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The elaphoboscon1 is a ferulaceous plant, articulated, and about a finger in thickness. The seed of it is like that of dill, hanging in umbels resembling those of hart-wort in appearance, but not bitter. The leaves are very like those of olusatrum.2 This plant, too, is highly spoken of as an article of food; in addition to which, it is preserved and kept as a diuretic3 and for the purpose of assuaging pains in the sides, curing ruptures and convulsions, and dispelling flatulency and colic. It is used, too, for the cure of wounds inflicted by serpents and all kinds of animals that sting; so much so, indeed, that, as the story goes, stags, by eating of it, fortify themselves against the attacks of serpents. The root, too, applied topically, with the addition of nitre, is a cure for fistula, but, when wanted for this purpose, it must be dried first, so as to retain none of the juice; though, on the other hand, this juice does not at all impair its efficacy as an antidote to the poison of serpents.

1 "Stag's food." Fée adopts the opinion of Sprengel and Sibthorpe, that this is the Pastinaca sativa of Linnæus, the cultivated parsnip. Desfontaines identifies it with the Sium sisarum; but, as Fée says, that plant is but rarely found in Greece.

2 See B. xx. c. 18. For the olusatrum, see B. xx. c. 46.

3 The parsnip is no longer employed for its medicinal properties; but for a long time, the seed was looked upon as a diuretic and febrifuge. The root contains a considerable quantity of saccharine matter.

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