(From the Hebrew term mar, bitter,) sampsuchus, clinopodiummastichina Gallorum, thimbra Hispanica; Jaca Indica, mastich thyme, or common marum, thymus mastichina Lin. Sp. Pl. 827, is a low shrubby plant, with small oblong leaves, pointed at both ends, set in pairs without pedicles; at the tops of the branches stand woolly heads, containing small white labiated flowers, whose upper lip is erect and cloven, the lower divided into three segments: each flower is followed by four seeds, inclosed in the cup. It grows spontaneously on dry gravelly grounds in Spain, and in similar soils it bears the ordinary winters in England. Its virtues are similar to those of the Syrian marum, but less powerful.
Marum Striacum, vel Creticum, majorana Sy-riaca vel Cretica, marum cortusi, chaniaedrys incana maritima, marum Germander, or Syrian herb mastich, teucrium marum Lin. Sp. Pl 788, is a low shrubby plant, with small oval leaves, pointed at each end, and set in-pairs without pedicles, of a dilute green colour above, and hoary beneath; in their bosoms appear solitary purple labiated flowers, each of which is followed by four roundish seeds inclosed in the cup. It is said to be a native of Syria, and does not bear out-winter's cold without shelter.
The leaves are bitter, pungent, and aromatic to the taste; their smell excites sneezing; and they agree with the canella alba in their virtues.
This plant loses but little in drying, gives out its active matter partially to water, but completely to spirit; the watery infusions retain the smell, but little of the taste; the tinctures retain more of the taste than the smell. Distilled with water, it yields an highly pungent, volatile essential oil, stronger than that of scurvy grass, and of a less perishable pungency; the remaining decoction is bitterish. Rectified spirit carries off only a part of the smell and pungency of the marum. This plant is supposed to possess very active powers, and to be an important remedy in cachexy, hysteria, and nervous debility, acting as a warm tonic and a powerful emmenagogue. The dose is 3 ss. of the powdered leaves given in wine. In the present practice it is chiefly used as a sternutatory, and is one of the ingredients of pulvis asari compositus of the London Pharmacopoeia. See Raii Historia Lewis's and Bergius' Materia Medica.