This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Osteocolla, aliis offifragus, osteites, am-mofteus, ofteolithos, holofteus, ftelochites, Worm, muf. Osteocolla, or Bone-binder: a soffil substance, found in some parts of Germany, particularly in the marche of Brandenburgh, and in other countries. It is met with in loose sandy grounds, spreading, from near the surface to a considerable depth, into a number of ramifications like the roots of a tree: it is of a whitish colour, soft while under the earth, friable when dry, rough on the surface, for the most part either hollow within, or filled with solid wood, or with a powdery woody matter (a).
This earth has been celebrated for promoting the coalition of fractured bones and the formation of a callus; a virtue to which it does not seem to have any claim. It is found to be composed of two different earthy substances, which are nearly in equal proportions, and which may be separated from one another, by washing the powdered ofteocolla with water: the finer matter, which washes over, appears from its burning into quicklime, and its properties in other experiments, to be mere calcareous earth, not different in quality from chalk: the grosser matter that remains is no other than sand.