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We have already1 enumerated some twenty varieties of the ivy. The medicinal properties of them all are of a doubtful nature; taken in considerable quantities they disturb the mental faculties and purge the brain. Taken internally they are injurious to the sinews,2 but applied topically they are beneficial to those parts of the body. Ivy possesses properties similar3 to those of vinegar. All the varieties of the ivy are of a refrigerative nature, and taken in drink they are diuretic. The softer leaves, applied to the head, allay head-ache, acting more particularly upon the brain and the membrane which envelopes that organ. For this purpose the leaves are bruised with vinegar and oil of roses and then boiled, after which some more rose-oil is added. The leaves too are applied to the fore- head, and the mouth is fomented with a decoction of them, with which the head is rubbed as well. They are useful also for the spleen, the leaves being applied topically, or an infusion of them taken in drink. A decoction of them is used for cold shiverings in fevers, and for pituitous eruptions; or else they are beaten up in wine for the purpose. The umbels too, taken in drink or applied externally, are good for affections of the spleen, and an application of them is useful for the liver; employed as a pessary, they act as an emmenagogue. The juice of the ivy, the white cultivated kind more particularly, cures diseases of the nostrils and removes habitually offensive smells. Injected into the nostrils it purges the head, and with the addition of nitre it is still more efficacious for that purpose. In combination with oil, the juice is injected for suppurations or pains in the ears. It is a corrective also of the deformities of scars. The juice of white ivy, heated with the aid of iron, is still more efficacious for affections of the spleen; it will be found sufficient, however, to take six of the berries in two cyathi of wine. Three berries of the white ivy, taken in oxymel, expel tape-worm, and in the treatment of such cases it is a good plan to apply them to the abdomen as well. Erasistratus prescribes twenty of the golden-coloured berries of the ivy which we have-mentioned as the "chrysocarpos,"4 to be beaten up in one sextarius of wine, and he says that if three cyathi of this preparation are taken for dropsy, it will carry off by urine the water that has been secreted beneath the skin. For cases of tooth-ache he recommends five berries of the chrysocarpos to be beaten up in oil of roses, and warmed in a pomegranate-rind, and then injected into the ear opposite the side affected. The berries which yield a juice of a saffron colour, taken beforehand in drink, are a preservative against crapulence; they are curative also of spitting of blood and of griping pains in the bowels. The whiter umbels of the black ivy, taken in drink, are productive of sterility, in males even. A decoction in wine of any kind of ivy is useful as a liniment for all sorts of ulcers, those even of the malignant kind known as "cacoethes." The tears5 which distil from the ivy are used as a depilatory, and for the cure of phthiriasis. The blossoms too, of all the varieties, taken twice a day in astringent wine, a pinch in three fingers at a time, are curative of dysentery and looseness of the bowels: they are very useful also, applied to burns with wax. The umbels stain the hair black. The juice extracted from the root is taken in vinegar for the cure of wounds inflicted by the phalangium. I find it stated too, that patients suffering from affections of the spleen are cured by drinking from vessels made of the wood of the ivy. The berries are bruised also, and then burnt, and a liniment is prepared from them for burns, the parts being fomented with warm water first.

Incisions are sometimes made in the ivy to obtain the juice, which is used for carious teeth, it having the effect of breaking them, it is said; the adjoining teeth being fortified with wax against the powerful action of the juice. A kind of gum even is said to be found in the ivy, which, it is asserted, is extremely useful, mixed with vinegar, for the teeth.

1 In B. xvi. c. 62. The ivy is but little used for any of the purposes of modern medicine. It is said by some authorities that a decoction of the leaves will kill vermin, and that the berries are purgative and emetic.

2 "Nervis."

3 Fée states that in reality no such similarity exists; but that acetic acid is sometimes developed by the rapid fermentation of the juices of a great number of vegetable substances.

4 "Golden fruit." See B. xvi. c. 62.

5 The same substance which he speaks of at the end of this Chapter as the gum of ivy, called "hederine," Fée says, in modern chemistry. It is a gum resin, mixed with ligneous particles.

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