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We have as yet spoken1 only of the anemone used for making chaplets; we will now proceed to describe those kinds which are employed for medicinal purposes. Some persons give the name of "phrenion" to this plant: there are two species of it; one of which is wild,2 and the other grows on cultivated3 spots; though they are, both of them, attached to a sandy soil. Of the cultivated anemone there are numerous varieties; some, and these are the most abundant, have a scarlet flower, while others, again, have a flower that is purple or else milk-white. The leaves of all these three kinds bear a strong resemblance to parsley, and it is not often that they exceed half a foot in height, the head being very similar to that of asparagus. The flower never opens, except while the wind is blowing, a circumstance to which it owes its name.4 The wild anemone is larger than the cultivated one, and has broader leaves, with a scarlet flower.

Some persons erroneously take the wild anemone to be the same as the argemone,5 while others, again, identify it with the poppy which we have mentioned6 under the name of "rhœas:" there is, however, a great difference between them, as these two other plants blossom later than the anemone, nor does the anemone possess a juice or a calyx like theirs; besides which, it terminates in a head like that of asparagus.

The various kinds of anemone are good for pains and inflammations of the head, diseases of the uterus, and stoppage of the milk in females; taken, too, in a ptisan, or applied as a pessary in wool, they promote the menstrual discharge. The root, chewed, has a tendency to bring away the phlegm, and is a cure for tooth-ache: a decoction of it is good, too, for defluxions of the eyes,7 and effaces the scars left by wounds. The Magi have attributed many very wonderful properties to these plants: they recommend it to be gathered at the earliest moment in the year that it is seen, and certain words to be repeated, to the effect that it is being gathered as a remedy for tertian and quartan fevers; after which the flower must be wrapped up in red cloth and kept in the shade, in order to be attached to the person when wanted. The root of the anemone with a scarlet flower, beaten up and applied to the body of any animated being,8 produces an ulcer there by the agency of its acrid qualities; hence it is that it is so much employed as a detergent for ulcerous sores.

1 In c. 38 of this Book.

2 The Anemone coronaria of Linnæus, Fée thinks.

3 Probably the Adonis æstivalis of Linnæus, a ranunculus. These plants are of an acrid, irritating nature, and rank at the present day among the vegetable poisons.

4 The "wind-flower," from the Greek ἄμεμος, "wind."

5 See B. xxv. c. 26.

6 In B. xix. c. 53.

7 As Fée remarks, it would be very dangerous to use it.

8 "Cuique animalium."

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