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Rhacoma1 is imported from the regions situate beyond Pontus.2 The root of it is similar to black costus,3 but smaller and somewhat redder, inodorous, and of a hot, astringent flavour; when pounded, it yields a colour like that of wine,4 but inclining to saffron. Applied topically, it reduces abscesses and inflammations, and heals wounds: used with raisin wine, it allays defluxions of the eyes; with honey, ecchymosis; and with vinegar, livid marks upon the skin. Reduced to powder, it is sprinkled upon malignant ulcers, and is given internally for spitting of blood, in doses of one drachma, in water. For dysentery and cœliac affections, if unattended with fever, it is administered in wine; but if there is fever, in water. It is pounded more easily when it has been steeped in water the night before. A decoction of it is given, in doses of two drachmæ, for ruptures, convulsions, contusions, and falls with violence.

In cases of pains in the chest, a little pepper and myrrh is added. When the stomach is deranged, it is taken in cold water; and the same in cases of chronic cough, purulent expectorations, liver complaint, affections of the spleen, sciatica, diseases of the kidneys, asthma, and hardness of breathing. Pounded and taken in doses of three oboli, in raisin wine, or used in the form of a decoction, it cures irritations of the trachea: applied with vinegar, it acts as a detergent upon lichens. It is taken in drink, also, for flatulency, cold shiverings, chilly fevers, hiccup, gripings of the bowels, herpetic ulcerations, oppressions of the head, vertigo attended with melancholy, lassitude accompanied with pain, and convulsions.

1 The reading of this word is very doubtful. It is generally supposed to be the Rheum Rhaponticum of Linnæus, Pontic rhubarb.

2 The shores of the Euxine.

3 See B. xii. c. 25.

4 "Fulvum," probably, "tawny-coloured," not white, red, or black; see B. xiv. cc. 11, 18.

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