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8 Now ulcerated nostrils should be fomented with steam from hot water; that is done either by applying a sponge after squeezing it ou, or by holding the nose over a narrow-mouthed vessel filled with hot water. After this fomentation the ulcerations should be smeared with lead slag, white lad or litharge; with any of these a kind of poultice is compounded, and to this, while it is being pounded up, wine and myrtle oil are added alternately, until it becomes of the consistency of honey. But if these ulcerations involve bone, and have numerous crusts with a foul odour, which kind the Greeks call ozaena, it ought to be understood that it is scarcely possible to afford relief in that disease. The following measures, none the less, can be tried: the head may be shaved to the scalp, rubbed frequently and vigorously, and sluiced with quantities of hot water; then the patient is to take a great deal of[p. 245] exercise, and a moderate amount of food, neither sour nor very nutritious. Further, into the nostril itself may be inserted honey to which a very small quantity of turpentine resin has been added (this is done on a probe wrapped round with wool), and this juice is drawn inwards by the breath until it can be tasted in the mouth. For in this way the crusts are loosened, and they should then be blown out by sneezing. The ulcerations having been cleaned are steamed over hot water; then there should be applied either boxthorn-juice diluted with wine or wine lees or omphacium or the juice of mint or horehound or blacking made glowing hot and then pounded, or the interior part of a squill crushed; provided that to any of these honey is added. The honey should be a very small part in all these mixtures, except with the blacking, when there should be just enough to make the mixture liquid, whilst with the squill certainly the honey should form the larger part; a probe should be wrapped round with wool, and dipped into this medicament, and with it the ulcers are filled. And further, a strip of linen is folded into a long roll, smeared with the same medicament, and inserted into the nostril, and is lightly bandaged on below. This should be done in winter and spring twice a day, in summer and autumn three times a day. Again, inside the nostrils there are sometimes formed little lumps like women's nipples, and these are fixed by their deepest and most fleshy parts. These should be treated by caustics, under which they are completely eaten away. A polypus, in fact, is a lump of this sort, sometimes white, sometimes reddish, which is attached to the bone of the nose, and fills the nostril, being directed[p. 247] sometimes towards the lips, sometimes backwards through that passage by which the breath goes from the nose to the throat. In this direction it may grow until it can be seen behind the uvula; it chokes the patient, especially when the south or east wind blows; generally it is soft, rarely hard, and the latter sort hinders breathing more and dilates the nose; it is then generally cancerous, and so should not be touched. But the other kind can generally be removed by the knife; sometimes, however, it dries up, if the following composition is inserted into the nostril on lint or on a feather: minium from Sinope, copper ore, lime, and sandarach 4 grams each, blacking 4 grams.
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