now I am repairing Salmon's English Physician, or the Druggist's
Shop Opened, published in 1693. Of course the contents of this
book are far too fascinating to go unexamined.
a drug formulary and physician's reference, perhaps an analog of the
contemporary PDR (Physician's Desk Reference). It's an incredible dictionary
of information about every possible substance used to make drugs in
the late 17th century. It also contains other sorts of chemistry information.
For instance how to make pigments for colors; how to make paste gems,
and fake gems; how to alloy metals. The didn't call the druggist the
chemist for no reason, after all.
accept the idea of using herbs as remedies for many conditions, and
in this volume are hundreds of entries for every familiar herb or spice,
from angelica to yarrow. But apparently every item on earth, every creature,
plant and even stone was fair game for pharmaceutical use.
strapped to the thigh was suggested as an aid in birthing, acting to
draw the child out. I can see how they'd come to that conclusion using
a weird kind of logic, maybe. Magnets attract things.
as you may know were used as aphrodisiacs, but they were also used for
indigestion. That actually makes sense as they are made of calcium carbonate,
the main ingredient of TUMS. Other stones were either worn on the body,
or ground up and made into tinctures. Not so odd you say, because new
age sorts are still doing this and believing it works.
there were the animals. Here are just a few choice bits.
think, sure they'd use honey and beeswax, why not? As you see on
this page, there is first a short description of bees with a reference
to honey and wax. But, read further and note that the entire
bee is also used. How about a nice dose of baked bees with onions
and parsley to treat your kidney stones?
that doesn't work you might go right to the heart of the matter and
try a little "Spiritus Apum. Spirit
of Bees." It seems to be useful for quite a gamut of ailments.
Spirit ...is good against Fainting, and Swoonings, Vapors, and Fits
of the Mother, ... as also against the Stone, Gravel and Obstructions
of Urine, Cancers, Scirchus, Scurvy..."
oil is fetid and unpleasant, and therefore seldom used inwardly..."
( I'll bet!)
of Bees has such a nice ring to it, but I think I'll take a pass.
for a little mouse??
they recognized that mice procreate in the usual way, they also thought
that mice generated "spontaneously,
by putrification in the earth, and small Showers of Rain."
were also couple of formulas for cooking the mouse, and serving it up
with onions and parsley, but better than that are the uses for mouse urine and dung.
Perhaps Chuck should try mouse urine for his gout. And when those babies
are colicky, try a little mouse dung in the formula, that'll cure it.
let's not forget about the cat.
noted that some cats were domestic, and "neat and cleanly creatures
"...and that their flesh was not often eaten. Nevertheless, they
do note that the flesh "easeth the pain of Haemmorrhoids..."
and that it's"fat dissolves tumors." Pity the fat cat.
a really useful tip,
"The dung and urine of cats cures the Baldness and the Alopecia."
So, all you Rogaine using cat owners out there, stop wasting your money,
and head for your kitty litter.
I am in
love with this book, and I think I may have to own it. Nothing is quite
as compelling as an original source. It is fascinating reading, even
if a little creepy, and it is truly a wonder that people survived not
only the diseases, but the cures.
the net is nothing compared to surfing the old books.