Definition for TRAG'A-CANTH

TRAG'A-CANTH, n. [L. tragacanthum; Gr. τραγακανθα; τραγος, a goat, and ακανθα, thorn.]

  1. Goat's thorn; a plant of the genus Astragalus, of several species, growing in Syria, Candia, &c. almost all of which were included by Linnæus in the tragacanthas, and all of which produce the gum tragacanth.
  2. A gum obtained from the goat's thorn. It comes in small contorted pieces resembling worms. It is of different colors; that which is white, clear, smooth and vermicular, is the best. It is somewhat soft to the touch, but only imperfectly soluble. It is softening, and used in coughs and catarrhs. Nicholson. Cyc.

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