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We have already1 spoken, when treating of the garden plants, of the cultivation of the thistle; we may as well, therefore, not delay to mention its medicinal properties. Of wild thistles there are two varieties; one2 of which throws out numerous stalks immediately it leaves the ground, the other3 being thicker, and having but a single stem. They have, both of them, a few leaves only, and covered with prickles, the head of the plant being protected by thorny points: the last mentioned, however, puts forth in the middle of these points a purple blossom, which turns white with great rapidity, and is carried off by the wind; the Greeks give it the name of "scolymos."

This plant, gathered before it blossoms, and beaten up and subjected to pressure, produces a juice, which, applied to the head, makes the hair grow again when it has fallen off through alopecy. The root of either kind, boiled in water, creates thirst, it is said, in those who drink it. It strengthens the stomach also, and if we are to believe what is said, has some influence upon the womb in promoting the conception of male offspring: at all events, Glaucias, who seems to have paid the most attention to the subject, has written to that effect. The thin juice, like mastich, which exudes from these plants, imparts sweetness to the breath.

1 In B. xix. c. 43.

2 This, Fée considers to be the Cinara carduncellus of Linnæus, artichoke thistle, or Cardonette of Provence.

3 The Cinara scolymus of Linnæus probably, our artichoke, which the ancients do not appear to have eaten. Both the thistle and the artichoke are now no longer employed in medicine.

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