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The next rank, after the vine, clearly belongs to the olive. The leaves of the olive-tree are astringent,1 detergent, and binding in the highest degree. Chewed and applied to sores, they are of a healing nature; and applied topically with oil, they are good for head-ache. A decoction of them with honey makes a good liniment for such parts of the body as have been subjected to cauterization, as also for inflammations of the gums, whitlows, and foul and putrid ulcers: combined with honey, they arrest discharges of blood from the nervous2 parts of the body. The juice of olive leaves is efficacious for carbuncular ulcers and pustules about the eyes, and for procidence of the pupil; hence it is much employed in the composition of eye- salves, having the additional property of healing inveterate runnings of the eyes, and ulcerations of the eyelids.

This juice is extracted by pouring wine and rain-water upon the leaves, and then pounding them; after which the pulp is dried and divided into lozenges. Used with wool, as a pessary, this preparation arrests menstruation when in excess, and is very useful for the treatment of purulent sores, condylomata, erysipelas, spreading ulcers, and epinyctis.

1 They are rich in tannin and gallic acid, and Fée states that they have been proposed as a substitute for quinine. The statements here made by Pliny, he says, in reference to their properties, are hypothetical.

2 "Nervosis."

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    • A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities (1890), VINUM
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