great value to it as an expectorant in bronchitis, others as a valuable counterirritant when combined with other ingredients in ointment form. It is sometimes given in convulsive and inflammatory disorders such as epilepsy, tetanus, diphtheria and tonsilitis. There is also difference of opinion with regard to its narcotic properties. Where relaxation of the system is required, as, for instance, to subdue spasm, Lobelia is invaluable. Relaxation can be counteracted by the stimulating and tonic infusion of capsicum. It may be used as an enema.
Externally, an infusion has been found useful in ophthalmia, and the tincture can be used as a local application for sprains, bruises, or skin diseases, alone, or in powder combined with an equal part of slippery elm bark and weak lye-water in a poultice. The oil of Lobelia is valuable in tetanus. One drop of oil triturated with one scruple of sugar, and divided into from 6 to 12 doses, is useful as an expectorant, nauseant, sedative, and diaphoretic, when given every one or two hours.
---Preparations and Dosages---
Powdered bark, 5 to 60 grains. Fluid extract, 10 to 20 drops. Acid tincture, 1 to 4 drachms. Tincture, U.S.P., 1 to 4 drachms. Etherial tincture, B.P., 5 to 15 drops. Syrup, 1 to 4 drachms. Solid extract, 2 to 4 grains. Oil of seed, 1 drop rubbed up with 20 grains of ginger and divided into 6 to 12 doses. Lobelin, 1/4 to 3 grains.
Acetum Lobellae (Vinegar of Lobelia). Lobelia seed powder, 4 OZ. Diluted acetic acid, 2 pints. Macerate in a close glass vessel for seven days, then express the liquor, filter, and add to the filtered product alcohol, or concentrated acetic acid, 1 fluid ounce. The whole should measure 2 pints. This medicated vinegar may also be prepared by percolation. It is an emetic, nauseant, and expectorant, and a valuable relaxant in spasmodic affections. A good application in such skin diseases as salt-rheum, erysipelas, poisoning by rhus, etc. As an expectorant, 5 to 30 drops every half-hour in elm or flaxseed infusion. One part of Vinegar of Lobelia to 1 part of syrup forms a pleasant preparation for children.
---Poisonous, if any, with Antidotes---
In excessive doses the effects are those of apowerful acro-narcotic poison, producing great depression, nausea, cold-sweats, and possibly death. (Herbalists also deny that it has poisonous properties and that it has ever caused death. - EDITOR.) Poisonous symptoms may occur from absorption of it through the epidermis.
---Other Species---
L. Dortmanna. This is indigenous toGreat Britain, and is rather similar in action to L. inflata. A tincture of the fresh plant cures headaches and noises in the ears.
L. Erinus. A tincture of the plant has been used in cancer and has produced absolute freedom from pain; is also used as a remedy in syphilis.
LOBELIA, BLUE (L. Syphilitica) and LOBELIA RED (L. Cardinalia). Both used in homeopathy. The first is diaphoretic, emetic and cathartic and has been used in dropsy, diarrhoea, syphilis and dysentery, the root being the part used. The Red Lobelia is said to be anthelmintic, nervine and antispasmodic.
L. Kalmit. Said to be used by the Indians in the cure of syphilis.
L. purpurascens. A tincture of the whole plant is used in paralysis of the lungs and tongue.


Botanical: Haematoxylon Campeachianum (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Leguminosae
Medicinal Action and Uses
Preparations and Dosages
Other Species
Haematoxylon Lignum. Lignum Campechianum. Lignum Coeruleum. Peachwood. Bois de Campechey de Sang or d'Inde. Bloodwood.
---Part Used---
The heart-wood, or duramen, unfermented.
Tropical America, especially the shores of the Gulf of Campeachy. Naturalized in West Indies and elsewhere.
The name of the genus comes from the Greek and refers to the blood-red color of the heart-wood. Haematoxylon Campeachianum is a crookedly-branched, small tree, the branches spiny and the bark rough and dark. The leaves have four pairs of small, smooth leaflets, each in the shape of a heart with the points towards the short stem. The flowers, small and yellow, with five petals, grow in axillary racemes.
The tree was introduced into Jamaica and other countries in 1715 and has been grown in England since 1730.
The average yearly import of logwood into the United Kingdom is about 50,000 tons, the four kinds recognized in the market, in order of value, being Campeachy, Honduras, St. Domingo and Jamaica.
The trees are felled in their eleventh year, the red heartwood, in 3-foot logs, being exported.
The principal value of logwood is in dyeing violet, blue, grey and black. For dyeing, the wood is chipped and fermented, thus rendering it unsuitable for medicinal use.
The many disputes and difficulties that arose over the rights of growing and cutting logwood are a matter of history. It is used also as a microscopical stain. The odour is faint and pleasant, the taste astringent and sweetish. It gives a reddish-violet tinge to water made alkaline with a solution of sodium hydroxide.
A volatile oil, an oily or resinous matter, two brown substances, quercitin, tannin, a nitrogenous substance, free acetic acid, salts, and the coloring principle Haematoxylin or Haematin (not the haematin of the blood). The crystals are colorless, requiring oxygen from the air and an alkaline base to produce red, blue, and purple.
Haematein, produced by extraction of two equivalents of hydrogen, is found in dark violet crystalline scales, showing the rich, green color often to be seen outside chips of logwood for dyeing purposes.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
A mild astringent, especially useful in the weakness ofthe bowels following cholera infantum. It may be used in chronic diarrhoea and dysentery, in haemorrhages from uterus, lungs, or bowels, is agreeable to take, and suitable whether or not there is fever. It imparts a blood-red color to urine and stools. It is incompatible with chalk or limewater. The patient should be warned of these two characteristics.
In large doses haematoxylin can produce fatal gastro-enteritis in lower animals.
The infusion, internally, combined with a spray or lotion, is said to have cured obstinate cases of foetid polypus in the nose.
---Preparations and Dosages---
Decoction, 2 to 4 fluid ounces. Decoction, B.P. 1895, 1/2 to 2 OZ. Solid extract, B.P. 1885, 10 to 30 grains. Solid extract, U.S.P., 2 to 5 grains.
---Other Species---
'BASTARD LOGWOOD' from Acacia Berteriana and other species, contains no haematoxylin. It does not form a violet color with alkalies, but yields a pure, yellowish-grey dye.
BRAZIL WOOD, a product of Caesalpinia, is distinguished by forming a red color with alkalis. It is now used only as a dye.
WEST INDIAN LOGWOOD is Ceanothus Chloroxylon.

