A taxonomic genus within the familyLiliaceae — the autumn crocus and similar plants, native to west Asia, Europe and parts of Africa.
Origin of colchicum
Latin a plant with a poisonous rootfrom Greek kolkhikonmeadow saffronafter Kolkhos, Colchis
American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
Colchicum Sentence Examples
In the 6th century Alexander of Tralles used colchicum for gout, iron for anaemia, and rhubarb in liver weakness and dysentery.
Colchicum was known to the Greeks under the name of KoXXucov, from KoXXIs, or Colchis, a country in which the plant grew; and it is described by Dioscorides as a poison.
As a specific for gout colchicum was early employed by the Arabs; and the preparation known as eau medicinale, much resorted to in the 18th century for the cure of gout, owes its therapeutic virtues to colchicum; but general attention was first directed by Sir Everard Home to the use of the drug in gout.
The chief constituents of colchicum are two alkaloids, colchicine and veratrine.