Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 392: 258-259

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Pliny: Natural History

in mammis tumentibus a partu et aegilopiis incipientibus ignibusque sacris. odor somnum gignit. radicem decoctam bibere spasticis, eversis, 133convulsis, suspiriosis salutare est et in tussi vetere.1 rami eius tres quattuorve decocuntur ad tertias partes; haec potio mulieres ex abortu purgat, laterum punctiones tollit et vesicae calculos. tunditur cum lilio2 in diapasmata. vestibus odoris gratia inseritur. combretum quod simile ei diximus tritum cum axungia vulnera mire sanat.


LXXVIII. Asarum iocinerum vitiis salutare esse traditur uncia sumpta in hemina mulsi mixti. alvum purgat ellebori modo, hydropicis prodest et praecordiis vulvisque ac morbo regio. in mustum si addatur, facit vinum urinis ciendis. effoditur cum folia emittit,3 siccatur et conditur. in umbra4 situm celerrime sentit.


LXXIX. Et quoniam quidam, ut diximus, nardum rusticum nominavere radicem baccaris, contexemus et Gallici nardi remedia in hunc locum dilata in peregrinis arboribus. ergo adversus serpentes duabus drachmis in vino succurrit, inflationibus


Book XXI

swollen after child-birth, to incipient fistulasa of the eye and to erysipelas. The smell induces sleep. It is beneficial for a decoction of the root to be taken by sufferers from cramp, violent falls, convulsions, asthma and also chronic cough. Three or four sprays of it are boiled down to one third. A draught of this is cleansing for women after miscarriage, and removes stitch in the side or stone in the bladder. It is pounded with lily petals to make dusting powders, and for the sake of the perfume is laid among clothes. Combretum, which I have saidb is similar to hazelwort, beaten up with axle-grease is a wonderful cure for wounds.

LXXVIII. Hazelwortc is said to be beneficial forUses of hazelwort and of other plants. liver complaints, an ounce being taken in a hemina of diluted honey wine. It purges the bowels after the manner of hellebore, and is good for dropsy, the hypochondria, the uterus and for jaundice. When added to must it makes a diuretic wine. It is dug up when the leaves are forming;d it is dried and then stored up. In the shade it very quickly goes mouldy.

LXXIX. Since certain authorities, as I have said,e have given to the root of hazelwort the name of rustic nard, I will now add the medicinal uses of Gallic nard also, which I mentioned when dealing with foreign trees,f postponing fuller treatment to the present occasion. So for serpent bites it is useful in doses of two drachmae taken in wine, for flatulence

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938