Pliny the Elder Haiku

Fuck! What did he say

Treated inhaling toxic

Fumes from volcano?

A cold is sapping my energy this evening. Thus, I share with you some of the foolproof cures of Pliny the Elder, Roman military commander and naturally philosopher. (Yes, this is inspired by the ‘Sawbones’ podcast.)

I know quite a few ladies that are enciente right now, and they’ll be relieved that Pliny hasn’t forgotten about them. Want to prevent a miscarriage? Carry around a stone that’s been shat out by a pregnant deer. But what about the delivery? Wolf liver for the pain, wolf flesh to ward off curses. If you don’t eat wolf, make sure someone else in the delivery room does. Attaching a sloughed-off snake skin to the groin also helps, but make sure you take it off as soon as the baby’s out.

Menstruation has resumed? Don’t let that go to waste! It’s a great remedy for granny’s gout, and for reviving epilepsy patients! Plus you just might save the family farm, as stripping during that time of the month will stop thunderstorms and kill the insects eating the crops! Just don’t go touching beehives, please and thank you.

Love cheese, and barfights? Lucky you! An application of new cheese with honey will make those unsightly bruises disappear, making your interview the next day much less awkward!

Are you a sad sack with a cough like me? Time to whip out that wolf’s liver again, taken with some comforting mulled wine. To soothe our throats? Crush millipedes in pigeon shit and gargle it with raisin wine! Now, I don’t have a fever, but maybe you do. The sensible thing to do, then, is to place a spotted lizard in a box under your pillow.

If you’ve got depression, sorry, but you’re going to have to go with calf shit boiled in wine. I don’t know how that’s supposed to make us less depressed, but hey, I’m not the natural philosopher here. Or you can might just need to get laid, especially if your eyesight’s bad.

You might not see your affliction discussed here. Rest assured, if you look up ‘The Natural History’ of Pliny, all the cures are there waiting for you.

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