- powdered bay leave taken with honey
- feverfew fried with wine and oil and applied to the belly
- the ingestion of mint, valerian, hemp seeds, cardamon seeds, fennel, cloves ...
- borage, which had the added advantage of also being good for melancholy (Being overly windy can be depressing.)
A quite interesting thing about these cures was that they were also prescribed for plague**, acne and the bite of a mad dog. The up side to this was that anyone unfortunate enough to be suffering from all these conditions simultaneously wouldn't have to spend time and money on taking different medicines.
I think I might just consider a bit of moderation.
* I thought this should perhaps be an image-free post. You can thank me later.
** Other medieval cures for the black death included drinking powdered emeralds or molten gold, eating a spider inserted into a raisin, and the toad cure. This involved a number of dead toads which you dried in the sun and then placed on the victim's boils. The toad would swell up and burst, and you would then apply another, continuing until the patient got better*** or you ran out of toads.
*** Or, you know, died.
(To find out more about the delights of medieval medicine, join me at the back of The Wickit Chronicle books where I get to include much that is gruesome and revolting from the Middle Ages, just for the fun of it.)
Joan Lennon's website.
Joan Lennon's blog.