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Equisætum, a plant called "hippuris" by the Greeks, and which we have mentioned in terms of condemnation, when treating of meadow lands1—it being, in fact, a sort of hair of the earth, similar in appearance to horse-hair2—is used by runners for the purpose of diminishing3 the spleen. For this purpose it is boiled down in a new earthen vessel to one third, the vessel being filled to the brim, and the decoction taken in doses of one hemina for three successive days. It is strictly forbidden, however, to eat any food of a greasy nature the day before taking it.

Among the Greeks there are various opinions in relation to this plant. According to some, who give it the same name of "hippuris," it has leaves like those of the pine tree, and of a swarthy hue; and, if we are to believe them, it is possessed of virtues of such a marvellous nature, that if touched by the patient only, it will arrest hæmorrhage. Some authorities call it "hippuris," others, again, "ephedron," and others "anabasis;" and they tell us that it grows near trees, the trunks of which it ascends, and hangs down therefrom in numerous tufts of black, rush-like hair, much like a horse's tail in appearance. The branches, we are told, are thin and articulated, and the leaves, few in number, small, and thin, the seed round, and similar to coriander in appearance, and the root ligneous: it grows, they say, in plantations more particularly.

This plant is possessed of astringent properties. The juice of it, kept in the nostrils, arrests bleeding therefrom, and it acts astringently upon the bowels. Taken in doses of three cyathi, in sweet wine, it is a cure for dysentery, is an efficient diuretic, and is curative of cough, hardness of breathing, rup- tures, and serpiginous affections. For diseases of the intestines and bladder, the leaves are taken in drink; it has the property, also, of reducing ruptures of the groin.

The Greek writers describe another4 hippuris, also, with shorter tufts, softer and whiter. This last, they say, is remark- ably good for sciatica, and, applied with vinegar, for wounds, it having the property of stanching the blood. Bruised nym- phæa5 is also applied to wounds. Peucedanum6 is taken in drink with cypress seed, for discharges of blood at the mouth or by the lower passages. Sideritis7 is possessed of such remark- able virtues, that applied to the wound of a gladiator just inflicted, it will stop the flow of blood; an effect which is equally produced by an application of charred fennel-giant, or of the ashes of that plant. For a similar purpose, also, the fungus that is found growing near the root of fennel-giant is still more efficacious.

1 In B. xviii. c. 67; where it is called "equisætis." M. Fräas identifies it with the Equisætum limosum of Linnæus.

2 Whence its name "equisætum."

3 See B. xi. c. 30.

4 Identified by Littré with the Ephedra fragilis of Linnæus. Fée gives as its synonym the Equisætum arvense of Linnæus, the Common horse-tail, or Corn horse-tail.

5 See B. xxv. c. 37.

6 See B. xxv. c. 70.

7 See B. xxv. c. 15.

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