Herbs & Oils
~ K ~
Mallotus Philippinensis (MUELL.)
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonyms---Glandulae Rottelerae. Kamcela. Spoonwood.
Used---Glands and hairs covering the fruits.
---Habitat---India, at the foot of the Madras hills, Malay
Archipelago, Orissa, Bengal, Bombay, Abyssinia, Southern Arabia,
very common small Indian tree, named after the Rev. Dr. Röttler,
the naturalist, who died in 1836. It is 20 to 30 feet high, trunk 3
or 4 feet in diameter, branches slender with pale bark, the younger
ones covered with dense ferruginous tomentosum; leaves alternate,
articulate petioles, 1 to 2 inches long; rusty tomentose, blade 3
to 6 inches long, ovate with two obscure glands at base, entire,
coriaceous, upper surface glabrous, veins very prominent on under
surface, flowers dioecious. Males three together in the axils of
small bracts arranged in longer much-branched axillary branches to
the females, both densely covered with ferrugineous tomentosum,
flowering November to January. From the surface of the trilobed
capsules of the plant, which are about the size of peas, a red
mealy powder is obtained; this consists of minute glands and hairs
coloured brick or madder red, nearly odourless and tasteless; it is
much used by the Hindu silk dyers, who obtain from it by boiling in
carbonate of soda, a durable flame colour of great beauty. The
capsules are ripe February and March, when the red powder is
brushed off and collected for sale; no other preparation is
necessary to preserve it.
---Constituents---Rottlerin, yellow and red resins, wax, and a
yellow crystalline substance, tannic acid, gum, and volatile
and Uses---The root of the tree is used in dyeing, and for
cutaneous eruptions, also used by the Arabs internally for leprosy
and in solution to remove freckles and pustules. In this country it
has been successfully used for an eruption in children known as
wildfire, the powder is rubbed over the affected part with moist
lint. Its greatest use, however, is in the use of tapeworm, being
safer and more certain than other cures; the worm is passed whole
and generally dead. The dose of Karmala for a robust person is 3
drachms, but only half that quantity for anyone of enfeebled
health; the fluid extract is milder and acts with more
acts quickly and actively as a purgative, and often causes much
griping and nausea, but seldom vomiting. It may be given in water
mucilage or syrup; the worm is usually expelled at the third or
fourth stool; if it fails to act, the dose is repeated after four
hours, or a dose of castor oil is given. Kamala is largely used in
India externally for cutaneous troubles, and is most effective for
scabies. It has been successfully employed in herpetic ringworm (a
disease very prevalent there), and as a taenifuge it has been used
with good results, on the Continent, combined with Kousso and known
insoluble in cold water and boiling water has little effect on it.
The resin is the most active constituent, and is dissolved by
ether, chloroform, alcohol or benzol. When exposed to a flame it
explodes with a flash resembling Lycopodium.
Dosages---Powdered Kamala, 2 to 4 drachms. Fluid extract, 2 to 4
---Adulterations---Kamala is often grossly adulterated; its
quality can be judged by throwing a little on the surface of water,
when the adulterants, such as sand, ferric oxide, etc., will sink,
and the pure drug float; stalks and leaves can be easily sifted
out. Dyed starch is detected by microscope, also ground safflower
by same means.
congesta, under the name of wurrus (contains a substance similar to
Kamala), is a large shrub growing in India and Africa, gives a dull
dark purplish powder and consists of single not grouped hairs and
glands, the glands being in tiers not radiating; wurrus contains
two resins, one dark and the other orange brown, an orange red
crystalline substance, flemingin and homoflemingin, principles
which while resembling Kamala are not identical with it, but
largely used in India as a dye, giving silk a lovely golden
Schimfeeri, the bark of which has anthelmintic
Piper Methysticum (FORST.)
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonyms---Ava. Intoxicating Pepper. Ava
Used---The peeled, dried and divided rhizome.
---Habitat---Polynesia, Sandwich Islands, South Sea Islands.
