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Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Anoint the gums with the brains of a hare: advice from c. 1450 on soothing a teething baby

Andrea Mantegna, The Circumcision of Jesus 
(detail, c. 1461)
Old ways are always the best, right?

"Sometimes babies have trouble with teething. In that case you should squeeze the gums with your fingers, and gently massage them, and the palate as well. And you should anoint the gums with the brains of a hare (which are very suitable for this purpose), or with fat or butter or good-quality olive oil; and you should do this twice a day. The milk of a dog is suitable, too. It is also very helpful to use hen's fat for both anointing and massaging the gums." 

~Michele Savonarola, Ad mulieres ferrarienses (c. 1450)

From Ask The Past.

Previous posts: 

Advice from c. 530: How To Use Bacon, including for medicinal purposes such as "thick bacon, placed for a long time on all wounds, be they external or internal or caused by a blow, both cleanses any putrefaction and aids healing".

How to Stop Bleeding, 1664:
“To Stench a Bleeding Wound: Lay hogs Dung, hot from the Hog, to the Bleeding Wound.”
~Samuel Strangehopes, A Book of Knowledge in Three Parts (166[4])
Dubious medical device du jour - the prostate warmer.

Advice from 1380: How to Tell if Someone Is or Is Not Dead, with bonus Monty Python.

How to Slim Down in Fourteen Days: Advice from 1595.

Urine-drinking Hindu cult believes a warm cup before sunrise straight from virgin cow cures cancer, baldness.

1 comment:

  1. On the latest episode (S1E8) of AMC Network's new series "Turn," Queen's Ranger Robert Rogers directs a subordinate to fetch him a squirrel so he can make a paste from its brains to treat the gunshot wound of another subordinate. They included a very graphic demonstration. See the "Extra Scene" video as part of the slideshow at this link: