Compound medicines which purge melancholy, are either taken in the superior or inferior parts: superior at mouth or nostrils. At the mouth swallowed or not swallowed: If swallowed liquid or solid: liquid, as compound wine of hellebore, scilla or sea-onion, senna, Vinum Scilliticum, Helleboratum, which Quercetan so much applauds "for melancholy and madness, either inwardly taken, or outwardly applied to the head, with little pieces of linen dipped warm in it." Oxymel. Scilliticum, Syrupus Helleboratus major and minor in Quercetan, and Syrupus Genistæ for hypochondriacal melancholy in the same author, compound syrup of succory, of fumitory, polypody, &c. Heurnius his purging cock-broth. Some except against these syrups, as appears by Udalrinus Leonoras his epistle to Matthiolus, as most pernicious, and that out of Hippocrates, cocta movere, et medicari, non cruda, no raw things to be used in physic; but this in the following epistle is exploded and soundly confuted by Matthiolus: many juleps, potions, receipts, are composed of these, as you shall find in Hildesheim spicel. 2. Heurnius lib. 2. cap. 14. George Sckenkius Ital. med. prax. &c.
Solid purges are confections, electuaries, pills by themselves, or compound with others, as de lapide lazulo, armeno, pil. indæ, of fumitory, &c. Confection of Hamech, which though most approve, Solenander sec. 5. consil. 22. bitterly inveighs against, so doth Rondoletius Pharmacop. officina, Fernelius and others; diasena, diapolypodium, diacassia, diacatholicon, Wecker's electuary de Epithymo, Ptolemy's hierologadium, of which divers receipts are daily made.
Ætius 22. 23. commends Hieram Ruffi. Trincavelius consil. 12. lib. 4. approves of hiera; non, inquit, invenio melius medicamentum, I find no better medicine, he saith. Heurnius adds pil. aggregat. pills de Epithymo. pil. Ind. Mesue describes in the Florentine Antidotary, Pilulæ sine quibus esse nolo, Pilulæ, Cochics, cum Helleboro, Pil. Arabicæ, Fætida, de quinque generibus mirabolanorum, &c. More proper to melancholy, not excluding in the meantime, turbith, manna, rhubarb, agaric, elescophe, &c. which are not so proper to this humour. For, as Montaltus holds cap. 30. and Montanus cholera etiam purganda, quod atræ, sit pabulum, choler is to be purged because it feeds the other: and some are of an opinion, as Erasistratus and Asclepiades maintained of old, against whom Galen disputes, "that no physic doth purge one humour alone, but all alike or what is next." Most therefore in their receipts and magistrals which are coined here, make a mixture of several simples and compounds to purge all humours in general as well as this. Some rather use potions than pills to purge this humour, because that as Heurnius and Crato observe, hic succus a sicco remedio agre trahitur, this juice is not so easily drawn by dry remedies, and as Montanus adviseth 25 cons. "All drying medicines are to be repelled, as aloe, hiera," and all pills whatsoever, because the disease is dry of itself.
I might here insert many receipts of prescribed potions, boles, &c. The doses of these, but that they are common in every good physician, and that I am loath to incur the censure of Forestus, lib. 3. cap. 6. de urinis, "against those that divulge and publish medicines in their mother-tongue," and lest I should give occasion thereby to some ignorant reader to practise on himself, without the consent of a good physician.
Such as are not swallowed, but only kept in the mouth, are gargarisms used commonly after a purge, when the body is soluble and loose. Or apophlegmatisms, masticatories, to be held and chewed in the mouth, which are gentle, as hyssop, origan, pennyroyal, thyme, mustard; strong, as pellitory, pepper, ginger, &c.
Such as are taken into the nostrils, errhina are liquid or dry, juice of pimpernel, onions, &c., castor, pepper, white hellebore, &c. To these you may add odoraments, perfumes, and suffumigations, &c.
Taken into the inferior parts are clysters strong or weak, suppositories of Castilian soap, honey boiled to a consistence; or stronger of scammony, hellebore, &c.
These are all used, and prescribed to this malady upon several occasions, as shall be shown in its place.