Potato, Wildotanical: Convolvulus panduratus
Family: N.O. Convolvulaceae
Synonyms: Mechameck. Wild Jalap. Man-in-the-earth. Man-in-the-ground. Manroot. Now Ipomcea fastigiata, Sweet.
Part Used: Root.
Habitat: United States and a small amount in South America.
Description: The perennial, tapering root is very large, being from 2 to 8 feet in length, and 2 to 5 inches in diameter. It is brownish-yellow outside, whitish and lactescent within, having an acrid taste and disagreeable odour. It loses 75 per cent of weight in drying. Usually it arrives in transverse, circular sections, not readily reducible to greyish powder. It is stated that the Red Indians can handle rattlesnakes with ease and safety after wetting their hands with the milky juice of the root. The leaves are 2 to 3 inches long, the flowers large and white, and the fruit an oblong, two-celled capsule.
Medicinal Action and Uses: Mildly cathartic and diuretic. It was formerly used in strangury and calculous diseases, and also slightly influences lungs, liver, and kidneys without excessive diuresis or catharsis. Probably the active principle would prove stronger than the crude root.
Dosage: 40 grains of the dried root.