Through the Middles Ages, mental illness was believed to result from an imbalance of these humors. In order to bring the body back into equilibrium, patients were given emetics, laxatives, and were bled using leeches or cupping. Specific purges included a concoction developed by Ptolemy called Hiera Logadii, which combined aloes, black hellebore, and colocynth and was believed to cleanse one of melancholy. Confectio Hamech was another laxative developed by the Arabs that contained myrobalans, rhubarb, and senna. Later, tobacco imported from America was popularly used to induce vomiting. Other treatments to affect the humors consisted of extracting blood from the forehead or tapping the cephalic, saphenous, and/or hemorroidal veins to draw corrupted humors away from the brain. In addition to purging and bloodletting (also known as phlebotomy), customized diets were recommended. For example, “raving madmen” were told to follow diets that were “cooling and diluting,” consisting of salad greens, barley water, and milk, and avoid wine and red meat.
Custody and care of the mentally ill were generally left to the individual’s family, although some outside intervention occurred. The first mental hospital was established in 792 CE Baghdad and was soon followed by others in Aleppo and Damascus—mass establishment of asylums and institutionalization took place much later, though. The mentally ill in the custody of family were widely abused and restrained, particularly in Christian Europe. Due to the shame and stigma attached to mental illness, many hid their mentally ill family members in cellars, caged them in pigpens, or put them under the control of servants. Others were abandoned by their families and left to a life of begging and vagrancy.
Particularly in Europe during the Middle Ages, beatings were administered to the mentally ill who acted out as punishment for the disturbances their behavior caused and as a means of “teaching” individuals out of their illnesses. Others who were considered nuisances were flogged out of town.
Through the Middle Ages and until the mass establishment of asylums, treatments for mental illness were offered by humanistic physicians, medical astrologers, apothecaries, and folk or traditional healers. Aside from secular exorcisms, prayers, charms, amulets, and other mystical treatments were available. In the 17th century, astral talismans were popular and were easily made using brass or tin emblems with astrological signs etched into them and cast at astrologically significant times. These were worn around the neck of the afflicted while they recited prayers. Also worn around the neck were scraps of Latin liturgy wrapped in paper, bundled with a leaf of mugwort or St. John’s Wort and tied with taffeta. Amulets were also used, supplemented by prayers and charms, to soothe troubled minds, prevent mystical infection, and protect against witches and evil spirits. Sedatives during the 17th century consisted of opium grains, unguents, and laudanum to “ease the torment” of mental illness.
Kicked Out of Heaven Vol. II
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The Untold History of The White Races cir. 700 – 1700 a.d.
666 pages 197 pages
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Kicked Out Of Heaven Vol. II: The Untold History of The White Races cir. 700-1700 a.d. is a 3 volume series that will be released one by one. This book details everything about European society and mentality. In this edition you will find these facts: Alcoholism & The Blue Devils, Insanity & Lead Poisoning, Ergot (LSD) Hallucinations, The Sweating Sickness & Leprosy, The Tobacco Enema & Leeches, The Defloration Mania, The Dancing Mania, The Black Death, The Gravediggers & Body Snatchers, Jews Poisoning the Wells, Millions of Deaths, Folklore & Superstition, Magic Mirrors & Crystal Balls, Witches Dancing in Baby Blood, Pants Made of Human Skin, Necromancy & Ghost Armies, Attacks from The Undead, Lycanthropy & Were-Wolves, Multiple Cases of Vampires, Who is Satan, Lucifer & The Devil!