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18th Century Pharmacopeia
February 22, 2012 4:48 PM   Subscribe

A Cephalic Infusion
Take dry Peacocks dung (the white part) 4 ounces; Millepedes alive bruised 1 ounce; black Cherry water, white Wine, each 1 pint and half; let them stand cold 24 hours, then having clarify'd it, by often passing it through a Flannel bag; add Langius's Antepileptic water 3 ounces; Spirit of Lavender compound 1 dram and half; Oil of Nutmeg 3 drops; Syrup of Piony compound 6 ounces, mix.
It cleanses out the Meatus of the Brain, when choak'd up and grown unpassable, by reason of muddy Feculencies, roborates its Tone when flaccid and suck, and defecates the Animal Spirits, when clog'd and incens'd with an heterogeneous Copula, refreshes and invigorates them when feeble and fainting; discusses the Mists and Clouds of the Head, and procures Serenity and Sun shine. Therefore we employ it with happy Success in an Idiopathic Head-ach, Vertigo, Scotomy, &c. giving a quarter of a pint Nights and Mornings.
800 medicines from Thomas Fuller's Pharmacopeia Extemporanea, 168 from William Buchan's Domestic Medicine and 11 from The Reverend Twigge's Notebook - indexed and fully searchable.
posted by unliteral (30 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
Mmhmm, yup, yeah... oh, yeah yeah...

I know some of these words!


(using this for D&D!)
posted by Grimp0teuthis at 5:01 PM on February 22, 2012


Take dry Peacocks dung (the white part) 4 ounces; Millepedes alive bruised 1 ounce; black Cherry water, white Wine, each 1 pint and half; let them stand cold 24 hours, then having clarify'd it, by often passing it through a Flannel bag; add Langius's Antepileptic water 3 ounces; Spirit of Lavender compound 1 dram and half; Oil of Nutmeg 3 drops; Syrup of Piony compound 6 ounces, mix.
It cleanses out the Meatus of the Brain, when choak'd up and grown unpassable, by reason of muddy Feculencies, roborates its Tone when flaccid and suck, and defecates the Animal Spirits, when clog'd and incens'd with an heterogeneous Copula, refreshes and invigorates them when feeble and fainting; discusses the Mists and Clouds of the Head, and procures Serenity and Sun shine. Therefore we employ it with happy Success in an Idiopathic Head-ach, Vertigo, Scotomy, &c. giving a quarter of a pint Nights and Mornings.


AKA A Romney on the Rocks
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:08 PM on February 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


well, I don't know about the rest of you, but I've just added "Feculencies" to my list of words I wish I could use in conversation every day.
posted by deadmessenger at 5:09 PM on February 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


My brain is pretty flaccid and suck lately...
posted by sonic meat machine at 5:14 PM on February 22, 2012


Honestly, once you add enough gin, you can hardly taste the millipedes.
posted by Panjandrum at 5:16 PM on February 22, 2012 [9 favorites]


The depths of unscrupulousness:

Alexiteria Milk
posted by Mblue at 5:19 PM on February 22, 2012


Honestly, once you add enough gin, you can hardly taste the millipedes.

Take the cure often enough, you'll be seeing millipedes all over the damned place.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:21 PM on February 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


If I weren't trying to cut down on millipedes, I'd be so there! Because my tone needs roroboration like whoa.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:21 PM on February 22, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Muddy feculencies in the brain" is going to be the excuse I give for my next brain fart / senior moment.
posted by darkstar at 5:22 PM on February 22, 2012


"Muddy feculencies in the brain" is going to be the excuse I give for my next brain fart

Muddy feculencies are more of a brain shart.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:24 PM on February 22, 2012 [5 favorites]


Someone pass the gin and millipedes, because I now want to obliterate the all-too-vivid phrase "brain shart" from my mind entirely.
posted by Sidhedevil at 5:37 PM on February 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


I will be adding excerpts from this to tomorrow's presentation on anxiolytics-- MOVE OVER BDZ HERE COME THE LAUDANUM.
posted by The White Hat at 5:49 PM on February 22, 2012


I was training to be an idiopath, but the faculty shut down without any reason.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 5:50 PM on February 22, 2012 [4 favorites]


I read part of the receipe as "Syrup of Pony compound, 6 ounces, mix" and didn't know what to do with that.

