CHAP. 72.—THE CHICKPEA AND THE CHICHELING VETCH: TWENTY-THREE REMEDIES.
There is a wild chickpea also, which resembles in its leaf the
and has a powerful smell. Taken in considerable quantities, it relaxes the bowels, and produces griping
pains and flatulency; parched, however, it is looked upon as
more wholesome. The chicheling vetch,2
again, acts more bene-
ficially upon the bowels. The meal of both kinds heals running
sores of the head—that of the wild sort being the more efficacious of the two—as also epilepsy, swellings of the liver, and
stings inflicted by serpents. It acts as an emmenagogue and
a diuretic, used in the grain more particularly, and it is a cure
for lichens, inflammations of the testes, jaundice, and dropsy.
All these kinds, however, exercise an injurious effect upon
ulcerations of the bladder and kidneys: but in combination
with honey they are very good for gangrenous sores, and the
cancer known as "cacoethes." The following is a method
adopted for the cure of all kinds of warts: on the first day of
the moon, each wart must be touched with a single chickpea,
after which, the party must tie up the pease in a linen cloth,
and throw it behind him; by adopting this plan, it is thought,
the warts will be made to disappear.
Our authors recommend the plant known as the "arietinum"3
to be boiled in water with salt, and two cyathi of the decoction
to be taken for strangury. Employed in a similar manner, it
expels calculi, and cures jaundice. The water in which the
leaves and stalks of this plant have been boiled, applied as a
fomentation as hot as possible, allays gout in the feet, an effect
equally produced by the plant itself, beaten up and applied
warm. A decoction of the columbine4
chickpea, it is thought,
moderates the shivering fits in tertian or quartan fevers; and
the black kind, beaten up with half a nut-gall, and applied
with raisin wine, is a cure for ulcers of the eyes.