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At Corinth, and in the vicinity of that city, the Greeks give the name of "brya"1 to a plant of which there are two varieties; the wild brya,2 which is altogether barren, and the cultivated one.3 This last, when found in Syria and Egypt, produces a ligneous fruit, somewhat larger than a gall-nut, in great abundance, and of an acrid flavour; medical men employ it as a substitute for galls in the compositions known as "antheræ."4 The wood also, with the blossoms, leaves, and bark of the tree, is used for similar purposes, but their properties are not so strongly developed. The bark is pounded also, and given for5 discharges of blood from the mouth, irregularities of the catamenia, and cœliac affections: beaten up and applied to the part affected, it checks the increase of all kinds of abscesses.

The juice too is extracted from the leaves for similar purposes, and a decoction is made of them in wine; they are applied also to gangrenes, in combination with honey. A decoction of them taken in wine, or the leaves themselves applied with oil of roses and wax, has a sedative effect: it is in this form that. they are used for the cure of epinyctis. This decoction is useful also for tooth-ache or ear-ache, and the root is employed for similar purposes. The leaves too have this additional use—they are applied with polenta to serpiginous sores. The seed, in doses of one drachma, is administered in drink for injuries inflicted by spiders or the phalangium; and mixed with the grease of poultry, it is applied to boils. It is very efficacious also for stings inflicted by all kinds of serpents, the asp excepted. The decoction, used as a fomentation, is curative of jaundice, phthiriasis, and lice; it also arrests the catamenia when in excess. The ashes of the tree are employed for all these purposes; there is a story told, too, that, mixed with the urine of an ox, and taken in the food or drink, they will act most effectually as an antaphrodisiac. The charcoal too of this wood is quenched in urine of a similar nature, and kept in a shady spot. When it is the intention of the party to rekindle the flames6 of desire, it is set on fire again. The magicians say,7 that the urine of an eunuch will have a similar effect.

1 See B. xiii. c. 37.

2 Identified by Fée with the Tamarix Gallica.

3 The "brya," spoken of in B. xiii. c. 37, as growing in Achaia also, the Tamarix orientalis of Delille. But there he implies that it does not produce any fruit when it grows in Egypt.

4 "Flower compositions."

5 It may possibly be of some use for this purpose, being of an astringent nature.

6 This seems to be the meaning of "Idem cum libeat accendere resolvitur," though in the French translations it is rendered," It crumbles into ashes when an attempt is made to kindle it." Holland seems to have rightly understood the passage, which probably bears reference to some current superstition.

7 "Magi." He probably alludes in this passage to the Magi of the East.

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