CHAP. 42.—FLOWER OF SALT: TWENTY REMEDIES. SALSUGO:
That which mainly distinguishes the produce of salt-works,
in respect of its purity, is a sort of efflorescence,1
the lightest and whitest part of salt. The name "flower of
is given, also, to a substance of an entirely different
character, more humid by nature, and of a red or saffron colour; a kind of "rust of salt," as it were, with an unpleasant
smell like that of garum, and differing therein not only from
froth of salt,3
but from salt itself. This substance is found
in Egypt, and, as it would appear, is conveyed thither by the
waters of the Nilus; though it is to be found floating upon
the surface of certain springs as well. The best kind is that
which yields a certain fatty4
substance, like oil—for salt even,
a thing that is quite marvellous to think of, is not without a
degree of unctuousness.
This substance is sophisticated, and coloured with red earth,
or, in most instances, with powdered potsherds; an adulteration to be detected by the agency of water, which washes off
the fictitious colour, the natural colour being only removable
by the agency of oil. Indeed, it is for its colour that perfumers more particularly make such extensive use of this drug.
When seen in the vessels, the surface of it is white, but that
which lies in the middle is moister, as already stated. It is
of an acrid nature, calorific, and bad for the stomach. It acts
also as a sudorific, and, taken with wine and water, has a purgative effect upon the bowels. It is very useful, also, as an
ingredient in acopa5
and in detersive6
compositions, and is remarkably efficacious for the removal of hairs from the eye-lids.
It is the practice to shake up the sediment, in order to renovate the saffron colour of the drug.
In addition to these substances, there is another, known in
the salt-works by the name of "salsugo," or "salsilago:" it is
quite liquid, salter in taste than sea-water, but inferior to it in