A Treatise on the Health of the Human Body and Related Discourses
By Uester Rael
Delivered to bring further glory to the name of Tempus the Foehammer, so that those who follow his wisdom shall enjoy health and shall be able to raise up their arms in combat against those who bring displeasure to the Lord of Battles. Being an account of the experiences of a physician relating to the treatment of slight injures and ailments with which it is dangerous folly to concern the Gods.
Of the Parts of the Body and their Treatment
A man is both an whole thing, being a living thing which exists, and an composite, being made of both limbs and a head and other parts. This being evident it is the case that treatments and cures which are appropriate for one of the parts of the body may not be appropriate for another Ė as clothes fit only the parts for which they are made. And also there are treatments which do not affect one part, but all that whole thing. So we may make the distinction between medicine of the parts, which is delivered externally, and medicine of the whole, which is delivered internally. And this distinction is important because treatment to a specific part does not affect parts which are not treated, but treatment which is internal cannot be so separated from the parts because it affects the whole. And it is the case that what is good for one part may be deadly poison to another.
Of the Treatment of the Head and its Afflictions
Treatment of the head must be most careful. For the head is not like the arms or the legs which can be removed and the man may not die. But should the head be injured the whole man is impaired, so it is that the most severe injures of the head, should the whole survive, may still result in injury to the limbs which make them go in ways which the whole does not intend. So we must make the distinction between the uncontrolledness which is caused by the injury to the head and the madness which is an evil curse laid upon the whole.
Of the Treatment of Sleeplessness
Sleeplessness, as is evident, is an affliction of the head and not the whole, for the heart can be heard to beat even in sleep. So it must be that the heart does not sleep. And examination of the sleeper will show that the arms and legs do not sleep either, but may move in sleep. It is only the head which can sleep, and so treatment of sleeplessness must restrict itself to the head, lest the other parts of the body be injured by a sleep they were not meant to have. So from previous discourse we know that treatment of sleeplessness must thus be external.
To treat sleeplessness the following mixture must be prepared. Three parts of opium and equal amounts of the seeds of henbane. Combine this with two parts of the juice of hemlock and a like amount of the mandrake plant, containing both the flowers and the root. Add to this mixture a measure of musk so that the smell may rise more easily. Gather these things together into a ball as large as a manís hand may hold and being smelled often it will induce a deep and restful sleep. It is no secret among physicians that the plants involved in this, taken internally will cause sleep, but neither is it a secret that they also cause death. This is because they are good for head, but are poison for the other parts of the whole.
Of the Treatment of Bad Dreams which Disturb Sleep
As sleeplessness is a sickness of the head, so disruption of sleep is also
a sickness of the head and must be treated externally. The boughs of the poplar
are most potent in the treatment of bad dreams, likewise the oil of the poplar.
Smelling either of these things prior to sleep will give peaceful dreams.
Of the Treatment of the Eyes
It is only by the blessing of Gods that sight can be returned to one in a state of blindness. But minor afflictions and sorenesses and bloodshot eyes can be cured by use of the following potion. Take two bottles of rich red wine and half a pint of rosewater add to this two ounces of celandine, also known as the swallow-wart and a like amount of fennel, rue and eyebright. Add half an ounce of cloves, bruised, one eighth of an ounce of sugared roses, half as much camphire and a like amount of aloes. Take all of these things into a pot and boil them for not more than an hour then strain the contents into through fine linen. The resultant oil must be bottled and aged for a period of not less than thirty days. Once this is done it may be applied, two or three drops at a time directly to the eyes, three times a day. This will relieve all minor afflictions within two days.
Of the Treatment and Correct Care of the Teeth and Gums
The teeth, being of a specific part of the body, must be treated externally. Prepare a mixture of three handfuls sage, nettles, rosemary, mallows and of walnut root and shell. Wash these things with clean water then beat them. Take also the same amount of the flowers of sage, rosemary, olive and leaves of the plantain, then two handfuls of hypocistis, horehound and the tops of the bramble. Further required is one pound of the flowers of myrtle and half as much in its seeds, two handfuls of rosebuds with their stalks, one quarter ounce of sanders, a like amount of coriander and citron pill. Next needed is three eighths of one ounce of cinnamon, ten cypress nuts, five green pinecones, one quarter of one ounce of bole-armenick and the same in mastick. Powder all of this and mix it with a sharp black wine and let this macerate for three days. Boil the mixture in an alembic, taking the distilled water and then boil it again, adding two ounces of aloe, until the aloe is dissolved. Keep the liquid in a close stopped vessel and to use it, suck some up into your mouth. Stir this liquid up and down your mouth until it turns to froth, then clean the teeth with a linen cloth. This should be done at least once per day and will keep the teeth clean, the gums healthy and prevent the breath becoming rancid.
If, though this method has been followed or not, a swelling on the gums is found, this may be treated through the application of this method. Take the roots and the leaves of the plantain and bruise them so they release their liquids. Place these against the gums when you sleep and in the morning the swelling will be less.
Of the Treatment of the Sorenesses of the Head
The head, being a definite part of the body, must be treated externally. A soreness of the head may be removed, or at least mollified by use of rose oil. Simply mix one ounce of rose oil to one pint of cold water and soak a strip of cloth in it. Place that strip across the forehead and adopt a state of repose. When the cloth becomes dry, re-soak it in the mixture and repeat until the pain is gone.
Of the Treatment of Chapped Lips
For chapped lips, make a cone of paper or some other substance through which smoke may not easily pass. Then toss a handful of the seeds of henbane upon hot coals and breath the fumes through the cone for as long as you are able. The pain will ease and the lips will soon heal.
Of the Mollification of Twinges and Aches
The body is prone to many aches which are minor, but whose discomfort
need not be endured. A general cure-all for minor pains is this one. Take two
pounds of fresh beeswax, four ounces of linseed, two ounces of rosemary
flowers, and the same amount in berries from the bay and from the betony. Three
ounces of chamomile oil and half as much of both cinnamon and St Johnís Wart.
Dry all the flowers and pass them through a sieve. Melt the wax and add the
oils, then the powders and boil this mixture until it becomes thick and like a
paste. This paste has a warming effect on the skin and will cure all minor
aches caused by cold, it will assist in the healing of wounds, it will mollify
gout and when taken with wine it will relieve sciatica. Its other uses are too
many to detail here.
Of the Prevention of Pox
Such men as would lie with unclean women would do well to know how to best prevent contraction of this maddening disease. Take one eighth of one ounce of hartwort and gentian, the same of sanders and aloes, one sixteenth of an ounce of powdered coral and the same of spodium and burned hartís horn, a handful each of sowthistle, scordium, betony, scabious and half as much mercury precipitate. Mix all of this with a pint of wine and leave to soak for an entire day. Then boil until only half that amount remains. Strain this and keep the liquid. Lay a linen cloth in this and let it soak for a night, then dry it in the shade the next day and repeat this twice more. Then after copulation, wash your yard in the liquid and place the linen over it, keeping it close, and wear this for a full day.