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In Egypt and in the Isle of Cyprus there are, as already stated,1 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 and the venom of spiders, relaxes the bowels, and expels tapeworm and other animals which breed in the intestines;4 the 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 mention6 when describing it, would almost appear to belong to a creature gifted with animation.

1 In B. xiii. cc. 14, 15, where he calls it a fig-tree. He alludes to the sycamore.

2 See B. xvi. c. 72.

3 This statement is entirely unfounded.

4 Considering that the leaves and bark are rich in tannin and gallic acid, it might be worth while to ascertain if there is any truth in this assertion.

5 But Horace says, Sat. B. ii. s. 4, 1. 22, that mulberries are remarkably wholesome as a dessert.

6 In B. xvi. c. 41.

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