Official in the Australian Colonies.
indigenous shrub several feet high, leaves cordate, acuminate, with
very short axillary spikes of flowers, stem dichotomous, spotted.
The natives prepare a fermented liquor from the upper portion of
the rhizome and base of the stems; it is narcotic and stimulant and
is drunk before important religious rites. The root of the plant
chewed and mixed with the saliva, gives a hot intoxicating juice;
it is mixed with pure water or the water of the coco-nut. Its
continued use in large doses causes inflammation of the body and
eyes, resulting in leprous ulcers; the skin becomes parched and
peels off in scales. Commercial Kava rhizome is in whitish or
grey-brown roughly wedge-shaped fragments from which the periderm
is cut off about 2 inches thick; the transverse section usually
shows a dense central pith, surrounded by a clean ring of vascular
bundles, narrow and radiating, separated by broadish light-coloured
medullary rays. Fracture starchy, faint pleasant odour, taste
bitter, pungent, aromatic; it yields not more than 8 per cent of
---Constituents---Oil cells often contain a greenish-yellow
resin, termed kawine; it is strongly aromatic and acrid; the plant
contains a second resin less active than the first, a volatile oil
and an alkaloid, Kavaine Methysticcum yangonin, and abundance of
and Uses---The effect on the nerve centres is at first stimulating,
then depressing, ending with paralysis of the respiratory centre.
The irritant action and insolubility of the resin has lessened its
use as a local anesthetic, but for over 125 years Kava root has
been found valuable in the treatment of gonorrhoea both acute and
chronic, vaginitis, leucorrhoea, nocturnal incontinence and other
ailments of the genitourinary tract. It resembles pepper in local
action. A 20 per cent oil of Kava resin in oil of Sandalwood,
called gonosan, is used internally for gonorrhoea. Being a local
anaesthetic it relieves pain and has an aphrodisiac effect; it has
also an antiseptic effect on the urine. The capsules contain 0.3
gram; two to four can be given several times per day. As Kava is a
strong diuretic it is useful for gout, rheumatism, bronchial and
other ailments, resulting from heart trouble.
extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm. Powdered root, 1 drachm. Solid extract, 1
to 15 grains.
---Synonyms---Wall Pennywort. Penny Pies. Wall
Kidneywort or Navelwort (Cotyledon Umbilicus) is a remarkably
succulent plant, mostly to be found on moist rocks and walls in the
high-lying districts in the west of England.
plant is a pale bright green and very smooth. The rootstock from
which it springs is a small, roundish tuber, varying according to
the size of the plant, from the dimension of a small pea to that of
a large nut. The leaves, most of which grow directly from the
rootstock, are in shape some what like those of the garden
Nasturtium, being circular, their stalks, 2 to 6 inches long,
springing from about the centre of their undersurfaces, an
arrangement that is termed botanically peltate. The succulent
blades of the leaves are about 1 to 3 inches across, slightly
concave, having a depression in the centre, where joined to the
foot-stalk; and from this feature the generic name, Cotyledon has
been given, derived from the Greek cotyle (a cup). Some of the
English names of the plant, Wall Pennywort, Wall Pennyroyal and
Penny Pies, are references to the round form of the leaf suggesting
At the end
of May or early in June, stout reddish flowering stems arise,
decumbent for a greater or less distance at the base, but then
growing very erect to the height of 6 to 18 inches or more. They
bear leaves which pass by intermediate gradation from those of a
round peltate form to a shortly stalked, wedge-shaped one, and are
terminated by a long raceme, or spike, of numerous, pendulous,
bell-shaped, yellow-green flowers, with corollas about half an inch
long. The calyx is small and, like the corolla, is five-cleft. The
plant is in blossom from June to August, and the leaves often
remain green most of the winter.
and extract of the Kidneywort had an old reputation for epilepsy,
especially among herb doctors in the west of England, where it is
most frequently found; its use as a remedy in epilepsy was revived
last century even in regular practice, but it has obtained no
permanent reputation as a remedy.
applied by the peasantry in Wales to the eyes as a remedy in some
diseases. The leaves, bruised to a pulp and applied as a poultice,
are said to cure piles, and are also recommended as an application
for slight burns or scalds. A decoction of the leaves is considered
cooling and diuretic, and the juice when taken inwardly to be
excellent for inflammation of the liver and spleen.
