A gum, also called gum adracant, and gum dragon, is the produce of the above, and some other shrubs. The gum is brought to us in long and slender pieces, of a flatted figure more or less; and these not straight, or rarely so, but commonly twisted or contorted various ways, so as to resemble worms. We sometimes meet with it, like the other vegetable exudations, in roundish drops, but these are much more rare. It is moderately heavy, of a firm consistence, and, properly speaking, very tough rather than hard, and is extremely difficult to powder, unless first carefully dried, and the mortar and pestle kept dry. Its natural colour is a pale white, and in the cleanest pieces it is something transparent. It is often, however, met with of a brownish tinge, and of other colours still more opaque. It has no smell, and very little taste, but what it has is disagreeable. Taken into the mouth, it does not grow clammy, and stick to the teeth, as gum arabic does, but melts into a kind of very soft mucilage. It dissolves in water but slowly, and communicates its mucilaginous quality to a great quantity of that fluid. It is by no means soluble in oily or spirituous liquors, nor is it inflammable.
It is brought to us from the island of Crete, and from several parts of Asia. It is to be chosen in long twisted pieces of a whitish colour, free from all other colours, which must be rejected.