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The anthemis has been highly extolled by Asclepiades. Some persons call it "leucanthemis,"1 some leucanthemum, others, again, "eranthemis,"2 from its flowering in spring, and others "chamæmelon,"3 because it has a smell like that of an apple: sometimes, too, it is called "melanthion."4 There are three varieties of this plant, which only differ from one another in the flower; they do not exceed a palm in height, and they bear small blossoms like those of rue, white, yellow,5 or purple.

This plant is mostly found in thin, poor soils, or growing near foot-paths. It is usually gathered in spring, and put by for the purpose of making chaplets. At the same season, too, medical men pound the leaves, and make them up into lozenges, the same being done with the flowers also, and the root. All the parts of this plant are administered together, in doses of one drachma, for the stings of serpents of all kinds. Taken in drink, too, they bring away the dead fœtus, act as an emmenagogue and diuretic, and disperse calculi of the bladder. The anthemis is employed, also, for the cure of flatulency, affections of the liver, excessive secretions of the bile, and fistulas of the eye; chewed, it heals running sores. Of all the different varieties, the one that is most efficacious for the treatment of calculi is that with the purple flower,6 the leaves and stem7 of which are somewhat larger than those of the other kinds. Some persons, and with strict propriety, give to this last the name of "eranthemis."

1 Fée, adopting the opinion of Sibthorpe, thinks that under these names Pliny is speaking of several varieties of the Anthemis, or camomile, and he identifies them as follows: the Leucanthemis, or white camomile, he considers to be the same as the Anthemis Chia of Linnæus; the Eranthemis to be the Anthemis rosea of Sibthorpe; the Melanthion to be the Anthemis tinctoria, or dyers' camomile of Sibthorpe: and the Chamæmelon to be the Matricaria chamomilla of Linnæus, the common camomile. Sprengel differs from these opinions as to the identification of the several varieties.

2 "Spring flower."

3 "Ground apple."

4 "Black flower."

5 "Malinis," apple-colour.

6 See Note34.

7 "Fruticis." The camomile is still extensively used in medicine for fomentations, and the decoction of it is highly esteemed, taken fasting, as a tonic.

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