Loosestrife, Purple

Botanical: Lythrurn salicaria
Family: N.O. Lythraceae
Medicinal Action and Uses
Other Species
Lythrum. Purple Willow Herb. Spiked Loosestrife. Salicaire. Braune or Rother Weiderich. Partyke. Lysimaque rouge. Flowering Sally. Blooming Sally.
---Parts Used---Herb, root.
Europe, including Britain. Russian and Central Asia. Australia. North America.
This handsome perennial, 2 to 4 feet in height, has a creeping rhizome, four to six angled, erect, reddish-brown stems, lanceolate leaves from 3 to 6 inches long, entire, sometimes opposite, sometimes in whorls clasping the stem, with reddishpurple or pink flowers in whorls forming terminal spikes. It grows in wet or marshy places, varying in different districts in the comparative lengths of stamens and styles, color of flowers and pollen grains. It is odourless, with an astringent taste. It has been used in tanning leather.
The name Lythrum is from the Greek luthron, meaning 'gore,' from the color of the flowers.
Mucilage and an astringent principle, but it has not been analysed.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Although scarcely used at present, Loosestrife has been highly esteemed by many herbalists. It is well established in chronic diarrhoea and dysentery, and is used in leucorrhoea and blood-spitting. In Switzerland the decoction was used successfully in an epidemic of dysentery. It has also been employed in fevers, liver diseases, constipation and cholera infantum, and for outward application to wounds and sores.
It has been stated to be superior to Eyebright for preserving the sight and curing sore eyes, the distilled water being applied for hurts and blows on the eyes and even in blindness if the crystalline humour is not destroyed.
An ointment may be made with the water 1 OZ. to 2 drachms of May butter without salt, and the same quantity of sugar and wax boiled gently together. It cleanses and heals ulcers and sores, if washed with the water, or covered with the leaves, green or dry according to the season.
A warm gargle and drink cures quinsy or a scrofulous throat.
Of powder, a drachm two to three times a day. Of decoction of root, 2 fluid ounces.
---Other Species---
Lythrum hyssopifolia has similar properties.
L. verticillatum (Decodon or Swamp Willow-herb) has similar properties, and is said to cure abortion in mares and cows who browse on it.
A Mexican Salicaria, Apanxaloa, is regarded as an astringent and vulnerary.
Loosestrife is the common name of many members of the genus Lysimachia.

Loosetrife, Yellow

Botanical: Lysimachia vulgaris (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Primulaceae
Other Species
Part Used
Medicinal Action and Uses
Yellow Willow Herb. Herb Willow. Willow-wort. Wood Pimpernel.
---Part Used---Herb.
The Yellow Loosestrife is a tall, handsome plant, from 2 to 3 or even 4 feet high, found as a rule on shady banks or crowning the herbage of the stream-side vegetation. It has a creeping root, which persists year after year, and every spring throws up afresh the tall, golden-topped stems, whose flowers are at their best in July and August.
Its stems are slightly branched and covered with a soft, fine down. Closely set upon them are a number of nearly stalkless leaves, sometimes in pairs, sometimes three or four springing from the same spot. They are rather large and broad, 3 to 6 inches long by about 1 1/4 inches broad, oblong or lance-shaped and sharply tapering at the top. Their edges are unbroken. The undersurfaces are downy with soft, spreading hairs, especially on the veins, and the upper surfaces are marked with black dots which are glands. Whatever arrangement we find in any given plant holds throughout: we do not find in the same plant some of the leaves in pairs and others in three. When the leaves are in pairs, the stem is quadrangular and the angles increase as the leaves increase in number.
At the top of the stem arise the flower-buds, in the axils of the leaves. Each becomes a short stalk carrying a terminal flower, below which other flowers on smaller stalks arise - the ends of the main stem thus becoming covered with a mass of golden blossoms. The flower stalks are somewhat viscid, or sticky, to the touch.
Each flower is about 3/4 inch in diameter, forming a cup of five petals, quite distinct at their tips, but joined together near the base. When the flowers droop, the five-pointed calyx, whose edges are fringed with fine red hairs, are seen at the back of the petals. The five stamens look quite separate, but are joined together at the bottom by a fleshy band attached to the petals, so that they seem to stand on a little glandular tube. This tube has not, as one would expect, any honey, and, in fact, there is neither honey nor scent in any part of the flower. Nevertheless, the plant is visited by one particular kind of bee, Macropsis labiata, which will visit no other flower, hence where the Loosestrife does not grow the Macropsis does not seem to exist. Self- fertilization also takes place in smaller, less attractive-looking flowers, sometimes found among the others. As a result of fertilization, whether self or effected by insects, the ovary develops into a rounded capsule, which when dried opens at the top by five valves. The swaying of the stems by the wind jerks out the minute seeds.
The Yellow Loosestrife, which is in no way related to the Purple Loosestrife, has often been known as the Yellow Willow Herb, Herb Willow, or Willow Wort, as if it belonged to the true Willow Herbs (which are quite a different family - Onagraceae). There is a superficial resemblance between them, especially with regard to the leaves. The Yellow Loosestrife belongs, however, to the same family as the Primrose and the Pimpernel.
The Purple Loosestrife, on the other hand, is more nearly allied to the Willow herbs.
---Other Species---
Four species of Lysimachia are native in this country - the Yellow Loosestrife; the Moneywort - our familiar Creeping Jenny; the Yellow Pimpernel (or 'Wood Loosestrife'), which is remarkably like the Scarlet Pimpernel in general habit and in form, and the Tufted Lysimachia, a rare plant confined to the northern portions of this island.
Both the scientific and popular names o the Loosestrife have interesting origins. The name Lysimachia is supposed to have been given in memory of King Lysimachus of Sicily, who, as Pliny tells us, first discovered its medicinal properties and then introduced it to his people. A belief in these properties persisted for many centuries; it was 'a singular good wound herb for green wounds,' says one old herbalist, and it had a great reputation for stanching bleeding of any sort. It had the credit of being so excellent a vulnerary, that the young leaves bound about a fresh wound are said to immediately check the bleeding and perform a cure in a very short time.
Its common name of Loosestrife is a very old one, and refers to the belief that the plant would quieten savage beasts, and that in particular it had a special virtue 'in appeasing the strife and unruliness which falleth out among oxen at the plough, if it be put about their yokes.' The plant appears to be obnoxious to gnats and flies, and so, no doubt, placing it under the yoke, relieved the beasts of their tormentors, thus making them quiet and tractable. For the same reason, the dried herb used to be burnt in houses, so that the smoke might drive away gnats and flies. It was particularly valuable in marshy districts. Snakes and serpents were said to disappear immediately the fumes of the burning herb came near them.
Gerard speaks of the 'yellow pimpernel growing in abundance between Highgate and Hampstead.'
Coles's Art of Simpling, the only herbal which devotes a chapter to herbs useful for animals, refers to the belief that:
'if loosestrife is thrown between two oxen when they are fighting they will part presently, and being tied about their necks it will keep them from fighting.'
Even in Pliny's days, it was suggested that the plant did not really derive its name from a more or less mythical king, but that it was compounded from the Greek words, signifying 'dissolving strife' - it being held that not only cattle at the plough, but also restive horses could be subdued by it.
The plants can be transferred to the garden if the soil be somewhat moist, and especially if a stream or a piece of water is available. They will grow and thrive, then, in their new quarters, creeping by their perennial roots, so that when once fairly established, they will flourish permanently.
---Part Used---The whole herb, collected from wild plants in July and dried.
The taste of the dried herb is astringent and slightly acid, but it has no odour.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Astringent, expectorant. Loosestrife proves useful inchecking bleeding of the mouth, nose and wounds, restraining profuse haemorrhage of any kind.
It has demulcent and astringent virtues which render it useful in obstinate diarrhoea, and as a gargle it finds use in relaxed throat and quinsy.
For the cure of sore eyes, this herb has been considered equal, if not superior to Eyebright. Culpepper states:
'This herb has some peculiar virtue of its own, as the distilled water is a remedy for hurts and blows on the eyes, and for blindness, so as the crystalline humours be not perished or hurt. It cleareth the eyes of dust or any other particle and preserveth the sight.'
For wounds, an ointment was used in his days, made of the distilled water of the herb, boiled with butter and sugar. The distilled water was also recommended for cleansing ulcers and reducing their inflammation, and also, applied warm, for removing 'spots, marks and scabs in the skin.'


