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The condrion,1 or chondrylla, has leaves, eaten away, as it were, at the edges, and similar to those of endive, a stalk less than a foot in length and full of a bitter juice, and a root resembling that of the bean, and occasionally very ramified. It produces, near the surface of the earth, a sort of mastich,2 in a tubercular form, the size of a bean; this mastich, it is said, employed as a pessary, promotes the menstrual discharge. This plant, pounded whole with the roots, is divided into lozenges, which are employed for the stings of serpents, and probably with good effect; for field mice, it is said, when injured by those reptiles, are in the habit of eating this plant. A decoction of it in wine arrests looseness of the bowels, and makes a most excellent substitute for gum, as a bandoline for the eye-lashes,3 even when the hairs are most stubborn. Dorotheus says, in his poems, that it is extremely good for the stomach and the digestive organs. Some persons, however, have been of opinion that it is unwholesome for females, bad for the eyesight, and productive of impotence in the male sex.

1 Sibthorpe thinks that this is the Chondrilla ramosissima of Linnæus; but Fée identifies it with the Chondrilla juncea of Linnæus. The Lactuca perennis has also been suggested. See B. xxi. cc. 52 and 65.

2 In the Isle of Lemnos, at the present day, a milky juice is extracted from the root of the Chondrilla juncea.

3 To keep the hairs in their proper place.

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