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The name of the genus Chelone comes from the Greek word meaning a tortoise, from the resemblance of the corolla to a tortoise-head. The whole, fresh plant is chopped, pounded to a pulp, and weighed, and a tincture is prepared with alcohol. The decoction is made with 2 oz. of the fresh herb to a pint.
---Constituents---The bitter leaves communicate their properties to both water and alcohol. Chelonin is an eclectic medicine prepared from Chelone, and is a brown, bitter powder given as a tonic laxative.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---The leaves have anti-bilious, anthelmintic, tonic and detergent properties, with a peculiar action on the liver, and are used largely in consumption, dyspepsia, debility and jaundice, in diseases of the liver, and for worms in children for which the powder or decoction may be used internally or in injection. As an ointment it is recommended for inflamed tumours, irritable ulcers, inflamed breasts, piles, etc.
For long it has been a favourite tonic, laxative and purgative among the aborigines of North America, though their doses render its tonic value doubtful.
---Dosages---Of decoction, 1 to 2 fluid ounces. Of fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm. Of the powder, 1 drachm. Of the tincture, 1 to 2 fluid drachms. Of Chelonin, 1 to 2 grains.
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