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IF you re feeling thirsty and you know only a quick swig of viper wine will hit the spot, then you may be in luck. Equally, if you re looking for a hair restoring potion, then one Huntingdonshire man may have the answers…or at least some very strange re
IF you're feeling thirsty and you know only a quick swig of viper wine will hit the spot, then you may be in luck. Equally, if you're looking for a hair restoring potion, then one Huntingdonshire man may have the answers...or at least some very strange recipes that were once claimed to help all manner of ailments.
Roy Logan, a former policeman from Bury, has inherited a rare book detailing ancient and unusual medical treatments.
The book, Natura Exenterata or Nature Unbowelled, dates back to 1655. The British Library says there are just 14 copies on record, some in America and some in the UK.
Mr Logan told The Hunts Post the book includes some unusual medicinal practices that "border on witchcraft".
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And the process for healing some wounds is quite surprising.
"There is one remedy which suggests dipping your finger in the blood of a wound and writing a word across the chest of the victim," said Mr Logan.
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"My wife was a district nurse for many years and I'm not too sure she ever did that."
The book is not just a medical journal - it offers more than 1,700 different tips and hints for solving all manner of day-to-day problems.
Mr Logan added: "It is remarkably good condition. The cover is a bit worn as you would expect but the contents are in very good condition and are certainly readable - some of the entries are quite incredible."
The ancient book almost went up in smoke 20 years ago along with possessions belonging to a relative of Mr Logan's after his death.
However, Mr Logan's father rescued the book from the bonfire and kept it safe before passing it on to his son.
Among the 1,720 entries are:
* A recipe for viper wine using 30 vipers brewed for six months
* A hair-restoration potion involving dried bees
* A mystery broth supplied by Lady Cromwell (Oliver's grandmother) using garden snails
* Details of how to make different types of lace
The British Library says that the author of the book is unknown, though some sources suggest many of the hints are from Lady Althea Howard (nee Talbot), an English Countess.
The preface states that the book was to be sold at stores in Vine Court, Fleet Street and near St Paul's Church in 1655 - 11 years before the great fire of London.
Mr Logan added: "I wonder if the low number of copies on record has something to do with the great fire. Either way, it is a pleasure to be in possession of such a rare book."
Take eight gallons of sack, which is the best wine, and to that add thirty or two and thirty vipers. Prepare them first in this manner: Put them into bran for four days which will make them scour the gravel and earthy part from them, then stop your vessel or glass you put them in very close until six months be past in which time the flesh of the vipers and vertue of them will be infused into the wine. Although the skins will feel full after which time you take them out if you please and drink of the win when you please best to drink it.
Take a good number of bees that be labouring to make honey, dry them and make them to powder. Then be put in common oyle and mingle them together and with ointment anoint the place you will have hair and certainly it will come without pain.