CHAP. 39.—REMEDIES FOR ULCEROUS SORES AND WOUNDS.
For the cure of ulcers, wool-grease is used, with ashes of
burnt barley and verdigrease, in equal quantities; a preparation which is good, too, for carcinomata and spreading sores.
It cauterizes the flesh also around the margins of ulcers, and
reduces and makes level fungous excrescences formed by sores.
Ashes, too, of burnt sheep's dung, mixed with nitre, are of great
efficacy for the cure of carcinomata; as also those of lambs'
thigh-bones, in cases more particularly where ulcers refuse to
cicatrize. Very considerable, too, is the efficacy of lights,
ram's lights in particular, which are of the greatest utility for
reducing and making level the fleshy excrescences formed by
ulcerous sores. With sheep's dung, warmed beneath an
earthen pan and kneaded, the swellings attendant upon wounds
are reduced, and fistulous sores and epinyctis are cleansed and
made to heal.
But it is in the ashes of a burnt dog's head that the
greatest efficacy is found; as it quite equals spodium1
its property of cauterizing all kinds of fleshy excrescences,
and causing sores to heal. Mouse-dung, too, is used as a
cautery, and weasels' dung, burnt to ashes. Pounded millepedes, mixed with turpentine and earth of Sinope,2
for penetrating carcinomata and fleshy indurations in deep-
seated sores; and the same substances are remarkably useful
for the treatment of ulcers threatened with maggots.
Indeed the several varieties of worms themselves are possessed of marvellously useful properties. The worms,3
instance, that breed in wood are curative of all kinds of ulcers:
reduced to ashes, with an equal quantity of anise, and applied
with oil, they heal cancerous sores. Earthworms are so remark-
ably healing for wounds recently inflicted, that it is a very
general belief that by the end of seven days they will unite
sinews even that have been cut as under: hence it is that it is re-
commended to keep them preserved in honey. Ashes of burnt
earth-worms, in combination with tar or Simblian honey,4
terize the indurated margins of ulcerous sores. Some persons dry
earthworms in the sun, and apply them to wounds with vinegar,
the application not being removed till the end of acouple of days.
The earth also that adheres to snails is useful, similarly em-
ployed; snails, too, taken whole from the shell, are pounded
and applied to fresh wounds, to heal them, and they arrest the
progress of cancerous sores.
There is an insect called "herpes"5
by the Greeks, which
is particularly useful for the cure of all kinds of serpiginous6
sores. Snails, beaten up, shells and all, are very good for this
purpose; and it is said that, with myrrh and frankincense,
they will unite the sinews even when cut asunder. The fat,
too, of a dragon,7
dried in the sun, is remarkably usefull, and
so are the brains of a cock or capon for recent wounds. By
taking with the food salt in which vipers have been preserved,
ulcers are rendered more easy of treatment, it is said, and are
made to heal all the sooner. Antonius8
the physician, after
operating in vain upon ulcers, that were incurable with the
knife, used to prescribe viper's flesh to be eaten by the patient,
whereby a marvellously speedy cure was effected.
The locust called "troxallis,"9
reduced to ashes and applied
with honey, removes the indurated margins of ulcerous sores:
ashes, also, of burnt pigeons' dung, with arsenic and honey,
are very effectual in all cases where a cautery is required.
The brains of a horned owl, applied with goose-grease, are
marvellously efficacious for uniting wounds, it is said. For
the malignant ulcer known as "cacoëthes,"10
the ashes of a
ram's thigh-bones are used, mixed with woman's milk, the sores
being washed with linen cloths well rinsed. For the same
purpose, the bird known as the screech-owl11
is boiled in oil,
ewe-milk butter and honey being added to the preparation,
when properly dissolved. An application of bees that have
died in the honey, acts emolliently upon the indurated margins
of ulcerous sores; and for the cure of elephantiasis, the blood
and ashes of a weasel are employed. Wounds and weals pro-
duced by blows are effaced by an application of sheep-skins
fresh from the body.