CHAP. 32.—SERIS, THREE VARIETIES OF IT: SEVEN REMEDIES
BORROWED FROM IT.
The vegetable, too, called "seris,"1
which bears a considerable resemblance to the lettuce, consists of two kinds. The
wild, which is of a swarthy colour, and grows in summer, is
the best of the two; the winter kind, which is whiter than
the other, being inferior. They are both of them bitter, but
are extremely beneficial to the stomach, when distressed by
humours more particularly. Used as food with vinegar, they
are cooling, and, employed as a liniment, they dispel other
humours besides those of the stomach. The roots of the wild
variety are eaten with polenta for the stomach; and in cardiac
diseases they are applied topically above the left breast. Boiled
in vinegar, all these vegetables are good for the gout, and for
patients troubled with spitting of blood or spermatorrhœa; the
decoction being taken on alternate days.
Petronius Diodotus, who has written a medical Anthology,2
utterly condemns seris, and employs a multitude of arguments
to support his views: this opinion of his is opposed, however,
to that of all other writers on the subject.