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We have already spoken1 of the caper at sufficient length when treating of the exotic plants. The caper which comes2 from beyond sea should never be used; that of Italy3 is not so dangerous. It is said, that persons who eat this plant daily, are never attacked by paralysis or pains in the spleen. The root of it, pounded, removes white eruptions of the skin, if rubbed with it in the sun. The bark4 of the root, taken in wine, in doses of two drachmæ, is good for affections of the spleen; the patient, however, must forego the use of the bath. It is said, too, that in the course of thirty-five days the whole of the spleen may be discharged under this treatment, by urine and by stool. The caper is also taken in drink for lumbago and paralysis; and the seed of it boiled, and beaten up in vinegar, or the root chewed, has a soothing effect in tooth-ache. A decoction of it in oil is employed, also, as an injection for ear-ache.

The leaves and the root, fresh out of the ground, mixed with honey, are a cure for the ulcers known as phagedænic. In the same way, too, the root disperses scrofulous swellings; and a decoction of it in water removes imposthumes of the parotid glands, and worms. Beaten up and mixed with barley-meal, it is applied topically for pains in the liver; it is a cure, also, for diseases of the bladder. In combination with oxymel, it is prescribed for tapeworm, and a decoction of it in vinegar removes ulcerations of the mouth. It is generally agreed among writers that the caper is prejudicial to the stomach.

1 In B. xiii. c. 44.

2 It is not improbable that under this name he alludes to the carpels of some kind of Euphorbiacea, which bear a resemblance to the fruit of the caper. Indeed, there is one variety of the Euphorbia with an acrid juice, known in this country by the name of the "caper-plant."

3 The Capparis spinosa, probably, on which the capers used in our sauces are grown.

4 Until recently, the bark was employed in the Materia Medica, as a diuretic: it is now no longer used.

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