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We have already1 stated that the best mistletoe is that which grows on the robur,2 and have described the manner in which it is prepared. Some persons, after bruising the berries, boil them in water, till nothing appears on the surface, while others, again, bite the berries with the teeth, and reject the skins.3 The best kind of viscus is that which has none of the outer skin in it, is extremely light, yellow without, and of a leek-green colour within. There is no substance more glutinous than this: it is of an emollient nature, disperses tumours, and acts as a desiccative upon scrofulous sores; com- bined with resin and wax, it heals inflamed swellings of every description. Some persons add galbanum as well, using equal proportions of each ingredient, and this preparation they em- ploy also for the treatment of wounds.

The viscus of the mistletoe has the additional property also of rectifying malformed nails; but to effect this it must be taken off at the end of seven days, and the nails must he washed with a solution of nitre.4 Some persons have a sort of superstitious notion that the viscus will be all the more efficacious if the berries are gathered from the robur at new moon, and without the aid of iron. They have an impression too. that if it has not touched the ground, it will cure epilepsy,5 that it will promote conception in females if they make a practice of carrying it about them: the berries, chewed and applied to ulcers, are remarkably efficacious for their cure, it is said.

1 See B. xvi. cc. 11, 93, 94.

2 See B. xvi. cc. 10, 11.

3 This passage, as Fée remarks, is somewhat obscure.

4 As to the identity of the "nitrum" of Pliny, see B. xxxi. cc. 22, 46.

5 Fée says, that till very recently it was a common belief that the oak mistletoe is curative of epilepsy. It was also employed as an ingredient in certain antispasmodic powders.

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