Thursday, 19 June 2014

A Rejuvenating Potion - Making an old man into a youth

The ancient Egyptians were just as worried about ageing as we are. Below is a rejuvenating prescription.
Prescription 4 Edwin Smith Papyrus. V. 4,8 - v. 5, 10
(Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art)
'One has to get a great many bitter almonds, comparable to 3 bushels. They have to be pulverised and put in the sunlight. After they have dried completely, they have to be winnowed until only the kernels of them remain. As for all that comes from this, it has to be measured, as well as sieving the chaff off the threshing floor with a sieve. Measure likewise all those kernels that have come out. Make into 2 parts: one if those kernels, and the other, of the chaff. Make one part equal to the other.
They have to be set as a compound in water and made into a soft dough. They have to be put in a new pot in the fire and cooked completely and adequately. You will know they have cooked adequately by the water evaporating and by their drying out until they are like dry chaff, without moisture in it.
They have to be taken out. When they have cooled, they have to be put in a jug to wash them in the river. They have to be washed adequately. One will know they have been washed adequately by one tasting the taste of the water that is in the jug.'

The Edwin Smith Papyrus; Dynasty 16-17; 1600 BC Malloch Rare Book Room of the New York Academy of Medicine Library.

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