lesbiassparrow: (ian romans)
[personal profile] lesbiassparrow
So in the course of research recently I came across these winners (mainly from Pliny the Elder, who was batty to an almost charming degree):

1. You can get freckles from drinking wine in which dead newts have been placed. But the intestines of a particular type of land crocodile are effective in getting rid of freckles. You mix them up into a face mask. Yummy!

2. It is often effective to have hair dyes mixed by a virgin and then put them on in the shade

3. When dying your hair you should have a mouth full of oil so that your teeth don't get stained. Given the horribly toxic nature of Roman dyes I suspect running for your life would be better advice

4. The teeth of dogs steeped in wine and honey or mice with honey and fennel make wonderful toothpaste.

5. Pliny the Elder suggests you use these ingredients in an unguent to get rid of hair: gall and liver of several types of sea fish, gall and liver of leeches and a frog, then mix the result with oil and vinegar. Mind you, as a sign that he hasn't gone totally round the bend, he then suggests tweezing your hair out before.

6. Mouse dung, mashed ants, vulture’s blood, bulls dung, and donkey urine taken at the rising of the Dog Star are effective ingredients in beauty treatments.

The Romans, now they were a interesting set of people
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August 2011

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