Spanish fly

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, gen.


, pl.


(kan'thar-is, kan-thar'i-dis, -dēz),
A dried beetle, Lytta (Cantharis) vesicatoria, used as a counterirritant and vesicant.
Synonym(s): Russian fly, Spanish fly
[L., fr. G. kantharis, a beetle]

Spanish fly

1. A brilliant green blister beetle (Lytta vesicatoria) of central and southern Europe.
2. A toxic preparation of the crushed, dried bodies of this beetle, formerly used as a counter-irritant for skin blisters and as an aphrodisiac. Also called cantharides.

Spanish fly

See cantharis.

Spanish fly

Alternative medicine
(1) Blister beetle.
(2) Cantharis, see there.

Spanish fly

Dried extract of the blister beetle, Lytta vesicatoria . Cantharides. This is a highly irritant and poisonous substance with an unjustified reputation as an APHRODISIAC.

Spanish fly,

n a preparation made from the crushed, dried bodies of the
Cantharis vesicatoria, the blister beetles. Claimed to have aphrodisiac properties, its effects are derived from the irritant effects upon the body's genitourinary tract. Toxic doses of the preparation lead to priapism in men and pelvic congestion with occasional uterine bleeding in women. Formerly used as a counterirritant, it is no longer used (except in homeopathic doses) because of its high toxicity. Also called

Spanish fly

contains cantharides. Called also Cantharis vesicatoria (syn. Lytta vesicatoria).