CHAP. 70.—PEUCEDANUM: TWENTY-EIGHT REMEDIES.
But in the very first rank among these plants, stands peucedanum,1
the most esteemed kind of which is that of Arcadia, the
next best being that of Samothrace. The stem resembles that of
fennel, is thin and long, covered with leaves close to the ground,
and terminating in a thick black juicy root, with a powerful smell.
It grows on umbrageous mountains, and is taken up at the end
of autumn. The largest and tenderest roots are the most esteemed; they are cut with bone-knives into slips four fingers
in length, and left to shed their juice2
in the shade; the persons
employed taking the precaution of rubbing the head and nostrils with rose-oil, as a preservative against vertigo.
There is also another kind of juice, which adheres to the
stems, and exudes from incisions made therein. It is considered best when it has arrived at the consistency of honey:
the colour of it is red, and it has a strong but agreeable smell,
and a hot, acrid taste. This juice, as well as the root and a
decoction of it, enters into the composition of numerous medicaments, but the juice has the most powerful properties of
the two. Diluted with bitter almonds or rue, it is taken in
drink as a remedy for injuries inflicted by serpents. Rubbed
upon the body with oil, it is a preservative against the attacks
of those reptiles.