Pliny the Elder, Natural History (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Plin. Nat.].
<<Plin. Nat. 31.32 Plin. Nat. 31.33 (Latin) >>Plin. Nat. 31.34

31.33 CHAP. 33.—THE USES OF SEA-WATER. THE ADVANTAGES OF A SEA-VOYAGE.

Sea-water also is employed in a similar manner for the cure of diseases. It is used, made hot, for the cure of pains in the sinews, for reuniting fractured bones, and for its desiccative action upon the body: for which last purpose, it is also used cold. There are numerous other medicinal resources derived from the sea; the benefit of a sea-voyage, more particularly, in cases of phthisis, as already [Note] mentioned, and where patients are suffering from hæmoptosis, as lately experienced, in our own memory, by Annæus Gallio, [Note] at the close of his consulship: [Note] for it is not for the purpose of visiting the country, that people so often travel to Egypt, but in order to secure the beneficial results arising from a long sea-voyage. Indeed, the very sea-sickness that is caused by the rocking of the vessel to and fro, is good for many affections of the head, eyes, and chest, all those cases, in fact, in which the patient is recommended to drink an infusion of hellebore. Medical men con- sider sea-water, employed by itself,' highly efficacious for the dispersion of tumours, and, boiled with barley-meal, for the successful treatment of imposthumes of the parotid glands: it is used also as an ingredient in plasters, white plasters more particularly, and for emollient [Note] poultices. Sea-water is very good, too, employed as a shower-bath; and it is taken internally, though not without [Note] injury to the stomach, both as a

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purgative and as an expellent, by vomit and by alvine evacuation, of black bile [Note] or coagulated blood, as the case may be.

Some authorities prescribe it, taken internally, for quartan fevers, as also for tenesmus and diseases of the joints; purposes for which it is kept a considerable time, to mellow with age, and so lose its noxious [Note] properties. Some, again, are for boiling it, but in all cases it is recommended to be taken from out at sea, and untainted with the mixture of fresh water, an emetic also being taken before using it. When used in this manner, vinegar or wine is generally mixed with the water. Those who give it unmixed, recommend radishes with oxymel to be eaten upon it, in order to provoke vomiting. Sea-water, made hot, is used also as an injection; and there is nothing in existence preferred to it as a fomentation for swellings of the testes, or for chilblains before they ulcerate. It is similarly employed, also, for the cure of prurigo, itch-scab, and lichens. Lice and other foul vermin of the head, are removed by the application of sea-water, and lividities of the skin are restored to their natural colour; it being a remarkably good plan, in such cases, after applying the sea-water, to foment the parts with hot vinegar.

It is generally considered, too, that sea-water is highly effcacious for the stings of venomous insects, those of the pha- langium and scorpion, for example, and as an antidote to the poisonous secretions of the asp, known as the "ptyas;" [Note] in all which cases it is employed hot. Fumigations are also made of it, with vinegar, for the cure of head-ache; and, used warm as at injection, it allays griping pains in the bowels and cholera. Things that have been heated in sea-water are longer than ordinary in cooling. A sea-water bath is an excellent corrective for swelling [Note] of the bosoms in females, affections of the thoracic organs, and ermaciation of the body. The steam also of sea-water boiled with vinegar, is used for the removal of hardness of hearing and head-ache. An application of sea-water very expeditiously removes rust upon iron; it is

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curative also of scab in sheep, and imparts additional softness to the wool.



Pliny the Elder, Natural History (English) (XML Header) [genre: prose] [word count] [Plin. Nat.].
<<Plin. Nat. 31.32 Plin. Nat. 31.33 (Latin) >>Plin. Nat. 31.34

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