Culpepper tells us that:
'the juice or distilled water being drunk
is very effectual for all inflammations, to cool a fainting
stomach, a hot liver or the bowels; the herb, juice or distilled
water outwardly applied healeth pimples, St. Anthony's Fire
(erysipelas) and other outward heats.'
He also recommends the juice or distilled
water for ulcerated kidneys, gravel and stone, and an ointment made
with it for 'painful piles' and pains of the gout and sciatia. In
'it heals kibes or chilblains if they be
bathed with the juice or anointed with ointment made hereof and
some of the skin of the leaf upon them: it is used in green wounds
to stay the blood and to heal them quickly.'
Pterocarpus marsupium, Pterocarpus erinaceus, Butea
Medicinal Action and Uses
Preparations and Dosages
the inspissated juice of the Bastard Teak (Pterocarpus marsupium)
obtained from incisions made in the trunk. The term Kino is also
applied to the juice of other plants inspissated without artificial
heat. The varieties commonly distinguished are:
EAST INDIAN KINO obtained from P. marsupium.
GAMBIA KINO from P. erinaceus.
BENGAL, or PALAS KINO from Butea frondosa.
BAY, AUSTRALIAN or EUCALYPTUS KINO from different species of
INDIAN or JAMAICA KINO from Coccoloba uvifera.
AMERICAN or CARACAS KINO, which is identified with Columbian Kino
and is believed to be obtained from the same plant that yields the
West Indian Kino.
British Pharmacopceia Malabar or West Indian Kino is the only one
recognized, and this is found in small, brittle glistening pieces,
reddish-black in colour. They are odourless with a very astringent
taste and stick to the teeth when chewed and make the saliva bright
almost entirely soluble in alcohol and entirely in ether and partly
it closely resembles catechu, and is very like it in action, but it
is less astringent and therefore less effective.
Pharmacopceia recognizes this kind and also Bengal Kino are
recognized, and in the United States other kinds are official as
well as these two.
and Uses---Astringent. Used whenever tannin is indicated.
Internally in diarrhoea, dysentery, and pyrosis. Externally as a
gargle and as an injection for leucorrhoea.
Dosages---Powdered gum, 5 to 20 grains. Comp. powder, B.P., 5 to 20
grains. Tincture, B.P. and U.S.P., 1/2 to 1 drachm.
Centaurea nigra (LINN.)
nigra, the Black Knapweed, is a perennial, with an unwinged, erect
stem, 6 inches to 3 feet high, generally freely branched in the
upper part. The leaves are very variable, both in breadth and
degrees of division, the upper ones narrow and generally with
entire margins, but the lower ones lobed, or at any rate with some
coarse teeth. The whole plant is dull green, rather rough with
small hairs, the stems, like the preceding species, very tough. The
flowers are without the spreading outer rays of the Greater
Knapweed, the florets being all tubular, which makes the black
fringes to the bracts of the involucre most noticeable, hence the
name of the species. The florets are of a less bright purple in
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonyms---Hardhead. Ironhead. Hard Irons. Churls Head.
Logger Head. Horse Knops. Matte Felon. Mat Fellon. Bottleweed.
Bullweed. Cowede. Boltsede.
---Habitat---Frequent in the borders of fields and in waste
places, being not uncommon in England, where it is abundant on
chalk soil, but rare in Scotland.
plant is a perennial, the rootstock thick and woody in old plants.
