CHAP. 19.—THE ENHYDRIS: SIX REMEDIES. THE RIVER-CRAB:
FOURTEEN REMEDIES. THE SEA-CRAB: SEVEN REMEDIES. THE
RIVER-SNAIL: SEVEN REMEDIES. THE CORACINUS: FOUR REMEDIES.
THE SEA-PIG: TWO REMEDIES.
There is also a snake1
which lives in the water, the fat and
gall of which, carried about them by persons when in pursuit
of the crocodile, are said to be marvellously efficacious, the
beast not venturing, in such case, to make an attack upon
them. As such preservative, they are still more effectual
if mixed with the herbaceous plant known as potamogiton.2
taken fresh and beaten up and drunk in water,
or the ashes of them, kept for the purpose, are useful in all
cases of poisoning, as a counter-poison: taken with asses'
milk they are particularly serviceable as a neutralizer of the
venom of the scorpion; goats' milk or any other kind of milk
being substituted where asses' milk cannot be procured. Wine,
too, should also be used in all such cases. River-crabs, beaten
up with ocimum,4
and applied to scorpions, are fatal to them.
They are possessed of similar virtues, also, for the bites of all
other kinds of venomous animals, the scytale5
adders, the sea-hare, and the bramble-frog. The ashes of them,
preserved, are good for persons who give symptoms of hydrophobia
after being bitten by a mad dog, some adding gentian
as well, and administering the mixture in wine. In cases,
too, where hydrophobia has already appeared, it is recommended
that these ashes should be kneaded up into boluses with
wine, and swallowed. If ten of these crabs are tied together
with a handful of ocimum,6
all the scorpions in the neighbourhood,
the magicians say, will be attracted to the spot.
They recommend, also, that to wounds inflicted by the scorpion,
these crabs, or the ashes of them, should be applied, with
ocimum. For all these purposes, however, sea-crabs, it should
be remembered, are not so useful. Thrasyllus informs us that
there is nothing so antagonistic to serpents as crabs; that
swine, when stung by a serpent, cure themselves by eating
them; and that, while the sun is in the sign of Cancer,7
suffer the greatest tortures.
The flesh, too, of river-snails, eaten either raw or boiled, is
an excellent antidote to the venom of the scorpion, some persons
keeping them salted for the purpose. These snails are applied,
also, topically to the wound.
is a fish peculiar to the river Nilus, it is
true, but the particulars we are here relating are for the benefit
of all parts of the world: the flesh of it is most excellent as
an application for the cure of wounds inflicted by scorpions.
In the number of the poisonous fishes we ought to reckon the
a fish which causes great suffering to those who have
been pierced with the pointed fin upon its back: the proper
remedy in such case is the slime taken from the other parts
of the body of the fish.