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Those lentils1 are the best which boil the most easily, and those in particular which absorb the most water. They injure the eye-sight,2 no doubt, and inflate the stomach; but taken with the food, they act astringently upon the bowels, more particularly if they are thoroughly boiled in rain-water: if, on the other hand, they are lightly boiled, they are laxative.3 They break purulent ulcers, and they cleanse and cicatrize ulcerations of the mouth. Applied topically, they allay all kinds of abscesses, when ulcerated and chapped more particularly; with melilote or quinces they are applied to defluxions of the eyes, and with polenta they are employed topically for suppurations. A decoction of them is used for ulcerations of the mouth and genitals, and, with rose-oil or quinces, for diseases of the fundament. For affections which demand a more active remedy, they are used with pomegranate rind, and the addition of a little honey; to prevent the composition from drying too quickly, beet leaves are added. They are ap- plied topically, also, to scrofulous sores, and to tumours, whether ripe or only coming to a head, being thoroughly-boiled first in vinegar. Mixed with hydromel they are employed for the cure of' chaps, and with pomegranate rind for gangrences. With polenta they are used for gout, for diseases of the uterus and kidneys, for chilblains, and for ulcerations which cicatrize with difficulty. For a disordered stomach, thirty grains should be eaten.

For cholera,4 however, and dysentery, it is the best plan to boil the lentils in three waters, in which case they should always be parched first, and then pounded as fine as possible, either by themselves, or else with quinces, pears, myrtle, wild endive, black beet, or plantago. Lentils are bad for the lungs, head-ache, all nervous affections, and bile, and are very apt to cause restlessness at night. They are useful, however, for pustules, erysipelas, and affections of the mamillæ, boiled in sea-water; and, applied with vinegar, they disperse indura- tions and scrofulous sores. As a stomachic, they are mixed, like polenta, with the drink given to patients. Parboiled in water, and then pounded and bolted through a sieve to disengage the bran, they are good for burns, care being taken to add a little honey as they heal: they are boiled, also, with oxycrate for diseases of the throat.5

There is a marsh-lentil6 also, which grows spontaneously in stagnant waters. It is of a cooling nature, for which rea- son it is employed topically for abscesses, and for gout in par- ticular, either by itself or with polenta. Its glutinous properties render it a good medicine for intestinal hernia.

1 Most of the properties here ascribed to the lentil, Fée says, are quite illusory.

2 This, Fée remarks, is not the fact.

3 This statement, Fée thinks, is probably conformable with truth.

4 Fée remarks, that we must not confound the cholera of the ancients with the Indian cholera, our cholera morbus. Celsus describes the cholera with great exactness, B. iv. c. 11.

5 They would be of no benefit, Fée thinks, in such a case.

6 It bears no relation whatever to the lentil, not being a leguminous plant. Fée would include under this head the Lemna minor, the Lemna gibba, and the Lemna polyrrhiza of modern botany, all being found together in the same stagnant water.

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