Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 393: 40-41

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Pliny: Natural History

attritu odoratus verrucas papulasque tollit. populi ferunt et in foliis guttam ex qua apes propolim faciunt. gutta quoque ad quae propolis ex aqua efficax.

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XXXIII. Ulmi et folia et cortex et rami vim habent spissandi et volnera contrahendi. corticis utique interior tilia lepras sedat et folia ex aceto inlita. corticis denarii pondus potum in hemina aquae frigidae alvum purgat pituitasque et aquas privatim trahit. inponitur et collectionibus lacrima et volneribus et ambustis quae decocto fovere prodest. 49umor in folliculis arboris huius nascens cuti nitorem inducit faciemque gratiorem praestat. cauliculi foliorum primi vino decocti tumores sanant extrahuntque per fistulas. idem praestant et tiliae corticis. multi corticem commanducatum volneribus utilissimum putant, folia trita aqua adspersa pedum tumori. umor quoque e medulla, uti diximus, castratae arboris effluens capillum reddit capiti inlitus defluentesque continet.

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XXXIV. Arbor tilia lenius ad eadem fere utilis est atque1 oleaster. folia autem tantum in usu et ad infantium ulcera et in ore, et commanducata et decocta urinam cient, menses sistunt inlita, sanguinem pota detrahunt.

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Book XXIV

removes warts and pimples. Poplars also produce on their leaves drops from which bees make bee-glue. With water these drops also have the same healing properties as bee-glue.

XXXIII. The leaves, bark and branches of the elmThe elm. are styptic,a and have the property of closing wounds. The inner bark in particular relieves leprous sores, as also does a local application of the leaves soaked in vinegar. One denarius of the bark, taken in a hemina of cold water, purges the bowels, being specific for carrying off phlegms and watery humours. Its tear is also applied locally to gatherings, wounds and burns, which it is good to foment with a decoction. The moisture forming in the pods of this tree brings a brightness to the skin and makes the looks more pleasing. The tips of the little stalks of the leaves boiled down in wine cure tumours and draw out the pus through fistulas. The same property is shown by the inner barks. Many hold that the bark when chewed is very good for wounds, and that the leaves, pounded and sprinkled with water, are so for swollen feet. An application of the moisture too, that exudes, as I have said,b from the pith of the tree when lopped, restores hair to the scalp and prevents it from falling out.

XXXIV. The linden tree is good for practicallyThe linden. the same purposes as the wild olive, but its action is milder. Only its leaves, however, are used both for babies’ sores and for those in the mouth; they may be chewed or a decoction may be made of them; they are diuretic. Applied locally they check menstruation; taken in drink they draw off extravasated blood.

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DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938