This is not the plant which produces what the druggists sell under the name of wormseed; that is the produce of an Egyptian kind of wormwood, just described. This is an English herb of the podded kind, and very distinct in its whole appearance from that, and all of its sort. It is two feet high. The stalks are round, up right, firm, and toward the top divided into branches; the leaves are very numerous, and stand irregularly. They are longish, narrow, pointed at the ends, not at all dented at the edges, and of a dusky green colour. The flowers are little and yellow; they stand in small clusters at the tops of the branches, and under them is a kind of spike of pods; these are long and slender, green at first, but of a kind of brown colour when ripe; and in each is a great number of seeds; these are round, small, and of an extremely bitter taste, much more bitter than the common wormseed.
This seed is the part used. The good women bruise it, and mixing it with treacle, give it to the children of robust constitutions against worms. It operates powerfully, by stool, and, if given in too large a quantity by vomit. It is therefore to be used with discretion; but it will answer the purpose, and is preferable, for many reasons, to those mercurial medicines, which it is the fashion of the times to give to people for those disorders; especially in the country, where there seldom is skill enough in the practitioner to manage, as he ought, medicines, which may be the occasion of so much mischief.