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The osyris1 bears small, swarthy, flexible branches, covered with dark leaves like those of flax. The seed, which grows upon the branches, is black at first, but afterwards changes its colour and turns red. Cosmetics2 for females are prepared from these branches. A decoction of the roots, taken in drink, is curative of jaundice. The roots, cut in pieces before the seed ripens, and dried in the sun, act astringently upon the bowels: gathered after the seed has ripened, and boiled in pottage, they are curative of defluxions of the abdomen: they are taken also by themselves, bruised in rain water.

1 Probably the Osyris alba of Linnæus, the Poet's cassia. Anguillara and Dodonæus have mentioned the Chenopodium scoparia of Linnæus, the Summer cypress, or line-leaved goosefoot, but without any good reason, it is thought. Holland calls it "toad-flax."

2 "Smegmata."

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