The stem is 1 to 3 feet high, generally branched, very tough. The
leaves, which are firm in texture, are very variable in the degree
of division, but generally deeply cut into, the segments again
deeply notched. The lower leaves are very large, often a foot or
even more in length, making a striking looking rosette on the
ground, from which the flowering stems arise. The whole plant is a
dull green, sparingly hairy. It flowers in July and August. The
flowers are terminal, somewhat similar to those of the Cornflower
in general shape, though larger. All the florets are of the same
colour, a rich purplish-crimson, the outer ray ones with the limb
divided nearly to the base into narrow, strap-shaped segments. The
flower-head is hard and solid, a mass of bracts lapping over each
other like tiles, each having a central green portion and a black
fringe-like edge. In some districts the plant is called from these
almost round heads, 'Hardhead,' and the ordinary English name,
Knapweed, is based on the same idea, Knap, being a form of Knop, or
larger species of Knapweed was in olden times called 'Matte Felon,'
from its use in curing felons or whitlows. As early as 1440 we find
it called 'Maude Felone,' or 'Boltsede.'
species is very common and generally distributed in pastures,
borders of fields and roadsides throughout Britain, and flowers
from early June till well into September. Both species of Knapweed
may readily be distinguished from Thistles by the absence of spines
and Uses---The Knapweed was once in great repute as a vulnerary. It
was included in the fourteenthcentury ointment, Save, for wounds
and for the pestilence, and was also used with pepper for loss of
and seeds are used. Its diuretic diaphoretic and tonic properties
It is good
for catarrh, taken in decoction, and is also made into ointment for
outward application for wounds and bruises, sores,
tells us: 'it is of special use for soreness of throat, swelling of
the uvula and jaws, and very good to stay bleeding at the nose and
---Synonym---Brown Radiant Knapweed.
Jacea, known to old writers as Knapwort Harshweed, its modern name
being the Brown Radiant Knapweed, is a rare species.
also applied as a vulnerary and was used internally. Culpepper
describes it as a mild astringent, 'helpful against coughs, asthma,
and difficulty of breathing, and good for diseases of the head and
nerves,' and tells us that 'outwardly the bruised herb is famous
for taking away black and blue marks out of the skin.'
botanical name of the species, scabiosa, signifying the
Scabious-like Knapweed, is given this species of Centaurea from its
resemblance in general size, form of leaf and other features to the
Scabious, another common plant also found in the chalk district,
which obtains its name from the Latin word scabies, an irritating
roughness of the skin, for which it has been employed as a
medicinal qualities of the Greater Knapweed are similar to those of
the Black Knapweed, a smaller variety, which is more generally
collected for medicinal use, perhaps because more
Polyganum aviculare (LINN.)
Medicinal Actiona and Uses
---Synonyms---Knotgrass. Centinode. Ninety-knot. Nine-joints.
Allseed. Bird's Tongue. Sparrow Tongue. Red Robin. Armstrong.
Cowgrass. Hogweed. Pigweed. Pigrush. Swynel Grass. Swine's
---Habitat---The entire globe.
Knotgrass is abundant everywhere, a common weed in arable land, on
waste ground and by the roadside.
root is annual, branched and somewhat woody, taking strong hold of
the earth; the stems, 1/2 to 6 feet in length, much branched,
seldom erect, usually of straggling habit, often quite prostrate
and widely spreading. The leaves, alternate and often stalkless,
are variable, narrow, lanceshaped or oval, 1/2 to 1 1/2 inch long,
issuing from the sheaths of the stipules or ochreae, which are
membraneous, white, shining, torn, red at the base and two-lobed.
The flowers are minute, in clusters of two to three, in the axils
of the stem, barely 1/8 in. long, usually pinkish, sometimes red,
green, or dull whitish. In contrast to the other Polygonums, there
is little or no honey or scent, so that the flowers are very rarely
visited by insects and pollinate themselves by the incurving of the
three inner stamens on to the styles. The remaining five stamens
alternate with the perianth segments and bend outwards, thus
ensuring cross-pollination in addition, should any insect visit the
varies greatly in size. When it grows singly in a favourable soil
and clear of other vegetation, it will often cover a circle of a
yard or more in diameter, the stems being almost prostrate on the
ground and leaves broad and large; but when growing crowded by
other plants the stalks become more upright and all the parts are
are smooth, with swollen joints, hence the common names,
Nine-joints, Ninety-knots, etc., and when gathered it generally
snaps at one of the joints.
flowering in May and continues till September or October.
