The "wormseeds" are widely distributed in the northern hemisphere of the Old World, many varieties thereof being familiar to botanists and subject to much discussion. The unopened flowers of the head (wormseed) are collected in quantities on the vast plains or steppes in the northern part of Turkestan, the distributing point being the renowned fair of Nishni Novgorod, Russia, where, July 15th to August 27th, the celebrated exchanges of the products occur. Worm-seed, however, is found in the Oriental bazaars, being brought for native and domestic use from the sections of country named, or from Afghanistan or Caboul. Dioscorides (194) mentions several species of wormseed, stating that the small seeds were mixed with honey and employed by the people as a remedy for ascarides. Alexander Trallianus (n), in the sixth century, commended this drug as a remedy for intestinal worms. Saladinus (570), 1450, and afterwards several authors of the sixteenth century, as Ruellius (561) and Dodonzeus (195), refer to the remedy as a vermifuge for children. Its empirical use in domestic medication is maintained to the present time, and from this source its anthelmintic virtues were learned by the profession.

The History of the Vegetable Drugs of the U.S.P., 1911, was written by John Uri Lloyd.