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Daphne mezereum, L.
Mezereum means in Latin "deadly", while daphne means "laurel" in memory of the plant leaf shape and of the greek goddess.
English: Mezereon; French: Laureole gentile; German: Seidelbast.
Common names. Daphne mezereum. Spurge Olive. Dwarf-bay.
Part Used: The bark. The bark of root and stem, berries, roots.
N.O. Plantae; Spermatophyta, Angiospermae - Flowering Plants; Dicotyledonae; Rosiflorae / Rosidae; Thymelaeales; Thymelaeaceae
History and authority: Hahnemann introduced this in Homoeopathic practice in 1805. Allen's Encyclop. Mat.
Description of the substance
Though a hardy shrub and indigenous to England, D. mezereum is not often found wild. The leaves appear at the ends of the branches after the flowers, and are alternate, lanceolate, entire, 2 to 3 inches long and dark green in colour. The small, purplishpink, four-segmented flowers grow in little clusters, and the bright-red, fleshy, ovoid, bluntly-pointed fruits, about 3/8 inch long, appear close to the stem in July.
There are varieties with yellow fruit and white flowers.
Occasionally the bark is found in commerce in quills, but more often in tough, flexible, thin, long strips, rolled like tape, splitting easily lengthways but difficult to break horizontally. The inner surface is silky, and the thin, outer, corky layer, of a light greenish-brown colour, separates easily in papery fragments.
The unpleasant odour of the fresh bark diminishes with drying, but the taste is intensely burning and acrid, though sweetish at first. The root bark is most active, but inadequate supplies led to the recognition of the stem bark also.