Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 393: 364-365


Pliny: Natural History

aizoum, astragali radix. sistit et ischaemon et achillia.


LXXXIII. Equisaetum hippuris Graecis dicta et in pratis vituperata nobis—est autem pilus terrae equinae saetae similis—lienes cursorum extinguit decocta fictili novo ad tertias quantum vas capiat et per triduum heminis pota. unctis esculentis ex ante diem unum interdicitur. Graecorum varia circa hanc 133opinio: alii pinus foliis similem nigricantem eodem nomine appellant, vim eius admirabilem tradentes, sanguinis profluvia vel tacto tantum ea homine sisti, alii hippurin, alii ephedron, alii anabasim vocant, traduntque iuxta arbores nasci et scandentem eas dependere comis iunceis multis nigris ut ex equorum cauda, geniculatis ramulis, folia habere pauca, tenuia, exigua, semen rotundum, simile coriandro, radice 134lignosa, nasci in arbustis maxime. vis eius spissare corpora. sucus sanguinem e naribus fluentem inclusus sistit, item alvum. medetur dysintericis in vino dulci potus cyathis tribus, urinam ciet, tussim, orthopnoeam sanat, item rupta et quae serpunt. intestinis et vesicae folia bibuntur, enterocelen cohibet. faciunt et aliam hippurim brevioribus et mollioribus comis candidioribusque, perquam utilem ischiadicis et vulneribus ex aceto inpositam propter



epistaxis, by aizoüm and by root of astragalus. Ischaemon too and achillia check bleeding.

LXXXIII. Equisaetum, called hippuris by theEquisaetum. Greeks, and found fault with by me when I discussed meadow landa—it is in fact “hair of the earth” resembling horse hair—reduces the spleen of runners if as much as the pot will hold is boiled down to one third in new earthenware, and taken in drink for three days in doses of one hemina. There must be abstinence from fatty foods for at least one day previously. The Greeks hold various views about this plant; some under the same name speak of a dark plant with leaves like those of the pine, assuring us that, so wonderful is its nature, its mere touch stanches a patient’s bleeding; some call it hippuris, others ephedron, others anabasis. Their account is that it grows near trees, which it climbs, and hangs down in many dark, rush-like hairs as if from a horse’s tail; that its little branches are jointed, and its leaves few, slenderb and small; that the seed is round, resembling that of coriander, that its root is ligneous, and that it grows mostly in plantations. Its property is to bracec the body. Its juice, kept in the nostrils, checks haemorrhage therefrom, and it also checks looseness of the bowels. Taken in a sweet wine, in doses of three cyathi, it is good for dysentery, promotes passing of urine, and cures cough and orthopnoea, ruptures also and spreading sores. The leaves are taken in drink for complaints of the bowels and bladder; the plant itself reduces intestinal hernia. The Greeks recognise yet another hippuris, which has shorter, softer and paler hairs, making a very useful application in vinegard for sciatica, and also for cuts,e

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938