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Mustard, of which we have mentioned1 three different kinds, when speaking of the garden herbs, is ranked by Pythagoras among the very first of those plants the pungency of which mounts upwards; for there is none to be found more penetrating to the brain and nostrils.

Pounded with vinegar, mustard is employed as a liniment for the stings of serpents and scorpions, and it effectually neutralizes the poisonous properties of fungi. To cure an immoderate secretion of phlegm it is kept in the mouth till it melts, or else it is mixed with hydromel, and employed as a gargle. Mustard is chewed for tooth-ache, and is taken as a gargle with oxymel for affections of the uvula; it is very beneficial, also, for all maladies of the stomach. Taken with the food, it facilitates expectoration2 from the lungs: it is given, too, for asthma and epileptic fits, in combination with cucumber seed. It has the effect of quickening the senses, and effectually clears the head by sneezing, relaxes the stomach, and promotes the menstrual discharge and the urinary secretions: beaten up with figs and cummin, in the proportion of one-third of each ingredient, it is used as an external application for dropsy.

Mixed with vinegar, mustard resuscitates by its powerful odour persons who have swooned in fits of epilepsy or lethargy, as well as females suffering from hysterical suffocations. For the cure of lethargy tordylon is added-that being the name given to the seed of hartwort3—and if the lethargic sleep should happen to be very profound, an application of it, with figs and vinegar, is made to the legs, or to the head4 even. Used as an external application, mustard is a cure for inveterate pains of the chest, loins, hips, shoulders, and, in general, for all deep-seated pains in any part of the body, raising blisters5 by its caustic properties. In cases of extreme indurations of the skin, the mustard is applied to the part without figs; and a cloth is employed doubled, where it is apprehended that it may burn too powerfully. It is used also, combined with red-earth,6 for alopecy, itch-scabs, leprosy, phthiriasis, tetanus, and opisthotony. They employ it also as a liniment with honey for styes7 on the eyelids and films on the eyes.

The juices of mustard are extracted in three different ways, in earthen vessels in which it is left to dry gradually in the sun. From the thin stem of the plant there exudes also a milky juice,8 which when thus hardened is remedial for tooth-ache. The seed and root, after they have been left to steep in must, are beaten up together in a mortar; and a good handful of the mixture is taken to strengthen9 the throat, stomach, eyes, head, and all the senses. This mixture is extremely good, too, for fits of lassitude in females, being one of the most wholesome medicines in existence. Taken in vinegar, mustard disperses calculi in the bladder; and, in combination with honey and goose-grease, or else Cyprian wax, it is employed as a liniment for livid spots and bruises. From the seed, first steeped in olive-oil, and then subjected to pressure, an oil is extracted, which is employed for rigidity of the sinews, and chills and numbness in the loins and hips.

1 In B. xix. c. 54. Fée identifies these three varieties of mustard as follows; the slender-stemmed mustard of Pliny he identifies with the Sinapis alba of Linnæus, mustard with white seeds. The mustard mentioned as having the leaves of rape he considers to be the same as the Sinapis nigra of Linnæus, mustard with black seed; and that with the leaf of the rocket he identifies with the Sinapis erncoïdes of Linnæus, the Eruca silvestris of Gessner, or rocket-leaved mustard.

2 In reality, mustard is injurious for all affections of the chest and throat.

3 "Seseli."

4 A sinapism applied to the head, Fée remarks, in cases of cerebral congestion, would very soon cause death.

5 Mustard poultices are used extensively at the present day for blisters on the chest.

6 "Rubrica."

7 "Scabras genas."

8 This is not the fact; no juice flows from the stem which is capable of becoming concrete.

9 As a tonic, mustard-seed is commonly taken whole at the present day.

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