Cleistogamic flowers (which do not open at all and in which
therefore self-pollination is necessarily effected) are found under
the ochrea, and this species is said also to possess subterranean
specific name, aviculare, is from the Latin aviculus, a diminutive
of avis (a bird), great numbers of our smaller birds feeding on its
seeds. The seeds are useful for every purpose in which those of the
allied Buckwheat are employed and are produced in great numbers,
hence its local name - Allseed.
Some of the older herbals call it Bird's
Tongue or Sparrow Tongue, these names arising from the shape of its
little, pointed leaves. Its minute reddish flowers gained it the
name of Red Robin. From the difficulty of pulling it up, it was
called Armstrong, and from the fact that cattle and swine eat it
readily, we find it called Cowgrass and Hogweed, Pigweed or
Pigrush. Gerard tells us:
'It is given to swine with good successe
when they are sicke and will not eat their meate, whereupon the
country people so call it Swine's Grass and Swine's Skir. In the
Grete Herball (1516) it is called Swynel Grass.
Shakespeare (Midsummer Night's Dream) speaks of this plant as
'the hindering Knotgrass,' referring to the belief that its
decoction was efficacious in retarding the growth of children and
the young of domestic animals.
of Geometer moths will eat the plant as a substitute for their
and Uses---The plant has astringent properties, rendering an
infusion of it useful in diarrhoea, bleeding piles and all
haemorrhages; it was formerly employed considerably as a vulnerary
also diuretic properties, for which it has found employment in
strangury and as an expellant of stone, the dose recommended in old
herbals being 1 drachm of the herb, powdered in wine, taken twice a
decoction was also administered to kill worms.
juice has been found effectual to stay bleeding of the nose,
squirted up the nose and applied to the temples, and made into an
ointment it has proved an excellent remedy for sores.
'Knotgrass is peculiar against spilling of
blood, strangury and other kidney affections, cools inflammations,
heals wounds and cleanses and heals old filthy ulcers. The Essence
for tertians and quartan. The decoction for colick; the Balsam
strengthens weak joints, comforts the nerves and tendons, and is
prevalent against the gout, being duly and rightly applied morning
is emetic and purgative.
Arifoleum, or Sickle-grass, Halbertleaved Tear-thumb, Hactate
Knotgrass. An infusion is a powerful diuretic, to be drunk freely
in all urinary affections.
Russian Knotgrass (Polygonum erectum, Linn.) possesses similar
astringent properties, and an infusion of this herb is used in
diarrhoea and children's summer complaints.
Knotweed (P. viviparum, Linn.), a small perennial, only 4 to 8
inches high, found in British mountain alpine pastures, is peculiar
in that its slender, spike-like raceme of white or pinkish flowers
bears in its lower portion, in place of flowers, little red bulbs
(as in certain species of Lilium and Alium), on which the plant
depends for its propagation, its fruit rarely
species is found in North America, being there the one nearest
related to the Bistort, whose properties it shares.
Polygonum erectum (LINN.)
---Habitat---British America, and Western and Middle
---Description---This perennial herb was discovered in North
America in 1790, but up to date it has not been largely utilized.
It is a variety of the English one - Polygonum aviculare, and has
similar properties. It has an upright smooth branched stem and
grows from 1 to 3 feet high. Leaves are smooth, broadly obvate,
rather obtuse- 1 to 2 inches long - and about half as broad -
either sessile or petiolate. Flowers bloom June to September in
bunches at axils of the leaves.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---It is highly astringent as an
infusion or decoction; useful in diarrhcea as an injection and in
children's summer complaints; also as a good gargle and a valuable
remedy for inflammatory diseases of the tissues.
