CHAP. 70.—MULBERRIES: THIRTY-NINE REMEDIES.
In Egypt and in the Isle of Cyprus there are, as already
mulberry-trees of a peculiar kind, being of a nature
that is truly marvellous; for, if the outer bark is peeled off,
they emit a great abundance of juice; but if a deeper incision is made, they are found to be quite dry.2
This juice is
an antidote to the venom of serpents, is good for dysentery,
disperses inflamed tumours and all kinds of gatherings, heals
wounds, and allays both head-ache and ear-ache: it is taken
in drink for affections of the spleen, and is used as a liniment
for the same purpose, as also for fits of shivering. This juice,
however, very soon breeds worms.
Among ourselves, too, the juice which exudes from the
mulberry-tree is employed for an equal number of purposes:
taken in wine, it neutralizes the noxious effects of aconite3
the venom of spiders, relaxes the bowels, and expels tapeworm and other animals which breed in the intestines;4
bark of the tree, pounded, has also a similar effect. The
leaves, boiled in rain-water with the bark of the black fig and
the vine, are used for dyeing the hair.
The juice of the fruit has a laxative effect immediately upon
the bowels, though the fruit itself, for the moment, acts beneficially upon the stomach, being of a refreshing nature, but productive of thirst. If no other food is taken upon them, mulberries5
are of a swelling tendency. The juice of unripe mulberries acts astringently upon the bowels. The marvels which
are presented by this tree, and of which we have made some
when describing it, would almost appear to belong
to a creature gifted with animation.