Pliny the Elder, Natural History

LCL 393: 70-71

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Pliny: Natural History

serpentes rami cum foliis inponuntur. folia et capillum inficiunt. invenio apud quosdam morbum regium sanari hoc frutice etiam si alligatus spectetur tantum.


LVII. Distat ab eo qui alysson vocatur foliis tantum et ramis minoribus; nomen accepit quod a cane morsos rabiem sentire non patitur ex aceto potus adalligatusque; mirum est quod additur, saniem conspecto omnino frutice eo siccari.


LVIII. Tinguentibus et radicula lanas praeparat quam struthion a Graecis vocari diximus. medetur morbo regio et ipsa pota1 et decoctum eius, item pectoris vitiis; urinam ciet, alvum solvit, vulvas purgat, quamobrem aureum potorium medici vocant. ea et ex melle prodest1 magnifice ad tussim, orthopnoeae coclearis mensura, cum polenta vero et 97aceto lepras tollit. eadem cum panace et capparis radice calculos frangit pellitque, panos discutit cum farina hordeacia et vino decocta. miscetur et malagmatis et collyriis claritatis causa, sternutamento



branches with the leaves are applied for snake-bites. The leaves also dye the hair. I find in some authorities that jaundice is cured if this shrub is merely looked at while worn as an amulet.

LVII. The plant called alysson differs from the lastAlysson. only in having smaller leaves and branches. It has received its name because it prevents persons bitten by a dog from going mad if they take it in vinegar and wear it as an amulet. The authorities add the wonderful marvel that the mere sight of this shrub dries up sanies.a

LVIII. Radicula too prepares wools for the dyers;Radicula. I have saidb that it is called struthion by the Greeks. It cures jaundice both when taken by itself in drink and in the form of a decoction, and likewise chest troubles; it promotes urine, loosens the bowels and purges the uterus, for which reason physicians call it “golden goblet”.c With honey too it is a splendid remedy for a cough, and in doses of a spoonful for orthopnoea; but with pearl barley and vinegar it removes leprous sores. Again, with panacesd and caper root it breaks up and expels stone in the bladder, and a decoction with barley meal and wine disperses superficial abscesses. It is used as an ingredient of poultices, and of eye-salves to improve

DOI: 10.4159/DLCL.pliny_elder-natural_history.1938