Botanical: Levisticum officinale (KOCH.)
Family: N.O. Umbelliferae
Parts Used
Medicinal Action and Uses
Ligusticum Levisticum (Linn.). Old English Lovage. Italian Lovage. Cornish Lovage.
---Parts Used---
Root, leaves, seeds, young stems.
It is not considered to be indigenous to Great Britain, and when occasionally found growing apparently wild, it is probably a garden escape. It is a native of the Mediterranean region, growing wild in the mountainous districts of the south of France, in northern Greece and in the Balkans.
The Garden Lovage is one of the old English herbs that was formerly very generally cultivated, and is still occasionally cultivated as a sweet herb, and for the use in herbal medicine of its root, and to a less degree, the leaves and seeds.
It is a true perennial and hence is very easy to keep in garden cultivation; it can be propagated by offsets like Rhubarb, and it is very hardy. Its old-time repute has suffered by the substitution of the medicinally more powerful Milfoil and Tansy, just as was the case when 'Elecampane' superseded Angelica in medical use. The public-house cordial named 'Lovage,' formerly much in vogue, however, owed such virtue as it may have possessed to Tansy. Freshly-gathered leafstalks of Lovage (for flavouring purposes) should be employed in long split lengths.
This stout, umbelliferous plant has been thought to resemble to some degree our Garden Angelica, and it does very closely resemble the Spanish Angelica heterocarpa in foliage and perennial habit of growth. It has a thick and fleshy root, 5 or 6 inches long, shaped like a carrot, of a greyish-brown color on the outside and whitish within. It has a strong aromatic smell and taste. The thick, erect hollow and channelled stems grow 3 or 4 feet or even more in height. The large, dark green radical leaves, on erect stalks, are divided into narrow wedge-like segments, and are not unlike those of a coarse-growing celery; their surface is shining, and when bruised they give out an aromatic odour, somewhat reminiscent both of Angelica and Celery. The stems divide towards the top to form opposite whorled branches, which in June and July bear umbels of yellow flowers, similar to those of Fennel or Parsnip, followed by small, extremely aromatic fruits, yellowish-brown in color, elliptical in shape and curved, with three prominent winged ribs. The odour of the whole plant is very strong. Its taste is warm and aromatic, and it abounds with a yellowish, gummy, resinous juice.
It is sometimes grown in gardens for its ornamental foliage, as well as for its pleasant odour, but it is not a striking enough plant to have claimed the attention of poets and painters, and no myths or legends are connected with it. The name of the genus, Ligusticum, is said to be derived from Liguria, where this species abounds.
Lovage is of easy culture. Propagation is by division of roots or by seeds. Rich moist, but well-drained soil is required and a sunny situation. In late summer, when the seed ripens, it should be sown and the seedlings transplanted, either in the autumn or as early in spring as possible, to their permanent quarters, setting 12 inches apart each way. The seeds may also be sown in spring, but it is preferable to sow when just ripe. Root division is performed in early spring.
The plants should last for several years, if the ground be kept well cultivated, and where the seeds are permitted to scatter the plants will come up without care.
---Parts Used---
The root, leaves and seeds for medicinal purposes.
The young stems, treated like Angelica, for flavouring and confectionery.
Lovage contains a volatile oil, angelic acid, a bitter extractive, resins, etc. The coloring principle has been isolated by M. Niklis, who gives it the name of Ligulin, and suggests an important application of it that may be made in testing drinking water. If a drop of its alcoholic or aqueous solution is allowed to fall into distilled water, it imparts to the liquid its own fine crimson-red color, which undergoes no change; but if limestone water be substituted, the red color disappears in a few seconds and is followed by a beautiful blue, due to the alkalinity of the latter.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
Formerly Lovage was used for a variety of culinary purposes, but now its use is restricted almost wholly to confectionery, the young stems being treated like those of Angelica, to which, however, it is inferior, as its stems are not so stout nor so succulent.
The leafstalks and stem bases were formerly blanched like celery, but as a vegetable it has fallen into disuse.
A herbal tea is made of the leaves, when previously dried, the decoction having a very agreeable odour.
Lovage was much used as a drug plant in the fourteenth century, its medicinal reputation probably being greatly founded on its pleasing aromatic odour. It was never an official remedy, nor were any extravagant claims made, as with Angelica, for its efficacy in numberless complaints.
The roots and fruit are aromatic and stimulant, and have diuretic and carminative action. In herbal medicine they are used in disorders of the stomach and feverish attacks, especially for cases of colic and flatulence in children, its qualities being similar to those of Angelica in expelling flatulence, exciting perspiration and opening obstructions. The leaves eaten as salad, or infused dry as a tea, used to be accounted a good emmenagogue.
An infusion of the root was recommended by old writers for gravel, jaundice and urinary troubles, and the cordial, sudorific nature of the roots and seeds caused their use to be extolled in 'pestilential disorders.' In the opinion of Culpepper, the working of the seeds was more powerful than that of the root; he tells us that an infusion 'being dropped into the eyes taketh away their redness or dimness.... It is highly recommended to drink the decoction of the herb for agues.... The distilled water is good for quinsy if the mouth and throat be gargled and washed therewith.... The decoction drunk three or four times a day is effectual in pleurisy.... The leaves bruised and fried with a little hog's lard and laid hot to any blotch or boil will quickly break it.'
Several species of this umbelliferous genus are employed as domestic medicines. The root of LIGUSTICUM SINENSE, under the name of KAO-PÂU, is largely used by the Chinese, and in the north-western United States the large, aromatic roots of LIGUSTICUM FILICINUM (OSHA COLORADO COUGH-ROOT) are used to a considerable extent as stimulating expectorants.
The old-fashioned cordial, 'Lovage,' now not much in vogue, though still occasionally to be found in public-houses, is brewed not only from the Garden Lovage, Ligusticum levisticum, but mainly from a species of Milfoil or Yarrow, Achillea ligustica, and from Tansy, Tanacetum vulgare, and probably owes its merit more to these herbs than to Lovage itself. From its use in this cordial, Milfoil has often been mistakenly called Lovage, though it is in no way related to the Umbellifer family.
Several other plants have been termed Lovage besides the true Lovage, and this has frequently caused confusion. Thus we have the SCOTCH LOVAGE, known also as Sea Lovage, or Scotch Parsley, and botanically as Ligusticum scoticum; the BLACK LOVAGE, or Alexanders, Smyrnium Olusatrum; BASTARD LOVAGE, a species of the allied genus, Laserpitum, and WATER LOVAGE, a species of the genus Cenanthe.
Laserpitum may be distinguished from its allies by the fruit having eight prominent, wing-like appendages. The species are perennial herbs, chiefly found in south-eastern Europe. Some of them are employed as domestic remedies, on account of their aroma.
The scent of the root of MEUM ATHAMANTICUM (Jacq.), SPIGNEL (also called Spikenel or Spiknel), MEU or BALD-MONEY, has much in common with that of both Lovage and Angelica, and the root has been eaten by the Scotch Highlanders as a vegetable. It is a perennial, smooth and very aromatic herb. The elongated root is crowned with fibres, the leaves, mostly springing from the root, are divided into leaflets which are further cut into numerous thread-like segments, which gives them a feathery appearance. The stem is about 6 or 8 inches high, and bears umbels of white or purplish flowers. The aromatic flavour of the leaves is somewhat like Melilot, and is communicated to milk and butter when cows feed on the herbage in the spring. The peculiar name of this plant, 'Baldmoney,' is said to be a corruption of Balder, the Apollo of the northern nations, to whom the plant was dedicated.

