(From to wind, or wreathe).
The snail is an animal lodged in a short thick turbinated shell, whose aperture is closed in the winter with a kind of cement. The land snails are called operculares: that sort which adheres to briars and tendrils of vines are sometimes called sesclon and po-matiae.
Before the time of Serenus Samonicus, who flourished in the third century after Christ, shell snails were not recommended in phthisical cases. The shell, however, does not alter the nature of the animal.
Snails abound with a viscid slimy juice, which they readily impart, by boiling, to milk or water, so as to render them thick and glutinous. They are a tender substance; easily digestible; very nutritious and demulcent; employed in cases of emaciation and hectic fever: though as animal food they cannot be refrigerant, still perhaps they are only slightly stimulant.
The sea snail, called the periwinkle, is often eaten as a common food; in France the land snail, called the vine shell snail, is an article of diet; but the small white shell snail is the most valued.
Naturalists describe a great variety; but the large ash coloured snail is said to be that which is intended for medicinal use; though the smaller, dark coloured, spotted, or striped sort, more common in gardens, is taken indiscriminately, and their qualities do not appear to differ.
If salt is put upon the snail it soon dies; but it first contracts itself, so as to force out all its mucus.
Cochle'a Caelata, antonomastica. This is a good shell snail, found in the Mediterranean. Its operculum or cover, is, according to some, the umbilicus marinus of the shops.
Cochle'a magariti' fera. See Concha magariti-fera.