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Scammony,1 also, is productive of derangement of the stomach. It carries off bile, and acts strongly as a purgative upon the bowels; unless, indeed, aloes are added, in the proportion of two drachmæ of aloes to two oboli of scammony. The drug thus called is the juice of a plant that is branchy from the root, and has unctuous, white, triangular, leaves, with a solid, moist root, of a nauseous flavour: it grows in rich white soils. About the period of the rising of the Dogstar, an excavation is made about the root, to let the juice collect: which done. it is dried in the sun and divided into tablets. The root itself, too, or the outer coat of it, is sometimes dried. The scammony most esteemed is that of Colophon, Mysia, and Priene. In appearance it ought to he smooth and shiny, and as much like bull glue as possible: it should present a fungous surface also, covered with minute holes; should melt with the greatest rapidity, have a powerful smell, and be sticky like gum. When touched with the tongue, it should give out a white milky liquid; it ought also to be extremely light, and to turn white when melted.

This last feature is recognized in the spurious scammony also, a compound of meal of fitches and juice of marine tithy- malos,2 which is mostly imported from Judea, and is very apt to choke those who use it. The difference may be easily detected, however, by the taste, as tithymalos imparts a burning sensation to the tongue. To be fully efficacious, scammony should be two3 years old; before or after that age it is useless. It has been prescribed to be taken by itself also, in doses of four oboli, with hydromel and salt: but the most advantageous mode of using it is in combination with aloes, care being taken to drink honied wine the moment it begins to operate. The root, too, is boiled down in vinegar to the consistency of honey, and the decoction used as a liniment for leprosy. The head is also rubbed with this decoction, mixed with oil, for head-ache.

1 The produce of the Convolvulus scammonia of Linnæus, the Scam- mony bind-weed. The scammony of Aleppo is held in the highest esteem, and is very Valuable. That of Smyrna also is largely imported.

2 See the following Chapters.

3 This assertion is erroneous; it has all its properties in full vigour immediately after extraction, and retains them for an indefinite period.

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