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Salt, regarded by itself, is naturally igneous, and yet it manifests an antipathy to fire, and flies1 from it. It consumers everything, and yet upon living bodies it has an astringent, desiccative, and binding effect, while the dead it preserves from putrefaction,2 and makes them last for ages even. In respect, however, of its medicinal properties, it is of a mordent, burning, detergent, attenuating, and resolvent nature; it is, however, injurious to the stomach, except that it acts as a stimulant to the appetite, For the cure of injuries inflicted by serpents, it is used with origanum, honey, and hyssop; and for the sting of the cerastes, with origanum, cedar-resin, pitch, or honey. Taken internally with vinegar, it is good for injuries caused by the scolopendra; and, applied topically, with an equal proportion of linseed, in oil or vinegar, for stings inflicted by scorpions. For stings of hornets, wasps, and insects of a similar description, it is applied with vinegar; and, for the cure of hemicrania, ulcers on the head, blisters, pimples, and incipient warts, with veal-suet. It is used also among the remedies for the eyes, and for the removal of fleshy exrescences upon those organs, as also of hangnails3 upon the fingers or toes. For webs that form upon the eyes it is peculiarly useful, and hence it is that it is so commonly employed as an ingredient in eye-salves, as well as plasters. For all these last-mentioned purposes, the salt of Tatta or of Caunus is more particularly in request.

In cases where there is ecchymosis of the eyes, or a bruise from the effects of a blow, salt is applied, with an equal quantity of myrrh and honey, or with hyssop in warm water, the eyes being also fomented with salsugo. For this last-mentioned purpose, the Spanish salt is preferred; and when wanted for the treatment of cataract, it is ground upon small whet- stones, with milk. For bruises it is particularly useful, wrapped in a linen pledget and renewed from time to time, being first dipped in boiling water. For the cure of running ulcers of the mouth, it is applied with lint; gum-boils are also rubbed with it; and, broken to pieces and powdered fine, it removes granulations on the tongue. The teeth, it is said, will never become carious or corroded, if a person every morin- ing puts some salt beneath his tongue, fasting, and leaves it there till it has melted. Salt effects the cure also of leprosy, boils, lichens, and itch-scabs; for all which purposes it is ap- plied with raisins—the stones being first removed—beef-suet, origanum, and leaven, or else bread. In such cases it is the salt from Thebaïs that is mostly used; the same salt being considered preferable for the treatment of prurigo, and being highly esteemed for affections of the uvula and tonsillary glands, in combination with honey.

Every kind of salt is useful for the cure of quinzy; but, in addition to this, it is necessary to make external applications simultaneously with oil, vinegar, and tar. Mixed with wine, it is a gentle aperient to the bowels, and, taken in a similar manner, it acts as an expellent of all kinds of intestinal worms. Placed beneath the tongue, it enables convalescents to support the heat4 of the bath. Burnt more than once upon a plate at a white heat, and then enclosed in a bag, it alleviates pains in the sinews, about the shoulders and kidneys more particularly. Taken internally, and similarly burnt at a white heat and applied in bags, it is curative of colic, griping pains in the bowels, and sciatica. Beaten up in wine and honey, with meal, it is a remedy for gout; a malady for the especial behoof of which the observation should be borne in mind, that there is nothing better for all parts of the body than sun and salt:5 hence6 it is that we see the bodies of fishermen as hard as horn—gout, however, is the principal disease for the benefit of which this maxim should be remembered.

Salt is useful for the removal of corns upon the feet, and of chilblains: for the cure of burns also, it is applied with oil, or else chewed. It acts as a check also upon blisters, and, in cases of erysipelas and serpiginous ulcers, it is applied topically with vinegar or with hyssop. For the cure of carcinoma it is employed in combination with Taminian7 grapes; and for phagedænic ulcers it is used parched with barley-meal, a linen pledget steeped in wine being laid upon it. In cases of jaundice, it is employed as a friction before the fire, with oil and vinegar, till the patient is made to perspire, for the purpose of preventing the itching sensations attendant upon that dis- ease. When persons are exhausted with fatigue, it is usual to rub them with salt and oil. Many have treated dropsy with salt, have used external applications of salt and oil for the burning heats of fever, and have cured chronic coughs by laying salt upon the patient's tongue. Salt has been used, also, as an injection for sciatica, and has been applied to ulcers of a fungous or putrid nature.

To bites inflicted by the crocodile, salt is applied, the sores being tightly bandaged with linen cloths, first dipped8 in vinegar. It is taken internally, with hydromel, to neutralize the effects of opium, and is applied topically, with meal and honey, to sprains and fleshy excrescences. In cases of toothache, it is used as a collutory with vinegar, and is very useful, applied externally, with resin. For all these purposes, however, froth of salt9 is found to be more agreeable and still more efficacious. Still, however, every kind of salt is good as an ingredient in acopa,10 when warming properties are required: the same, too, in the case of detersive applications, when required for plumping out and giving a smooth surface to the skin. Employed topically, salt is curative of itch-scab in sheep and cattle, for which disease it is given them to lick. It is injected, also, with the spittle, into the eyes of beasts of burden. Thus much with reference to salt.

1 He alludes to its decrepitation in flame.

2 Pharnaces caused the body of his father Mithridates to be deposited in brine, in order to trausmit it to Pompey.

3 He uses the word "pterygia" here, as applied to the whole of the body—"totius corporis"—in its two distinct senses, a hangnail or excrescence on the fingers, and a web or film on the eyes.

4 In c. 23, he has said much the same of cold water.

5 "Sale et sole."

6 This Passage would come more naturally after the succeeding one.

7 See B. xxiii. . 13.

8 "Ita ut batuerentur ante." From the corresponding passage in Dioscorides, where the expression βαπτόμ<*>νοι ἐις ὂξος is used, it would appear that the proper word here is "bapiltizarentur;" or possibly; a last Gracco-Latin word, "bapterentur." Littré suggests "hebetarentur," "the part being first numbed" by the aid of a bandage.

9 "Spama salis." Colleted from the from on the sea-shore.

10 See Note 36, above, p. 507.

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