Caper spurge

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Caper spurge (续随 Xù suí)

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Every part of this herbaceous biennial plant is poisonous — roots, stem, leaves and seeds. The poisoning is extremely severe with drastic effects, including serious blistering of the intestinal tract, inflammation and irritation of the skin, and even death. This herb is no longer used in Europe, but in China it is still being used as a purgative, and when it is mixed with other herbs, it has proved to be very effective for internal and external swellings of the body, as well as ulcers and dropsy. However, only the oil from the plant is used for medicinal purposes, and then only in minute quantities.

References

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The Tao of Long Life - The Chinese Art of Ch'ang Ming

by Chee Soo

©Seahorse Books 2008 reproduced with permission