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The scolymos,1 too, is used as an aliment2 in the East, where it has also the name of "limonia."3 This is a shrub-like plant, which never exceeds a cubit in height, with tufted leaves and a black root, but sweet. Eratosthenes speaks highly of it as a diet used by the poor. It is said to possess diuretic properties in a very high degree, and to heal lichens and leprous sores, applied with vinegar. Taken in wine it acts as an aphrodisiac, according to the testimony of Hesiod4 and Alcæus; who have stated in their writings, that while it is in blossom, the song of the grasshopper is louder than at other times, women more inflamed with desire, and men less inclined to amorous intercourse; and that it is by a kind of foresight on the part of Nature that this powerful stimulant is then in its greatest perfection. The root, too, used without the pith, corrects the noisome odour of the armpits, in doses of one ounce to two heminæ of Falernian wine; the mixture being boiled down to one third, and taken fasting after the bath, as also after meals, a cyathus at a time. It is a remarkable thing, but Xenocrates assures us that he has ascertained it experimentally, that these bad odours are carried off by the urine.

1 Sprengel identifies it with the Scolymus maculatus of Linnæus, but Fée prefers the Scolymus Hispanicus of Linnæus, the Spanish thistle.

2 Fée says that the Scolymus grandifiorus is still eaten in Barbary.

3 The "meadow-plant."

4 Works and Days, 1. 582.

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