Scammoniae Radix-Scammony Root.-The dried root of Convolvulus scammonia. From Syria and Asia Minor.

Characters.-Tap-shaped roots, sometimes three inches in diameter at the top, brown without, white within, slightly odorous, but tasteless. Ether agitated with the powder and evaporated, leaves a residue having the properties of scammony resin.

Substances resembling Scammony Root: Belladonna, which is smaller. .

Scammonium-Scammony.-A gum-resin, obtained by incision from the living root of Convolvulus scammonia, chiefly in Asia Minor.

Characters and tests.-Ash-grey, and rough externally; fresh fracture resinous, splintery, shining, black when dry ; odour and flavour cheesy; causes, when chewed, a slight prickly sensation in the back of the throat; easily triturated into a dirty-grey powder, and converted with water into a smooth emulsion.

Impurities.-Chalk, detected by effervescence with acids; starch, by iodine test.

Composition.-Scammony consists of 77 to 83 per cent. of resin, soluble gum 6 to 8, and a little moisture. The root, the gum-resin, and the resin contain an active principle, jalapin, probably identical with the convolvulin of jalap.

Dose, 5 to 10 gr.

Scammoniae Resina-Resin of Scammony.

Source.-Made from Scammony, or Scammony Root, by preparing a tincture, and precipitating this in water.

Characters.-Brown, translucent pieces, brittle, fragrant; entirely soluble in ether.

Impurity.-Guaiacum resin, detected by giving blue with potato.

Dose.-3 to 8 gr.


a. Of Scammonium:

1. Confectio Scammonii

Confectio Scammonii. 1 in 3, with Ginger, Oil of Caraway,

Oil of Cloves, Syrup, and Honey. Dose, 10 to 30 gr.

2. Pulvis Scammonii Compositus

Pulvis Scammonii Compositus. Scammony, 4 ; Jalap, 3 ;

Ginger, 1. Dose, 10 to 20 gr.

Scammonium is also an important ingredient of Pilula Colo-cynthidis Composita (1 in 3), and of Pilula Colocynthidis et Hyoscyami (1 in 4 1/2).

b. Of Scammonioe Resina:

1. Mistura Scammonii

Mistura Scammonii. 1 in 240 of fresh milk. Dose, 1/2 to 2 fl.oz. for a child.

2. Pilula Scammonii Composita,-Resin of Scammony, 1;

Resin of Jalap, 1; Curd Soap, 1; Strong Tincture of Ginger, 1; Spirit, 2. This is the only aperient pill in the Pharmacopoeia which does not contain aloes. Lose, 5 to 15 gr.

Resina Scammonioe is also an important ingredient of Ex-tractum Colocynthidis Composition (1 in 7) .

Action And Uses

Preparations of scammony are powerful stimulants of the intestinal glands, and to a less degree of the liver, causing free purgation within a few hours, attended by griping. It begins to act in the duodenum on meeting the bile, and will not purge if injected into the blood.

Scammony is used chiefly as a smart purgative and anthelmintic in children, in cases unattended by irritation of the stomach and bowels. As a hydragogue, jalap is generally preferred.