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The blossom,1 of too, of the olive-tree possesses similar pro- perties. The young branches are burnt when just beginning to blossom, and of the ashes a substitute for spodium2 is made, upon which wine is poured, and it is then burnt afresh. To suppurations and inflamed tumours these ashes are applied, or else the leaves, beaten up with honey; for the eyes, they are used with polenta. The juice which exudes3 from the wood, when burnt in a green state, heals lichens, scaly eruptions, and running ulcers.

As to the juice4 which exudes naturally from the olivetree, and more particularly that of Æthiopia, we cannot be sufficiently surprised that authors should have been found to recommend it as an application for tooth-ache, and to tell us at the same time that it is a poison, and even that we must have recourse to the wild olive for it. The bark of the roots of the olive, as young and tender a tree as possible being selected, scraped and taken every now and then in honey, is good5 for patients suffering from spitting of blood and purulent expectorations. The ashes of the tree itself, mixed with axle-grease, are useful for the cure of tumours, and heal fistulas by the extraction of the vicious humours which they contain.

1 No medicinal use is now made of it, but its properties would be very similar to those of the leaves.

2 Impure metallic oxide. See B. xix. c. 4, and B. xxxiv. c. 52. The ashes of the branches would be an impure sub-carbonate of potass, which would act, Fée says, as a powerful irritant.

3 A sort of pyroligneous acid, which would have the noxious effect of throwing inward the eruptions.

4 This juice or tear (lacrima) Fée thinks to be the same with the Enhæmon, mentioned in B. xii. c. 38; the properties of which are quite inactive, though Dioscorides, B. i. c. 139, speaks of it as a poison.

5 Probably in consequence of the tannin and gallic acid, which it contains in great abundance.

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