from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. Any plant of the genus Dentaria.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The toothwort (_dentaria laciniata_) is sometimes known as the pepper-root, and every school boy and girl living near the woods is familiar with the taste of its tubers and the appearance of its cross-shaped flowers.
The chiefs constantly begin their meal with a dose of the extract of pepper-root, brewed after the usual manner.
A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 17 Arranged in Systematic Order: Forming a Complete History of the Origin and Progress of Navigation, Discovery, and Commerce, by Sea and Land, from the Earliest Ages to the Present Time
As soon as he was seated, several people began chewing the pepper-root; about a pint of the juice of which, without any mixture, was the first dish, and was dispatched in a moment.
The body is therefore very subject to leprous complaints, which are perhaps irritated by the use of the pepper-root water or _awa_.
By this we concluded, that the juice of the pepper-root had the same effect upon him, that wine and other strong liquors have on Europeans who drink a large portion of them.
I observed that, after the juice had been squeezed out of the chewed pepper-root for the chief, the fibres were carefully picked up and taken away by one of his servants.
-- E.] [Footnote 123: In the Society Islands, as related by modern navigators, an intoxicating liquor is prepared nearly in a similar manner, by chewing the _ava_, or pepper-root.
A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels — Volume 10 Arranged in systematic order: Forming a complete history of the origin and progress of navigation, discovery, and commerce, by sea and land, from the earliest ages to the present time.