This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Cevabilla hispanorum Ph. Paris. (i. e. hordeolum). Sebadilla. Sabadilla. Hordeum causticum C. B. Indian caustic barley: the seed-vessel of a Mexican plant, resembling in its form and structure a barley car, but with smaller seeds, not above the size of linseed.
These seeds appear, from the accounts given of them by some authors, to be the strongest of the vegetable caustics. Monardes reports, that in putrid verminous ulcers, and gangrenes, they have the same effects as corrosive sublimate, or the actual cautery; and that the way of using them is, to sprinkle a little of the powdered seed upon the part, or, for the greater safety, to dilute it with watery liquors, and apply lint dipt in the mixture(a). In Linnaeus's amaeni-tates academicae they are said to be the most effectual of all medicines for destroying cutaneous infects in children. In France, they are ranked among the officinals: in this country they are very rarely to be met with.