This section is from the book "The London Medical Dictionary", by Bartholomew Parr. Also available from Amazon: London Medical Dictionary.
to sprinkle upon). The ancient Greek physicians meant by this term any dry powder, to be sprinkled on the body; called also conspersio, epipas-ton, pasma, sympasmata, aspersio, aspergines; their various uses may be seen in Paulus of Egina, lib. vii. cap. xiii. Powders valued for their grateful smell were called diapasms; and these were sometimes added to the drink. Oribasius shows from Antyllus, that empas-mata were used in order to restrain sweat, or any other evacuation by the pores; or for exciting an itching. Catapasms, varied according to the intention of the physician, were sprinkled on ulcers; but diapasms were prepared for the sake of their scent, and were applied to the arm pits, and the inside of the thighs. Coel. Aurel. in Morb. Acut. lib. ii. cap. xxxviii. says, that sympasmata were such powders as, being endowed with an acrid quality, were sprinkled on the body to procure heat.