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The hippophæston is one of those prickly plants which fullers1 use in their coppers; it has neither stem nor flower, but only diminutive, empty heads, numerous small leaves of a grass-green colour, and small, soft, white roots. From these roots a juice is extracted in summer, which, taken in doses of three oboli, acts as a purgative; being used for this purpose in cases of epilepsy, fits of trembling, dropsy, vertigo, hardness of breathing, and incipient paralysis.

1 See B. xxiv. c. 68. In B. xvi. c. 92, Fée identifies this plant with the Calcitrapa stellata of Lamarck. He also suggests that it may possibly be the second "Hippophæs," mentioned in B. xxii. c. 14. Desfontaines identifies it with the Cuicus stellatus, the Star-thistle. Littré gives as its synonym the Centaurea spinosa, Prickly centaury; in accordance with the opinion of M. Fraäs, who admits, however, that the statement that it has neither stem nor flower, would hardly seem to indicate a species of centaury.

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