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Of the two1 kinds of tribulus, the one is a garden plant, the other grows in rivers only. There is a juice extracted from them which is employed for diseases of the eyes, it being of a cool and refreshing nature, and, consequently, useful for inflammations and abscesses. Used with honey, this juice is curative of spontaneous ulcerations, those of the mouth in particular; it is good also for affections of the tonsils. Taken in a potion, it breaks calculi of the bladder.

The Thracians who dwell on the banks of the river Strymon feed their horses2 on the leaves of the tribulus, and employ the kernels as an article of food, making of them a very agreeable kind of bread, which acts astringently3 upon the bowels. The root, if gathered by persons in a state of chastity and purity,4 disperses scrofulous sores; and the seed, used as an amulet, allays the pains attendant upon varicose veins: pounded and mixed with water, it destroys fleas.

1 Probably the Fagonia Cretica and the Trapa natans of Linnæus. See B. xxi. c. 58. The first, Fée remarks, is a native of Candia, the ancient Crete, and a stranger to the climates of Greece and Italy. This may account for Pliny calling it a garden plant.

2 This is said, Fée remarks, in reference to the Trapa natans, the seed of which is rich in fecula, and very nutritious.

3 "Contrahat ventrem." It would not act, Fée says, as an astringent, but would have the effect of imparting nutriment in a very high degree, without overloading the stomach.

4 A harmless, or, perhaps, beneficial, superstition.

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    • Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography (1854), THRA´CIA
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