Goat's Thorn.


A little white looking prickly shrub, native of the East, but kept in our gardens. It is not above two or three feet high, very spreading, and full of branches. The stem is of a tough and very firm substance, covered with a whitish rough bark; the branches are as tough, and the bark is pale but smoother. The leaves are long and narrow; they are each composed of a great many pairs of smaller set on a middle rib, which is continued into a thorn, and when these leaves fall off, remains a white thorn of that length. The flowers are white and small; they are of the shape of a pea blossom, but flatter; the pods which follow are short and flat.

No part of the shrub itself is used, but we have a gum produced by it, and called by its name in the shops; this is what they also call gum dragant, it is white and tough and is in long twisted pieces; it sweats out of the bottom of the trunk in the heat of summer. It is good in coughs arising from a sharp humour: and in sharpness of urine, and sharp stools, but it is a disagreeable medicine; it is very difficultly powdered, and the solution is not pleasant.

The Family Herbal, 1812, was written by John Hill.