(From human, Arabic, a pigeon,) whose foot it was thought to resemble. Stone pars-let.
Botanists enumerate three species, viz. the true, the bastard, and as a third sort, the tree nightshade is included.
The seed is the only part that is considered as medicinal, but it is not known whether the true amomum of the ancients exists or not; the most probable account is that of P. G. Gamelli, in the Philos. Trans. which is, that the tugus, called by some birao, and by others caropi, is the genuine amomum of Dioscorides. See Dr. James's Dict, article Amomum.
Many confound the amomum with great cardamom. - It is a native of China. The college of Edinburgh supply the place of the amomum verum with the caryo-phylli aromatici. The college of London have rejected it.
The amomum vulgare is the sison amomum Lin. Sp. Pl. 362, also called sinon, amomum Germanicum, si-um: aromaticum, bastard stone parsley.
Its seeds, the only part used in medicine, are ripe in August; have a light agreeable smell, a warm, bitterish, aromatic taste; and are esteemed as carminative and diuretic. They are not so hot and pungent as, by the best accounts, the true amomum seeds are, nor is their flavour of the same kind.
All their virtue rises with water in distillation; but by boiling in an open vessel, it is soon lost in the air; they yield their virtue also to spirit of wine.
The third sort resembles the common nightshade.
See Dale and Miller. It is also a name of the cassia caryophyllata, and piper Jamaicensis.
Amomum cardamomum. See Cardamomum.
Amomum scapo nudo. See Zedoaria.
Amomum granum paradisi. See Cardamomum majus.