The Works of Aristotle the Famous Philosopher

Page 51 of 76

If barrenness be occasioned by the falling out of the womb, as sometimes it happens, let her apply sweet scents to the nose, such as civet, galbanum, storax, calamitis, wood of aloes; and such other things as are of that nature; and let her lay stinking things to the womb, such as asafoetida, oil of amber, or the smoke of her own hair, being burnt; for this is a certain truth, that the womb flies from all stinking, and to all sweet things. But the most infallible cure in this case is; take a common burdock leaf (which you may keep dry, if you please, all the year), apply this to her head and it will draw the womb upwards. In fits of the mother, apply it to the soles of the feet, and it will draw the womb downwards. But seed beaten into a powder, draws the womb which way you please, accordingly as it is applied.

If barrenness in the woman proceed from a hot cause, let her take whey and clarify it; then boil plantain leaves and roots in it, and drink it for her ordinary drink. Let her inject plantain juice into her womb with a syringe. If it be in the winter, when you cannot get the juice, make a strong decoction of the leaves and roots in water, and inject that up with a syringe, but let it be blood warm, and you will find this medicine of great efficacy. And further, to take away barrenness proceeding from hot causes, take of conserve of roses, cold lozenges, make a tragacanth, the confections of trincatelia; and use, to smell to, camphor, rosewater and saunders. It is also good to bleed the basilica or liver vein, and take four or five ounces of blood, and then take this purge; take electuarium de epithymo de succo rosarum, of each two drachms and a half; clarified whey, four ounces; mix them well together, and take it in the morning fasting; sleep after it about an hour and a half, and fast for four hours after; and about an hour before you eat anything, drink a good draught of whey. Also take lilywater, four ounces; mandragore water, one ounce; saffron, half a scruple; beat the saffron to a powder, and mix it with waters, drink them warm in the morning; use these eight days together.

Some apparent Remedy against Barrenness and to cause Fruitfulness.

Take broom flowers, smallage, parsley seed, cummin, mugwort, feverfew, of each half a scruple; aloes, half an ounce; Indian salt, saffron, of each half a drachm; beat and mix them together, and put it to five ounces of feverfew water warm; stop it up, and let it stand and dry in a warm place, and this do, two or three times, one after the other; then make each drachm into six pills, and take one of them every night before supper.

For a purging medicine against barrenness, take conserve of benedicta lax, a quarter of an ounce; depsillo three drachms, electuary de rosarum, one drachm; mix them together with feverfew water, and drink it in the morning betimes. About three days after the patient hath taken this purge, let her be bled, taking four or five ounces from the median, or common black vein in the foot; and then give for five successive days, filed ivory, a drachm and a half, in feverfew water; and during the time let her sit in the following bath an hour together, morning and night. Take mild yellow sapes, daucas, balsam wood and fruit, ash-keys, of each two handfuls, red and white behen, broom flowers, of each a handful; musk, three grains; amber, saffron, of each a scruple; boiled in water sufficiently; but the musk, saffron, amber and broom flowers must be put into the decoction, after it is boiled and strained.

A Confection very good against Barrenness.

Take pistachia, eringoes, of each half an ounce; saffron, one drachm; lignum aloes, galengal, mace, coriophilla, balm flowers, red and white behen, of each four scruples; syrup of confected ginger, twelve ounces; white sugar, six ounces, decoct all these in twelve ounces of balm water, and stir them well together; then put in it musk and amber, of each a scruple; take thereof the quantity of a nutmeg three times a day; in the morning, an hour before noon and an hour after supper.

But if the cause of barrenness, either in man or woman, be through scarcity or diminution of the natural seed, then such things are to be taken as do increase the seed, and incite to stir up to venery, and further conception; which I shall here set down, and then conclude the chapter concerning barrenness.

For this, yellow rape seed baked in bread is very good; also young, fat flesh, not too much salted; also saffron, the tails of stincus, and long pepper prepared in wine. But let such persons eschew all sour, sharp, doughy and slimy meats, long sleep after meat, surfeiting and drunkenness, and so much as they can, keep themselves from sorrow, grief, vexation and anxious care.

These things following increase the natural seed, stir up the venery and recover the seed again when it is lost, viz., eggs, milk, rice, boiled in milk, sparrows' brains, flesh, bones and all; the stones and pizzles of bulls, bucks, rams and bears, also cocks' stones, lambs' stones, partridges', quails' and pheasants' eggs. And this is an undeniable aphorism, that whatever any creature is addicted unto, they move or incite the man or the woman that eats them, to the like, and therefore partridges, quails, sparrows, etc., being extremely addicted to venery, they work the same effect on those men and women that eat them. Also, take notice, that in what part of the body the faculty that you would strengthen, lies, take that same part of the body of another creature, in whom the faculty is strong, as a medicine. As for instance, the procreative faculty lies in the testicles; therefore, cocks' stones, lambs' stones, etc., are proper to stir up venery. I will also give you another general rule; all creatures that are fruitful being eaten, make them fruitful that eat them, as crabs, lobsters, prawns, pigeons, etc. The stones of a fox, dried and beaten to a powder, and a drachm taken in the morning in sheep's milk, and the stones of a boar taken in like manner, are very good. The heart of a male quail carried about a man, and the heart of a female quail carried about a woman, causes natural love and fruitfulness. Let them, also, that would increase their seed, eat and drink of the best, as much as they can; for sine Cerere el Libero, friget Venus, is an old proverb, which is, "without good meat and drink, Venus will be frozen to death."

Pottages are good to increase the seed; such as are made of beans, peas, and lupins, mixed with sugar. French beans, wheat sodden in broth, aniseed, also onions, stewed garlic, leeks, yellow rapes, fresh mugwort roots, eringo roots confected, ginger connected, etc. Of fruits, hazel nuts, cyprus nuts, pistachio, almonds and marchpanes thereof. Spices good to increase seed are cinnamon, galengal, long pepper, cloves, ginger, saffron and asafoetida, a drachm and a half taken in good wine, is very good for this purpose.

The weakness and debility of a man's yard, being a great hindrance to procreation let him use the following ointment to strengthen it: Take wax, oil of beaver-cod, marjoram, gentle and oil of costus, of each a like quantity, mix them into an ointment, and put it to a little musk, and with it anoint the yard, cods, etc. Take of house emmets, three drachms, oil of white safannum, oil of lilies, of each an ounce; pound and bruise the ants, and put them to the oil and let them stand in the sun six days; then strain out the oil and add to it euphorbium one scruple, pepper and rue, of each one drachm, mustard seed half a drachm, set this altogether in the sun two or three days, then anoint the instrument of generation therewith.


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