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We have already1 given some description of galbanum: to be good, it should be neither too moist nor too dry, but just in the state which we have mentioned.2 It is taken by itself for inveterate coughs, asthma, ruptures, and convulsions; and it is employed externally for sciatica, pains in the sides, inflamed tumours,3 boils, denudations of the bones, scrofulous sores, nodes upon the joints, and tooth-ache. It is applied with honey also, to ulcerations of the head. In combination with oil of roses or with nard, it is used as an injection for suppurations of the ears; and the odour of it is useful for epilepsy, hysterical suffocations, and faintness at the stomach. Employed as a pessary or as a fumigation, it brings away the fœtus in cases of miscarriage; branches too of hellebore covered with it and laid beneath the patient, have a similar effect.

We have already4 stated that serpents are driven away by the fumes of burnt galbanum, and they will equally avoid persons whose body has been rubbed with it. It is curative also of the sting of the scorpion. In protracted deliveries, a piece of galbanum the size of a bean is given in one cyathus of wine: it has the effect also of reducing the uterus when displaced, and, taken with myrrh and wine, it brings away the dead fœtus. In combination with myrrh and wine too, it neutralizes poisons—those which come under the denomination of "toxica"5 in particular. The very touch of it, mixed with oil and spondylium,6 is sufficient to kill a serpent.7 It is generally thought to be productive of strangury.

1 In B. xii. c. 56.

2 Cartilaginous, clear, and free from ligneous substances.

3 It is still employed, Fée says, to a small extent, as a topical application for ulcerated sores. Its properties are energetic, but nearly all the uses to which Pliny speaks of it as being applied are hypothetical.

4 In B. xii c. 56 .

5 Narcotic poisons.

6 See B. xii. c. 58. See also c. 16 of this Book.

7 This statement is entirely fabulous.

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