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Sunday, December 15, 2019

How to Cure Your Cough, 1558

A most beautiful and pleasant secret for curing a cough by greasing the soles of the feet. An extremely true thing, and very easy.

BnF, MS Lat. 9471 (15th c.)
Take two or three heads of garlic and peel them, and crush them very well, and then add pork fat, and crush it together well again. Then, in the evening when you want to go to bed, take your socks off and put the soles of your feet toward the fire, and grease the soles with the mixture of garlic and fat. And keeping the feet always to the fire so that it almost burns you, or as hot as you can endure, let the ointment stay on for a while. Then put on warm socks and go to bed, and in bed have your back massaged a little with the ointment. And after three evenings you will be miraculously cured from any cough.

~ De’ segreti del reverendo donno Alessio Piemontese

Previous, semi-related 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.