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Fennel-giant1 has a seed similar to that of dill. That which has a single stem, bifurcated2 at the top, is generally thought to be the female plant. The stalks of it are eaten boiled;3 and, pickled in brine and honey, they are recom- mended as particularly beneficial to the stomach;4 if taken, however, in too large quantities, they are apt to produce head-ache. The root of it in doses of one denarius to two cyathi of wine, is used in drink for the stings of serpents, and the root itself is applied topically for the same purpose, as also for the cure of gripings of the stomach. Taken in oil and vinegar, it is used as a check for excessive perspirations, in fevers even. The inspissated juice of fennel-giant, taken in quantities the size of a bean, acts as a purgative;5 and the pith6 of it is good for the uterus, as well as all the maladies previously mentioned. To arrest hæmorrhage, ten of the seeds are taken in drink, bruised in wine, or else with the pith of the plant. There are some persons who think that the seed should be administered for epilepsy, from the fourth to the seventh day of the moon, in doses of one spoonful.

Fennel-giant is naturally so inimical to the muræna, that the very touch of it even will kill that fish. Castor was of opinion that the juice of the root is extremely beneficial to the sight.

1 For an account of the Ferula, see B. xiii. c. 42.

2 An accidental circumstance, Fée says, and no distinctive mark of sex or species.

3 Fée thinks that Pliny's meaning is, that it is eaten as a confection, similar to those of angelica and parsley stalks at the present day. That, however, would hardly appear to be the sense of the passage. In B. xix. c. 56, he speaks of it being dried and used as a seasoning.

4 Fennel-giant is considered to be a good stomachic.

5 This, Fée thinks, is probably the fact.

6 The pith, in reality, of the Umbellferæ, is insipid and inert.

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