Was it a denied Pony?
posted by likeso at 6:36 PM on February 22, 2012


I'd just like to say that this is why I look down on people who use 'traditional' medicine.
posted by Canageek at 7:38 PM on February 22, 2012


Great find. Thanks!
posted by mochapickle at 9:33 PM on February 22, 2012


If there fomething I can take for thif ferious problem I have pronouncing my fff'f now that I've read thif ftupid book?
posted by BlueHorse at 9:43 PM on February 22, 2012 [3 favorites]


Guy I worked with swore by peacocks dung.
posted by the noob at 10:35 PM on February 22, 2012


Maybe it was the way I framed it but this turned out to be a seriously disappointing post, discussion-wise. I think that Canageek probably nailed it though.
There are of course many ways to view the information presented:
1. Uninformed speculation, without scientific basis
2. Uninformed speculation, with a scientific basis, possibly
3. Scientifically, with speculation in question
4. Scientifically, with unformed speculation
5. Informed speculation, without scientific basis
6. Informed speculation, with a questionable scientific basis
7. Quacks
posted by unliteral at 4:51 AM on February 23, 2012


Is is good for gleet?
posted by tommasz at 5:19 AM on February 23, 2012


I'd be curious if any of the homebrewers here tried Fuller's ale recipes. I'm especially intrigued by the hysterick ale, whose active ingredients are boxwood and mistletoe. Poisoning seems a bit of an extreme cure for "women obnoxious to vapours"...
posted by Pallas Athena at 6:57 AM on February 23, 2012


Some of the juleps don’t sound too bad, though I might pass on those containing ‘Frog Spawn Water,’ ‘Magistral Worm Water,’ or ‘Pectoral Snail Water,’ let alone the Styptic Julep with its laudanum and sugar of lead (even if I were suffering from ‘inordinate Turgescence of the Blood’) but the Golden Julep for example seems like it might be palatable — a kind of medicinal Goldschlager…
posted by misteraitch at 7:12 AM on February 23, 2012


Suppositories! Is it really possible to boil honey "'til 'twill not stick to, and dawb the fingers"? That does mean "not stick to your fingers", right?

Cool find, I love reading old pharmacoepias/medicinal/alchemical writings.
posted by nTeleKy at 9:30 AM on February 23, 2012


To Heale a Burn without a Scarr

Take a handfull of the yellow scurk that grows on old walls and halfe as much of the white of hen's dung and as much fresh hog's lard as will make it into an ointment. Let it boile well and then strain thro a fine cloth and keep it for use. It must be annointed with it twice a day with a fether and in a short time it will heal it.
Totally trying this next time I have a burn that I want to heale without a scarr.
posted by Pallas Athena at 12:46 PM on February 23, 2012


Blimey! I've just realised that he has the Newgate Calendar as well.
John Shepherd. Footpad, Housebreaker and Prison-breaker

However, he did not long enjoy his liberty, for strolling about Finchley Common, he was apprehended and committed to Newgate, and was put immediately in the Stone Room, where they put him on a heavy pair of irons, and then stapled him fast down to the floor. Being left there alone in the sessions time (most of the people in the gaol then attending at the Old Bailey) with a crooked nail he opened the lock, and by that means got rid of his chain, and went directly to the chimney in the room, where with incessant working he got out a couple of stones and by that means climbed up into a room called the Red Room, where nobody had been lodged for a considerable time. Here he threw down a door, which one would have thought impossible to have been done by the strength of man (though with ever so much noise); from hence with a great deal to do, he forced his passage into the chapel. There he broke a spike off the door, forcing open by its help four other doors. Getting at last upon the leads, he from thence descended gently (by the help of the blanket on which he lay, for which he went back through the whole prison) upon the leads of Mr. Bird, a turner who lives next door to Newgate; and looking in at the garret window, he saw the maid going to bed. As soon as he thought she was asleep, he stepped downstairs, went through the shop, opened the door, then into the street, leaving the door open behind him.
What a corker!
posted by unliteral at 2:08 PM on February 23, 2012


> Honestly, once you add enough gin, you can hardly taste the millipedes.

>> Take the cure often enough, you'll be seeing millipedes all over the damned place.

That's when you switch to bourbon and macerated lightning bugs. Tastes foul, but puts one hell of a smile on your face.
posted by Panjandrum at 6:31 PM on February 23, 2012


And brightens your teeth up to three shades lighter!
posted by darkstar at 6:36 PM on February 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


If one of the current crop of Republican troglodytes makes it into the White House in 2012, this is what I expect US healthcare to look like by 2015, tops - it's medicine (of sorts) and it sorta sounds a bit science-y, but it doesn't actually contain any real science. In this way, they can pander to the weak-willed section of the populace that lacks sufficient faith to have God heal their diseases (aka "doctorists"), without actually having to risk any real science being taught in public schools.
posted by kcds at 7:08 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]


What are you talking about? US healthcare will be like 18th century medicine? You need more bruised millipedes and peacock dung (the brown part) in your diet.
posted by unliteral at 1:01 AM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


@unliteral Would it be more interesting to point out how far ahead of us Arabic medicine was at the time?
posted by Canageek at 8:38 PM on February 27, 2012


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