Lovage, Bastard

Botanical: Laserpitum latifolia (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Umbelliferae
---Synonym---White Gentian.
Bastard Lovage is not a native of Great Britain. The species respectively comprised in the genera Laserpitum and Ligusticum, have much in common regarding foliage, manner of growth and aromatic odour.

Lovage, Black

Botanical: Smyrnium Olisatrum (LINN.)
---Synonyms---Alexanders. Alisanders. Black Pot-herb.
---Part Used---Herb.
Black Lovage is in leaf and flower not unlike an Angelica, and amateur collectors have sometimes mistaken it for Wild Angelica.
Alexanders, to use its more common name, is a large perennial herb, growing 3 or 4 feet in height, with very large leaves, doubly and triply divided into three (ternate), with broad leaflets; the sheaths of the footstalks are very broad and membraneous in texture. The yellowish-green flowers are produced in numerous close, rounded umbels without involucres (the little leaves that are placed often at the spot where the various rays of the umbel spring). The whole herb is of a yellowish-green tint. The fruit is formed of two, nearly globular halves, with prominent ridges. When ripe, it is almost black, whence the plant received from the old herbalists the name of 'Black Pot-herb,' the specific name signifying the same. (Olus, a pot-herb, and atrum, black.)

Lovage, Scotch

Botanical: Ligusticum Scoticum (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Umbelliferae
---Synonym---Sea Lovage.
---Part Used---Root.
The Scotch Lovage grows on cliffs and rocky shores in Scotland and Northumberland. It has a stout, branched rootstock, which is aromatic and pungent; a sparingly branched, erect, grooved stem, 1 to 3 feet high, and much cut-into dark green, shiny leaves, with three-lobed leaflets. The umbels of flowers, in bloom in July, are white or pink.
The leaves have been used in the Hebrides as a green vegetable, either boiled as greens, or eaten raw as salad, under the name of Shunis. The taste is strong and not very pleasant.
An infusion of the leaves in whey is used in Scotland as a purgative for calves, much valued, Green states in the Universal Herbal in the Isle of Skye.
The root possesses aromatic and carminative properties; it has been applied in hysterical and uterine disorders.
When treated like celery, Sea Lovage proves quite inferior, though Angelica and Lovage have been thus used with a certain measure of success, even to the more fastidious modern palate.
This is one of the many cultivated plants that, escaping from gardens, have become apparently wild. It is now found rather abundantly in some parts of the sea-coast, on waste places near the mouth of rivers, especially in Scotland, and inland is occasionally seen in the neighbourhood of towns, or about the ruins of monasteries and other places where it was grown in olden times as a potherb and salad. It was formerly cultivated in the same manner as celery, which has now supplanted it, and boiled, was eaten by sailors returning from long voyages and suffering from scurvy. The young shoots and leafstalks eaten raw, have a rather agreeable taste, not very unlike that of celery, but more pungent. They were likewise used to flavour soups and stews, and some years ago were still so employed by the country people in parts where the plant abounds.
The seeds are sweetly aromatic and were formerly used as a carminative and stimulant medicine, and are still valued by herbalists for pleasantly flavouring confections of Senna and disguising the taste of other medicinal preparations.

Lovage, Water

Botanical: Cenanthe fistulosa (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Umbelliferae
Water Lovage is closely allied to Hemlock Water Dropwort (Cenanthe crocata, Linn.) and is by no means to be regarded as an edible plant. All the species of Water Dropwort are regarded as poisonous, and the Hemlock Water Dropwort should not be allowed to grow in places where cattle are kept, as instances are numerous in which cows have been poisoned by eating the roots, and it is equally poisonous to horses.
The genus Cenanthe is scattered throughout the whole of the Northern Hemisphere, but are rare in America; some of them are to be met with in Britain, and certain of them are very poisonous. C. crocata has been used with beneficial effect in certain skin-diseases; also in the form of poultices to ulcers, etc., as well as for the purpose of poisoning rats and moles.

Love Lies Bleeding
See Amaranths.


Botanical: Medicago sativa
Family: N.O. Papilionaceae
Purple Medicle. Cultivated Lucern.
---Part Used---
Whole herb in flower.
Originally Medea, then old Spain, Italy, France; and cultivated in Persia and Peru.
A deep-rooting perennial plant with nurnerous small clover-like spikes of blue or violet flowers of upright growth. Its herbage is green, succulent, and being an early crop is in a sense of some value as an agricultural plant. It yields two rather abundant green crops in the year - of a quality greatly relished by horses and cattle - it fattens them quickly and was much esteemed for increasing the milk of cows. One of the objections to growing it as a crop is the three to four years required before it attains full growth. When this plant is found in Britain growing wild it is merely an escape from cultivation. It may possibly have been a native of Europe; it is of great antiquity, having been imported into Greece from the East after Darius had discovered it in Medea, hence its name. It is referred to by Roman writers, and is cultivated in Persia and Peru, where it is mown all the year round. It first came into notice in 1757 in Britain. Its chief characteristics are: herb, 1 1/2 to 2 feet high; peduncled racemed; legumes contorted, twisted spirally, hairy; stem upright, smooth; leaves trifoliate; flowers in thick spikes, corolla purple.
To increase weight, an infusion of 1 OZ. to the pint is given in cupful doses.
The root of Lucerne has sometimes been found as an adulterant of Belladonna root.


