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Many authors are of opinion that the wild cucumber is identical with the plant known among us as the "anguine," and by some persons as the "erratic"1 cucumber. Objects sprinkled with a decoction of this plant will never be touched by mice. The same authors2 say, too, that a decoction of it in vinegar, externally applied, gives instantaneous relief in cases of gout and diseases of the joints. As a remedy, too, for lumbago, the seed of it is dried in the sun and pounded, being given in doses of twenty denarii to half a sextarius of water. Mixed with woman's milk and applied as a liniment, it is a cure for tumours which have suddenly formed.

Elaterium promotes the menstrual discharge; but if taken by females when pregnant, it is productive of abortion. It is good, also, for asthma, and, injected into the nostrils, for the jaundice.3 Rubbed upon the face in the sun, it removes freckles4 and spots upon the skin.

1 This has been identified by some writers, Fée says, with the Cucumis flexuosus of Linnæus; but, as he observes, that plant comes originally from India, and it is more than probable that it was not known by the ancients; In addition to which, it is possessed of no medicinal properties whatever. He looks upon it as an indigenous plant not identified.

2 So Dioscorides, B. iv. c. 154.

3 "Morbus regius;" literally, the "royal disease."

4 "Lentigo."

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