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Centaury,1 it is said, effected a cure for Chiron, on the occasion when, while handling the arms of Hercules, his guest, he let one of the arrows fall upon his foot: hence it is that by some it is called "chironion." The leaves of it are large and oblong, serrated at the edge, and growing in thick tufts from the root upwards. The stems, some three cubits in height and jointed, bear heads resembling those of the poppy. The root is large and spreading, of a reddish colour, tender and brittle, a couple of cubits in length, and full of a bitter juice, somewhat inclining to sweet.

This plant grows in rich soils upon declivities; the best in quality being that of Arcadia, Elis, Messenia, Mount Pholoë, and Mount Lycæus: it grows also upon the Alps, and in numerous other localities, and in Lycia they prepare a lycium2 from it. So remarkable are its properties for closing wounds, that pieces of meat even, it is said, are soldered together, when boiled with it. The root is the only part in use, being administered in doses of two drachmæ in the several cases hereafter3 men- tioned. If, however, the patient is suffering from fever, it should be bruised and taken in water, wine being used in other cases. A decoction of the root is equally useful for all the same purposes.

1 Fée considers this to be the same with the Panaces centaurion or Pharnaceon of c. 14 of this Book, the greater Centaury. Littré also names the Centaurea centaureum of Linnæus.

2 See B. xii. c. 15. B. xxiii. cc. 58, 60, and B. xxiv. c. 77, for a preparation with a similar name, but, as Fée says, of an entirely different character.

3 In B. axis. cc. 15, 19, 34, 55, 66, 76, 85, and 91.

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