Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An eastern Mediterranean plant (Convolvulus scammonia) having large roots that yield a resin formerly used as a cathartic.
  • n. The resin obtained from this plant.
  • n. A cathartic preparation made from this resin.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Convolvulus scammonia, a twining perennial bindweed native to the eastern part of the Mediterranean basin, whose juice has been used in medicine as scammonium.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A species of bindweed or Convolvulus (C. Scammonia).
  • n. An inspissated sap obtained from the root of the Convolvulus Scammonia, of a blackish gray color, a nauseous smell like that of old cheese, and a somewhat acrid taste. It is used in medicine as a cathartic.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A plant, Convolvulus Scammonia, which grows abundantly in Syria and Asia Minor.
  • n. A gum-resin consisting of the inspissated root-juice of this plant.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. tropical American morning glory
  • n. resin from the root of Convolvulus scammonia
  • n. twining plant of Asia Minor having cream-colored to purple flowers and long thick roots yielding a cathartic resin

Etymologies

Middle English scamonie, from Old English scammōniam and from Old French scamonie, both from Latin scammōnea, from Greek skammōniā.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • He made use of the narcotics mandragora, henbane, and probably also poppy-juice, and as a laxative used greatly a vegetable substance called "mercury," beet and cabbage, and cathartics such as scammony and elaterium!

    Outlines of Greek and Roman Medicine

  • The cruelty of these impious men goes even to the length that, thinking the wretches have eaten gold or silver, they either put scammony in their drink and force them to vomit or void their vitals, or – and this is unspeakable – they stretch asunder the coverings of all the intestines after ripping open their stomachs with a blade and reveal with horrible mutilation whatever nature keeps secret.

    'The Crusades'

  • Taken into the inferior parts are clysters strong or weak, suppositories of Castilian soap, honey boiled to a consistence; or stronger of scammony, hellebore, &c.

    Anatomy of Melancholy

  • If there be borborygmi, with bilious stools, purge moderately with scammony; but with regard to the treatment otherwise, administer as few drinks and draughts as until there be some amendment, and the disease is past the fourteenth day.

    On Regimen In Acute Diseases

  • Grosseteste uses the example, drawn from Avicenna, of the causal claim that scammony of itself causes the discharge of red bile.

    Robert Grosseteste

  • The organ was indeed the strangest that ever eyes beheld; for the pipes were of cassia fistula in the cod; the top and cornice of guiacum; the bellows of rhubarb; the pedas of turbith, and the clavier or keys of scammony.

    Five books of the lives, heroic deeds and sayings of Gargantua and his son Pantagruel

  • I let pass how for a minorative or gentle potion he took four hundred pound weight of colophoniac scammony, six score and eighteen cartloads of cassia, an eleven thousand and nine hundred pound weight of rhubarb, besides other confuse jumblings of sundry drugs.

    Five books of the lives, heroic deeds and sayings of Gargantua and his son Pantagruel

  • Each fluid ounce contains: sulp. magnesia one drachm, senna two drachms, scammony six grains, liquorice one drachm, ginger three grains, coriander, five grains, with flavoring ingredients.

    The Whitehouse Cookbook (1887) The Whole Comprising a Comprehensive Cyclopedia of Information for the Home

  • Dyaceraseos (a mixture of cherry juice, honey, cinnamon, mastic and scammony) and Agrippa.

    Gilbertus Anglicus Medicine of the Thirteenth Century

  • Her method consisted in giving from one to three drams of the powdered root, after using a clyster, and following the dose up with a purge of scammony and calomel.

    Herbal Simples Approved for Modern Uses of Cure

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