Kola vera (SCHUM.)
Medicinal Actiona and Uses
---Synonyms---Cola acuminata. Sterculia acuminata. Kola Seeds.
Gurru Nuts. Bissy Nuts. Cola Seeds. Guru Nut.
---Habitat---Sierra Leone, North Ashanti near the sources of
the Nile; cultivated in tropical Western Africa, West Indies,
---Description---This tree grows about 40 feet high, has yellow
flowers, spotted with purple; leaves 6 to 8 inches long, pointed at
are extensively used as a condiment by the natives of Western and
Central tropical Africa, also by the negroes of the West Indies and
Brazil, who introduced the trees to these countries.
Africa these trees are usually found growing near the sea-coast,
and a big trade is carried on with the nuts by the natives of the
interior- Cola being eaten by them as far as Fezzan and Tripoli. A
small piece is chewed before each meal to promote digestion; it is
also thought to improve the flavour of anything eaten after it and
even to render putrid water palatable; the powder is applied to
several kinds of Cola seeds derived from different species, but the
Cola vera are most generally used and preferred for medicinal
purposes. Those from West Africa and West Indies supply the
commercial drug. C. acuminata, or Gurru Nuts, are employed in the
same way as C. vera; they are from a tree growing in Cameron and
Congo, not esteemed so highly, but much in use as a caffeine
stimulant; 600 tons are said to be sent yearly to Brazil for the
negroes' use, who also employ the seeds of S. Chica and S. Striata.
The Kola of commerce consists of the separated cotyledons of the
kernel of the seed; when fresh it is nearly white, on drying it
undergoes a fermentative change, turning reddish brown and losing
much of its astringency. The dried cotyledons vary in size from 1
to 2 inches, are irregular in shape but roughly plano-convex,
exterior reddy brown, interior paler, easily cut, showing a uniform
section, odourless and almost tasteless. Large quantities of the
fresh seeds are employed in Africa on account of their sustaining
properties, where they form an important article of inland
---Constituents---The different varieties of nuts give a
greater or lesser percentage of caffeine, which is only found in
the fresh state. The seeds are said to contain a glucoside,
Kolanin, but this substance appears to be a mixture of Kola red and
caffeine. The seeds also contain starch, fatty matter, sugar, a fat
decomposing enzyme acting on various oils.
and Uses---The properties of Kola are the same as caffeine,
modified only by the astringents present. Fresh Kola Nuts have
stimulant action apart from the caffeine content, but as they
appear in European commerce, their action is indistinguishable from
that of other caffeine drugs and Kola red is inert. Kola is also a
valuable nervine, heart tonic, and a good general
---Adulterations---Male Kola (not to be confused with Kola) is
the fruit of a small tree, Garcinia Kola, and contains no caffeine.
The fruit is oblong, from 2 to 3 inches long and 1 inch broad; it
is trigonal in section, reddish brown with nutmeg-like markings.
Taste, bitter and astringent. Under microscope shows resinous
masses, surrounded by cells full of starch. The seeds of Lucuma
Mammosa are sometimes found mixed with Kola Nuts, but are easily
detected by their strong smell of prussic acid. Hertiera Litorales
seeds are also sometimes found mixed with Kola Nuts.
(cornu) seeds are also used, but these are easily distinguished as
the seeds have six cotyledons and contain little
---Preparations---Fluid extract of Kola, 10 to 40 drops. Solid
extract alc., 2 to 8 grains.
Hagenia Abyssinica (WILLD.), Brayera anthelmintica
Medicinal Action and Uses
---Synonyms---Banksia Abyssinica. Kooso. Kusso. Kosso. Cossoo.
