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Meum1 is never cultivated in Italy except by medical men, and by very few of those. There are two varieties of it, the finer kind being known as "athamanticum," because, according to some, it was first discovered by Athamas; or else because, as others think, that of the best quality is found upon Mount Athamas.2 The leaf of it is similar to that of dill, and the stem is sometimes as much as two cubits in length: the roots, which run obliquely, are numerous and mostly black, though sometimes white: it is not of so red a hue as the other kind.

The root of this plant, pounded or boiled, and taken in water, is diuretic, and is marvellously efficacious for dispelling flatu- lency of the stomach. It is good, too, for gripings of the bowels and affections of the bladder: applied with honey to the region of the uterus, it acts as a diuretic; and used as a liniment with parsley, upon the lower regions of the abdomen in infants, it has a similar effect.

1 The Æthusa meum of Linnæus; our Spignel, or Baldmoney, the Athamanta Matthioli of Wulf. By some authorities it is called Feniculum Alpinum perenne. It is possessed of exciting properties, and is no longer used in medicine.

2 See B. iv. c. 8.

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