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The root of the anchusa,1 too, is made use of, a plant a finger in thickness. It is split into leaves like the papyrus, and when touched it stains the hands the colour of blood; it is used for imparting rich colours to wool. Applied with cerate it heals ulcerous sores, those of aged people in parti- cular: it is employed also for the cure of burns. It is insoluble in water, but dissolves in oil, this being, in fact, the test of its genuineness. It is administered also, in doses of one drachma, in wine, for nephretic pains, or else, if there is fever, in a decoction of balanus;2 it is employed in a similar manner, also, for affections of the liver and spleen, and for enlarged secretions of the bile. Applied with vinegar, it is used for the cure of leprosy and the removal of freckles. The leaves, beaten up with honey and meal, are applied topically for sprains; and taken in honied wine, in doses of two drachmæ, they arrest looseness of the bowels.3 A decoction of the root in water, it is said, kills fleas.

1 The Anchusa tinctoria of Linnæus, alkanet, orcanet, or dyers' bugloss.

2 See B. xii. c. 46.

3 This plant is no longer used for medicinal purposes; but Fée thinks that, as the leaves in all probability contain nitrate of potash, they may have diuretic properties.

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