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Rape, too, has its medicinal properties. Warmed, it is used as an application for the cure of chilblains,1 in addition to which, it has the effect of protecting the feet from cold. A hot decoction of rape is employed for the cure of cold gout; and raw rape, beaten up with salt, is good for all maladies of the feet. Rape-seed, used as a liniment, and taken in drink, with wine, is said to have a salutary effect2 against the stings of serpents, and various narcotic poisons; and there are many persons who attribute to it the properties of an antidote, when taken with wine and oil.

Democritus has entirely repudiated the use of rape as an article of food, in consequence of the flatulence3 which it produces; while Diocles, on the other hand, has greatly extolled it, and has even gone so far as to say that it acts as an aphrodisiac.4 Dionysius, too, says the same of rape, and more particularly if it is seasoned with rocket;5 he adds, also, that roasted, and then applied with grease, it is excellent for pains in the joints.

1 A decoction of rape or turnips is still recommended for chilblains at the present day. Fée remarks that ground mustard is much preferable.

2 This, as Fée remarks, he says of nearly all the vegetable productions known.

3 It is only suited as an aliment to a strong stomach, and it is owing to the property here mentioned that the School of Salerno says,—
Ventum sæpe capis, si tu vis vivere rapis.
Rapa juvat stomachum, novit producere ventum.

4 Dioscorides and Galen say the same, but this property is not recognized in modern times.

5 "Eruca:" a plant itself of a very stimulating nature.

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