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Rust itself, too, is classed among the remedial substances; for it was by means of it that Achilles cured Telephus, it is said, whether it was an iron weapon or a brazen one that he used for the purpose. So it is, however, that he is represented in paintings detaching the rust with his sword.1 The rust of iron is usually obtained for these purposes by scraping old nails with a piece of moistened iron. It has the effect of uniting wounds, and is possessed of certain desiccative and astringent properties. Applied in the form of a liniment, it is curative of alopecy. Mixed with wax and myrtle-oil, it is applied to granulations of the eyelids, and pustules in all parts of the body, with vinegar it is used for the cure of erysipelas; and, applied with lint, it is curative of itch, whitlows on the fingers, and hang-nails. Used as a pessary with wool, it arrests female discharges. Diluted in wine, and kneaded with myrrh, it is applied to recent wounds, and, with vinegar, to condylomatous6 swellings. Employed in the form of a liniment, it alleviates gout.2

1 There are two versions of this story. In B. xxv. c. 19, Pliny says that Achilles cured Telephus by the application of a plant, which from him received its name. According to the other account, the oracle had declared, that the wound of Telephus, which had been inflicted by Achilles, could only be cured by means of the same weapon which had caused it.—B.

2 All the statements in this Chapter are to be found in Dioscorides, B. v. c. 93.—B.

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