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A preparation of dried and powdered freshwater sponges of various species, formerly used (in Russia and parts of Eastern Europe) in making traditional medicines and cosmetics, and later in homeopathic remedies.
Mid 18th century; earliest use found in Chambers's Cyclopaedia. From post-classical Latin and scientific Latin Badiaga, genus name and its etymon Russian bodjaga, † badjaga freshwater sponge (apparently 1728 or earlier, though not recorded in dictionaries of the language before 1780), cognate with Polish (regional) bodzięga, Ukrainian bodjaga, Belarusian badzjaga, from the Slavonic base of Old Church Slavonic bosti to stab + the Slavonic base of Russian -jaga, suffix forming nouns. The plant is apparently so named on account of the stinging sensation it produces when coming into contact with a person's skin.
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