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The whole plant is softly hairy or pubescent. The small labiate flowers are in onesided spike-like clusters, the corollas greenish-yellow in colour, with four stamens, which have yellow anthers, and very noticeable purple and hairy filaments. The terminal flowering spike is about as long again as those that spring laterally below it from the axils of the uppermost pair of leaves.
The generic name of Teucrium was bestowed by Linnaeus, it has been suggested, from a belief that this plant is identical with the plant that Dioscorides says was first used medicinally by an ancient king of Troy, named Teucer, but it is also said that Linnaeus named the genus after a Dr. Teucer, a medical botanist.
The specific name, scorodonia, is derived from the Greek word for Garlic, and does not appear to be particularly appropriate to this species.
It has been popularly called ' Hind Heal,' from a theory that the hind made use of it when sick or wounded, and was probably the same herb as Elaphoboscum, the Dittany taken by harts in Crete.
In taste and smell, the species resembles Hops. It is called 'Ambroise' in Jersey, and used there and in some other districts as a substitute for hops. It is said that when this herb is boiled in wort the beer becomes clear sooner than when hops are made use of, but that it is apt to give the liquor too much colour.
The bitter taste is due to the presence of a peculiar tonic principle found in all the species of this genus.
There are about 100 species of Teucrium widely dispersed throughout the world, but chiefly abounding in the northern temperate and subtropical regions of the Eastern Hemisphere. Of the three other British species besides the Wood Sage, two have been used medicinally, T. Chamaedrys (Wall Germander), a famous old gout medicine, and T. Scordium (Water Germander).
---Cultivation---Wood Sage is generally collected in the wild state, but will thrive in any moderately good soil, and in almost any situation.
It may be increased by seeds, by cuttings, inserted in sandy soil, under a glass, in spring and summer; or by division of roots in the autumn.
---Part Used---The whole herb, collected in July.
---Constituents---A volatile oil, some tannin and a bitter principle.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---Alterative and diuretic, astringent tonic, emmenagogue. Much used in domestic herbal practice for skin affections and diseases of the blood, also in fevers, colds, inflammations, and as an emmenagogue.
Fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm.
It is useful for quinsy, sore throat, and in kidney and bladder trouble.
In chronic rheumatism it has been used with benefit, and is considered a valuable tonic and restorer of the system after an attack of rheumatism, gout, etc.
The infusion (freshly prepared) is the proper mode of administration, made from 1 OZ. of the dried herb to 1 pint of boiling water, taken warm in wineglassful doses, three or four times a day.
Wood Sage is an appetizer of the first order, and as a tonic will be found equal to Gentian. It forms an excellent bitter combined with Comfrey and Ragwort, which freely influences the bladder.
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