majority of cases, pass in spite of any medicament. The layman, however, suffers with aches, takes a reputed remedy, gets well, and firmly believes that it was the special mixture that he had taken which had cured him. For example, they applied in Germany a special concoction recommended by Dr. Christopher Guarnonius of the court of Rudolph II. of Bavaria (1576-1612). It is rather interesting to know how many people were able to obtain this remedy:
|The moss that had grown on the skull of a thief||2 ounces|
|Man's grease||2 ounces|
|Grease of Mummy||1 ounce|
|Man 's blood||1 ounce|
|Linseed oil||2 ounces|
|Oil of roses||1 ounce|
|Sole armoniack||1 ounce|
|Mix well and apply locally.|
For blows, wound and sores in children, the kissing of the injured part was supposed to be efficacious. The ordinary intestinal colic had quite a number of "specifics" for it. One cure which must have been quite difficult of accomplishment, except by the professional clown, was to stand on one's head for a quarter of an hour. Perhaps after the exertion of standing upon one's head not only the colic but more painful diseases might have been cured. Persons who were liable to the attacks of colicky pains sometimes carried about with them wolf's dung. In his "Diary," speaks about carrying about oneself a hare's foot. also gives a prescription, which I shall here repeat:
For cramps they used coffin rings dug out of a grave, bone of hare's foot, the patella of a sheep or lamb, or the tying of a thread around the limb below the thigh. It was also thought that if a rusty old sword were hung near the bed, or if the shoes be placed T-or X-wise over the bed, or if a pan of clean water were kept under the bed, the cramp would leave the patient.
Eating buns or bread baked on Good Friday was supposed to cure diarrhœa.
- E. Hunt, "Popular Superstition," 1865.
- B. Melbancke, "Philotimus," 1583.
- G. F. Jackson, "Shropshire Folk Lore," 1883, p. 191.