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Nor yet has Nature destined the bramble1 to be only an annoyance to mankind, for she has bestowed upon it mulberries of its own,2 or, in other words, a nutritive aliment even for mankind. These berries are of a desiccative, astringent, nature,3 and are extremely useful for maladies of the gums, tonsillary glands, and generative organs. They neutralize also the venom of those most deadly of serpents, the hæmorrhoiss4 and the prester;5 and the flowers or fruit will heal wounds inflicted by scorpions, without any danger of abscesses forming. The shoots of the bramble have a diuretic effect: and the more tender ones are pounded, and the juice extracted and then dried in the sun till it has attained the consistency of honey, being considered a most excellent remedy, taken in drink or applied externally, for maladies of the mouth and eyes, discharges of blood from the mouth, quinzy, affections of the uterus, diseases of the rectum, and celiac affections. The leaves, chewed, are good for diseases of the mouth, and a topical ap- plication is made of them for running ulcers and other maladies of the head. In the cardiac disease they are similarly applied to the left breast by themselves. They are applied topically also for pains in the stomach and for procidence of the eyes. The juice of them is used as an injection for the ears, and, in combination with cerate of roses, it heals condylomata.

A decoction of the young shoots in wine is an instantaneous remedy for diseases of the uvula; and eaten by themselves like cymæ,6 or boiled in astringent wine, they strengthen loose teeth. They arrest fluxes of the bowels also, and discharges of blood, and are very useful for dysentery. Dried in the shade and then burnt, the ashes of them are curative of procidence of the uvula. The leaves too, dried and pounded, are very useful, it is said, for ulcers upon beasts of burden. The berries produced by this plant would seem to furnish a stomatice7 superior even to that prepared from the cultivated mulberry. Under this form, or else only with hypocisthis8 and honey, the berries are administered for cholera, the cardiac disease, and wounds inflicted by spiders.9

Among the medicaments known as "styptics,"10 there is none that is more efficacious than a decoction of the root of the bramble in wine, boiled down to one third. Ulcerations of the mouth and rectum are bathed with it, and fomentations of it are used for a similar purpose; indeed, it is so remarkably powerful in its effects, that the very sponges which are used become as hard as a stone.11

1 See B. xvi. c. 71.

2 See B. xvi. c. 71.

3 Blackberries are still used in the country, Fée says, as an astringent medicine, and all here stated that is based upon that property is rational enough. The same cannot, however, be said of the greater part of the other statements in this Chapter.

4 See 13. xx. cc. 23, 81, and B. xxiii. cc. 12, 18.

5 See B. xx. c, 81, B. xxii. c. 13, and B. xxiii. c. 23.

6 Cabbage-sprouts. See B. xix. c. 41.

7 Or "mouth-medicine." See B. xxiii. c. 71.

8 See B. xxvi. cc. 31, 49, 87, and 90.

9 The spider called "phalangium" is meant, Fée says. See B. xi. c. 28.

10 Astringents.

11 "Lapidescunt."

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