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Polypodion,1 known to us by the name of "filicula," bears some resemblance to fern. The root of it is used medicinally; being fibrous, and of a grass green colour within, about the thickness of the little finger, and covered with cavernous suckers like those on the arms of the polypus. This plant is of a sweetish2 taste, and is found growing among rocks and under trees. The root is steeped in water, and the juice extracted; sometimes, too, it is cut in small pieces and sprinkled upon cabbage, beet, mallows, or salt meat; or else it is boiled with pap,3 as a gentle aperient for the bowels, in cases of fever even. It carries off bile also and the pituitous humours, but acts injuriously upon the stomach. Dried and powdered and applied to the nostrils, it cauterizes polypus4 of the nose. It has neither seed5 nor flower.

1 "Many-footed." The Polypodium vulgare of Linnæus, the Common polypody.

2 It is for this reason that it is called "reglisse," or "liquorice," in some parts of France. It contains a proportion of saccharine matter, which acts as a purgative.

3 "Pulticula."

4 This fancy is solely based on the accidental resemblance of the name.

5 He very incorrectly says this of all the ferns. See B. xxvii. cc. 17, 48, and 55.

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