CHAP. 23. (7.)—PITCH: TWENTY-THEEE REMEDIES.
We have also stated on a previous occasion1
tree pitch is extracted, and the methods employed for that
purpose. Of this also there are two kinds; thick pitch and
Of the several varieties of thick pitch the
most useful for medicinal purposes is that of Bruttium;3
being both extremely unctuous and very resinous, it reunites
the properties both of resin and of pitch, that of a yellow
reddish colour being the most highly esteemed. As to the
statement made in addition to this, that the produce of the
male tree is the best, I do not believe that any such distinction is at all possible.
Pitch is of a warming, cicatrizing tendency: mixed with
polenta it is particularly useful as a neutralizer of the venom
of the cerastes,4
and in combination with honey it is used
for quinzy, catarrhs, and fits of sneezing caused by phlegm.
With oil of roses it is used as an injection for the ears, and
employed as a liniment with wax it heals lichens. It relaxes5
the bowels, also, and used as an electuary, or applied with
honey to the tonsillary glands, it facilitates expectoration.
Applied topically, it acts as a detergent upon ulcers, and
makes new flesh. Mixed with raisins and axle-grease, it
forms a detergent plaster for carbuncles and putrid ulcers, and,
with pine-bark or sulphur, for serpiginous sores. Pitch has
been administered too by some, in doses of one cyathus, for
phthisis and inveterate coughs. It heals chaps of the Feet and
rectum, inflamed tumours, and malformed nails; and used as a
fumigation, it is curative of indurations and derangements of
the uterus, and of lethargy. Boiled with barley-meal and the
urine of a youth who has not arrived at puberty, it causes
scrofulous sores to suppurate. Dry pitch is used also for the
cure of alopecy. For affections of the mamillæ, Bruttian
pitch is warmed in wine with fine spelt meal, and applied as
hot as can be borne.