Scammony. A Gum-resin, obtained by incision from the living root of Convolvulus Scammonia. Nat. Ord. Convolvulaceae. Linn. Syst. Pentandria Monogynia. Hab. Syria. Chiefly exported from Smyrna. Of the two kinds met with in commerce, that called Virgin or Aleppo Scammony is the best.

* Clin. Lect., vol. ii. p. 32.

ScammoniAe Radix. The Dried Root of Convolvulus Scammonia.

ScammoniAe Resina. Resin of Scammony. Obtained by-means of Rectified Spirit from Scamniony Root, or from Seammony.

Med. Prop. ornl Action. Drastic purgative, particularly adapted for persons of a phlegmatic temperament, and for cases of constipation depending upon torpor of the colon. M. Rayer,* with the view of testing the value of Scain-mony, administered it in 210 cases, and the following are the results of his observations: - 1. The Scammony of Aleppo, in doses of gr. xviij., usually occasions three or four motions; if administered in gr. xxvij. doses, its action is seldom equal to, and sometimes weaker than, that resulting from the smaller dose of the medicine. 2 The addition of acids or alkaline fluids to Scammony does not increase or diminish its power in any evident manner. 3. The Resin of Scammony, in doses of gr. ix., produces a purgative action equal to that occasioned by gr. xviij. of common Seammony. 4. The Resin is to be preferred, as it acts with certainty and uniformity, and the Seammony of commerce is always more or less impure. Scammony occasionally causes severe griping; but this may in a great measure be obviated by reducing it to a very fine powder, and giving it in conjunction with the Sulphate of Potash. The operation of Scammony, observes Dr. Nevins. is chiefly irritant, and affects the whole of the bowels; on this account, it acts most efficiently when there is a deficiency of intestinal mucus, indicated by hard dry faecal evacuations, in which case, however, it is very liable to gripe, an ffect which may be diminished by the means described above. When there is copious mucous secretion, it has less efficacy, and is, therefore, not so well adapted as a purgative to remove intestinal worms as Gamboge or Colo-cynth. It is stated by Dr. Christison never to become poisonous in an over-dose. Pulvis Scammonii Co. is a good form for internal use, and is particularly adapted for children.

Offic. Prep. Of Scammony Root: -

Resina ScammoniAe (Scammony Root in coarse powder oz. viij.; Rectified Spirit q. s; 1 Distilled Water q. s. Prepared by exhausting the Scammony Root by maceration and percolation with the Spirit. The Tincture thus obtained is to be diluted with fl. oz. iv. of Water, and the Spirit distilled off by a water bath. The residue is allowed to cool, and, the supernatant fluid having been poured off, the Resin is washed two or three times with water, and dried on a porcelain plate by a stove or water bath). Dose of the Resin, gr. iv. - gr. x.

Of Scammony and Resin of Scammony: -

1. Confectio Scammonii (Seammony Or Resin Of Scammony In Fine Powder Oz

iij.; Ginger in fine powder oz. iss.; Oil of Caraway fl. drm. j.; Oil of Cloves fl. drm. ss.; Syrup fl. oz. iij.; Clarified Honey oz. iss.). Dose, gr. xv. - gr. xxx. or more.

2. Extractum Colocynthidis Composita

(See Colocynthis.)

3. Mistura Scammonii (Resin Of Scammony Grs

iv.; Milk fl. oz. ij. Triturate, adding the Milk gradually, until a uniform emulsion is obtained) fl. oz. ij.

4. Pilula Colocynthidis Composita

(See Colocynthis )

5. Pilula Colocynthidis Et Hyoscyami

(See Colocynthis.)

6. Pulvis Scammonii Compositus (Scammony Oz

iv.; Jalap oz. iij.; Ginger oz. j.) gr. vj. - gr. xx.

Dote of pure Scammony, gr. v. - xij.

Contra-indications. 1, Inflammatory states of the alimentary canal; 2, Pregnancy; 3, The presence of the catamenia; 4, Irritable states of the uterus and pelvic viscera

2444. Therapeutic Uses

In Dropsy and Dropsical Affections,

* Med. Times, vol. xvii. p. 9.

Trans. of Lond. Ph., 1851, p. 277.

Scammony is sometimes advantageously exhibited as a hydra-gogue cathartic, and may be given in combination with the Bitar-trate or Acetate of Potash. It is, however, inferior in efficacy to Elaterium, Croton Oil, or Gamboge.

2445. In Cerebral Affections, it proves useful not only as a purgative, but as a revulsive and derivative. Dr. A. T. Thompson considers that it is well adapted in maniacal cases for removing the scybala which often accumulate and remain for a long time in the cells of the colon.

2446. Against Lumbrici and Ascarides Vermiculares, the Compound Scammony Powder (ante), in combination with Calomel, acts with certainty and rapidity. It may be safely given to children in doses of gr. viij. - x., and to infants in doses of gr. iij. - v.