QUAS'SIA, n. A plant, or rather a genus of plants of three species, the amara, simaruba, and excelsa or polygama, natives of South America and of some of the isles of the West Indies, and possessing valuable medicinal qualities.
The name of a genus of plants of one species, a native of South America, and possessing valuable medicinal powers, but not known in the shops of the United States, the article called by the name of quassia, in them, being the Simaruba excelsa.
- The wood of several tropical American trees of
the order Simarubeæ, as Quassia amara,
Picræna excelsa, and Simaruba amara. It is
intensely bitter, and is used in medicine and sometimes as a
substitute for hops in making beer.