Pliny the Elder, Natural History (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Plin. Nat.].
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30.43 CHAP. 43. (14.)—REMEDIES FOR FEMALE COMPLAINTS.

For diseases incident to females, a ewe's placenta is very useful, as already [Note] mentioned by us, when speaking of goats: sheep's dung, too, is equally good. A fumigation of' burnt locusts, applied to the lower parts, affords relief to strangury, in females more particularly. It; immediately after conception, a woman eats a cock's testes every now and then, the child of which she is pregnant will become [Note] a male, it is said. The ashes of a burnt poricupinel taken in drink, are a preventive of abortion: bitches' milk facilitates delivery: and the after- birth of a bitch, provided it has not touched the ground, will act as an expellent of the fœtus. Milk, taken as a drink, strengthens the loins of women when in travail. Mouse-dung, diluted with rain water, reduces the breasts of females, when swollen after delivery. The ashes of a burnt hedge-hog, applied with oil, act as a preventive of abortion. Delivery is facilitated, in cases where the patient has taken, either goose- dung in two cyathi of water, or the liquid that escapes from the uterus of a weasel by its genitals.

Earth-wormrs, applied topically, effectually prevent pains in the sinews of the neck and shoulders; taken in raisin wine, they expel the after-birth, when retarded. Applied by themselves, earthworms ripen abscesses of the breasts, open them, draw the humours, and make them cicatrize: taken in honied wine, they promote the secretion of the milk. In hay-grass there are small worms found, which, attached to the neck, act as a preventive of premature delivery; they are removed, however, at the moment of childbirth, as otherwise they would have the effect of impeding delivery; care must be taken, also, not to put

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them on the ground. To promote conception, five or seven of them are administered in drink. Snails, taken with the food, accelerate delivery; and, applied with saffron, they promote conception. Used in the form of a liniment, with amylum [Note] and gum tragacanth, they arrest uterine discharges. Taken with the food, they promote menstruation; and, mixed with deer's marrow, in the proportion of one denarius and the same quantity of cyprus [Note] to each snail, they reduce the uterus when displaced. Taken from the shell, and beaten up with oil of roses, they dispel inflations of the uterus; the snails of Astypalæa being those that are mostly chosen for these purposes.

Those of Africa, again, are employed in a different manner, two of them being beaten up with a pinch of fenulgreek in three fingers, and four spoonfuls of honey, and the preparation applied to the abdomen, after it has been rubbed with juice of iris. [Note] There is a kind of small, white, elongated snail, [Note] that is found straying here and there: dried upon tiles in the sun, and reduced to powder, these snails are mixed with bean-meal, in equal proportions, forming a cosmetic which whitens and softens the skin. The small, broad, kind of snail, mixed with polenta, is good for the removal of a tendency to scratch and rub the skin.

If a pregnant woman steps over a viper, she will be sure to miscarry; [Note] the same, too, in the case of the anphisbæna, but only when it is dead. If, however, a woman carries about her a live amphlisbæna in a box, she may step over one with impunity, even though it be dead. An amphisbæna, preserved for the purpose, will ensure an easy delivery, even though it be dead. [Note] It is a truly marvellous fact, but if a pregnant woman steps over one of these serpents that has not been preserved, it will be perfectly harmless, provided she immediately steps over another that has been preserved. A fumigation made with a dried snake, acts powerfully as an emmenagogue.



Pliny the Elder, Natural History (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Plin. Nat.].
<<Plin. Nat. 30.42 Plin. Nat. 30.43 (Latin) >>Plin. Nat. 30.44

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