An inspissated sap obtained from the root of the Convolvulus Scammonia, of a blackish gray color, a nauseous smell like that of old cheese, and a somewhat acrid taste. It is used in medicine as a cathartic.
Scammony (Convolvulus scammonia) is a bindweed native to the countries of the eastern part of the Mediterranean basin; it grows in bushy waste places, from Syria in the south to the Crimea in the north, its range extending westward to the Greek islands, but not to northern Africa or Italy. It is a twining perennial, bearing flowers like those of Convolvulus arvensis, and having irregularly arrow-shaped leaves and a thick fleshy root. The dried juice, virgin scammony, obtained by incision of the living root, has been used in medicine as scammonium, but the variable quality of the drug has led to the employment of scammoniae resina, which is obtained from the dried root by digestion with alcohol.