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Description. The root of sow-bread is round, and somewhat flatish. Like a small turnip, of a dark brown colour on the outside, with several dark fibres shooting from the bottom; the leaves grow on thick redddish stalks of a darkish green above, frequently marked with white spots, and underneath of a reddish or purplish colour, in shape like the leaves of asarabacca, round and hollowed in next the stalk; among these rise the flowers, each on its own foot-stalk, which is usually slenderest next the ground. They are made up of one single pendulous leaf, divided into five sharp-pointed segments, which turn themselves backward when they open, and are of a pale purple or bloom colour: when these are fallen, the stalk with the seed -vessel, coils itself round towards the earth like a little snake.

Place. Sow-bread is planted with us only in gardens, its native place being the Alps, and the mountains of Austria.

Time. It flowers in September and October.

Government and virtues. This is a martial plant. The root of sow-bread is very forcing, and chiefly used to bring away the birth and the secundines, and to provoke the menses. The juice is commended by some against vertiginous disorders of the head, used in form of an errhine; it is of service also against cutaneous eruptions.

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