Used---Herb, unripe fruit, and the dried panicles of the pistillate
---Habitat---North-Eastern Africa, and cultivated in Abyssinia;
official in United States of America.
tree is named after Dr. K. G. Hagen of K”nigsberg, a German
botanist (d. 1829), and also after A. Brayera, a French physician
in Constantinople, who wrote a monograph on the tree in 1823. It is
a beautiful tree growing about 20 feet high, at an elevation of
3,000 to 8,000 feet. The flowers are unisexual, small, of a
greenish colour, becoming purple. The dried flowers have a slight
balsamic odour, and the taste is bitter and acrid; the female
flowers are chiefly collected, although not exclusively so. 'Loose
Kousso,' i.e. flowers stripped from their panicles, sometimes come
into the market, often with some staminate flowers among it. These
are much less active, easily distin guished by their greeny colour,
fertile stamens and outer hairy sepals, whereas the female flowers
are a dark reddish colour. As a medicine it is very apt to be
adulterated, owing to its high price; therefore it is advisable to
buy it in its unpowdered state.
volatile oil, a bitter acrid resin, tannic acid, and a bitter
principle called A Kosin and B Kosin, which is found in Kousso, but
thought to be decomposition products. The principle constituent of
Kousso is Koso-toxin, a yellow amorphous body, possibly closely
allied to filicia acid, and Rottlerin; other inactive colourless
bodies are crystalline Protokosin and Kosidin.
and Uses---Purgative and anthelmintic; the Abyssinians are greatly
troubled with tapeworm, and Kousso is used by them to expel the
worms. One dose is said to be effective in destroying both kinds of
tapeworms, the taenia solium and bothriocephalus latus; but as it
possesses little cathartic power the subsequent administration of a
purgative is generally necessary to bring away the destroyed
ectozoon. The dose of the flowers when powdered is from 4 to 5 1/2
drachms, macerated in 3 gills of lukewarm water for 15 minutes; the
unstrained infusion is taken in two or three doses following each
other, freely drinking lemon-juice or tamarind water before and
after the doses. It is advisable to fast twenty-four or forty-eight
hours before taking the drug. The operation is usually safe,
effective, and quick, merely causing sometimes a slight nausea, but
it has never failed to expel the worm. Occasionally emesis takes
place or diuresis, and collapse follows, but cases of this sort are
extremely rare. It is said in Abyssinia that honey gathered from
beehives immediately the Kousso plants have flowered is very
effective in teaspoonful doses as a taenicide, its effect being to
poison the worms.
of 1/2 oz. to 1 pint of boiling water is taken in 4 oz. doses, and
repeated at short intervals. Fluid extract, 2 to 4
KIDNEYWORT, OR WALL PENNYROYAL,
It has many thick, flat, and round leaves growing from the root,
every one having a long footstalk, fastened underneath, about the
middle of it, and a little unevenly weaved sometimes about the
edges, of a pale green colour, and somewhat yellow on the upper
side like a saucer; from among which arise one or more tender,
smooth, hollow stalks half a foot high, with two or three small
leaves thereon, usually not round as those below, but somewhat
long, and divided at the edges: the tops are somewhat divided into
long branches, bearing a number of flowers, set round about a long
spike one above another, which are hollow and like a little bell of
a whitish green colour, after which come small heads, containing
very small brownish seed, which falling on the ground, will
plentifully spring up before Winter, if it have moisture. The root
is round and most usually smooth, greyish without, and white
within, having small fibres at the head of the root, and bottom of
Place : It
grows very plentifully in many places of this land, but especially
in all the west parts thereof, upon stone and mud walls, upon rocks
also, and in stony places upon the ground, at the bottom of old
trees, and sometimes on the bodies of them that are decayed and
Time : It
usually flowers in the beginning of May, and the seed ripening
quickly after, sheds itself; so that about the end of May, usually
the stalks and leaves are withered, dry, and gone until September,
then the leaves spring up again, and so abide all
and virtues : Venus challenges the herb under Libra. The juice or
the distilled water being drank, is very effectual for all
inflammations and unnatural heats, to cool a fainting hot stomach,
a hot liver, or the bowels: the herb, juice, or distilled water
thereof, outwardly applied, heals pimples, St. Anthony's fire, and
other outward heats. The said juice or water helps to heal sore
kidneys, torn or fretted by the stone, or exulcerated within; it
also provokes urine, is available for the dropsy, and helps to
break the stone. Being used as a bath, or made into an ointment, it
cools the painful piles or hæmorrhoidal veins. It is no less
effectual to give ease to the pains of the gout, the sciatica, and
helps the kernels or knots in the neck or throat, called the king's
evil: healing kibes and chilblains if they be bathed with the
juice, or anointed with ointment made thereof, and some of the skin
of the leaf upon them: it is also used in green wounds to stay the
blood, and to heal them quickly.
