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The trefoil,1 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.

1 See c. 30 of this Book.

2 In c. 30 of this Book.

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