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There is found also a wild gourd, called "somphos" by the Greeks, empty within (to which circumstance it owes its name),1 and long and thick in shape, like the finger: it grows nowhere except upon stony spots. The juice of this gourd, when chewed, is very beneficial to the stomach.2

1 From the Greek σομφὸς, porous, spongy, or hollow.

2 It is supposed by some naturalists that this gourd is the variety Pyxidaris of the Cucurbita pepo of Linnæus, the Colocynthis amara of C. Bauhin. Fée remarks, however, that this designation is arbitrary; as this plant never grows wild in Europe, and its pulp is so bitter, that instead of proving beneficial to the stomach, it would cause vomiting. From the fact of its comparison to the human finger, he doubts if it really was one of the Cucurbitæ at all.

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