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The anagallis is called "corchoron"1 by some. There are two kinds of it, the male2 plant, with a red blossom, and the female,3 with a blue flower. These plants do not exceed a palm in height, and have a tender stem, with diminutive leaves of a rounded form, drooping upon the ground. They grow in gardens and in spots covered with water, the blue anagallis being the first to blossom. The juice4 of either plant, applied with honey, disperses films upon the eyes, suffusions of blood5 in those organs resulting from blows, and argema6 with a red tinge: if used in combination with Attic honey, they are still more efficacious. The anagallis has the effect also of dilating7 the pupil; hence the eye is anointed with it before the operation of couching8 for cataract. These plants are employed also for diseases of the eyes in beasts of burden.

The juice, injected into the nostrils, which are then rinsed with wine, acts as a detergent upon the head: it is taken also, in doses of one drachma, in wine, for wounds inflicted by serpents. It is a remarkable fact, that cattle will refuse to touch the female plant; but if it should so happen that, deceived by the resemblance—the flower being the only distinguishing mark—they have accidentally tasted it, they immediately have recourse, as a remedy, to the plant called "asyla," 9 but more generally known among us as "ferus oculus."10 Some persons recommend those who gather it, to prelude by saluting it before sunrise, and then, before uttering another word, to take care and extract the juice immediately if this is done, they say, it will be doubly efficacious.

As to the juice of euphorbia, we have spoken11 of its properties at sufficient length already. In cases of ophthalmia, attended with swelling, it will be a good plan to apply wormwood beaten up with honey, as well as powdered betony.

1 The Corchorus of B. xxi. c. 106, is most probably altogether a different plant.

2 Identified with the Anagallis arvensis of Linnæus, with a red flower, the Red pimpernel, Corn pimpernel, or Shepherd's weather-glass.

3 The Anagallis cæruleo flore of Tournefort, the Blue pimpernel.

4 In reality they are destitute of medicinal properties. It is said, though apparently on no sufficient grounds, that red pimpernel is poisonous to small birds.

5 Or "blood-shot eyes."

6 A disease of the pupil.

7 Belladonna, a preparation from the Atropa belladonna, is now generally used for this purpose.

8 "Paracentesis."

9 This plant is unknown. Fée suggests that Pliny may have made a mistake, and that the account from which he copies may have been, that when cattle have been stung by the asilus, or gadfly, they have recourse to the Anagallis.

10 "Savage eye."

11 In c. 38 of this Book.

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