Lin. 1741. Pepper mushroom; also called pepper agaric. The stalk is about two inches high. The hat is convex when young: as it expands, it becomes nearly flat; its colour is a dirty while, with a mixture of grey; it contains a milky juice. The disk is constantly bent inwards: when the fungus is decaying, the hat becomes in its centre, and is sometimes seen funnel-shaped. The lamellae are close, numerous, and of a pale flesh colour.
It is very common in woods, near the roots of trees. When freely taken, fatal consequences are said by several writers to have resulted. When this vegetable has lost its acrid juice by drying, its caustic quality still remains. In distillation it gives out ammonia.
In case of injury from any of the mushroom tribe, see Amanita. See also Wilmer's Observations on Poisonous Vegetables.
-------------quercus, agaric of the oak, called fungus igniurius. Boletus igniarius, Lin. 1645. Female agaric, and, from its readiness to catch fire, touchwood.
It grows in the form of a horse's hoof; externally it is of a dusky ash-colour, and internally of a dusky red; it is soft and tough. The best is said to grow on the larger branches of oak trees; but that which is found on other trees is often as good.
It consists of four parts, which present themselves successively. 1st. The outward rind, which may be thrown away. 2d. The part immediately under this rind, which is the best of all, and is used to restrain haemorrhages from wounds, and after amputations; it should be beat well with a hammer until it is soft and pliable, then slices of it of a proper size are to be applied upon the open blood vessel, whose discharge it restrains, not from its restringency, but its texture and adhesive quality: on the first application it adheres pretty strongly,but about the end of two days it begins to separate and soon falls off. 3d. A part which adheres to the second, and which is an inferior sort, may be used in less important cases. The 4th, or last part, may be powdered, and then used for the same purposes as the second and third sorts. The best time for taking the fungous substance from the trees is autumn, when the weather is fine, and after great heats.
As a styptic, this fungus does not appear to possess any advantages greater than what may be expected from dry lint, as its success hath not been manifested but when the circulation was so languid that lint would not have failed to have answered as well. This agaric grows on different trees, chiefly on the ash.
See Warner's Cases in Surgery, p. 133, etc. Neale's Observations on the Use of Agaric.
- - - - - mineralis, called lac lunae, lac montium, and medulla lapidum. It is collected in the clefts of the secondary mountains, and, when dry and powdered, is styled fossil farina. It has been employed in some instances as a desiccative; but is little known to the practitioners of this country. It is often mixed with clay, and is sometimes a pure clay. The santa fiora, however, of Sienna, of which bricks that swim in water are formed, contains a much larger proportion of flint and magnesia than of clay.