The Hypocist.

Botanical name: 


A very singular plant, native of the Grecian islands, and of some of the warmer parts of Europe. It is five inches high, and of a singular figure. It does not grow in the earth at large as other plants, but to the root of some species of cistus; as missletoe grows to the branches of trees. The stalk is thick and fleshy, and is often twice as large toward the top, as at the bottom. It is whitish, or yellowish, or purplish, and has a parcel of short and broad skinny films, by way of leaves upon it. The flowers grow at the top, with leaves of the same kind among them. They are large and beautiful, and are succeeded by fruits of a roundish figure, in which is a quantity of glutinous liquor, and with it the seeds, which are very small, and of a brown colour.

We use the hardened juice of the fruit; it is evaporated over the fire, to a thick consistence, and then is of a black colour, like the common liquorice juice, called Spanish liquorice. The druggists keep it in this state; it is good in violent purgings, with bloody stools, and in overflowing of the menses: is to be given in an electuary, with conserve of red roses.

The Family Herbal, 1812, was written by John Hill.