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polymnia uvedalia L.
Yellow Leaf Cup.
Blackwood:Mother tincture of the entire fresh plant in flower; and dilutions
Introduced into Homoeopathic Materia Medica by Dr. E. M. Hale.
Description of the substance
Native eastern American plant growing in pastures and ravines, rising unperturbedly above the tall grasses.
This is a large, perennial plant, from 3 to 6 feet in height, and found in ravines, on the edges of woods, etc., in the central states, from Illinois to Florida. The stems are erect, stout, branched, and covered with a rough, hoary pubescence.
The leaves are large, thin, opposite, deltoid in outline, and abruptly contracted at the base to short dilated leaf-stalks. They are 3-lobed, with acute, sinuate-angled lobes, bright green on both surfaces, and studded below with numerous rough points. The flower heads appear late in summer, and are disposed in loose, corymbose clusters. The involucre is double; the outer consisting of about 5 ovate, obtuse, leaf-like scales, which are ciliate on the margin; and the inner, of the smaller thin bracts of the pistillate flowers. The flower heads are radiate, and the receptacle chaffy. The ray flowers are about 10, in a single row, each being nearly 1 inch in length; they are oblong, of a bright-yellow color, and equally 3-toothed at the apex. The ray flowers are pistillate, and alone fertile, as the disk-florets, although perfect, do not produce fruit. The fruit is an obovoid, black achenium, slightly flattened, and ribbed lengthwise.
History, Description, and Chemical Composition.-Polymnia Uvedalia was introduced as a medicine, about 1870, by Dr. J. W. Pruitt, the root being the part employed. This, when dry, is from 6 to 12 inches in length, and from 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch in diameter at the base of the plant. It extends downward into the ground, and running parallel with it several small roots springing from the base of the plant are often observed. The shape is somewhat like that of dandelion, but longer, not so tapering, and more flattened from the effect of drying. Toward the lower end it often divides into several fleshy rootlets, and secondary roots frequently spring from the main root. The outer surface is of a leather-color, and very much wrinkled longitudinally. Internally, it is white, or of a greenish cast, and soft, with the exception of a few woody fibers near the bark. It contains a large amount of resin, and exhales an unpleasant, animal-like odor when broken. Alcohol extracts from the root all its medicinal principles, the extractive matter mainly consisting of glucose in considerable proportion; a form of tannin which precipitates ferrous sulphate, black; an odorous principle, soluble in water and alcohol; and a mixture of two resins, which is present in greater amount than any other of its characteristic constituents; this resinous compound is heavier than water, of a brownish-yellow color, soft and sticky at ordinary temperatures, and possesses the odor of the root. It dissolves completely in chloroform, ether, and alcohol, imperfectly in benzin, which separates it into: (1) A dark-brown, hard resin, of an acrid taste, which remains undissolved; this is insoluble in carbon disulphide, but freely dissolves in chloroform, ether, and alcohol. (2) A light straw-colored, balsam-like, resinous body, heavier than water, rather thicker than Canada balsam, which it otherwise very nearly resembles; it readily dissolves in ether, alcohol, benzin, chloroform, and carbon disulphide, has the odor of polymnia root, and likewise an acrid taste. Undoubtedly, polymnia depends upon these resinous bodies for its medicinal virtues. The aqueous solution of the evaporated tincture yields a precipitate with phospho-molybdate of ammonium, but not with other alkaloidal reagents, and after precipitation of the tannin with either ferrous sulphate or gelatin, the filtrates give negative results with the phospho-molybdate of ammonium. Polymnia Uvedalia is used in medicine in form of tincture and ointment.
Common Name: BEARSFOOT, YELLOW LEAF CUP
Family: asteraceae Range: U.S., Big South Fork N. River & Rec. Area, Chesapeake And Ohio Canal, Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, George Washington Memorial Parkway, Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, Horseshoe Bend National Military Park, Jean Lafitte National Historic Park, Kings Mountain National Military Park, Mammoth Cave National Park, Obed Wild & Scenic River, Petersburg National Battlefield, Shenandoah National Park
Use: Cherokee, Dutch, French, German, Iroquois