Tuesday, February 20, 2018


Fragrant Belches

Theophrastus, On Odors 12.59 (tr. Arthur Hort):
It is to be expected that perfumes should have medicinal properties in view of the virtues of spices: for these too have such virtues. The effects of plasters and of what some call 'poultices' prove what virtues they display, since they disperse tumours and abscesses and produce a distinct effect on various other parts of the body, on its surface, but also on the interior parts: for instance, if one lays a plaster on his abdomen and breast, the patient forthwith produces fragrant odours along with his eructations.

Εὐλόγως δὲ τὰ μύρα φαρμακώδη διὰ τὴν τῶν ἀρωμάτων δύναμιν· καὶ γὰρ τὰ ἀρώματα τοιαῦτα. δηλοῖ δὲ τά τε καταπλάσματα καὶ ἃ δή τινες μαλάγματα καλοῦσιν οἵας ἀποδείκνυται δυνάμεις τά τε φύματα καὶ τὰ ἀποστήματα διαχέοντα καὶ ἄλλα πλείω τῶν κατὰ τὸ σῶμα διαλλοιοῦντα, ἐπιπολῆς μὲν ἀλλὰ καὶ τὰ ἐν βάθει, οἷον, ἄν τις καταπλάσῃ τὰ ὑποχόνδρια καὶ τὸ στῆθος, εὐθὺς σὺν τοῖς ἐρυγμοῖς ἀποδίδωσιν εὐώδεις τὰς ὀσμάς.

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