Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 393: 256-257

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Pliny: Natural History

e diverso quidam regio morbo cum vino dederunt et contra omnia vesicae vitia, item cordis et iocineris. extrahere renibus harenam dixere. 169ischiadicis drachmam cum oxymelite ab ambulatione propinavere, torminibus quoque et in passo utilissimam, praecordiis etiam cibo ex aceto eam praedicantes serentesque in hortis. nec defuere qui et alterum genus facerent nec quale esset demonstrarent, contra serpentes in aqua bibendam edendamque comitialibus dantes. nos eam Romanis experimentis per usus digeremus. lanugo eius cum croco et exiguo aquae frigidae trita inlinitur epiphoris, tosta cum mica salis strumis.

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CVII. Ephemeron folia habet lilii, sed minora; caulem parem, florem caeruleum, semen supervacuum, radicem unam digitali crassitudine, dentibus praecipuam concisam in aceto decoctamque ut tepido colluantur. et ipsa etiam radix sistit, cavis exesi1 inprimitur. chelidoniae radix ex aceto trita continetur ore, erosis veratrum nigrum inprimitur, mobiles utrolibet decocto in aceto firmantur.

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CVIII. Labrum Venerium vocant in flumine nascentem. est ei vermiculus qui circa dentes fricatur2 aut cavis dentium cera includitur. cavendum ne avulsa herba terram tangat.

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Book XXV

hand some have given it with wine for jaundice, and as a cure for all complaints of the bladder, heart, and liver. They have said that it brings away gravel from the kidneys. They prescribed for sciatica a drachma with oxymel after a walk, this dose being also very useful in raisin wine for colic; they recommended it also as a salad with vinegar for the internal organsa generally, and they planted it in gardens. There have been some who distinguished a second variety, but without pointing out its qualities, prescribing it to be taken in water for snake bite, and to be eaten by epileptics. I myself shall treat of it only in so far as the Romans have found out by experiment how to use it. Its down, with saffron and a little cold water, is applied crushed to eye fluxes and, roasted with a grain of salt, to scrofulous sores.

CVII. Ephemeron has the leaves of a lily, but Ephemeron and Chelidonia. smaller, a stem of the same length, a blue flower, a seed of no value, and a single root of the thickness of a thumb, a sovereign remedy for the teeth if it is cut up into pieces in vinegar, boiled down, and used warm as a mouth wash. And the root also by itself arrests decay if forced into the hollow of a decayed tooth. Root of chelidonia is crushed in vinegar and kept in the mouth, dark hellebore is plugged into decayed teeth, and loose teeth are strengthened by either of these boiled down in vinegar.

CVIII. A plant that grows in rivers they call the Labrum Venerium. bath of Venus. In it is a worm which is rubbed round the teeth or plugged with wax into the hollow of a tooth. Care must be taken that the plant does not touch the ground after being pulled up.

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938