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23 Antidotes are seldom needed, but are at times important because they bring aid to the gravest cases. They are appropriately administered for bodily contusions, either from blows or in cases of a fall from a height, or for pain in the viscera, sides, fauces, or internal parts. But they are chiefly necessary against poisons introduced into our bodies through bites or food or drink.

One consists of poppy-tears 0·66 gram, sweet flag and malabathrum, 20 grams each, Illyrian iris and gum, 8 grams each, anise 12 grams, Gallic nard, dried rose-leaves and cardamons, 16 grams each, parsley 16·66 grams (or trifolium 20 grams), black casia, seseli, bdellium, balsam seed, white pepper, 20·66 grams each, storax 20·66 grams, myrrh, opopanax, Syrian nard, male frankincense and hypocistis juice, 24 grams each, castoreum 24 grams, costmary, white pepper, galbanum, turpentine resin, crocus, flowers of round rush 25 grams, liquorice root 33 grams, which are taken up in honey or in raisin wine.

Alternatively there is that which Zopyrus is said to have compose for a King Ptolemy, and to have called it ambrosia, consisting of the following: costmary and male frankincense, 1·33 grams each, white pepper 1 gram, flowers of round rush 8 grams,[p. 57] cinnamon 12 grams, black casia 16 grams, Cilician saffron 17 grams, myrrh called stacte 20 grams, Indian nard 21 grams. Each ingredient is ground up separately, and they are taken up in boiled honey; then at the time of using, a quantity the size of an Egyptian bean is dissolved in a draught of wine.

But the most famous antidote is that of Mithridates, which that king is said to have taken daily and by it to have rendered his body safe against danger from poison. It contains costmary 1·66 grams, sweet flag 20 grams, hypericum, gum, sagapenum, acacia juice, Illyrian iris, cardamon, 8 grams each, anise 12 grams, Gallic nard, gentian root and dried rose-leaves, 16 grams each, poppy-tears and parsley, 17 grams each, casia, saxifrage, darnel, long pepper, 20·66 grams each, storax 21 grams, castoreum, frankincense, hypocistis juice, myrrh and opopanax, 24 grams each, malabathrum leaves 24 grams, flower of round rush, turpentine-resin, galbanum, Cretan carrot seeds, 24·66 grams each, nard and opobalsam, 25 grams each, shepherd's purse 25 grams, rhubarb root 28 grams, saffron, ginger, cinnamon, 29 grams each. These are pounded and taken up in honey. Against poisoning, a piece the size of an almond is given in wine. In other affections an amount corresponding in size to an Egyptian bean is sufficient.

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load focus Introduction (Charles Victor Daremberg, 1891)
load focus Latin (Charles Victor Daremberg, 1891)
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