Botanical: Sticta pulmonaria (LINT.)
Family: N.O. Lichenes
Medicinal Action and Uses
Jerusalem Cowslip. Oak Lungs. Lung Moss.
---Part Used---Herb.
Lungwort, a member of the Borage tribe, is found in woods and thickets, but is not common, and is by some only regarded as an escape from gardens, where it is cultivated now mostly for the sake of its ornamental leaves, which are curiously spotted with white.
The stem grows about a foot high, bearing rough, alternate, egg-shaped leaves, the lower ones stalked, and the flowers in a terminal inflorescence, red before expanding and pale purple when fully open.
The leaves of this plant, which are the part that has been used in medicine, have no peculiar smell, but when fresh have a slight astringent and mucilaginous taste, hence they have been supposed to be demulcent and pectoral, and have been used in coughs and lung catarrhs in the form of an infusion.
Its popular and Latin names seem to have been derived from the speckled appearance of the leaves resembling that of the lungs, and their use in former days was partly founded on the doctrine of signatures.
The Lungwort sold by druggists to-day is not this species, but a Moss, known also as Oak Lungs and Lung Moss.
The Lungwort formerly held a place in almost every garden, under the name of 'Jerusalem Cowslip'; and it was held in great esteem for its reputed medicinal qualities in diseases of the lungs.
Sir J. E. Smith says that:
'every part of the plant is mucilaginous, but its reputation for coughs arose not from this circumstance, but from the speckled appearance of the leaves, resembling the lungs!'
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
An infusion of 1 teaspoonful of the dried herb to a cup of boiling water is taken several times a day for subduing inflammation, and for its healing effect in pulmonary complaints.
Fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm.


Family: N.O. Leguminosae
Medicinal Action and Uses
Other Species
(French) Lupin. (German) Wolfsbohne.
---Parts Used--
-Seeds, herb.
The Lupinus are a large genus of handsome plants, represented in Europe, Asia and North and South America, the poisonous properties of which are apparently very irregularly and unequally distributed.
A number of the species are cultivated only as ornamental plants, but others are grown for fodder, and if not over-fed, are found highly nutritive and wholesome. If the seeds of certain species are eaten in a more or less mature condition, poisoning is liable to occur, great numbers of animals sometimes being affected. These poisoning accidents have occurred in Europe and in the United States.
The species best known - as fodder - is the WHITE LUPIN of cultivation, Lupinus albus (Linn.) (French, Lupin; German, Wolfsbohne), native of Southern Europe and adjacent Asia, a plant of about 2 feet high, with leaves cut palmately into five or seven divisions, 1 to 2 inches long, smooth above, and white, hairy, beneath. The flowers are in terminal racemes, on short footstalks, white and rather large, the pod 3 to 4 inches long, flattish, containing three to six white, circular, flattened seeds, which have a bitter taste.
-It is probably of wiccan or East Mediterranean origin, and has been cultivated since the days of the ancient wiccans. It is now very extensively used in Italy and Sicily, for forage, for ploughing-in to enrich the land, and for its seeds.
John Parkinson attributed wonderful virtues to the plant.
Many women, he says 'doe use the meale of Lupines mingled with the gall of a goate and some juyce of Lemons to make into a forme of a soft ointment.' He says that the burning of Lupin seeds drives away gnats.
Culpepper says they are governed by Mars in Ares:
'The seeds, somewhat bitter in taste, opening and cleansing, good to destroy worms. Outwardly they are used against deformities of the skin, scabby ulcers, scald heads, and other cutaneous distempers.'
This Lupin was cultivated by the Romans as an article of food. Pliny says:
'No kind of fodder is more wholesome and light of digestion than the White Lupine, when eaten dry. If taken commonly at meals, it will contribute a fresh color and a cheerful countenance.'
Virgil, however, Dr. Fernie tells us (Herbal Simples, 1897), designated it 'tristis Lupinus,' the sad Lupine. Dr. Fernie further states:
'The seeds were used as pieces of money by Roman actors in their plays and comedies, whence came the saying "nummus lupinus" - a spurious bit of money.'
The YELLOW LUPIN, also a native of Southern Europe and Western Asia, is called Lupin luteus from its yellow flowers. The BLUEFLOWERED SPECIES of the North-eastern United States is Lupinus perennis (Linn.), the WILD or BLUE BEAN. In the Western United and southward into the Andes, the species are very numerous.
If grown from seed, Lupins do not often come true to type, but if propagated, they will remain true. They must be isolated, owing to insects which might cross the pollen.
Lupins cross readily, hence isolation for propagation is absolutely necessary.
To intensify their coloring, sulphate of ammonia and sulphate of iron may both be employed.
Climatic conditions also more or less affect their coloring.
In a recent note in The Western Gazette (May 18, 1923) Lupins were spoken of as probably the best crop for light land, such as the poor land on the Suffolk coast, where Lupin growing is extending, as also on similar land in the northern part of Nottinghamshire.
In Suffolk the Blue Lupin is the local variety, and anyone travelling through that country in July will see whole fields devoted to it.
The great value of the plant lies in its capacity for growing luxuriantly on land which is so light and sandy that hardly anything else will thrive. Being a leguminous crop, it assimilates the free nitrogen of the air, greatly enriching the soil; and on light land it is probably quite the best plant we have for green manuring.
The bitter principle Lupinin is a glucoside occurring in yellowish needles. On boiling with dilute acids, it is decomposed into Lupigenin and a fermentable glucose.
Willstatter described the following alkaloids as occurring in the different species: Lupinine, a crystalline powder and Lupinidine, a syrupy liquid in LUPINUS LUTEUS and L. NIGER. Lupanine in L. ALBUS, L. ANGUSTIFOLIUS and L. PERENNIS, a pale yellow, syrupy fluid of an intensely bitter taste. E. Schmidt affirmed that the alkaloid of the seeds of L. albus is not the same as that of the herbage. A carbohydrate analogous to dextrin has been discovered in L. luteus.
According to Schwartz (1906) the seeds of LUPINUS ARABICUS contain a crystalline substance to which he gave the name of Magolan, which is a useful remedy in diabetes mellitus.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---
The bruised seeds of White Lupine, after soaking in water, are sometimes used as an external application to ulcers, etc., and internally are said to be anthelmintic, diuretic and emmenagogue.
In 1917 a 'Lupin' banquet was given in Hamburg at a botanical gathering, at which a German Professor, Dr. Thoms, described the multifarious uses to which the Lupin might be put. At a table covered with a tablecloth of Lupin fibre, Lupin soup was served; after the soup came Lupin beefsteak, roasted in Lupin oil and seasoned with Lupin extract, then bread containing 20 per cent of Lupin, Lupin margarine and cheese of Lupin albumen, and finally Lupin liqueur and Lupin coffee. Lupin soap served for washing the hands, while Lupin-fibre paper and envelopes with Lupin adhesive were available for writing.
---Other Species---
L. arboreus (the Tree Lupin), from California and Oregon, will, when well trained, produce a branching stem several feet in height that will live through four or five years, forming a trunk of light soft wood of the thickness of a man's arm.
L. polyphyllus and a few allied species from the same country are tall, erect, herbaceous perennials with very handsome richlycolored spikes of flowers, which have become permanent inmates of our gardens.
Correction/Update - 2/16/01
Although the commercial cropping of lupins is very new, lupin seed has been used as a food since ancient times. According to Gladstones (1977), the Mediterranean white lupin (Lupinus albus L.) has been used as a subsistence crop for three thousand years or more and the pearl lupin (L. mutabilis Sweet.) has been cultivated for thousands of years in the Andean Highlands of South America. Gladstones (1977) also observed that yellow lupin (L. luteus L.), narrow-leafed lupin (L. angustifolius L.) and the white lupin (L. albus L.) are used as green manure crops in traditional agricultural systems in Morocco and Iberia (Gladstones, 1974), which indicates that the cultivation of these species may have ancient origins. Bitter (high alkaloid) narrow-leafed lupins were first introduced into Northern Europe around 1850 and quickly became the basis of the Saxony Merino Industry. A severe outbreak of lupinosis in 1870 limited their use for grazing (Gladstones, 1977).
Lupinosis was first recognised in Germany in 1872, when many sheep died from grazing mature lupin stems, and a few years later it was suggested by German scientists that a mycotoxin may be responsible (Allen, 1986). Since then, lupinosis has been reported in the United States of America (Ostazeski and Wells, 1962), Poland (Kochman, 1957), New Zealand (Allen, 1986), Australia (Gardiner et al., 1967) and South Africa (Van Warmelo, 1970). Although many animals have been diagnosed with lupinosis, sheep are particularly susceptible and are responsible for almost all of the economic losses caused by the disease in Western Australia (Allen, 1986).
Although it had been suggested, a century earlier, that a fungal toxin might be implicated in the disease, it was not until 1966 that Dr. Gardiner demonstrated that non-toxic lupins could be made toxic by inoculating and incubating them with a mixture of fungal cultures from toxic lupins (Gardiner et al., 1967). Gardiner (1966) had previously suggested that lupinosis was caused by a species of Cytospora. This report was followed by studies that showed the fungus responsible was a species of Phomopsis (Gardiner and Petterson,1972). In 1993, the complete life cycle of this fungus was discovered and the perfect state described as a new species, Diaporthe toxica, the cause of lupinosis in sheep (Williamson, 1993; Williamson et al, 1994)
Williamson, PM. 1993. Processes Involved in the Infection of Narrow-Leafed Lupins by Phomopsis leptostromiformis. PhD Thesis, The University of Western Australia.


