The Colurine wood, or Snake-wood Tree.
A tall tree of the East, irregular in its growth, but not without beauty. The bark is rough and brown; the leaves are large, broad in the middle, oblong and sharp at the point. They are of a deep green colour, and firm substance: the flowers are small, they grow in clusters upon the branches, not at their extremities, but in different parts of them. The fruit is large, and much of the shape of a walnut. It is yellow when ripe, and contains a great many round fiat seeds. These are exactly of the shape and form of what we call nux vomica, but they are not half so big. Some have, for this reason, supposed the real nux vomica to be the fruit of this tree; but it is produced by another of the same genus. The wood of the smaller branches is used: this is what we called lignum colubrinum, adder-wood, and snake-wood. It is famous in the East for curing fevers and destroying worms; they also say it is a remedy against the bites of serpents, and hence comes its name. We have been tempted to give it in some cases; but it seems better suited to the constitutions of the people among whom it grows than to ours: it brings on convulsions, if given in too large a dose, or if too fresh. It loses its strength by degrees in keeping; but I don't know how it can be possible to determine what dose to give of such a medicine.