To purge and purify the blood, use sowthistle, succory, senna, endive, carduus benedictus, dandelion, hop, maidenhair, fumitory, bugloss, borage, &c., with their juice, decoctions, distilled waters, syrups, &c.
Oswaldus, Crollius, basil Chym. much admires salt of corals in this case, and Aetius, tetrabib. ser. 2. cap. 114. Hieram Archigenis, which is an excellent medicine to purify the blood, “for all melancholy affections, falling sickness, none to be compared to it.”
SUBSECT. I.—Cure of Hypochondriacal Melancholy.
In this cure, as in the rest, is especially required the rectification of those six non-natural things above all, as good diet, which Montanus, consil. 27. enjoins a French nobleman, “to have an especial care of it, without which all other remedies are in vain.” Bloodletting is not to be used, except the patient’s body be very full of blood, and that it be derived from the liver and spleen to the stomach and his vessels, then to draw it back, to cut the inner vein of either arm, some say the salvatella, and if the malady be continuate, to open a vein in the forehead.
Preparatives and alteratives may be used as before, saving that there must be respect had as well to the liver, spleen, stomach, hypochondries, as to the heart and brain. To comfort the stomach and inner parts against wind and obstructions, by Areteus, Galen, Aetius, Aurelianus, &c., and many latter writers, are still prescribed the decoctions of wormwood, centaury, pennyroyal, betony sodden in whey, and daily drunk: many have been cured by this medicine alone.
Prosper Altinus and some others as much magnify the water of Nile against this malady, an especial good remedy for windy melancholy. For which reason belike Ptolemeus Philadelphus, when he married his daughter Berenice to the king of Assyria (as Celsus, lib. 2. records), magnis impensis Nili aquam afferri jussit, to his great charge caused the water of Nile to be carried with her, and gave command, that during her life she should use no other drink. I find those that commend use of apples, in splenetic and this kind of melancholy (lamb’s-wool some call it), which howsoever approved, must certainly be corrected of cold rawness and wind.