Geoffraea, Or Bastard Cabbage Thee.

Geoffroya inermis, foliolis lanceolatis, of Swartz; of Ayton in the Hortus Kewensis; and of Wildenow, ' Sp. Pl. vol. iii. p. 1130. See Wright, Philosophical Transactions, vol. lxvii. p. 507, tab. 10. This tree is a native of Jamaica, distinguished by the name of cabbage bark tree, or worm bark tree. The bark is externally smooth, and of gray colour; internally black and furrowed, has a mucilaginous and sweetish taste, with a disagreeable smell, and is considered as a powerful anthelmintic. Dr. Wright, who resided long in Jamaica, has supplied the safest and most efficacious modes of exhibition, from his own experience. It maybe given either in decoction, syrup, powder, or extract. The decoction is made by boiling one ounce of fresh dried or well preserved cabbage bark in a quart of water, over a slow fire, till the water resembles deep coloured Madeira. This must be strained off, sweetened with sugar, and used early, as its virtues are soon lost. This syrup is formed by dissolving double the quantity of sugar in any portion of the decoction; and this will retain its virtues for many years. By evaporating the strong decoction of this bark to a proper consistence, the extract is prepared; though it must be continually stirred to mix intimately the resinous part, on which probably its efficacy will depend. The powder requires no directions: it resembles jalap, but is not so heavy.

A strong healthy person may take of the decoction, or syrup, two table spoonfuls; of the extract, three grains; and of the powder, 3 ss. - and the dose must be gradually lessened, so that a child of one year should take only of the two first half a table spoonful; of the extract, half a grain; and of the powder, five grains. These doses may be gradually increased till a nausea is excited; but it is safest to begin with small ones, and gradually increase them. The decoction is given in Jamaica, seldom failing to destroy worms in the intestines, and discharge them in considerable quantities. By frequent use, however, these animals become familiarised to the poison, and it is necessary to stop, or employ other medicines of inferior power. Cold water should not be drunk during its operation, as it is apt to occasion sickness, vomiting, fever, and delirium. When these occur, or when too large a dose has beer, given, the stomach must be cleared with warm water; the patient purged with castor oil, and take plenty of lime juice for common drink: vegetable acid is the antidote to this poison.

For Mr. Anderson's account of this bark, and the mode of giving it, see Palma nobilis.