Cypress Spurge

(Euphorbia cyparissias) Lindley mentions its use as a purge, but warned that it was not very safe. It is in fact very violent, but it was still in use in France in recent times (Le Strange). As with other spurges, the juice is used to get rid of warts, but once more a warning has to be given - it can cause blisters on the skin (Schauenberg & Paris). The most spectacular of its uses comes from Russia, where it used to be employed as a rabies cure. It had to be gathered, we are told, in May and September, during the first days of the full moon, and then it was dried and powdered, and anyone bitten by a suspected rabid animal was given a preventive dose of 4 grams in half a glass of some drink or other (Kourennoff).

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