Benefits of Skunk Cabbage

The skunk cabbage is a very curious plant; the only one of the genus to which it belongs. It is a native of the U.S., growing in wet places.

The ROOT of skunk cabbage has been employed in medicine for hundreds of years. AH parts of it have an extremely disagreeable fetid odor, thought to resemble that of the offensive animal after which it is named. It resides in an extremely volatile principle which is rapidly dissipated by heat and diminished by desiccation. This fetid odor remains, to a greater or less extent, for a considerable period after the completion of the drying process.

The taste, though less decided than in the fresh state, is still acrid, manifesting itself after the root has been chewed for a short time, by a prickling and smarting sensation in the mouth and throat. The acrimony, however, is dissipated by heat and is entirely lost in the decoction. It is also diminished by time and exposure; the root should not be kept for use longer than a single season.

Water or alcohol extracts its virtues.

Refer Here for the Abbreviations and Measurement Units

Skunk cabbage has an enviable reputation in pulmonary consumption. It has been highly recommended in asthma, chronic catarrh, dropsy, chronic rheumatism, hysteria, bronchitis, pleurisy, irritable coughs, whooping coughs, restlessness of fevers and nasal catarrh. Its expectorant, anti-spasmodic, and nervine properties are manifested in these conditions. It is particularly useful in spasmodic asthma.

It may be used in pill form, powder, infusion, or decoction. It is best taken in powder mixed with honey; 1/2 oz. to about 4 oz. of the honey taken in 1/2 to 1 t. doses in bronchial and asthmatic cases. In large doses, it occasions nausea and vomiting.

Externally, skunk cabbage, in the form of an ointment, has a soothing effect.

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