How can the powers of the verbena (v. officinalis) be said to resemble those of the active hyssop (gratiola officinalis) in the family personatae? How different are the actions of the glycyrrhiza and geoffroya, although in the same family of the papilionaceae!
In the family of the lomentaceae, what parallel exists betwixt the properties of the ceratonia silliqua and those of the fumatory (fumaria officinalis), of the polygala senega and the Peruvian balsam (myroxylon peruiferum)?
Or is there any likeness in properties amongst the nigella sativa, the garden rue (ruta graveolens), the peony (paeonia officinalis), and the cellery-leaved crowfoot (ranunculus sceleratus), although one and all are in the family of the multisiliquae?
The dropwort (spiraea filipendula) and the tormentil (tormentilla erecta) are united in the family senticosae, and yet how different in properties! The red currant (ribes rubrum), and the cherry-laurel (prunus laurocerasus), the rowan (sorbus aucuparia), and the peach (amygdalus pirsica), how different in powers, and yet in the same family of the pomaceae!
The family succulentae unites the wall-pepper (sedum acre) and the portulaca oleracea, certainly not because they resemble each other in effects! How is it that the stork's-bill and the purging-flax (linum catharticum), the sorrel (oxalis acetosella), and the quassia (q. amara), are in the same family? Certainly not because their powers are similar!
How various are the medicinal properties of all the members of the family ascyroideae! and of those of the dumosae! and of those of the trihilatae! In the family tricoccae, what has the corrosive spurge (euphorbia officinalis) in common with the box (buxus sempervirens), which has such a decided influence on the nervous system?
The tasteless rupture-wort (herniaria glabra), the acrid phytolacca decandra, the refreshing goosefoot (chenopodium ambrosioides), and the biting persicaria (polygonum hydropiper), what a motley company in the family oleraceae! How dissimilar in action are the scabridae!
What business has the mild, slimy, white lily (lilium candidum) beside the garlic (allium sativum), or the squill (scilla maritima); what the asparagus (a. officinalis) beside the poisonous white hellebore (veratrum album), in the family liliaceae?