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The plant which I have spoken of1 as the dracunculus, is taken out of the ground just when the barley is ripening, and at the moon's increase. It is quite sufficient to have this plant about one, to be safe from all serpents; and it is said, that an infusion of the larger kind taken in drink, is very useful for persons who have been stung by those reptiles: it is stated also that it arrests the catamenia when in excess, due care being taken not to let iron touch it. The juice of it too is very useful for pains in the ears.

As to the plant known to the Greeks by the name of "dracontion," I have2 had it pointed out to me under three dif- ferent forms; the first3 having the leaves of the beet, with a certain proportion of stem, and a purple flower, and bearing a strong resemblance to the aron. Other persons, again, have described it as a plant4 with a long root, embossed to all appearance and full of knots, and consisting of three stems in all; the same parties have recommended a decoction of the leaves in vinegar, as curative of stings inflicted by serpents. The third5 plant that has been pointed out to me has a leaf larger than that of the cornel, and a root resembling that of the reed. This root, I have been assured, has as many knots on it as the plant is years old, the leaves, too, being as many in number. The plant is recommended also for the stings of serpents, administered either in wine or in water.

1 In c. 91 of this Book. This story is owing merely to its appearance, which somewhat resembles the skin of a serpent.

2 "Demonstratum mihi est."

3 Identified by Fée with the Arum Italicum of Lamarck.

4 Fée queries whether this may not be the Arum maculatum of Linnæus, wake-robin, cuckoo pint, or lords and ladies.

5 Identified by C. Bauhin with the Calla palustris of Linnæus.

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