CHAP. 62. (7.)—PEARS: TWELVE OBSERVATIONS UPON THEM.
All kinds of pears, as an aliment, are indigestible,1
persons in robust health, even; but to invalids they are forbidden as rigidly as wine. Boiled, however, they are re-
markably agreeable and wholesome, those of Crustumium2
in particular. All kinds of pears, too, boiled with honey, are
wholesome to the stomach. Cataplasms of a resolvent nature
are made with pears, and a decoction of them is used to disperse indurations. They are efficacious, also, in cases of poisoning3
by mushrooms and fungi, as much by reason of their
heaviness, as by the neutralizing effects of their juice.
The wild pear ripens but very slowly. Cut in slices and
hung in the air to dry, it arrests looseness of the bowels,
an effect which is equally produced by a decoction of it taken
in drink; in which case the leaves also are boiled up together
with the fruit. The ashes of pear-tree wood are even more
as an antidote to the poison of fungi.
A load of apples or pears, however small, is singularly
to beasts of burden; the best plan to counteract
this, they say, is to give the animals some to eat, or at least
to shew them the fruit before starting.