(From against and a worm,) the annual worm-grass of Jamaica. Spi-gelia anthelmia Lin. Sp. Pi. 213. The perennial worm-grass of Maryland is the Indian pink. It is the Spigelia Marylandica* though formerly referred to the genus lonicera, with the trivial name of Marylandica.
It is found in different parts of Jamaica, and of the other windward islands.
Half a dram of this latter herb may be infused five or six hours in a quarter of a pint of boiling water; one half of the strained liquor may be given to a child of twelve years old, and the other half the next morning: if no inconvenience is manifest from this dose, the infusion may be made still stronger.
For adults who are not remarkably feeble, iii. of this herb may be boiled in a pint and half of water to i. and the doses may be from two to six common spoonfuls, according to its effects on the patient.
In most persons it procures sleep; in many, after taking a full dose, the eyes are observed to sparkle, and also to be distended after the sleep is over. If there was a fever from worms, the pulse becomes more regular, and the heat moderate; and, by the use of cathartics, worms are discharged. This medicine must be continued as long as the worms are observed to pass away with the stools. If its effect is such as to produce a painful distention of the eyes, it must be omitted. An emetic should generally precede its use: in large doses it sometimes proves emetic and cathartic, produces vertigo, dimness of sight, and convulsions of the eyes. It should therefore be cautiously administered, with the intervention of a purge of calomel and rhubarb. In general, however, in this climate it is very inert, probably from being too long kept.