CHAP. 69.—THREE VARIETIES OF HERACLEOTIC ORIGANUM: THIRTY REMEDIES.
again, comprehends three varieties; the first,2
which is the darkest, has broader leaves than the others, and is
of a glutinous nature; the second,3
which has leaves of a more
slender form, and not unlike sampsuchum4
in appearance, is
by some persous called "prasion," in preference: the third5
is of an intermediate nature between the other two, but is
less efficacious for medicinal purposes than either. But the
best kind of all is that of Crete, for it has a particularly
agreeable smell; the next best being that of Smyrna, which has
even a more powerful odour than the last. The Heracleotic
origanum, however, known by the name of "onitis," is the
one that is the most esteemed for taking in drink.
Origanum, in general, is employed for repelling serpents;
and it is given boiled to persons suffering from wounds. Taken
in drink, it is diuretic; and mixed with root of panax, it is
given for the cure of ruptures and convulsions. In combination with
figs or hyssop, it is prescribed for dropsical patients
in doses of one acetabulum, being reduced by boiling to one
sixth. It is good also for the itch,6
prurigo, and leprosy,
taken just before the bath. The juice of it is injected into the
ears with milk; it being a cure, also, for affections of the
tonsils and the uvula, and for ulcers of the head. A decoction
of it, taken with the ashes in wine, neutralizes poison by
opium or gypsum.7
Taken in doses of one acetabulum, it relaxes the
bowels. It is applied as a liniment for bruises and
for tooth-ache; and mixed with honey and nitre, it imparts
whiteness to the teeth. It has the effect, also, of stopping
bleeding at the nose.
A decoction of this plant, with barley-meal, is employed for
imposthumes of the parotid glands; and, beaten up with nutgalls and
honey, it is used for roughness of the trachea: the
leaves of it, with honey and salt, are good, too, for the spleen.
Boiled with vinegar and salt, and taken in small doses, it at-
tenuates the phlegm, when very thick and black; and beaten
up with oil, it is injected into the nostrils for jaundice. When
persons are affected with lassitude, the body is well rubbed
with it, care being taken not to touch the abdomen. Used with
pitch, it is a cure for epinyctis, and, applied with a roasted
fig, it brings boils to a head. Employed with oil and vinegar,
and barley-meal, it is good for scrofulous swellings; and applied
topically in a fig, it is a cure for pains in the sides.
Beaten up, and applied with vinegar, it is employed as a liniment for
bloody fluxes of the generative organs, and it accelerates the
lochial discharge after child-birth.