BROOM, AND BROOM-RAPE.
Description:This is the Spartium Scoparium of botanists, a plant very common in England; for with it floors are swept; it therefore needs no description.
The Broom-rape springs up on many places from the roots of the broom. The stalk is about the size of a finger or thumb, above two feet high, having a show of leaves on them, and many flowers at the top, of a beautiful bright yellow. It grows on waste grounds. It flowers in the Summer months, and seeds before winter. The flowers are shaped like a pea blossom, and are of a bright yellow.
Herbal Remedies and Medicinal Uses of Broom:The tops of the Broom have a bitter disagreeable taste. The plant possesses cathartic and diuretic properties, which render it very useful in some cases of dropsy.
The tops and seeds are the parts used, chiefly the former in the form of decoction—one ounce to a quart of water. Boil down to a pint, and take half a wine-glassful, or a wine-glassful two or three times a day.
Dr. Cullen says, "It seldom fails to operate both by stool and urine, and by repeating every day, or every second day, some dropsies have been effectually cured."
The green stalks infused in ale or beer operate by urine, and remove obstructions of the liver and other parts, they are very useful in jaundice. Some of the old physicians burned the tops to ashes, and infused them in wine; thus the salt was extracted and the wine turned into a ley.
It works powerfully by urine; but the above-mentioned decoction is the best.
Bruised Broom-seed, infused in rectified spirit—let it infuse for two weeks. Strain. A table-spoonful in a glass of peppermint water to be taken daily.—A strong decoction has been recommended in cases of hydrophobia. The dose of the powder either of tops or seeds is from I scruple to 1 drachm. In liver complaints, the above decoction, with that of Dandelion, is very efficacious. Also in the ague, producing profuse perspiration, taken before the fit, the person lying in bed. The decoction of Broom-rape has the same effect as the Broom.
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