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21 These three classes of compositions —emollients, pastils and plasters — have very wide and varied uses. But there are other useful compositions, such as those which are introduced into women from below: the Greeks call them pessoi. Their characteristic is that the component medicaments are taken up in soft wool, and this wool is inserted into the genitals.[p. 49] A pessary for inducing menstruation contains soda 2·65 grams, added to two Caunean figs; or garlic seeds are pounded, a little myrrh added, and these are mixed with Susine lily ointment; or the pulp of a wild cucumber is diluted in woman's milk. To mollify the womb a yolk of egg, fenugreek, rose-oil and saffron are mixed together. Or elaterium 0·66 gram, the same quantity of salt, and black bryony berries 24 grams are taken up with honey. The pessary invented by Boethus consists of saffron and turpentine resin, 16 grams each, myrrh 1·33 grams, rose-oil 4 grams, calf's suet 4·66 grams, wax 8 grams, mixed together. But against inflammations of the womb, the composition of Numenius is the best; it consists of saffron 1 gram, wax 4 grams, butter 32 grams, goose-fat 48 grams, 2 yolks of egg boiled, and of rose-oil less than 40 cc. If the foetus is dead, to render its expulsion more easy, pomegranate rind should be rubbed up in water and so used. If a woman is liable to fits owing to genital disease, snails are to be burnt with their shells, and pounded up together; then honey added to them. If a woman does not conceive, lion's fat is to be softened by rose-oil.
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