This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
11 Now ulcerations of the mouth if accompanied by inflammation, and if they are foul and reddish, are best treated by the medicaments made from pomegranates mentioned above. And, as a repressant, pearl barley gruel to which a little honey has been added is to be often held in the mouth; the patient must walk and not take acrid food. As soon as the ulcerations begin to clean, a bland liquid, at times even the purest water, is held in the mouth. It is then beneficial to eat a pear of the softer sort, and more food along with sharp vinegar; then the ulcers should be dusted over with split alum, to which about half as much again of unripe oak-galls has been added. If the ulcers are alar encrusted, as happens after cauterization, those compositions are to be applied which the Greeks call antherae: equal portions of galingale, myrrh, sandarach, and alum. Or saffron and myrrh 4 grams each; iris, split alum and sandarach 16 grams each; galingale 32 grams. Or oak-galls and myrrh 4 grams each; split alum 8 grams; rose leaves 16 grams. But some mix saffron 0.66 gram; split alum and myrrh 4 grams each; sandarach 8 grams; galingale 16 grams. [p. 257] The first compositions are dried and then dusted on; the last one is smeared on with honey added, and used not only for ulcerations of the mouth, but also of the tonsils. But by far the most dangerous are those ulcers which the Greeks call aphtae, certainly in children; in them they often cause death, but there is not the same danger for men and women. These ulcers begin from the gums: next they invade the palate and the whole mouth; then they pass downwards to the uvula and throat, and if these are involved, it is not easy for the child to recover. But the disease is even worse in a suckling, for there is then less possibility of its conquest by any remedy. But it is most important that the nurse should be made to take exercise both by walking and by doing work which moves her arms; she should be sent to the bath, and ordered when there to have hot water poured over her breasts; moreover, she should have bland, easily digestible food; and for drink, if the infant is feverish, water; if free from fever, diluted wine. And if the nurse is constipated, her bowels are to be moved by a clyster. If there is clotted phlegm in her mouth, she must vomit. Then the child's ulcers are to be anointed with honey, to which is added sumach, which they call Syrian, or bitter almonds; or a mixture of dried rose leaves, pinecone seeds, mint, young stalks, and honey, or that medicament which is made of mulberries, the juice of which is concentrated in the same way as pomegranate juice to the consistency of honey; similarly too there is mixed with it saffron, myrrh, alum, wine and honey; nothing should be given which can provoke spittle. If it is an older child he should[p. 259] generally gargle as described above. If the milder medicaments do little good, the caustic materials which induce crusts upon the ulcers should be applied, such as split alum or copper ore or blacking. Even hunger is beneficial and the greatest possible abstinence is to be ordered. The food ought to be bland; for cleansing the ulcers, however, sometimes cheese with honey is appropriately given.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 United States License.
An XML version of this text is available for download, with the additional restriction that you offer Perseus any modifications you make. Perseus provides credit for all accepted changes, storing new additions in a versioning system.