A climbing plant, native of the eastern parts of the world. The stalks are numerous, green, slender, and angulated; they are five or six feet long, but unable to support themselves without the help of bushes. The leaves stand irregularly, and not very close to one another; they are of a triangular figure, and bright green colour, and they stand upon long foot -stalks. The flowers are large and bell-fashioned; they resemble very much those of our common little bind-weed being whitish, but they oftener have a yellowish than a reddish tinge. The root is a foot and a half long, and as thick as a man's arm. full of a milky juice. They wound the roots and catch the milky juice as it runs out in shells; and this when it is concreted into a hard mass is the scammony we use.
it is a rough purge, but a very powerful and useful one. It is good against the rhumatic pains, and will reach the seat of many disorders that a common purge does not effect. However, it is seldom given alone: and a great misfortune is, that the compositions made with it are never to be perfectly depended upon, because there is so much difference in several parcels of scammony, that they seem hardly the same medicine, some are so very strong, and some so weak.