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The leaves, bark, and branches of the elm1 have the property of filling up wounds and knitting the flesh together: the inner membrane2 too, of the bark, and the leaves, steeped in vinegar, are applied topically for leprosy. The bark, in doses of one denarius, taken in one hemina of cold water, acts as a purgative upon the bowels, and is particularly useful for carrying off pituitous and aqueous humours. The gum also which this tree produces is applied topically to gatherings, wounds, and burns, which it would be as well to foment with the decoction also. The moisture3 which is secreted on the follicules of the tree gives a finer colour to the skin, and improves the looks. The foot-stalks of the leaves that first appear,4 boiled in wine, are curative of tumours, and bring them to a head:5 the same, too, is the effect produced by the inner bark.

Many persons are of opinion that the bark of this tree, chewed, is a very useful application for wounds, and that the leaves, bruised and moistened with water, are good for gout. The moisture too that exudes from the pith of the tree, as already6 stated, on an incision being made, applied to the head, causes the hair to grow and prevents it from falling off.

1 See B. xvi. c. 29. The bark of the elm, like that of most other trees, has certain astringent properties.

2 Fée says that it is only some few years since the inner bark of the elm was sometimes prescribed medicinally, but that it has now completely fallen into disuse. All that Pliny says here of the virtues of the elm is entirely suppositions.

3 A kind of honey-dew, no doubt.

4 "Cauliculi foliorum primi."

5 "Extrahuntque per fistulas."

6 In B. xvi. c. 74.

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