Teeth And Sparrows

“The small bones of poultry, preserved in a hole in a wall, the medullary channel being left intact, will immediately cure tooth-ache, they say, if the tooth is touched or the gum scarified therewith, care being taken to throw away the bone the moment the operation is performed. A similar result is obtained by using raven’s dung, wrapped in wool and attached to the body, or else sparrow’s dung, warmed with oil and injected into the ear on the side affected. This last remedy, however, is productive of an intolerable itching, for which reason it is considered a better plan to rub the part with the ashes of young sparrows burnt upon twigs, mixed with vinegar for the purpose.”

Pliny The Elder, The Natural History (AD 77-79)

2 thoughts on “Teeth And Sparrows

  1. I too find that when a creature’s dung makes me itch after it’s been warmed with oil and injected into the affected part, it’s always better to burn its young upon twigs, mix the ashes with vinegar and rub that in instead. Just common sense really but it never fails.

  2. Gaw : Yes, in fact it’s so self-evident that I hesitated before posting the quotation. In the end I decided to go ahead just in case any readers didn’t already know this.

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