Descript :
It has many leaves rising from the root standing upon long hairy foot-stalks, being almost round, and a little cut on the edges, into eight or ten parts, making it seem like a star, with so many corners and points, and dented round about, of a light green color, somewhat hard in handling, and as it were folded or plaited at first, and then crumpled in divers places, and a little hairy, as the stalk is also, which rises up among them to the height of two or three feet; and being weak, is not able to stand upright, but bended to the ground, divided at the top into two or three small branches, with small yellowish green heads, and flowers of a whitish color breaking out of them; which being past, there comes a small yellowish seed like a poppy seed. The root is somewhat long and black, with many strings and fibres thereat.
Place :
It grows naturally in many pastures and wood sides in Hertfordshire, Wiltshire, and Kent, and other places of this land.
Time : It flowers in May and June, abides after seedtime green all the Winter.
Government and virtues :
Venus claims the herb as her own. Ladies' Mantle is very proper for those wounds that have inflammations, and is very effectual to stay bleeding, vomitings, fluxes of all sorts, bruises by falls or otherwise, and helps ruptures; and such women as have large breasts, causing them to grow less and hard, being both drank and outwardly applied; the distilled water drank for 20 days together helps conception, and to retain the birth; if the women do sometimes also sit in a bath made of the decoction of the herb. It is one of the most singular wound herbs that is, and therefore highly prized and praised by the Germans, who use it in all wounds inward and outward, to drink a decoction thereof, and wash the wounds therewith, or dip tents therein, and put them into the wounds, which wonderfully dries up all humidity of the sores, and abates inflammations therein. It quickly heals all green wounds, not suffering any corruption to remain behind, and cures all old sores, though fistulous and hollow.


Being an inhabitant almost in every garden, it is so well known, that it needs no description.
Time :
It flowers about the end of June, and beginning of July.
Government and virtues :
Mercury owns the herb; and it carries his effects very potently. Lavender is of a special good use for all the griefs and pains of the head and brain that proceed of a cold cause, as the apoplexy, falling-sickness, the dropsy, or sluggish malady, cramps, convulsions, palsies, and often faintings. It strengthens the stomach, and frees the liver and spleen from obstructions, provokes women's courses, and expels the dead child and after-birth. The flowers of Lavender steeped in wine, helps them to make water that are stopped, or are troubled with the wind or cholic, if the place be bathed therewith. A decoction made with the flowers of Lavender, Hore-hound, Fennel and Asparagus root, and a little Cinnamon, is very profitably used to help the falling-sickness, and the giddiness or turning of the brain: to gargle the mouth with the decoction thereof is good against the tooth-ache. Two spoonfuls of the distilled water of the flowers taken, helps them that have lost their voice, as also the tremblings and passions of the heart, and faintings and swooning, not only being drank, but applied to the temples, or nostrils to be smelled unto; but it is not safe to use it where the body is replete with blood and humours, because of the hot and subtile spirits wherewith it is possessed. The chymical oil drawn from Lavender, usually called Oil of Spike, is of so fierce and piercing a quality, that it is cautiously to be used, some few drops being sufficient, to be given with other things, either for inward or outward griefs.


It being a common garden herb, I shall forbear the description, only take notice, that it flowers in June and July.
Government and virtues :
It is under the dominion of Mercury. It resists poison, putrefaction, and heals the biting of venomous beasts. A dram of the powder of the dried leaves taken every morning fasting, stops the running of the reins in men, and whites in women. The seed beaten into powder, and taken as worm-seed, kills the worms, not only in children, but also in people of riper years; the like doth the herb itself, being steeped in milk, and the milk drank; the body bathed with the decoction of it, helps scabs and itch.


This is a very pretty ornament to the sides of most meadows.
Descript :
The root is composed of many small white threads from whence spring up divers long stalks of winged leaves, consisting of round, tender, dark, green leaves, set one against another upon a middle rib, the greatest being at the end, amongst which arise up divers tender, weak, round, green stalks, somewhat streaked, with longer and smaller leaves upon them; on the tops of which stand flowers, almost like the Stock Gilliflowers, but rounder, and not so long, of a blushing white color; the seed is reddish, and grows to small branches, being of a sharp biting taste, and so has the herb.
Place : They grow in moist places, and near to brooksides.
Time : They flower in April and May, and the lower leaves continue green all the Winter.
Government and virtues : They are under the dominion of the Moon, and very little inferior to Water Cresses in all their operations; they are excellently good for the scurvy, they provoke urine, and break the stone, and excellently warm a cold and weak stomach, restoring lost appetite, and help digestion.


