This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Santonicum Semen Pharm. Lond. & Edinb, Semen cinae, Jemen sanctum, semen contra, sementina, Wormseed: a small light oval seed; composed as it were of a number of thin membranous coats; of a yellowish-greenish colour with a caft of brown; eafily friable, by rubbing between the fingers, into a fine chaffy kind of sub-stance. The seeds have commonly mixed with them a considerable quantity of this chaffy matter, and small bits of stalks and leaves. They are brought from the Levant, and supposed to be the produce of a species of artemisia, re-sembling in its general appearance our fine-leaved mugwort, called by Linnaeus Artemifia (Santonicum) foliis caulinis linearibus pinnato-mul-lifidis, ramis indivifis, spicis secundis reflexis; the Artemisia austriaca of Jacquin.
These seeds have a moderately strong, not agreeable smell, somewhat of the wormwood kind; and a very bitter subacrid taste. They have been chiefly recommended as anthelmintics; and commonly taken, in this intention, either along with melaflfes, or candied with sugar. They might be used also for other purposes; as they appear (at lead the spe-cimens which I examined) to be a not inelegant strong bitter. They give out their virtue both to water and spirit, together with a brown-ish hue, which in the watery tincture has an admixture of reddish, in the spirituous of yellow: the spirituous is less ungrateful in taste, and discovers less also of the ill smell of the santoni-cum than the watery infusion. In evaporation, water carries off greatest part of the difsgreeable flavour of the seeds, the infpifiated extract being little other than simply bitter. An extract made by rectified spirit retains a considerable share of the flavour: this extract appears to be the most eligible preparation of the santonicum for the purposes of an anthelmintic; and the watery extract, or a tincture drawn from it, for the more general intentions of bitter medicines.