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The chamæleon1 is spoken of as the "ixias," by some authors. There are two species of this plant; the white kind has a rougher leaf than the other, and creeps along the ground, erecting its prickles like the quills of a hedgehog; the root of it is sweet, and the odour very powerful. In some places it secretes, just as they say incense2 is produced, a white viscous substance beneath the axils of the leaves, about the rising of the Dog-star more particularly. To this viscous nature it owes its name of "ixias;"3 females4 make use of it as a substitute for mastich. As to its name of "chamæleon,"5 that is given to it from the varying tints of the leaves; for it changes its colours, in fact, just according to the soil, being black in one place, green in another, blue in a third, yellow elsewhere, and of various other colours as well.

A decoction of the root of the white chameleon is employed for the cure6 of dropsy, being taken in doses of one drachma in raisin wine. This decoction, taken in doses of one acetabulum, in astringent wine, with some sprigs of origanum in it, has the effect of expelling intestinal worms: it is good, too, as a diuretic. Mixed with polenta, the juice of it will kill dogs and swine; with the addition of water and oil, it will attract mice to it and destroy7 them, unless they immediately drink water to counteract its effects. Some persons recommend the root of it to be kept, cut in small pieces, and suspended from the ceiling; when wanted, it must be boiled and taken with the food, for the cure of those fluxes to which the Greeks have given the name of "rheumatismi."8

In reference to the dark kind, some writers say that the one which bears a purple flower is the male, and that with a violet flower, the female. They grow together, upon a stem, a cubit in length, and a finger in thickness. The root of these plants, boiled with sulphur and bitumen, is employed for the cure of lichens; and they are chewed, or a decoction of them made in vinegar, to fasten loose teeth. The juice of them is employed for the cure of scab in animals, and it has the property of killing ticks upon dogs. Upon steers it takes effect like a sort of quinsy; from which circumstance it has received the name of "ulophonon"9 from some, as also that of cynozolon10 from its offensive smell. These plants produce also a viscus, which is a most excellent remedy for ulcers. The roots of all the different kinds are an antidote to the sting of the scorpion.

1 See B. xx. c. 56. The white is identified with the Acarna gummi- fera of Linnæus, the dark or black with the Brotera corymbosa of Linnæus.

2 See B. xii. c. 33.

3 Viscus.

4 Olivier states (Voyage dans l'Empire Ottoman, i. 312) that the women in the isles of Naxos and Scio still chew this glutinous substance, in the same manner that mastich is used in other places.

5 Fée is inclined to doubt this, and thinks that, as it is a creeping plant, the name may have been derived from χαμαί, "on the ground."

6 Theophrastus, Galen, and Dioscorides state to the same effect, and Fée thinks it possible it may possess a certain degree of activity.

7 Fée says that it possesses no such poisonous properties.

8 Rueum, or catarrhs.

9 From οὑλον φόνον, "dreadful death," a name which, Fée observes, it does not merit, its properties not being poisonous.

10 Fronm κυνὸς ὄζη "smell of a dog." This is a more justifiable appellation, as the smell of it is very disagreeable.

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