The Perfumed Garden/Chapter 17

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Know, O Vizir (God be good to you!), that impotence arises from three causes:

Firstly, from the tying of aiguillettes.[1]
Secondly, from a feeble and relaxed constitution.
And thirdly, from too premature ejaculation.

To cure the tying of aigullettes you must take galanga,[2] cinnamon from Mecca, cloves, Indian cachou,[3] nutmeg, Indian cubebs, sparrow-wort,[4] cinnamon, Persian pepper, Indian thistle,[5] cardamoms,[6] pyrether, laurelseed, and gillyflowers. All these ingredients must be pounded together carefully, and one drinks of it as much as one can, morning and night, in broth, particularly in pigeon broth; fowl broth may, however, be substituted just as well. Water is to be drunk before and after taking it. The compound may likewise be taken with money, which is the best method, and gives the best results.

The man whose ejaculation is too precipitate must take nutmeg and incense (oliban)[7] mixed together with honey.

If the impotence arises from weakness, the following ingredients are to be taken in honey: viz., pyrether, nettle-seed,[8] a little spurge (or cevadille), ginger, cinnamon of Mecca, and cardamon. This preparation will cause the weakness to disappear and effect the cure, with the permission of God the Highest!

I can warrant the efficacy of all these preparations, the virtue of which has been tested.

The impossibility of performing the coitus, owing to the absence of stiffness in the member, is also due to other causes. It will happen, for instance, that a man with his verge in erection will find it getting flaccid just when he is on the point of introducing it between the thighs of the woman. He thinks this is impotence, while it is simply the result, may be, of an exaggerated respect for the woman, may be of a misplaced bashfulness, may be because one has observed something disagreeable, or on account of an unpleasant odour; finally, owing to a feeling of jealousy, inspired by the thought that the woman is no longer a virgin, and has served the pleasure of other men.

  1. It happens sometimes at the encounter of a man and woman that the former, though burning with desire, cannot accomplish the act of coition, owing to the state of inertia resisting all incitement to which his member is reduced. It is then said of him that his aiguillette (needle) is tied.
  2. The galanga is an Indian root. There are two kinds: the galanga major and the galanga minor.
  3. The cachou, from the Indian catche, or the Brazilian cajou, is a vegetable substance which comes to us from India.

    Observation in the autograph edition.—Certain texts have it, Indian tartar or Indian harehar. It cannot be exactly determined to what substances these two names belong.

  4. See Note 2, page 199.
  5. This is the thistle which grows in the West Indies. Taken as a decoction, this plant acts as a pectoral and an aperient.

    Observation in the autograph edition.—The texts which have been consulted give as the name of the plant, the use of which is recommended, chelass el heundi, a name for which an English equivalent could not be found.

  6. See Note 1, page 199.
  7. Oliban is mentioned in the Journal Asiatique, in connection with the Greek fire and gunpowder, by Messrs. Reynaud and Favet.
  8. Nettle-seed is considered by the Arabs as a remedy against the inflammation of the urethral canal.