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The plant called by the Greeks "elelisphacos,"1 or "sphacos," is a species of wild lentil, lighter than the cultivated one, and with a leaf, smaller, drier, and more odoriferous. There is also another2 kind of it, of a wilder nature, and possessed of a powerful smell, the other one being milder. It3 has leaves the shape of a quince, but white and smaller: they are generally boiled with the branches. This plant acts as an emmenagogue and a diuretic: and it affords a remedy for wounds inflicted by the sting-ray,4 having the property of benumbing the part affected. It is taken in drink with wormwood for dysentery: employed with wine it accelerates the catamenia when retarded, a decoction of it having the effect of arresting them when in excess: the plant, applied by itself, stanches the blood of wounds. It is a cure, too, for the stings of serpents, and a decoction of it in wine allays prurigo of the testes.

Our herbalists of the present day take for the "elelisphacos" of the Greeks the "salvia"5 of the Latins, a plant similar in appearance to mint, white and aromatic. Applied externally, it expels the dead fœtus, as also worms which breed in ulcers and in the ears.

1 Fée remarks, that Pliny is clearly speaking of two essentially different plants under this name; the first, he thinks, may very probably be the Ervum tetraspermum of Linnæus.

2 This, Fée thinks, is the Salvia officinalis of Linnæus, our common sage, which has no affinity whatever with the lentil.

3 Sprengel thinks that he is speaking here of the Salvia triloba of Linnæus.

4 The Trygon pastinaca of Linnæus.

5 "Sage," the plant, no doubt, that he has been describing.

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