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An anodyne (Greek ἀνώδυνοςanōdynos “free from pain” from ἀν- an- “without” + ὀδύνηodynē “pain”) is a medicine that relieves or soothes pain by lessening the sensitivity of the brain or nervous system. Also called an analgesic (or colloquially a "painkiller"). The relief experienced by the expression of emotion by crying might be considered an anodyne - crying has been referred to as 'the women's anodyne'. The term has been applied incorrectly to various medications, such as narcotics, hypnotics, and opiates. True anodynes were applied externally to the part affected. Among those classed "simple" were onion, lily, root of mallows, leaves of violet, and elderberry.

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