Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. See cowhage.
- n. A leguminous climbing plant, of the genus Mucuna, the spiculae of which are sometimes used as a mechanical vermifuge.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Bot.) See cowhage.
- n. the annual woody vine of Asia having long clusters of purplish flowers and densely hairy pods; cultivated in southern United States for green manure and grazing
- n. pods of the cowage plant or the stinging hairs covering them; used as a vermifuge when mixed with e.g. honey
“It is called the cowage, or cow-itch, on account of the seed pods being covered with short brittle hairs, the points of which are finely serrated, causing an unbearable itching when applied to the skin, which is relieved by rubbing the part with oil.”
“Nettle of extra-stinging quality; but it may also mean an Eastern plant that was used to produce cowage, or cow-itch.”
“Others carried bags filled with hairs of picapica; * (* Dolichos pruriens (cowage).) and blew the hair, which causes a great irritation of the skin, into the faces of those who passed by.”
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