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But it is the belly, for the gratification of which the greater part of mankind exist, that causes the most suffering to man. Thus, for instance, at one time it will not allow the aliments to pass, while at another it is unable to retain them. Sometimes, again, it either cannot receive the food, or, if it can, cannot digest it; indeed, such are the excesses practised at the present day, that it is through his aliment, more than anything else, that man hastens his end. This receptacle,1 more troublesome to us than any other part of the body, is ever craving, like some importunate creditor, and makes its calls repeatedly in the day. It is for its sake, more particularly, that avarice is so insatiate, for its sake that luxury is so refined,2 for its sake that men voyage to the shores even of the Phasis, for its sake that the very depths of the ocean are ransacked. And yet, with all this, no one ever gives a thought how abject is the condition of this part of our body, how disgusting the results of its action upon what it has received! No wonder then, that the belly should have to be indebted to the aid of medicine in the very highest degree

Scordotis,3 fresh-gathered and beaten up, in doses of one drachma, with wine, arrests flux of the bowels; an effect equally produced by a decoction of it taken in drink. Polemonia,4 too, is given in wine for dysentery, or two fingers' length of root of verbascum,5 in water; seed of nymlphæa heraclia,6 in wine; the upper root of xiphion,7 in (loses of one drachma, in vinegar; seed of plantago, beaten up in wine ; plantago itself boiled in vinegar, or else a pottage of alica8 mixed with the juice of the plant; plantago boiled with lentils ; plantago dried and powdered, and sprinkled in drink, with parched poppies pounded; juice of plantago, used as an injection, or taken in drink ; or betony taken in wine heated with a red-hot iron. For cœliac affections, betony is taken in astringent wine, or iberis is applied topically, as alrealdy9 stated. For tenesmus, root of nymphæa heraclia is taken in wine, or else psyllion10 in water, or a decoction of root of acoron.11 Juice of aizoüm12 arrests diarrhœa and dysentery, and expels round tape-worm. Root of symphytum,13 taken in wine, arrests diarrhœa and dysentery, and daucus14 has a similar effect. Leaves of aizoüm15 beaten up in wine, and dried alcea16 powdered and taken in wine, are curative of griping pains in the bowels.

1 "Vas."

2 In search of pheasants. See B. vi. c. 4.

3 See B. xxv. c. 27.

4 See B. xxv. c. 28.

5 See B. xxv. c. 73.

6 See B. xxv. c. 37.

7 See B. xxv. c. 89.

8 See B. xviii. c. 29.

9 In B. xxv. c. 84.

10 See B. xxv. c. 90.

11 See B. xxv. c. 100.

12 See B. xxv. c. 102.

13 See B. xxvii. c. 24.

14 See B. xxv. c. 84.

15 See Note 32 above.

16 See B. xxvii. c. 6.

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