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We have also stated on a previous occasion1 from what tree pitch is extracted, and the methods employed for that purpose. Of this also there are two kinds; thick pitch and liquid pitch.2 Of the several varieties of thick pitch the most useful for medicinal purposes is that of Bruttium;3 for being both extremely unctuous and very resinous, it reunites the properties both of resin and of pitch, that of a yellow reddish colour being the most highly esteemed. As to the statement made in addition to this, that the produce of the male tree is the best, I do not believe that any such distinction is at all possible.

Pitch is of a warming, cicatrizing tendency: mixed with polenta it is particularly useful as a neutralizer of the venom of the cerastes,4 and in combination with honey it is used for quinzy, catarrhs, and fits of sneezing caused by phlegm. With oil of roses it is used as an injection for the ears, and employed as a liniment with wax it heals lichens. It relaxes5 the bowels, also, and used as an electuary, or applied with honey to the tonsillary glands, it facilitates expectoration. Applied topically, it acts as a detergent upon ulcers, and makes new flesh. Mixed with raisins and axle-grease, it forms a detergent plaster for carbuncles and putrid ulcers, and, with pine-bark or sulphur, for serpiginous sores. Pitch has been administered too by some, in doses of one cyathus, for phthisis and inveterate coughs. It heals chaps of the Feet and rectum, inflamed tumours, and malformed nails; and used as a fumigation, it is curative of indurations and derangements of the uterus, and of lethargy. Boiled with barley-meal and the urine of a youth who has not arrived at puberty, it causes scrofulous sores to suppurate. Dry pitch is used also for the cure of alopecy. For affections of the mamillæ, Bruttian pitch is warmed in wine with fine spelt meal, and applied as hot as can be borne.

1 In B. xiv. c. 25, and B. xvi. cc. 21, 22.

2 Tar. See B. xvi. c. 21.

3 The pitch of Calabria, Fée says, is known at the present day as pitch resin. All that Pliny states as to the medicinal properties of pitch, is destitute, Fée thinks, of the slightest probability.

4 Or horned serpent.

5 Taken internally, of course.

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