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19 Among the plasters none render greater service than those for immediate application to bleeding wounds, which the Greeks call enhaema. For these repress inflammation, unless a severe cause excites it, and even then they lessen its attack; further, they agglutinate wounds which allow of it, and induce a scar in them. But as the plasters consist of medicaments which are not greasy, they are named alipe. The best of these is the plaster called barbarum. It contains scraped verdigris 48 grams, litharge 80 grams, alum, dried pitch, dried pine-resin, 4 grams each, to which is added oil and vinegar 250 cc. each. Another one called Coacon, used for the same purpose, consists of litharge 400 grams, dried resin the same, but the litharge should be first boiled in three-quarters of a litre of oil. In these two plasters the colour is black, which is the colour generally produced by the pitch-resin, but the blackest is from bitumen, green from verdigris or copper scales, red from minium, white from white-lead. There are very few compositions in which diversity of ingredients makes any change. Hence that plaster which is called basilicon is also black. It consists of all-heal 4 grams, galbanum 8 grams, pitch and resin, 40 grams each, oil 20 cc. But, because it is bright green, a plaster is called emerald-like which contains pine-resin 12 grams, wax 4 grams, verdigris 168 grams, frankincense soot 56 grams, oil the same, and vinegar enough to combine into one the soot and the verdigris.[p. 35] There is also one, almost red in colour, which is found to bring wounds rapidly to a scar. It contains incense 4 grams, resin 8 grams, copper scales 16 grams, litharge 80 grams, wax 400 grams, oil 250 cc. As well, there is one called rhaptousa, because it agglutinates, consisting of bitumen and split alum 16 grams, litharge 160 grams, and 250 cc. of old oil. There are also some plasters of the same class, called by the Greeks cephalica, because they are especially suitable for broken heads. That of Philotas has the following composition: Eretrian earth and chalcitis, 16 grams each, myrrh and calcined copper 40 grams each, isinglass 24 gram each, scraped verdigris, round alum, crude antimony sulphide and aristolochia, 32 grams each, copper scales 40 grams, male frankincense 8 grams, wax 336 grams, rose-oil and bitter olive-oil, 125 cc. each, and sufficient vinegar to rub up the ingredients while keeping them dry. A green plaster for the same purpose consists of calcined copper, copper scales, myrrh and isinglass 24 grams each, crude antimony sulphide, scraped verdigris, aristolochia and alum, 32 grams each, wax 4 grams, oil 250 cc., and as much vinegar as is required. But for promoting suppuration there is nothing better than the plaster called by the Greeks tetrapharmacon, which acts very quickly. It contains wax, pitch, resin and bull's suet, or, if that is not at hand, veal-suet, in equal proportions. Another for the same purpose is named enneapharmacum, which is more for cleaning wounds. It has nine ingredients: wax, honey, suet, resin, myrrh,[p. 37] rose-oil, deer or calf or ox marrow, oesypum, butter; equal weights of which are mixed together. Now there are certain plasters which produce both effects which if . . . they are to be applied for both purposes are better; but if there is a choice these are to be rejected, and those plasters rather are to be selected which especially effect what is needed at the time. I will mention two as examples. There is the plaster of Attalus for wounds, which contains copper scales 64 grams, frankincense soot 60 grams, ammoniacum the same; liquid turpentine 100 grams, bull-suet this amount; vinegar three-quarters of a litre, oil half a litre. But among those suitable for broken heads, some include the one which is ascribed to Iudaeus. It is composed of salt 16 grams, red copper scales and calcined copper, 48 grams each, ammoniacum for fumigation, frankincense soot and dried resin, 64 grams each, Colophon resin, wax and prepared calf's suet, 80 grams each, vinegar 65 cc., less than 40 cc. of oil. The Greeks call tetherapeumena, what we call prepared, when, for instance, from suet all membranous particles are carefully removed, and so in the case of other medicaments. There are besides certain plasters noteworthy for extracting, and these too are named epispastic; for instance, that called dia daphnidon, because it contains laurel berries. In it there are terebinth-resin[p. 39] 40 grams, soda, wax, dried pitch, laurel-berries, 80 grams each, with a little oil. But whenever I mention a berry or nut or the like, it should be understood that the outer husk is seem to be removed before weighing. Another of the same name which also promotes suppuration, contains calf-suet, ammoniacum for fumigation, pitch, wax, soda, laurel-berries, dried resin, aristolochia and pellitory, equal parts. There is also that of Philocrates, which consists of ammoniac salt 28 grams, aristolochia 32 grams, wax, turpentine resin, frankincense soot, 60 grams each, litharge 128 grams, to which is added, in order to promote suppuration, iris 16 grams, and galbanum 24 grams. The best as an extractive, however, is that called by the Greeks rhypodes, from its resemblance to dirt. It contains myrrh, crocus, iris, propolis, bdellium, pomegranate heads, alum both split and round, antimony sulphide, copper ore, boiled blacking, all-heal, ammoniacum salt, mistletoe juice, 16 grams each, aristolochia 32 grams, copper scales 56 grams, turpentine resin 300 gams, wax and ox or he-goat's suet, 400 grams each. The plaster invented by Hecataeus is of the same class, and is composed of galbanum 8 grams, frankincense soot 16 grams, pitch 24 grams, wax and turpentine-resin, 32 grams each, with which is mixed a little iris ointment. Efficacious for the same purpose is the green Alexandrian plaster. It consists of split alum 32 grams, ammoniac salt 32·66 grams, copper scales 64 grams, myrrh and frankincense 72 grams, wax 600 grams, Colophon or pine resin 800 grams, oil 250 cc., vinegar half a litre.[p. 41] Some plasters, called by the Greeks septa, eat away flesh; one such contains turpentine-resin and frankincense soot, each 56 grams, copper scales 4 grams, ladanum 8 grams, alum the same amount, litharge 16 grams. The following prescription is even violent in its action on soft tissue, and also causes exfoliation of bone and keeps down fungating flesh: litharge and copper scales 28 grams each, unheated soda, Assos stone, aristolochia, 56 grams each, wax, turpentine resin, incense and old oil, blacking and ammoniac salt, 168 grams each, scraped verdigris 224 grams, vinegar of squills 250 cc., Aminaean wine the same amount. There are also some suitable for bites; one of these is the black paste of Diogenes, which contains bitumen, wax, dried pine-resin, each 80 grams, litharge 400 grams, oil half a litre. Another consists of copper scales 16 grams, white-lead and scraped verdigris, each 32 grams, ammoniacum 48 grams, wax and pine resin, each 100 gams, litharge 400 grams, oil half a litre. Or there is that in which there are copper scales 56 grams, galbanum 24 grams, white-lead and scraped verdigris, a 32 grams, ammoniacum 48 grams, wax and pine-resin, each 140 grams cooked with litharge. The red plaster called Ephesian is likewise suited for this purpose. It contains turpentine-resin 8 grams, galbanum 16 grams, minium for Sinope 24 grams, frankincense soot 24 grams, wax 32 grams, litharge 144 grams, old olive-oil 250 cc.[p. 43] There is another similar one which consists of copper scales and frankincense soot, each 16 grams, galbanum 24 grams, ammoniac salt 48·66 grams, wax 100 grams, olive-oil 750 cc. These plasters, however, may be also usefully applied to more erect wounds. There are also soothing white plasters, called by the Greeks leuca, fitted in general for wounds which are not severe, especially in old people. Such is that containing white-lead 128 grams, prepared calf's suet, and wax, each 192 grams, olive-oil 750 cc., with which the white-lead is boiled. Another consists of white-lead 80 grams, wax 140 grams, olive-oil 250 cc., water half a litre. Whatever these liquids are added to white lead or litharge, it is understood that those drugs are to be boiled up in the liquids. But the above composition being of a glistening white appearance is called ivory plaster. There are also some soothing plasters, commonly called liparae by the Greeks, such as that containing minium 16 grams, litharge 100 grams, wax and lard, each 148 grams, with the yolk of 4 eggs. Another composition of the same sort contains wax and turpentine-resin, each 24 grams, white-lead 32 grams, litharge and lead-slag, called by the Greeks σκωρία μολύβδου, each 80 grams, castor-oil and myrtle-oil, a 250 cc. A third, said to have been invented by Archagathus, contains boiled antimony sulphide and calcined copper, each 16 grams, boiled white-lead 32 grams, turpentine-resin 40 grams, litharge 24 grams.[p. 45] Yet another of the same class consists of litharge, wax and lard, each 108 grams, yolk of 4 eggs boiled, rose-oil 250 cc. Another consists of a cerate made with myrtle-oil three parts, lard a fourth part, and a small quantity of lead-slag. Alternatively: litharge 168 grams, olive-oil 250 cc., and an equal quantity of sea water, boiled, to which, when off the boil, a little wax may be added. Or: wax, suet, antimony sulphide, litharge and white-lead, equal parts.
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