previous next


The chamæpitys,1 called in Latin "abiga,"2 because it promotes abortion, and known to some as "incense of the earth,"3 has branches a cubit in length, and the odour and blossoms of the pine. Another variety4 of it, which is somewhat shorter, has all the appearance of being bent5 down- wards; and there is a third,6 which, though it has a similar smell, and consequently the same name, is altogether smaller, with a stem the thickness of one's finger, and a diminutive, rough, pale leaf: it is found growing in rocky localities. All these varieties are in reality herbaceous productions; but in consequence of the resemblance of the name,7 I have thought it as well not to defer the consideration of them.

These plants are good for stings inflicted by scorpions, and are useful as an application, mixed with dates or quinces, for maladies of the liver: a decoction of them with barley-meal is used for the kidneys and the bladder. A decoction of them in water is used also for jaundice and for strangury. The kind last mentioned, in combination with honey, is good for wounds inflicted by serpents, and a pessary is made of it, with honey, as a detergent for the uterus. Taken in drink it brings away coagulated blood, and rubbed upon the body it acts as a sudorific: it is particularly useful also for the kidneys. Pills of a purgative nature are made of it for dropsy, with figs.8 Taken in wine, in doses of one victoriatus,9 it dispels lumbago, and cures coughs that are not of an inveterate description. A decoction of it in vinegar, taken in drink, will instantaneously bring away the dead fœtus, it is said.

1 Or "ground-pine."

2 From "abigo," to "drive away," it would appear.

3 "Thus terræ" The Teucrium Iva of Linnæus, Fée says, or Charmæ- pitys moschata. Fée remarks that Pliny commits a great error in, giving to it the blossoms of the pine, and that he assigns larger proportions than really belong to it. The name "incense of the earth," is very inappropriate; for it has none of the odour of incense, but merely a resinous smell.

4 The Teucrium chamæpitys of Linnæus, the Chamæpitys lutea vulgaris of C. Bauhin, the ground-pine.

5 The leaves are imbricated, and the branches bend downwards, like those of the pine, whence the name.

6 The Teucrium pseudo-chamæpitys of Linnæus, the bastard groundpine.

7 To the pine or pitch-tree, mentioned in c. 19.

8 They are rich in essential oil, and are of a tonic nature.. All that is here stated as to their medicinal uses, and which cannot be based upon that property, is hypothetical, Fée says, and does not deserve to be refuted.

9 See Introduction to Vol. 111.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.

An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.

load focus Latin (Karl Friedrich Theodor Mayhoff, 1906)
hide Places (automatically extracted)

View a map of the most frequently mentioned places in this document.

hide References (2 total)
  • Cross-references to this page (1):
  • Cross-references in general dictionaries to this page (1):
hide Display Preferences
Greek Display:
Arabic Display:
View by Default:
Browse Bar: