Hippocrates of Cos, Ulcers

LCL 482: 338-339

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VI 400 Littré1. Ἕλκεα ξύμπαντα οὐ χρὴ τέγγειν, πλὴν οἴνῳ, ἢν μὴ ἐν ἄρθρῳ ἔῃ τὸ ἕλκος· τὸ γὰρ ξηρὸν τοῦ ὑγιέος ἐγγυτέρω ἐστί, τὸ δὲ ὑγρὸν τοῦ μὴ ὑγιέος· τὸ γὰρ ἕλκος ὑγρόν ἐστι, τὸ δὲ ὑγιὲς ξηρόν. ἀνεπίδετον δὲ ἐᾶν ἄμεινόν ἐστιν, ὅ τι γε μὴ καταπλάσσεται· οὐδὲ καταπλάσσειν ἐνδεχόμενόν ἐστιν ἔνια τῶν ἑλκέων, μᾶλλον δὲ τὰ νεότρωτα τῶν παλαιοτέρων, καὶ τὰ ἐν τοῖσιν ἄρθροισιν. ὀλιγοσιτέειν τε ὡς μάλιστα καὶ ὕδωρ ξυμφέρει πᾶσι τοῖσιν ἕλκεσι τῶν παλαιοτέρων, καὶ ὅ τι φλεγμαίνει ἕλκος ἢ μέλλει, καὶ ὅ τι σφακελίσαι κίνδυνος, καὶ τοῖσιν ἐν τοῖσιν ἄρθροισι ἕλκεσι καὶ φλέγμασι, καὶ ὅκου σπασμὸν κίνδυνος ἐπιγενέσθαι, καὶ τοῖσιν ἐν κοιλίῃ τρώμασι, παντῶν δὲ μάλιστα τοῖσιν ἐν τῇ κεφαλῇ καὶ μηρῷ κατεαγέντι, καὶ ἄλλῳ ὅ τι ἂν κατεαγῇ. ἑστάναι δ᾿ ἕλκεσι ἥκιστα ξυμφέρει, καὶ ἄλλως ἢν ἐν σκέλεϊ ἔχῃ τὸ ἕλκος, οὐδὲ καθῆσθαι οὐδὲ πορεύεσθαι· ἀλλ᾿ ἡσυχίη καὶ ἀτρεμίη ξυμφέρει.

Τὰ δὲ νεότρωτα ἕλκεα πάντα ἥκιστα ἂν φλεγμήναιεν αὐτά τε καὶ τὰ περιέχοντα, εἴ τις διαπυήσειε ὡς1




1. Surface lesions should generally not be moistened, except with wine, unless the lesion is at a joint; for dryness is nearer to health, and moistness to unhealthiness, since a lesion is moist, but healthy tissue dry. It is better to leave lesions without any bandage, unless a plaster is being applied; and plasters should not be applied to certain lesions, in particular recent injuries as opposed to older ones, and those at joints. It is beneficial to eat as little food as possible and to drink water in all more long-standing lesions, and in any case where the lesion is swollen or is about to swell, or where there is a danger of sphacelus, or in lesions and swellings at the joints, or when there is a danger of convulsion, or in wounds of the cavity, or most especially of the head or in a fractured thigh, or wherever else a fracture occurs. For the patient to stand up is least beneficial for these lesions, especially if the lesion is in a leg, nor does it help to sit or to walk; on the contrary it is rest and quiet that help.

All fresh lesions, both themselves and the area around them, swell least if someone brings about suppuration as

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.hippocrates_cos-ulcers.1995