Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers - Chapter 10, Eat Me Summary & Analysis

Mary Roach
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Chapter 10 examines medicinal cannibalism. Roach begins by describing the process by which an aged man of 12th century Arabia might sacrifice himself to become a medicinal confection known as a "mellified" man. After eating only honey for a month, the man dies and is placed subsequently in a coffin full of honey. After a hundred years, the coffin is opened and its "mellified" contents are used as a topical application for broken or wounded limbs. It may also be taken internally to "cure the complaint." This recipe comes from the 1597 Chinese Materia Medica.

Roach mentions that the medicinal use of mummies is a well-documented fact, particularly in chemistry books of the 16th, 17th, and 18th century Europe. The best mummies were thought to be from those who died suddenly, the "surprisal" of their death supposedly concentrating the spirits within the body...

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This section contains 720 words
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Buy the Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers Study Guide
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