CHAP. 50.—PLANTS WHICH HAVE BEEN DISCOVERED BY CERTAIN
ANIMALS. CHELIDONIA: SIX REMEDIES.
The brute animals also have been the discoverers of certain
plants: among them, we will name chelidonia first of all. It
is by the aid of this plant that the swallow restores the sight
of the young birds in the nest, and even, as some persons will
have it, when the eyes have been plucked out. There are two
varieties of this plant; the larger1
kind has a branchy stem, and
a leaf somewhat similar to that of the wild parsnip,2
larger. The plant itself is some two cubits in height, and of
a whitish colour, that of the flower being yellow. The smaller3
kind has leaves like those of ivy, only rounder and not so
white. The juice of it is pungent, and resembles saffron in
colour, and the seed is similar to that of the poppy.
These plants blossom,4
both of them, at the arrival of the
swallow, and wither at the time of its departure. The juice
is extracted while they are in flower, and is boiled gently in a
copper vessel on hot ashes, with Attic honey, being esteemed
a sovereign remedy for films upon the eyes. This juice is
employed also, unmixed with any other substance, for the
which from it take their name of "chelidonia."