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Botanical: Stillingia sylvatica (LINN.)
---Synonyms---Queen's Root. Silver Leaf. Also Sapium Sylvaticum Yaw Root.
Family: N.O. Euphorbiaceae
---Habitat---In the southern United States of America from Virginia to Florida and westward to Texas.
---Description---A perennial herb, with an angled glabrous stem, growing to 4 feet high, with a milky sap. The leaves are sessile, leathery and tapering at the base. Flowers yellow on terminal spike. Fruit a three-grained capsule. The plant was named after Dr. B. Stillingfleet. It flowers from April to July; a milky juice exudes from the plant or root when cut or broken. This should be used when fresh as it deteriorates if kept. As found in commerce, the root is 1 to 4 inches long and 1 inch or more thick, covered with a bark wrinkled longitudinally, greyish brown externally, and reddish-brown or rose-coloured internally, odour peculiar, oleaginous, taste bitter and unpleasant, followed by a persistent pungent acridity in mouth and throat. Fracture fibrous, short, irregular, and shows a pithy soft, yellowish-pink interior porous woody portion. The inner bark and medullary rays with brown resin cells, its best solvent is alcohol.
---Constituents---Its resinous acrid constituent is Sylvacrol, an acrid fixed oil, volatile oil, tannin, starch, calcium oxalate. Woody fibre, colouring matter extractive.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---In large doses it is emetic and purgative causing a disagreeable, peculiar, burning sensation in the stomach or alimentary canal with considerable prostration of the system; in smaller doses it is an excellent alterative, and influences the secretory functions; it has almost a specific action in the different forms of primary and secondary syphilis, also in skin diseases, scrofula and hepatic affections, acting with most successful results. The fluid extract combined with oils of anise or caraway, proves very beneficial in chronic bronchitis and laryngitis. Some pieces of fresh root chewed daily have permanently and effectually cured these troubles, it is also useful for leucorrhoea. The oil is too acrid for internal use uncombined with saccharine or mucilaginous substance, for internal use the fluid extract or syrup is sufficiently efficacious. As an external stimulating application in most cases the oil will be found very valuable. For croup 1 drop on the tongue three or four times daily, has been found successful for severe attacks. The dried root is said to be inferior in strength to the fresh one, but some chemists consider it more powerful. It may be given either alone or combined with sarsaparilla and other alteratives. It acts reflexly as a sialagogue and expectorant. It is often given for syphilitic complaints in place of mercury.
---Dosages---Tincture, 1/2 to 2 drachms. Decoction, 1 to 2 fluid ounces. Powdered root, 6 to 10 grains. Solid extract, 2 to 5 grains. Stillingin, 1 to 3 grains. Fluid extract, 10 to 30 drops.
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Bear in mind "A Modern Herbal" was written with the conventional wisdom of the early 1900's. This should be taken into account as some of the information may now be considered inaccurate, or not in accordance with modern medicine.
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