Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The hairs of the pods of a leguminous plant, Mucuna pruriens. The pod is covered with a thick coating of short, stiff, brittle brown hairs, which are retrorsely serrate toward the top. They easily penetrate the skin, and produce an intolerable itching. They are employed medicinally as a mechanical vermifuge.
- n. The entire pods of M. pruriens.
- n. The plant itself.
- n. In the West Indies, a euphorbiaceous shrub, Acidoton urens, bearing capsules covered with stinging hairs. The twining cowhage of the same region is a woody climber of the same order, Tragia volubilis, with hispid capsules.
- n. Alternative form of cowage.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. (Bot.) A leguminous climbing plant of the genus Mucuna, having crooked pods covered with sharp hairs, which stick to the fingers, causing intolerable itching. The spiculæ are sometimes used in medicine as a mechanical vermifuge.
“The researchers rubbed roughly the same number of cowhage spicules the itch-inducing spiky bits of that plant, also known as velvet bean on three locations: the front of the ankle; on the underside of the forearm; and under the shoulder blade on the back.”
“Many other plants are also known to produce cutaneous irritation in certain subjects; among these may be mentioned the nettle, primrose, cowhage, smartweed, balm of Gilead, oleander, and rue.”
“Page 132 or unburnt bricks, paving and roofing tiles, gas retorts, and roofing slates; coal, coke, and culm of coal; cochineal; cocoa nuts, cocoa and cocoa shells; coculus indicus; coir yarn; codilla, or tow of hemp or flax; cowhage down; cream of tartar; cudbear.”
The Statutes at Large of the Provisional Government of the Confederate States of America, from the Institution of the Government, February 8, 1861, to its Termination, February 18, 1862, Inclusive. Arranged in Chronological Order. Together with the Constitution for the Provisional Government, and the Permanent Constitution of the Confederate States, and the Treaties Concluded by the Confederate States with Indian Tribes:
“British Journal of Dermatology, healthy male and female volunteers aged 22 to 59 were made to itch by rubbing them with cowhage, a plant with tiny hairs that irritate the skin.”
“Just in case you're not familiar with cowhage spicules, they are tiny threads taken from a tropical legume.”
“Just take it on faith that when applied to a human's skin, cowhage spicules reliably induce intense itching.”
“The quantity of saliva may also be increased beyond what is natural, by the catenation of the motions of these glands with other motions, or sensations, as by an extraneous body in the ear; of which I have known an instance; or by the application of stizolobium, siliqua hirsuta, cowhage, to the seat of the parotis, as some writers have affirmed.”
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