Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 392: 128-129

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Pliny: Natural History

panos, furunculos incipientes, duritias omnes vel cocto vel crudo utiliter inlini putavit, item ignem sacrum cum melle, aceto, nitro, similiter podagras. 221ungues scabros detrahere dicitur sine ulcere. sunt qui et morbo regio dent semen eius cum melle, arterias et tonsillas nitro addito perfricent, alvum moveant, cocto vel per se vel cum malva aut lenticula. concitant et1 vomitiones. silvestri capillos tingunt et ad supra scripta utuntur.


LXXXIV. E contrario in magnis laudibus malva est utraque et sativa et silvestris. duo genera earum2 amplitudine folii discernuntur. maiorem Graeci malopen vocant in sativis, alteram ab emolliendo ventre dictam putant malachen. at e silvestribus, cui grande folium et radices albae, althaea vocatur, ab excellentia effectus a quibusdam plistolochia. 223omne solum in quo seruntur pinguius faciunt, contra omnes aculeatos ictus efficaces, praecipue scorpionum, vesparum similiumque et muris aranei. quin et trita cum oleo qualibet earum peruncti ante vel habentes eas non feriuntur. folium inpositum scorpionibus torporem adfert. valent et contra psimithi venena. aculeos omnes extrahunt inlitae crudae cum aphronitro, potae vero decoctae cum radice sua leporis marini venenum restingunt,


Book XX

Spanish fly, and considered that it might be applied, raw or boiled, with advantage to superficial abscesses, incipient boils, and all indurations; with honey, vinegar and soda he used it in this way for erysipelas, and likewise gout. It is said to bring away scabrous nails without producing a sore. There are some who give its seed with honey for jaundice, add soda and rub the throat and tonsils, besides using it as a purge, boiled either by itself or with mallows or lentils. They also give it as an emetic. They use wild orache as a hair-dye as well as for the purposes mentioned above.

LXXXIV. On the other hand, both kinds ofMallow. mallow, the cultivated and the wild, are highly praised. The two kinds of thema are distinguished by the size of the leaf. Among cultivated mallows the larger is called by the Greeks malope; the other is called malache, the reason being, it is thought, because it relaxes the bowels. But of the wild kinds, the one with a large leaf and white roots, called althaea, has received from some the name of plistolochia,b from the excellence of its properties. Mallows make richer every soil in which they are sown. They are efficacious against every sort of stings, especially those of scorpions, wasps and similar creatures, and those of the shrew-mouse. Moreover, those who have been rubbed beforehand with oil and any one of the mallows pounded, or who carry it on their persons, are never stung. A leaf placed on a scorpion paralyses it. Mallows also counteract the poison of white lead. Raw mallow applied with saltpetre extracts splinters and thorns; taken moreover boiled with its root it counteracts the poison of the sea-hare, some adding that it must

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938