Photos of Verbesina helianthoides, syn. Actinomeris helianthoides, Gravelweed, Yellow Crownbeard
Verbesina helianthoides, syn. Actinomeris helianthoides, Gravelweed, Yellow Crownbeard is native to the upper south and south central parts of the United States, primarily in glades, prairies and at the edge of woodlands. One of the many late summer-blooming yellow composites. The herb was an obscure treatment for renal calculi (gravel), once used by the Cherokee in North Carolina. A tincture was used. It was also used to induce sweating. "The root of this plant is from the size of a knitting-needle to that of a quill, and contains an oil, and perhaps a resin, giving it the taste and somewhat the smell of turpentine. It has long been used by the people of Upper Georgia in dropsy, under the name of "diabetes weed." Dr. D. G. M. Goss says that he has used it in several obstinate cases of dropsy, and in several cases of cystitis with fine effect; also in calculous affections, and in chronic inflammation of the entire urinary tract. He gives it in the form of a tincture, one or two drachms to a dose, as a diuretic, or as an infusion, in doses of one-half to one ounce, repeated every hour or two."—Proc. Am. Pharm Assn. XXIX, 1881, p. 160.
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