c.1320: Cure baldness with year-old pot-roasted mice

A Celtic medical manuscript, written in Irish Gaelic and dating to the early 14th century, offers several animal-based cures for common illnesses and conditions. To bring an end to paralysis:

“Take a fox with his pelt and with his innards. Boil him well till he part from his bones… the patient’s body being first well scoured, bath the limbs or even the whole person in [the fox’s] brew.”

The manuscript also contains instructions for a medieval hair restorer. If rubbed regularly into a bald head, this substance will produce instant hair growth – but it must be handled with care:

“With mice, fill an earthen pipkin [pot]. Stop the mouth with a lump of clay and bury beside a fire, but so as the fire’s great heat reach it not. So be it left for a year, and at a year’s end take out whatsoever may be found therein. But it is important that he who shall lift it have a glove upon his hand, lest at his fingers’ ends the hair [will] come sprouting out”

Source: Celtic medical manuscript, c.1320; cited in Medicine in Ancient Erin, 1909. Content on this page is © Alpha History 2019-23. Content may not be republished without our express permission. For more information please refer to our Terms of Use or contact Alpha History.