Perennial broomweed or broom snakeweed is a short-lived, perennial half-shrub ranging from 6 inches to about 2 feet tall. Many unbranched, erect stems originate from a woody base and die back when the plant goes dormant. The leaves are narrow and threadlike. The small yellow flowers are clustered at the branch tips from June to October. Perennial broomweed is wide-spread on dry ranges and deserts from California to Texas, south to Mexico and north to Idaho.
Broomweed is found throughout Oklahoma. It was used extensively during the 1918 flu. The leaves and flowers were dried for a tea. Some would use this along with castor oil. The Comanche used the boiled flowers on eczema and skin rashes as a poultice. Many other Oklahoma Native Americans used it for diarrhea. Caution is advised for those who are pregnant.
A COMPEND OF THE NEW MATERIA WM. H COOK, A. M., M. D. MEDICAAMPHIACHYRIS DRACUNULOIDES. BROOM WEED. From Texas has come this new remedial agent, as yet a little known member of the family Compositae. It seems to be abundant in some sections of the State and is described as a small, erect herb, 1 to a feet high, with numerous branches above and linear leaves with a strong midrib appearing almost like sessile bracts. Flowers small, yellow, in panicled racemes; rays 7 to 10, disk 13 to 18: blooms in autumn. Medical Properties.-The leaves, flower heads and smaller branches are used medicinally; and earnest attention has been called to them by Dr. Massie, of Dallas. They appear to contain a gum-resinous material and a small amount of volatile oil; but no detailed examination of them has yet been made, beyond the fact that their gummy character makes it difficult to reduce them to powder, and a menstruum of 66 percent. alcohol is required to extract their qualities. As a remedy, the article is an agreeable, a prompt and exceedingly diffusive stimulant, moderately sharp to the taste, influencing the mucous membrane of the larynx, trachea and bronchi quite decidedly, extending its impression to the stomach and intestines. It stimulates the capillary circulation, both inward and outward; thus relieving congestions of the mucous membranes, promoting warm perspiration, increasing expectoration, and sometimes leading to evacuations in acute intestinal catarrh. It also has a soothing and sustaining after-effect on the nerve peripheries, affording considerable relief from distresses of mucous surfaces by acting on the nerves as well as by relieving capillary distension and pressure. Such properties make the agent a desirable one in many conditions where a pleasant and quickly diffusible stimulant is required. It holds a remedial position between ginger and xanthoxylum, without resembling either. Probably it will be found desirable as an adjunct to more positive and permanent agents, and its own effects are rather too transient to be effective in many cases. In flatulent colic, the tenesmus of diarrhea and similar cases, it is an excellent antispasmodic and carminative. Its prompt action on the larynx makes it serviceable for relaxation of the vocal chords and the uvula, in aphonia from relaxation, and oedema glottidis. In sub-acute and chronic bronchitis it procures a free dislodgment of vivid secretions, and relieves dyspnoea; and in offensive catarrhs is good, either as a snuff or a wash. It warms up the stomach, and will be a valuable adjunct to suitable agents in atonic dyspepsia. Its local use has been suggested in degenerate leucorrhea, and in many other connections where a moderate stimulant is required. Combinations embracing this agent may he numerous, as is always the fact with a diffusive stimulant. Thus, to promote perspiration in colds, bronchitis, pneumonia, etc., it may be used with asclepias; in colic with dioscorea; in asthma, with lobelia for a cough and deficient expectoration, with aralia and palemonium. In these ways, the agent has a wide field of usefulness; and its good qualities make it worthy of considerable attention.
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