(From to abound). So called from its abundance. It is a name for the white jalap; also Briony.
Bryonia alba. White briony; called also vitis alba, vel sylvestris; agrostis, ampelos, archeostris; echetrosis, by Hippocrates; bryonia aspera; cedrostis; chelidonium; labrusca; melothrum, ophrostaphylon; psilothrum; wild vine. This species is chiefly used. It is the bryonia alba Lin. Sp. Pi. 1438.
It is a perennial rough plant, grows wild in hedges, and climbs up bushes, with curled tendrils: the leaves are in shape somewhat like those of the vine.
These roots are taken up in spring, and afford a thin milky juice, which hath a disagreeable smell, and a nauseous, biting, bitter taste: if applied to the skin, it blisters. If the root be dried, or its milky juice inspissated, they lose most of their acrimony and nauseous smell.
Externally, this root is powerfully discutient. Dr. Alston observes, that in swellings, strains, and stiffness of the joints, he has experienced surprising effects from it; in contusions, a decoction of it with the addition of wormwood, does great service. According to Bergius, it is a purgative, hydragogue,emmenagogue, and diuretic; the fresh root emetic: it has chiefly been employed in dropsies, in asthma, mania, and epilepsy. In small doses it is said to be diuretic, resolvent, and deobstru-ent. In powder, from Э i. to a drachm it is strongly purgative. The juice, which issues spontaneously, in doses of ss. or more, has similar, though more gentle, effects; but the watery extract acts more mildly than the powder, and with greater safety. The dose 3 ss. to 3 i. Of the expressed juice, a spoonful acts violently both upwards and downwards; but cream of tartar is said to take off its virulence. As a discutient, the cataplasma bryoniae?. compositum is much recommended. Of briony root three ounces, elder flowers one ounce, are boiled till they become tender; to which are added half an ounce of gum ammoniac dissolved in vinegar, muriated ammonia two drachms, camphorated spirit one ounce.
Bryonia nigra. Black briony; called also tam-kus, sigillum beutae Maries, chironia, apronia, gynecan-the; black vine, and the Chironian vine. This plant climbs without tendrils, the leaves are smooth, and, like those of the great bind weed, it bears black berries; the roots and leaves are commended as expectorant. Raii Hist. According to Gerrard it is called agriampelos, but is a variety of the b. alba.
Bryonia mecoachana nigra. Bryonia Peruviana. See Jalap and Mechoacana alba.