Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 393: 404-405

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Pliny: Natural History

peculiariter inponitur, item verendis ulceribusque cum farina hordeacia. sucus eius auribus infunditur.


IX. Androsaces herba est alba, amara, sine foliis, folliculos in cirris habens et in his semen. nascitur in maritimis Syriae maxime. datur hydropicis drachmis duabus tusa aut decocta in aqua vel aceto vel vino. vehementer enim urinas ciet. datur et podagricis inliniturque. idem effectus et seminis.


X. Androsaemon sive, ut alii appellavere, ascyron non absimile est hyperico, de qua diximus, cauliculis maioribus densioribusque et magis rubentibus. folia alba rutae figura, semen papaveris nigri. comae tritae sanguineo suco manant. odor eis resinosus. gignitur in vineis, fere medio autumno effoditur 27suspenditurque. usus ad purgandam alvum tusae cum semine potaeque matutino vel a cena duabus drachmis in aqua mulsa vel vino vel aqua pura, potionis totius sextario. trahit bilem, prodest ischiadi maxime, sed postera die capparis radicem resinae permixtam devorare oportet drachmae pondere, iterumque quadridui intervallo eadem facere, a purgatione autem ipsa robustiores vinum bibere, infirmiores aquam. inponitur et podagris et ambustis et volneribus cohibens sanguinem.


XI. Ambrosia vagi nominis et circa alias herbas fluctuati unam habet certam, densam, ramosam,



Especially is it applied to eye fluxes, and with barley meal to sore genitals and ulcers. Its juice is poured into the ears.

IX. Androsaces is a whitish plant, bitter, leafless,Androsaces. with seed pods in hairy tufts. It grows especially along the sea coast of Syria. For dropsy are prescribed two-drachma doses of the plant pounded or boiled down in water, vinegar, or wine, for it is a powerful diuretic. It is also prescribed for dropsy and applied locally. The seed too has the same properties.

X. Androsaemon, or, as others have called it,Androsaemon. ascyron, is not unlike hypericum, about which I have already spoken,a but the stalks are larger, closer together, and redder. Its leaves are pale and shaped like those of rue; the seed resembles that of the dark poppy. The stalk tops when crushed give out a juice of the colour of blood. Their smell is resinous. It grows in vineyards; about the middle of autumn it is dug and hung up. When used as a purge it is pounded with the seed and taken early in the morning or after dinner, the dose being two drachmae in hydromel, wine, or plain water, and the whole draught a sextarius. It brings away bile, and is excellent for sciatica, butb on the following day should be swallowed a drachma of caper root well mixed with resin. This dose should be repeated after an interval of four days. After the actual purging wine should be drunk by the stronger patients and water by the weaker. The plant is applied also to gouty limbs, to burns, and, as it stanches blood, to wounds.

XI. Ambrosia, an indeterminate name looselyAmbrosia. given to otherc plants, is the primary name of one in particular, which is branchy and close set,

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938