From THE HERBAL OF DIOSCORIDES THE GREEK

 

1-137. AGRIELAIA

SUGGESTED: Olea europaea var oleaster Wild Olive

Elaeagnus angustifolia Oleaster, Oil Tree,

Zakkoum Oil Plant

Elaeis guineensis Oil Palm

Cotinus coggyria, Rhus cotinus Venetian Sumach,

Smoke Tree

The wild olive tree (also called cotinon or the Ethiopian

olive tree) has leaves of an astringent nature which

pounded into small pieces and so applied are able to

restrain erysipela [streptococcal skin infection], shingles

[herpes], epinyctis [pustules which appear only at night],

carbuncles [malignant tumours], gangrenous ulceration,

hangnails and whitlows; and (applied with honey) to

take away scabs. They clean foul ulcers and dispel pain

and inflammation. Applied with honey they retain skin

that was torn on the head. They also heal ulcers in the

mouth and apthae [thrush in children or candidiasis]

when chewed. Their juice and a decoction of them does

the same. The juice applied stops eruption of the blood,

the flows of women, staphylomata [inflammatory

protrusion of the cornea] in the eyes, and pustules [pus

under skin], as well as ulcers and old dripping fluids. As a

result put into eye salves they are good for ulcers of the

eyelids. To extract the juice you must beat the leaves into

small pieces and pour in wine or water, then strain it out,

and having dried it in the sun, make it up into little balls.

That which is strained out with wine is far stronger and

fitter to be kept in store than that which is strained out

with water. It is good for ulcerous ears that are full of

discharges. The leaves smeared on with barley meal are

good for coeliac [intestinal complaints]. The leaves (and

this serves instead of spodium, calcined powder) are burnt

together with the flowers in an unfired clay jar the mouth

of which must be well sealed until the jar is thoroughly

baked. Afterwards they are quenched with wine, then

kneaded together again with wine and burnt in the same

way. Afterwards they are washed like cerussa [white lead

ore] and made up into balls. It seems that burnt like this it

comes nothing short of spodium [calcined powder] for eye

medicines; as a result it is to be considered of equal

strength.