It is so well known, being generally used as a Sallad-herb, that it is altogether needless to write any description thereof.
Government and virtues :
The Moon owns them, and that is the reason they cool and moisten what heat and dryness Mars causeth, because Mars has his fall in Cancer; and they cool the heat because the Sun rules it, between whom and the Moon is a reception in the generation of men, as you may see in my Guide for Women. The juice of Lettuce mixed or boiled with Oil of Roses, applied to the forehead and temples procures sleep, and eases the headache proceeding of an hot cause. Being eaten boiled, it helps to loosen the belly. It helps digestion, quenches thirst, increases milk in nurses, eases griping pains in the stomach or bowels, that come of choler. Applied outwardly to the region of the heart, liver or reins, or by bathing the said places with the juice of distilled water, wherein some white Sanders, or red Roses are put; not only represses the heat and inflammations therein, but comforts and strengthens those parts, and also tempers the heat of urine. Galen advises old men to use it with spice; and where spices are wanting, to add Mints, Rocket, and such like hot herbs, or else Citron Lemon, or Orange seeds, to abate the cold of one and heat of the other. The seed and distilled water of the Lettuce work the same effects in all things; but the use of Lettuce is chiefly forbidden to those that are short-winded, or have any imperfection in the lungs, or spit blood.


Of these there are two principally noted kinds, viz. the White and the Yellow.
Descript :
The White Lily has very large and thick dark green leaves lying on the water, sustained by long and thick foot-stalks, that arise from a great, thick, round, and long tuberous black root spongy or loose, with many knobs thereon, green on the outside, but as white as snow within, consisting of divers rows of long and somewhat thick and narrow leaves, smaller and thinner the more inward they be, encompassing a head with many yellow threads or thrums in the middle; where, after they are past, stand round Poppy-like heads, full of broad oily and bitter seed.
The yellow kind is little different from the former, save only that it has fewer leaves on the flowers, greater and more shining seed, and a whitish root, both within and without. The root of both is somewhat sweet in taste.
Place :
They are found growing in great pools, and standing waters, and sometimes in slow running rivers, and lesser ditches of water, in sundry places of this land.
Time : They flower most commonly about the end of May, and their seed is ripe in August.
Government and virtues : The herb is under the dominion of the Moon, and therefore cools and moistens like the former. The leaves and flowers of the Water Lilies are cold and moist, but the roots and seeds are cold and dry; the leaves do cool all inflammations, both outward and inward heat of agues; and so doth the flowers also, either by the syrup or conserve; the syrup helps much to procure rest, and to settle the brain of frantic persons, by cooling the hot distemperature of the head. The seed as well as the root is effectual to stay fluxes of blood or humours, either of wounds or of the belly; but the roots are most used, and more effectual to cool, bind, and restrain all fluxes in man or woman. The root is likewise very good for those whose urine is hot and sharp, to be boiled in wine and water, and the decoction drank. The distilled water of the flowers is very effectual for all the diseases aforesaid, both inwardly taken, and outwardly applied; and is much commended to take away freckles, spots, sunburn, and morphew from the face, or other parts of the body. The oil made of the flowers, as oil of Roses is made, is profitably used to cool hot tumours, and to ease the pains, and help the sores.


Called also Conval Lily, Male Lily, and Lily Confancy.
Descript :
The root is small, and creeps far in the ground, as grass roots do. The leaves are many, against which rises up a stalk half a foot high, with many white flowers, like little bells with turned edges of a strong, though pleasing smell; the berries are red, not much unlike those of Asparagus.
Place :
They grow plentifully upon Hampstead-Heath, and many other places in this nation.
Time :
They flower in May, and the seed is ripe in September.
Government and virtues : It is under the dominion of Mercury, and therefore it strengthens the brain, recruits a weak memory, and makes it strong again. The distilled water dropped into the eyes, helps inflammations there; as also that infirmity which they call a pin and web. The spirit of the flowers distilled in wine, restores lost speech, helps the palsy, and is excellently good in the apoplexy, comforts the heart and vital spirits. Gerrard saith, that the flowers being close stopped up in a glass, put into an ant-hill, and taken away again a month after, ye shall find a liquor in the glass, which, being outwardly applied, helps the gout.


It were in vain to describe a plant so commonly known in every one's garden; therefore I shall not tell you what they are, but what they are good for.
Government and virtues : They are under the dominion of the Moon, and by antipathy to Mars expel poison; they are excellently good in pestilential fevers, the roots being bruised and boiled in wine, and the decoction drank; for it expels the venom to the exterior parts of the body. The juice of it being tempered with barley meal, baked, and so eaten for ordinary bread, is an excellent cure for the dropsy. An ointment made of the root, and hog's grease, is excellently good for scald heads, unites the sinews when they are cut, and cleanses ulcers. The root boiled in any convenient decoction, gives speedy delivery to women in travail, and expels the afterbirth. The root roasted, and mixed with a little hog's grease, makes a gallant poultice to ripen and break plague-sores. The ointment is excellently good for swellings in the privities, and will cure burnings and scaldings without a scar, and trimly deck a blank place with hair.


Descript :
Our English Liquorice rises up with divers woody stalks, whereon are set at several distances many narrow, long, green leaves, set together on both sides of the stalk, and an odd one at the end, very well resembling a young ash tree sprung up from the seed. This by many years continuance in a place without removing, and not else, will bring forth flowers, many standing together spike fashion, one above another upon the stalk, of the form of pease blossoms, but of a very pale blue color, which turn into long, somewhat flat and smooth cods, wherein is contained a small round, hard seed. The roots run down exceeding deep into the ground, with divers other small roots and fibres growing with them, and shoot out suckers from the main roots all about, whereby it is much increased, of a brownish color on the outside, and yellow within.
Place :
It is planted in fields and gardens, in divers places of this land, and thereof good profit is made.
Government and virtues :
It is under the dominion of Mercury. Liquorice boiled in fair water, with some Maiden-hair and figs, makes a good drink for those that have a dry cough or hoarseness, wheezing or shortness of breath, and for all the griefs of the breast and lungs, phthisic or consumptions caused by the distillation of salt humours on them. It is also good in all pains of the reins, the stranguary, and heat of urine. The fine powder of Liquorice blown through a quill into the eyes that have a pin and web (as they call it) or rheumatic distillations in them, doth cleanse and help them. The juice of Liquorice is as effectual in all the diseases of the breast and lungs, the reins and bladder, as the decoction. The juice distilled in Rose-water, with some Gum Tragacanth, is a fine licking medicine for hoarseness, wheezing, &c.


