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

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.
References in periodicals archive ?
The opening address to the reader, mocking the didactic tone of Goncourt's 1877 preface and giving its place of publication an ironic twist, accentuates the satirical nature of the text by arguing that "cette etude n'a jamais eu l'intention de reveiller chez toi des ardeurs erotiques [...] Cette pochade n'est qu'une critique litteraire deguisee, librement faite, plus librement ecrite, il est vrai, mais saupoudree de piments et non de cantharides" ("Ami lecteur").
Cantharides, or powdered Spanish Fly (a kind of beetle), powdered bluebottles and groundsel were regarded as love philtres but were far from safe.
In another devotional writing, Hopkins creates a similar trope to distinguish between "the consent to commit wrong" and "the commission itself': "as if a man took poison or intoxicating drink or cantharides, which did not act at first and then acted suddenly, destroying reason" (Sermons, "General Examination of Conscience.