This section is from the book "A Treatise On Therapeutics, And Pharmacology Or Materia Medica Vol1", by George B. Wood. Also available from Amazon: Part 1 and Part 2.
Though recognized in the late London Pharmacopoeia, this is no longer officinal, having been discarded in the British. It is the concrete juice of an unknown Persian plant, supposed to be umbelliferous; and is imported from the Levant. As brought to us, it is either in irregular masses of agglutinated tears, translucent, and of a wax-like consistence, or in soft adhesive masses, in which no tears are visible. It has a brownish-yellow, reddish-yellow, or olive colour, paler within than without, and becoming darker by time. The odour is alliaceous, but weaker and less disagreeable than that of assafetida; the taste, bitterish, somewhat acrid, and nauseous. It becomes softer and tenacious by heat, and is inflammable. Water and alcohol dissolve it partially, diluted alcohol completely. It consists essentially of volatile oil, resin, and gum, of which the two former are probably the active constituents. The odour depends upon the oil.
This gum-resin produces effects on the system similar to those of assafetida, but is too feeble to be depended on as a substitute, in which capacity it might otherwise be used, in consequence of its less offensive odour. It is occasionally employed as an adjuvant to cathartics, in flatulent states of the stomach and bowels. The dose is from ten to thirty grains. which may be given in pill or emulsion.