A tall and beautiful plant, native of the West Indies, but kept in our gardens. It is five feet high; the stalk is round, thick, upright, single, and a little hairy. It has a clammy dampness about it, by which it sticks to the hands in touching. The leaves are very large, oblong, and pointed at the ends. They are of a dusky green colour, and feel also clammy like the stalk. The flowers are red and large; they are long, hollow, and open at the mouth. The seed-vessel is oval, and the seeds are small.
The leaves are good fresh or dried. A slight infusion of them fresh gathered is a powerful vomit; it is apt to work too roughly, but for constitutions that will bear it, is a good medicine against rheumatic pains. An ointment made of the fresh ones with lard, is good against the inflammation of the piles, the distilled oil is sometimes dropped on cotton to cure the tooth-ach, applying it to the tooth; the powder kills all kinds of vermin. As to the custom of chewing and taking it as snuff, little can be said for them, from practice, and nothing from reason: nor much for smoking. If these customs had any good tendency, it would be taken off by the constant practice.
There is a lesser, greener kind of tobacco, called English tobacco. It has the same virtues with the other, but in a more remiss degree. The leaves are often sold for those of the other.