Though the amomum before mentioned be not used in prescription, it is an ingredient in some old compositions; and, being often not to be met with, it has been found necessary to substitute another carminative seed in its place; this grows on an English plant, thence called also amomum.
The common amomum, otherwise called bastard stone parsley, is frequent about our hedges; it grows to three feet in height, but the stalk is slender, and divided into a great many branches. The leaves are of a bright green and winged, or composed of double rows of smaller, with an odd one at the end. There grow some large and very beautiful ones from the root; those on the stalks are smaller. The flowers grow in little umbels or clusters, at the extremities of all the branches. They are small and white. Two seeds follow each flower, and these are striated, small, and of a spicy taste: the plant is distinguished at sight from all the others of its kind, of which there are many, by the slenderness of its stalks and branches, and the smallness of the umbels; and more than all by the peculiar taste of the seeds, which have a flavour of mace.
It is proper to be particular, because the plant is worth knowing, Its root is good for all diseases of the urinary passages, and the seeds are good in disorders of the stomach and bowels, and also operate by urine. The quantity of a scruple given in cholics often proves an immediate cure, and they are a good ingredient in bitters.