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The wild fig, again, is even more efficacious in its properties than the cultivated one. It has not so large a proportion of milky juice as the other: a slip of it put into milk has the effect of curdling it and turning it into cheese. This juice, collected and indurated by being subjected to pressure, im- parts a fine flavour1 to meat, being steeped in vinegar for the purpose, and then rubbed upon it. It is used also as an ingredient in blisters, and taken internally it relaxes the bowels. Used with amylum,2 it opens the passages of the uterus, and combined with the yolk of an egg it acts as an emmenagogue. Mixed with meal of fenugreek it is applied topically for gout, and is used for the dispersion of leprous sores, itch-scabs, lichens, and freckles: it is an antidote also to the stings of venomous animals, and to the bites of dogs. Applied to the teeth in wool, or introduced into the cavity of a carious tooth, this juice cures tooth-ache.3 The young shoots and the leaves, mixed with meal of fitches, act as an antidote to the poison of marine animals, wine being added to the prepa- ration. In boiling beef a great saving of fire-wood may be effected, by putting some of these shoots in the pot.4

The figs in a green state, applied topically, soften and disperse scrofulous sores and all kinds of gatherings, and the leaves, to a certain extent, have a similar effect. The softer leaves are applied with vinegar for the cure of running ulcers, epinyctis, and scaly eruptions. With the leaves, mixed with honey, honeycomb ulcers5 are treated, and wounds inflicted by dogs; the leaves are applied, too, fresh, with wine, to phagledænic sores. In combination with poppy-leaves, they extract splintered bones. Wild figs, in a green state, employed as a fumigation, dispel flatulency; and an infusion of them, used as a potion, combats the deleterious effects of bullocks' blood, white-lead, and coagulated milk, taken internally. Boiled in water, and employed as a cataplasm, they cure imposthumes of the parotid glands. The shoots, or the green figs, gathered as young as possible, are taken in wine for stings inflicted by scorpions. The milky juice is also poured into the wound, and the leaves are applied to it: the bite of the shrew-mouse is treated in a similar manner. The ashes of the young branches are curative of relaxations of the uvula; and the ashes of the tree itself, mixed with honey, have the effect of healing chaps. A de- coction of the root, boiled in wine, is good for tooth-ache. The winter wild fig, boiled in vinegar and pounded, is a cure for impetigo: the branches are first barked for the purpose and then scraped; these scrapings, which are as fine as sawdust, being applied topically to the parts affected.

There is also one medicinal property of a marvellous nature attributed to the wild fig: if a youth who has not arrived at puberty breaks off a branch, and then with his teeth tears off the bark swelling with the sap, the pith of this branch, we are assured, attached as an amulet to the person before sunrise, will prevent the formation of scrofulous sores. A branch of this tree, attached to the neck of a bull, however furious, ex- ercises such a marvellous effect upon him as to restrain his ferocity,6 and render him quite immoveable.

1 "Suavitatem." Fée is justly at a loss to understand how this could be. It is doubtful whether Pliny does not mean that by the use of this substance meat was kept fresh.

2 See B. xviii. c. 17.

3 Fée thinks that, owing to its acridity, it may possibly have this effect.

4 There is probably no foundation for this statement.

5 Favus.

6 Plutarch, Sympos. ii. 7, tells the same absurd story.

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