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September 07, 2004

Natural Magick

Giambattista della Porta's 16th-century science best-sellers include the Ninth Book of Natural Magick, "How to Adorn Women, and Make them Beautiful." I am particularly struck by Chapter V, "How hair may grow again."

And if any hair has fallen off, to make it grow again, Torrify Pith upon coals, when it is Torrified, powder it, sift it, and mingle it with water, and anoint the head. The Ancients made their hair grow again with these remedies. With the ashes of a land Hedgehog, or of burnt Bees or Flies, or the powder of them dried, also with man's Dung burnt, and anointed on with Honey, to which they added well the ashes of small Nuts, Walnuts, Chestnuts, and other beanlike substances. For by all these mingled together, or by them single, hair will be made to grow. But if you will, "That hair shall grow quickly"

M'kay, I am going to assume this works for men as well as women, skip that burning dung suggestion and go straight to torrifying some pith.

Posted by Ghost of a flea at September 7, 2004 09:23 AM

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I agree, burning dung is rarely the solution for any of life's problems.

Posted by: Chris Taylor at September 7, 2004 04:45 PM

It should go without saying I am now mentally compiling a list of life's problems for which burning dung is a workable solution.

Posted by: Flea at September 7, 2004 05:11 PM

Most of those involve drunken college rituals, right?

Posted by: Chris Taylor at September 7, 2004 05:14 PM

I didn't comment earlier because I didn't know how to spell the sounds and facial expressions I made when I read it.

I can think of a number of situations in which anointing someone's head with burnt dung and honey would do just fine. Hairloss isn't one of them.

Besides, bald men are sexy.

Posted by: Rue at September 7, 2004 05:57 PM