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Name. Called also Louse-wort.

Description. This plant grows to be a foot and a half, or two feet high; the lower leaves are large, almost as big as vine leaves, but rounder in circumference, divided usually into seven sharp-pointed segments, deeply cut in. The leaves which grow on the stalk, which is round and somewhat downy, are less, but alike in shape. The flowers grow on the tops of the stalks, of a blue colour, much like the flowers of lark-spur, but having shorter heels or spurs; each flower is succeeded by three or four crooked horns or pods, in which are contained two or three large brown wrinkled angular seeds.

Place. It grows in Italy, Spain, and other warm countries, and here in gardens.

Time. It flowers in July. The seed only is used.

Government and virtues. It is seldom given inwardly, being of a hot burning taste, though Sylvius de la Boe commends it from gr. xii. to a scruple in a dose, which purges upwards and downwards, causing a great flux of spittle; and is serviceable against the lues neverea. It is sometimes used in masticatories and gargarisms for the toothach. The vulgar use the powder of it to kill lice. The seeds are kept by the druggists, and they have been given in small doses against rheumatic and venereal disorders; they vomit and purge, and that in so rough a manner, that it is better to omit their internal use entirely. Chewed in the mouth, they excite a very large discharge of watery humours from adjacent parts, and frequently prove serviceable in disorders of the head; but they are chiefly used to destroy lice in children's heads, for this purpose the seeds coarsely powdered are to be strewed among the hair, and it never fails of destroying them.

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