previous next


Oil of œnanthe1 has just the same properties as oil of roses. Like oil in general, it makes the body supple, and imparts to it strength and vigour; it is injurious to the stomach, promotes the increase of ulcers, irritates the fauces, and deadens the effect of all poisons, white-lead and gypsum in particular, if taken in hydromel or a decoction of dried figs. Taken with water, it is good as an antidote to the effects of opium, and to injuries inflicted by cantharides, the buprestis, the salamandra, and the pine caterpillar.2 Taken pure as an emetic, it is highly esteemed as an antidote in all the before-mentioned cases. It is also a refreshing remedy for extreme lassitude, and for fits of shivering from cold. Taken warm, in doses of six cyathi, and more particularly when boiled with rue,3 it relieves gripings of the stomach and expels intestinal worms, Taken in doses of one hemina with wine and warm water, or else with barley water,4 it acts as a purgative upon the bowels. It is useful, also, in the composition of plasters for wounds, and it cleanses the complexion of the face. Injected into the nostrils of oxen, till it produces eructation, it cures attacks of flatulency.

When old it is of a more warming nature than when new, and acts more energetically as a sudorific, and as a resolvent for indurations. It is very efficacious5 in cases of lethargy, and more particularly in the decline of the disease. Mixed with an equal proportion of honey which has not been smoked,6 it contributes in some degree to the improvement of the sight. It is a remedy, also for head-ache; and, in combination with water, for the burning attacks in fevers. If old oil should happen not to be at hand, the new oil is boiled to act as a substitute for it.

1 Or "Œnanthinum." See B. xii. c. 61, and B. xv. c. 7.

2 Sec c. 30 of this Book.

3 Fée remarks, that a modern physician would dread to administer such a dose, rue being a very dangerous plant in its effects. He also remarks that it is doubtful whether Pliny is speaking throughout this Chapter of olive oil or of oil of œnanthe; and such is the fact, though most probably the latter is intended to be spoken of.

4 "Ptisanæ succo."

5 Fée thinks that it can have no such efficacy, whether it be olive oil or oil of œnanthe that is the subject of discussion.

6 "Acapni." See B. xi. c. 15.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Latin (Karl Friedrich Theodor Mayhoff, 1906)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

hide References (7 total)
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: