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Brand: Julian Walker

How To Cure The Plague And Other Curious Remedies

by Julian Walker

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How To Cure The Plague And Other Curious Remedies

Today we are used to reaching for a painkiller when we get a headache, we take anaesthetics and antibiotics for granted, and we would not dream of making our own medicines. But until a century ago that was far from the case, and people had to seek their own remedies or depend on far-from-reliable doctors and apothecaries for everything from an ingrown toenail to amputation. How to Cure the Plague presents a stark reminder of the days when remedies were based on guesswork or superstition, and people swallowed bizarre or revolting mixtures; yet it was not all 'toads and brandy' - many herb-based treatments formed the basis of modern medicines.

This new book presents a fascinating illustrated compilation of some of the most curious and disturbing cures from history, from the Middle Ages to the nineteenth century. Examples: Eighteenth-century treatment for asthma: Live a fortnight on boiled carrots only. It seldom fails.

An Anglo-Saxon treatment for warts: For warts take hound's urine and mouse's blood, mixed together, anoint the warts with it, they will soon go away. How to stop hiccups in 1607: Take thy finger ends, and stop both thine ears very hard, and the hiccup will cease immediately. A Tudor remedy for bedwetting: A mouse rotted and given to children to eat remedieth pissing the bed.

Eighteenth-century first aid: Take ripe puff-balls. Break them warily and save the powder. Strew this on the wound and bind it on. This will absolutely stop the bleeding of an amputated limb without any caute.

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Staff Reviews

A perfect gift for your friend the hypochondriac. I am joking of course but this is a fascinating little book of historical remedies which will make you smile, wince or boggle with amazement. Once you have seen some of the cures offered in times gone by all your qualms about the NHS will leave you. Back then it truly was often the case when the cure was worse(or more dangerous) than the condition. Not all were a waste of time of course some old-time remedies were based on a knowledge of the herbal and could really help. This little book details different remedies for all sorts of complaints dating from the sixteenth century onwards. From rubbing warts with the juice of snails or curing earache by blowing tobacco smoke into the ear this is intriguing and illuminating by turn. Of course, as ever, we must say, don't try these at home. Sally Hughes Assistant Retail Manager