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VMs: RE: Nostradamus as physician...
> On the contrary, according to the introduction to "The
> Elixirs of
> Nostradamus" (Knut Boeser, 1996):-
> [Nostradamus] irrefutably cured the most
> serious illnesses
> of the time in such an astonishing number of cases that
> he soon acquired the reputation of being able
> to work miracles.
> [...] His remedies inclued 'rose pills', which
> were to be made
> as follows:
> one ounce of sawdust from the greenest
> available cypress tree
> six ounces of Florentine iris
> three ounces of cloves
> three drachms of sweet flag (root)
> six drachms of resinous aloe wood
> These ingredients are pulverised and then 300
> to 400 red roses,
> which have been picked before the grey light
> of dawn and
> similarly pulverized, are mixed in with them.
> Throughout, care
> is taken to avoid undue exposure to the air.
> The mixture is
> then shaped into pills, which the patient
> constantly keeps in
> the mouth. According to Michel, the wonderful scent can
> kill bad breath and fould smells and clean
> rotten teeth.
> Nostradamus was of the opinion that the plague
> was spread
> by contaminated air, and that clean air
> protected the patients.
> Perhaps his success lay simply in the fact
> that fleas, which
> are known to transmit the plague from rats to
> humans, could not
> stand the mixture's strong smell and thus at least the
> healthy were stopped from catching the disease.
> Whatever the reason, his reputation and his
> prestige as a
> plague healer grew.
> FYI, the above dates from about 1546. :-)
I'd have to dust off my old Nostradamus research, but that's
fairly accurate. He was a success as a physician, and was called
to the court, an honor he almost turned down - reasons unknown.
There was a lot of major questioning about his astrological
Several books were written challenging his astrological
assumptions, a couple of which called him a fraud outright. How
much of this backlash was anti-semetic I'm not sure, but the books
did attack his astrology point by point. I don't remember the
name right now, but I think there was even one written in English
along the same vein. It's on EEBO last I knew.