The chopped and boiled stems and leaves make a somewhat bitter cough suppressant, and can be used to wash wounds and treat various skin problems.
Gather the leaves and small stems early in the spring if possible, before the strength of the plant goes to flowers and seeds. Dry before using- the old "Brown Bag It and Forget IT" method works fine. A tea may be made. If you use the flowers, be sure to remove the bitter green calyx .
Another fairly benign plant. Native Americans chew and swallow the bitter leaves to induce vomiting in case of stomach ache or nausea, so it seems sensible to brew a weak tea until individual tolerance is determined.
Be sure of the identity of the plant before you use it. If a preparation makes you sick or gives you a rash, don't use it, and throw it away! If your condition does not improve, see your doctor. Be sure to let your physician know EVERYTHING that you are taking!