CHAP. 29.—THE ASTRAGALUS: SIX REMEDIES.
is the name of a plant which has long leaves.
with numerous incisions, and running aslant near the root.
The stems are three or four in number, and covered with leaves:
the flower is like that of the hyacinth, and the roots are red,
hairy, matted, and remarkably hard. It grows on stony local-
ities, equally exposed to the sun and to falls of snow, those in
the vicinity of Pheneus in Arcadia, for instance. Its properties are highly astringent; the root of it, taken in wine, arrests
looseness of the bowels, having the additional effect of throw-
ing downward the aqueous humours, and so acting as a diuretic;
a property, in fact, which belongs to most substances which
act astringently upon the bowels.
Bruised in red2
wine, this plant is curative of dysentery;
it is only bruised, however, with the greatest difficulty. It is
extremely useful, also, as a fomentation for gum-boils. The
end of autumn is the time for gathering it, after the leaves are
off; it being then. left to dry in the shade.