It is native to Europe and North Africa, but is restricted in range now in Britain to an area around the Bristol Channel.
The syrup is agreeable acid, gently vellicates or bites the tongue, is moderately stringent, and excellent for cleansing the tongue from mucus. In an increased dose it vomits, and sometimes purges, but its most common operation is by urine, for which it is a remarkable powerful medicine. The dose at first should be but small, half a tea-spoonful twice or three times a day is enough to begin with, and the quantity may afterwards be gradually increased, as the stomach will bear it, or the case may require. It has been given with the most astonishing success in dropsies and tertian agues; and it frequently succeeds as an expctorant, when all other means fail."