CHAP. 88. (21.)—FOUR REMEDIES DERIVED FROM TREFOIL.
I know, is generally looked upon as being par-
ticularly good for the stings of serpents and scorpions, the seed
being taken in doses of twenty grains, with either wine or
oxycrate; or else the leaves and the plant itself are boiled together, and a decoction made of them; indeed, it is stated, that
a serpent is never to be seen among trefoil. Celebrated authors,
too, I find, have asserted that twenty-five grains of the seed of
the kind of trefoil which we have2
spoken of as the "minyanthes," are a sufficient antidote for all kinds of poisons: in addition to which, there are numerous other remedial virtues
ascribed to it.
But these notions, in my opinion, are counterbalanced by
the authority of a writer of the very highest repute: for we
find the poet Sophocles asserting that the trefoil is a venomous
plant. Simus, too, the physician, maintains that a decoction
of it, or the juice, poured upon the human body, is productive
of burning sensations similar to those experienced by persons
when they have been stung by a serpent and have trefoil applied to the wound. It is my opinion, then, that trefoil should
never be used in any other capacity than as a counter-poison;
for it is not improbable that the venom of this plant has a
natural antipathy to all other kinds of poisons, a phænomenon
which has been observed in many other cases as well. I find
it stated, also, that the seed of the trefoil with an extremely
diminutive leaf, applied in washes to the face, is extremely
beneficial for preserving the freshness of the skin in females.