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Next in rank after the vine and the olive comes the palm. Dates fresh-gathered have an inebriating1 effect, and are productive of head-ache; when dried, they are not so injurious. It would appear, too, that they are not wholesome to the stomach; they have an irritating2 effect on coughs, but are very nourishing to the body. The ancients used to give a decoction of them to patients, as a substitute for hydromel, with the view of recruiting the strength and allaying thirst, the Thebaic date being held in preference for the purpose. Dates are very use- ful, too, for persons troubled with spitting of blood, when taken in the food more particularly. The dates called caryotæ,3 in combination with quinces, wax, and saffron, are applied topically for affections of the stomach, bladder, abdomen, and in- testines: they are good for bruises also. Date-stones,4 burnt in a new earthen vessel, produce an ash which, when rinsed, is employed as a substitute for spodium,5 and is used as an ingredient in eye-salves, and, with the addition of nard, in washes for the eye-brows.6

1 This is not the fact.

2 On the contrary, they are used at the present day as a pectoral; and many so-called pectoral sirops are prepared from them.

3 See B. vi. c. 37, and B. xiii. c. 9.

4 They have no properties, when burnt, to distinguish them from the ashes of other vegetables.

5 Impure metallic oxide.

6 "Calliblephara."

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