Scutellaria lateriflora. N.O. Labiateae.
Synonym ► Sometimes named Skullcap, and locally known as Madweed.
Habitat ► Indigenous to the United States, the plant is also found in England on the banks of streams and in wet ditches.
First introduced by the Spaniards in 1563 as a specific for syphilis, this claim has long been disproved, although the root undoubtedly possesses active alterative principles. It is consequently now held in high regard as a blood purifier, and is usually administered with other alteratives, notably Burdock.
Compound decoctions of Sarsaparilla are very popular as a springtime medicine, and Coffin’s prescription will be found in the Herbal Formulae section of this volume.