Spreading Orache. The Wild Orache (Atriplex patula) is a
common native weed on clays and heavy ground. It has spreading stems, 2
to 3 feet long, sometimes prostrate, only occasionally erect (hence often
called the Spreading Orache).
The leaves are triangular in outline, rather narrow, the lower ones in
opposite pairs. The very small, green flowers are in dense clusters.
The whole plant is more or less covered with a powdery meal, often tinged
red. It is distinguished from the Goosefoot genus Chenopodium, by the
solitary seeds being enclosed between two triangular leaf-like valves.
'These are to be gathered when just ripe for if suffered to stand longer,
they lose part of their virtue. A pound of these bruised, and put into
three quarts of spirit, of moderate strength, after standing six weeks,
afford a light and not unpleasant tincture; a tablespoonful of which,
taken in a cup of water-gruel, has the same effect as a dose of ipecacuanha,
only that its operation is milder and does not bind the bowels afterwards....
It cures headaches, wandering pains, and the first attacks of rheumatism.'