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Acanthus spinosus L. Acanthaceae. Bears breeches. Distribution: Southern Europe to Western Turkey. Herbaceous perennial flowering plant. Named for spiny leaves. Dioscorides recommended the roots applied for inflammation and spasms, and -when drunk- to promote urine, check diarrhoea, and for phthysis, ruptures and convulsions. The leaves are the model for those at the top of Corinthian columns. Tetraglycosides isolated from the plant show cytotoxicity in sea urchin eggs and crown gall tumour on potato disks. Photographed in the Medicinal Garden of the Royal College of Physicians, London.

Dr Henry Oakeley

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view Acanthus spinosus L. Acanthaceae. Bears breeches. Distribution: Southern Europe to Western Turkey. Herbaceous perennial flowering plant. Named for spiny leaves. Dioscorides recommended the roots applied for inflammation and spasms, and -when drunk- to promote urine, check diarrhoea, and for phthysis, ruptures and convulsions. The leaves are the model for those at the top of Corinthian columns. Tetraglycosides isolated from the plant show cytotoxicity in sea urchin eggs and crown gall tumour on potato disks. Photographed in the Medicinal Garden of the Royal College of Physicians, London.

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Credit: Acanthus spinosus L. Acanthaceae. Bears breeches. Distribution: Southern Europe to Western Turkey. Herbaceous perennial flowering plant. Named for spiny leaves. Dioscorides recommended the roots applied for inflammation and spasms, and -when drunk- to promote urine, check diarrhoea, and for phthysis, ruptures and convulsions. The leaves are the model for those at the top of Corinthian columns. Tetraglycosides isolated from the plant show cytotoxicity in sea urchin eggs and crown gall tumour on potato disks. Photographed in the Medicinal Garden of the Royal College of Physicians, London. Credit: Dr Henry Oakeley. Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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