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The white vine1 is known to the Greeks by the various names of ampeloleuce, staphyle, melothron, psilotrum, archezostis, cedrostis, and madon. The twigs of this tree are jointed, thin, and climbing, with considerable interstices between the knots.2 The leaves, attached to the numerous shoots, and about the size of an ivy leaf, are jagged at the edges, like that of the vine. The root of it is large and white, and very like a radish3 at first; from it issue several stems, Similar to asparagus in appearance. These stems, eaten boiled, are both purgative and diuretic. The leaves, too, as well as the stems, are possessed of caustic4 properties; for which reason they are employed topically with salt, for phagedænic sores, gangrenes, and putrid ulcers of the legs. The fruit of the tree is in the form of grapes thinly scattered, the juice of which is red at first, and afterwards of a saffron colour. This fruit5 is well known to curriers, who are in the habit of using it in preparing leather. It is employed also in the form of a liniment for itch-scabs and leprous spots; and a decoction of it with wheat, taken in drink, increases the milk in women when nursing. The root of this tree, so renowned for the numerous medicinal purposes to which it is applied, is pounded and taken in wine, in doses of two drachmæ, for the cure of stings inflicted by serpents:6 it has the effect, also, of removing spots upon the face, moles and freckles, as well as scars and bruises: a decoction of it in oil is productive of a similar effect. A decoction of it is given to drink for epilepsy,7 and to persons troubled with a disordered mind or suffering from vertigo, the dose being one drachma daily, for a whole year: taken in larger quantities, it is apt sometimes to disorder8 the senses. It is possessed, also, of one very remarkable property, applied with water in the same manner as bryonia, of extracting splintered bones, for which reason it is known to some persons by the name of white bryonia: the other kind, however, which is black, is found to answer the purpose better, in combination with honey and frankincense.

The white vine disperses incipient suppurations, ripens them when they are inveterate, and acts as a detergent: it operates also as an emmenagogue and diuretic. An electuary is prepared from it for asthma and pains in the sides, as also for convulsions and ruptures. Taken in drink for thirty days together, in doses of three oboli, it has the effect of reducing the spleen; and it is used, in combination with figs, for the cure of hangnails9 on the fingers. Applied with wine, it brings away the after-birth, and, taken in hydromel, in doses of one drachma, it carries off phlegm. The juice of the root should be extracted before the fruit ripens; applied either by itself or with meal of fitches, it imparts an improved com- plexion and a certain degree of suppleness to the skin: it has the effect also of repelling serpents. The root itself, too, beaten up with a pulpy fig, will remove wrinkles on the body, if the person using it takes care to walk a couple of stadia immediately after the application; otherwise it would leave marks upon the skin, unless, indeed, it were washed off immediately with cold water. The black vine, too, is better for this purpose than the white one, as the latter is very apt to be pro- ductive of itching.

1 The Bryonia alba of Linnæus; the bryony, white vine, or white jalap.

2 This description, Fée says, is pretty correct, and the account of its properties sufficiently exact. It is a violent poison, and is no longer used in medicine.

3 It is still called by the French navet du diable, or devil's turnip.

4 "Exulcerant corpus." Our author, Fée says, may here be taxed with some exaggeration.

5 The fruit is no longer used for this purpose.

6 It is a matter of extreme doubt if there is any foundation for this statement.

7 It would be productive of no good effect in such case, nor, indeed, in most of the cases here mentioned.

8 "Purgat" is the reading given by Sillig; but, judging from the corresponding passage in Dioscorides, ὑποταράττει, "turbat," or "contur- bat," is the proper reading.

9 "Pterygiis."

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