The common sort hereof has many long and somewhat dark green
leaves, rising from the root, dented about the edges, and sometimes
a little rent or torn on both sides in two or three places, and
somewhat hairy withal; amongst which arises a long round stalk,
four or five feet high, divided into many branches, at the tops
whereof stand great scaly green heads, and from the middle of them
thrust forth a number of dark purplish red thrumbs or threads,
which after they are withered and past, there are found divers
black seeds, lying in a great deal of down, somewhat like unto
Thistle seed, but smaller; the root is white, hard and woody, and
divers fibres annexed thereunto, which perishes not, but abides
with leaves thereon all the Winter, shooting out fresh every
Place : It
grows in most fields and meadows, and about their borders and
hedges, and in many waste grounds also every where.
Time : It
usually flowers in June and July, and the seed is ripe shortly
and virtues : Saturn challenges the herb for his own. This Knapweed
helps to stay fluxes, both of blood at the mouth or nose, or other
outward parts, and those veins that are inwardly broken, or inward
wounds, as also the fluxes of the belly; it stays distillation of
thin and sharp humours from the head upon the stomach and lungs; it
is good for those that are bruised by any fall, blows or otherwise,
and is profitable for those that are bursten, and have ruptures, by
drinking the decoction of the herb and roots in wine, and applying
the same outwardly to the place. It is singularly good in all
running sores, cancerous and fistulous, drying up of the moisture,
and healing them up so gently, without sharpness; it doth the like
to running sores or scabs of the head or other parts. It is of
special use for the soreness of the throat, swelling of the uvula
and jaws, and excellently good to stay bleeding, and heal up all
generally known so well that it needs no description.
Place : It
grows in every county of this land by the highway sides, and by
foot-paths in fields; as also by the sides of old
Time : It
springs up late in the Spring, and abides until the Winter, when
all the branches perish.
and virtues : Saturn seems to me to own the herb, and yet some hold
the Sun; out of doubt 'tis Saturn. The juice of the common kind of
Knotgrass is most effectual to stay bleeding of the mouth, being
drank in steeled or red wine; and the bleeding at the nose, to be
applied to the forehead or temples, or to be squirted up into the
nostrils. It is no less effectual to cool and temper the heat of
the blood and stomach, and to stay any flux of the blood and
humours, as lasks, bloody-flux, women's courses, and running of the
reins. It is singularly good to provoke urine, help the stranguary,
and allays the heat that comes thereby; and is powerful by urine to
expel the gravel or stone in the kidneys and bladder, a dram of the
powder of the herb being taken in wine for many days together.
Being boiled in wine and drank, it is profitable to those that are
stung or bitten by venomous creatures, and very effectual to stay
all defluxions of rheumatic humours upon the stomach and kills
worms in the belly or stomach, quiets inward pains that arise from
the heat, sharpness and corruption of blood and choler. The
distilled water hereof taken by itself or with the powder of the
herb or seed, is very effectual to all the purposes aforesaid, and
is accounted one of the most sovereign remedies to cool all manner
of inflammations, breaking out through heat, hot swellings and
imposthumes, gangrene and fistulous cankers, or foul filthy ulcers,
being applied or put into them; but especially for all sorts of
ulcers and sores happening in the privy parts of men and women. It
helps all fresh and green wounds, and speedily heals them. The
juice dropped into the ears, cleanses them being foul, and having
running matter in them.
It is very
prevalent for the premises; as also for broken joints and