There are, according to some botanists, upwards of three hundred different kinds of Liverwort.
Descript :
Common Liverwort grows close, and spreads much upon the ground in moist and shady places, with many small green leaves, or rather (as it were) sticking flat to one another, very unevenly cut in on the edges, and crumpled; from among which arise small slender stalks, an inch or two high at most, bearing small star-like flowers at the top; the roots are very fine and small.
Government and virtues :
It is under the dominion of Jupiter, and under the sign Cancer. It is a singularly good herb for all the diseases of the liver, both to cool and cleanse it, and helps the inflammations in any part, and the yellow jaundice likewise. Being bruised and boiled in small beer, and drank, it cools the heat of the liver and kidneys, and helps the running of the reins in men, and the whites in women; it is a singular remedy to stay the spreading of tetters, ringworms, and other fretting and running sores and scabs, and is an excellent remedy for such whose livers are corrupted by surfeits, which cause their bodies to break out, for it fortifies the liver exceedingly, and makes it impregnable.


Descript :
Common yellow Loosestrife grows to be four or five feet high, or more, with great round stalks, a little crested, diversly branched from the middle of them to the tops into great and long branches, on all which, at the joints, there grow long and narrow leaves, but broader below, and usually two at a joint, yet sometimes three or four, somewhat like willow leaves, smooth on the edges, and of a fair green color from the upper joints of the branches, and at the tops of them also stand many yellow flowers of five leaves a-piece, with divers yellow threads in the middle, which turn into small round heads, containing small cornered seeds: the root creeps under ground, almost like couchgrass, but greater, and shoots up every Spring brownish heads which afterwards grow up into stalks. It has no scent or taste, and is only astringent.
Place :
It grows in many places of the land in moist meadows, and by water sides.
Time : It flowers from June to August.
Government and virtues :
This herb is good for all manner of bleeding at the mouth, nose, or wounds, and all fluxes of the belly, and the bloody-flux, given either to drink or taken by clysters; it stays also the abundance of women's courses; it is a singular good wound-herb for green wounds, to stay the bleeding, and quickly close together the lips of the wound, if the herb be bruised, and the juice only applied. It is often used in gargles for sore mouths, as also for the secret parts. The smoak hereof being bruised, drives away flies and gnats, which in the night time molest people inhabiting near marshes, and in the fenny countries.


It is likewise called Grass-polly.
Descript :
This grows with many woody square stalks, full of joints, about three feet high at least; at every one whereof stand two long leaves, shorter, narrower, and a greener color than the former, and some brownish. The stalks are branched into many long stems of spiked flowers half a foot long, growing in bundles one above another, out of small husks, very like the spiked heads of Lavender, each of which flowers have five round-pointed leaves of a purple violet color, or somewhat inclining to redness; in which husks stand small round heads after the flowers are fallen, wherein is contained small seed. The root creeps under ground like unto the yellow, but is greater than it, and so are the heads of the leaves when they first appear out of the ground, and more brown than the other.
Place :
It grows usually by rivers, and ditch-sides in wet ground, as about the ditches at and near Lambeth, and in many places of this land.
Time :
It flowers in the months of June and July.
Government and virtues :
It is an herb of the Moon, and under the sign Cancer; neither do I know a better preserver of the sight when it is well, nor a better cure for sore eyes than Eyebright, taken inwardly, and this used outwardly; it is cold in quality. This herb is nothing inferior to the former, it having not only all the virtues which the former hath, but more peculiar virtues of its own, found out by experience; as, namely, The distilled water is a present remedy for hurts and blows on the eyes, and for blindness, so as the Christalline humours be not perished or hurt; and this hath been sufficiently proved true by the experience of a man of judgment, who kept it long to himself as a great secret. It clears the eyes of dust, or any thing gotten into them, and preserves the sight. It is also very available against wounds and thrusts, being made into an ointment in this manner: To every ounce of the water, add two drams of May butter without salt, and of sugar and wax, of each as much also; let them boil gently together. Let tents dipped into the liquor that remains after it is cold, be put into the wounds, and the place covered with a linen cloth doubled and anointed with the ointment; and this is also an approved medicine. It likewise cleanses and heals all foul ulcers, and sores whatsoever, and stays their inflammations by washing them with the water, and laying on them a green leaf or two in the Summer, or dry leaves in the Winter. This water, gargled warm in the mouth, and sometimes drank also, doth cure the quinsy, or king's evil in the throat. The said water applied warm, takes away all spots, marks, and scabs in the skin; and a little of it drank, quenches thirst when it is extreme.


Descript :
It has many long and green stalks of large winged leaves, divided into many parts, like Smallage, but much larger and greater, every leaf being cut about the edges, broadest forward, and smallest at the stalk, of a sad green color, smooth and shining; from among which rise up sundry strong, hollow green stalks, five or six, sometimes seven or eight feet high, full of joints, but lesser leaves set on them than grow below; and with them towards the tops come forth large branches, bearing at their tops large umbels of yellow flowers, and after them flat brownish seed. The roots grow thick, great and deep, spreading much, and enduring long, of a brownish color on the outside, and whitish within. The whole plant and every part of it smelling strong, and aromatically, and is of a hot, sharp, biting taste.
Place :
It is usually planted in gardens, where, if it be suffered, it grows huge and great.
Time :
It flowers in the end of July and seeds in August.
Government and virtues : It is an herb of the Sun, under the sign Taurus. If Saturn offend the throat (as he always doth if he be occasioner of the malady, and in Taurus is the Genesis) this is your cure. It opens, cures and digests humours, and mightily provokes women's courses and urine. Half a dram at a time of the dried root in powder taken in wine, doth wonderfully warm a cold stomach, helps digestion, and consumes all raw and superfluous moisture therein; eases all inward gripings and pains, dissolves wind, and resists poison and infection. It is a known and much praised remedy to drink the decoction of the herb for any sort of ague, and to help the pains and torments of the body and bowels coming of cold. The seed is effectual to all the purposes aforesaid (except the last) and works more powerfully. The distilled water of the herb helps the quinsy in the throat, if the mouth and throat be gargled and washed therewith, and helps the pleurisy, being drank three or four times. Being dropped into the eyes, it takes away the redness or dimness of them; it likewise takes away spots or freckles in the face. The leaves bruised, and fried with a little hog's lard, and put hot to any blotch or boil, will quickly break it.


Descript :
This is a kind of moss, that grows on sundry sorts of trees, especially oaks and beeches, with broad, greyish, tough leaves diversly folded, crumpled, and gashed in on the edges, and some spotted also with many small spots on the upper-side. It was never seen to bear any stalk or flower at any time.
Government and virtues : Jupiter seems to own this herb. It is of great use to physicians to help the diseases of the lungs, and for coughs, wheezings, and shortness of breath, which it cures both in man and beast. It is very profitable to put into lotions that are taken to stay the moist humours that flow to ulcers, and hinder their healing, as also to wash all other ulcers in the privy parts of a man or woman. It is an excellent remedy boiled in beer for brokenwinded horses.



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