from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. An enlarged and hardened spleen, the consequence of intermittent and remittent fevers.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
The plant was supposed when given medicinally to diminish the size of the enlarged spleen or "ague-cake."
The spleen often becomes so enormously enlarged that it can be readily felt with the hand in the left side below the ribs, so that it is not only relied upon as a sign of malaria in doubtful cases, but has even received the popular name of the "ague-cake" in malarious districts.
"ague-cake," i.e. the throbbing enlarged spleen, left after fevers, especially those of Al-Hijáz and Khaybar.
Oh, Lord! yes, you don't often _see_ it, but it's as big and hard as a conscript's ague-cake. "