This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Hipposelinum theophrafii vel smyrnium dioscoridis C. B. Macerone & olus atrum & herb a alexandrina quibusdam. Smyrnium Olu-Jatrum Linn. Alexanders: an umbelliferous plant, with leaves like those of smallage but larger: producing thick, roundish, striated, black seeds. It is biennial, grows wild about the sea coasts, and sides of rivers, and flowers in May and June.
This plant is nearly similar in quality to smallage, but somewhat stronger both in smell and taste: it was formerly blanched in our gardens for culinary use, but has now given place to celeri, which is more grateful. The seeds are bitterim and aromatic, and have been now and then employed, like the other warm seeds, as carminatives, stomachics, and aperients: they give out their virtue imperfectly to water, completely to rectisied spirit: in distil-lation with water, they yield a small quantity of essential oil, smelling agreeably of the seeds, and in taste moderately pungent. The roots are bitterer than the seeds, and stand recommended as resolvents, diuretics, and emmena-gogues: they yield, on incision, a whitish juice, which is said, when infpiffated, to approach in taste to myrrh; whence the plant has been called, from one of the names of that gummy -refin, smyrnium.