Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 392: 506-507

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Pliny: Natural History


LXXI. Fit ex pomo panchrestos stomatice, eadem arteriace appellata, hoc modo: sextarii tres suci ex pomo leni vapore ad crassitudinem mellis rediguntur. post additur omphacii aridi pondus 𐆖ii ut murrae 𐆖i, croci 𐆖i. haec simul trita miscentur decocto, neque est aliud oris, arteriae, uvae, stomachi iucundius remedium. fit et alio modo: suci sextarii duo, mellis Attici sextarius decoquuntur ut supra diximus.


Mira sunt praeterea quae produntur: germinatione priusquam folia exeant, sinistra decerpi futura poma. ricinos1 Graeci vocant. hi terram si non attigere, sanguinem sistunt adalligati, sive ex vulnere fluat sive ore sive naribus sive haemorrhoidis. 138ad hoc servantur repositi. idem praestare et ramus dicitur luna plena defractus incipiens fructum habere, si terram non attigerit, privatim mulieribus adalligatus lacerto contra abundantiam mensum. hoc et quocumque tempore ab ipsis decerptum ita ut terram non attingat adalligatumque existimant praestare. folia mori trita aut arida decocta serpentium ictibus inponuntur aliquidque2 potu proficitur. scorpionibus adversatur



LXXI. There is made from the mulberry a mouth-washaA mulberry mouth-wash called panchrestos, or arteriace, in the following way. Three sextarii of the juice from the fruit are reduced by a gentle heat to the consistency of honey; then are added two denarii of dried omphacium, or one of myrrh, and one denarius of saffron. These are beaten up together and mixed with the decoction. There is no other remedy more pleasant for the mouth, the trachea, the uvula or the gullet. It is also prepared in another way. Two sextarii of the juice and one sextarius of Attic honey are boiled down in the manner I have described above.

There are besides marvels related of the mulberry. When it begins to bud, but before the leaves unfold, the fruit-to-be is plucked with the left hand. The Greeks call them ricini.b These, if they have not touched the ground, when worn as an amulet stay a flow of blood, whether it flows from a wound, the mouth, the nostrils, or from haemorrhoids. For this purpose they are stored away and kept. The same effect is said to be produced if there be broken off at a full moon a branch beginning to bear; it must not touch the ground, and is specially useful when tied on the upper arm of a woman to prevent excessive menstruation. It is thought that the same result is obtained if the woman herself breaks off a branch at any time, provided that it does not touch the ground before it is used as an amulet. Mulberry leaves pounded, or a decoction of dried leaves, are used as an application for snake bite, and it is of somec benefit to take them in drink. The

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938