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Where the hair has been lost through alopecy,1 it is made to grow again by using ashes of burnt sheep's dung, with oil of cyprus2 and honey; or else the hoof of a mule of either sex, burnt to ashes and mixed with oil of myrtle. In addition to these substances, we find our own writer, Varro, mentioning mousedung, which he calls "muscerda,"3 and the heads of flies, applied fresh, the part being first rubbed with a fig-leaf. Some recommend the blood of flies, while others, again, apply ashes of burnt flies for ten days, in the proportion of one part of the ashes to two of ashes of papyrus or of nuts. In other cases, again, we find ashes of burnt flies kneaded up with woman's milk and cabbage, or, in some instances, with honey only. It is generally believed that there is no creature less docile or less intelligent than the fly; a circumstance which makes it all the more marvellous that at the sacred games at Olympia, immediately after the immolation of the bull in honour of the god called "Myiodes,"4 whole clouds of them take their departure from that territory. A mouse's head or tail, or, indeed, the whole of the body, reduced to ashes, is a cure for alopecy, more particularly when the loss of the hair has been the result of some noxious preparation. The ashes of a hedge-hog, mixed with honey, or of its skin, applied with tar, are productive of a similar effect. The head, too, of this last animal, reduced to ashes, restores the hair to scars upon the body; the place being first prepared, when this cure is made use of, with a razor and an application of mustard: some persons, however, prefer vinegar for the purpose. All the properties attributed to the hedge-hog are found in the porcupine in a still higher degree.5

A lizard burnt, as already6 mentioned, with the fresh root of a reed, cut as fine as possible, to facilitate its being re- duced to ashes, and then mixed with oil of myrtle, will prevent the hair from coming off. For all these purposes green lizards are still more efficacious, and the remedy is rendered most effectual, when salt is added, bears' grease, and pounded onions. Some persons boil ten green lizards in ten sextarii of oil, and content themselves with rubbing the place with the mixture once a month. Alopecy is also cured very speedily with the ashes of a viper's skin, or by an application of fresh poultry dung. A raven's egg, beaten up in a copper vessel and applied to the head, previously shaved, imparts a black colour to the hair; care must be taken, however, to keep some oil in the mouth till the application is quite dry, or else the teeth will turn black as well. The operation must be performed also in the shade, and the liniment must not be washed off before the end of three days. Some persons employ the blood and brains of a raven, in combination with red wine; while others, again, boil down the bird, and put it, at bedtime, in a vessel made of lead. With some it is the practice, for the cure of alopecy, to apply bruised cantharides with tar, the skin being first prepared with an application of nitre:—it should be remembered, however, that cantharides are possessed of caustic properties, and due care must be taken not to let them eat too deep into the skin. For the ulcerations thus produced, it is recommended to use applications made of the heads, gall, and dung of mice, mixed with hellebore and pepper.

1 So called from ἀλωπὴξ, "a fox," an animal very subject to the less of its hair.

2 See B. xii. c. 51.

3 So swine's dung was called "sucerda," and cowdung "bucerda."

4 Or Maagrus, the "fly catcher," the name of a hero, invoked at Aliphera, at the festivals of Athena, as the protector against flies. It was also a surname of Hercules. See B. x. c. 40.

5 See B. viii. c. 53.

6 In c. 32 of this Book.

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