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tobacco and alcohol as medicine...

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Joined: 20 Aug 2005
Posts: 30

Posted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 11:23 am    Post subject: tobacco and alcohol as medicine... Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

I was wondering if anyone knows of how tobacco and alcohol were used as medicine at one time, for I was looking at the workshops at the recent ABA astrological conference in Serbia and I noticed that Oskar Hoffman (traditional astrologer trained under John Frawley) lead a discussion on this issue. I am wondering if they were used for humoral imbalances. For instance, it seems obvious that someone with too much melancholia (overly cold and dry) could benefit from a certain amount of alcohol, which would possibly create more heat and moisture in the body. Tobacco I am unsure of, and haven't given it much thought, though a book has come out recently in the U.S. called "The Health Benefits of Tobacco." Anyhow, what are some of your thoughts on the issue? I will probably write to Oskar but who knows how soon he will write me back, and I thought I would check it out with this wonderfully intelligent forum too.

Respectfully, Peter
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Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 3508
Location: New Jersey, USA

Posted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 4:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For What it's worth:

I don't know about tobacco, but I do recall that my great-grandfather was "prescribed" three shots of bourbon a day by his doctor. The man was born in 1859 and lived until 1953, so maybe there is something to it. I have no idea why it was prescribed though, and unfortunately, no one left to ask. In case anyone is wondering how I know about the "prescription, (I was 5 when he died)" I was a teenager helping my grandmother move and I found a couple of bottles of bourbon in the back of a closet. Since I never saw her take a drink I asked her about them. She told me they were her father's "medicine," and relayed the story to me.

I have a book somewhere on making cocktails and I think it contains a brief social history of drinking in the US. The original edition was published about 1948. The author makes several references to the use of spirits as medicine. I'll see what I can find.

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Joined: 10 Jun 2006
Posts: 800

Posted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tobacco is frequently used in Native American healing as a way to cleanse the 'aura' or energy around a person; it's usually sucked into the shaman's mouth, blown out around a person, and then fanned or waved around with a sacred feather. It has to be uncured, *natural* tobacco, not the nasty chemical-filled crap people make a habit of smoking. In fact, I'm sure the Native Americans arent' the only ones who use smoke as medicine; there are other cultures as well, I just can't think of any specific ones offhand.

Astrologically, I would naturally think of tobacco/smoke as hot and dry, and therefore perhaps prescribed to counteract the cold and moist humours, but I'm not sure where to find any evidence of this in Western medical or astrological books; I'm sure there must be some out there! Tobacco had already begun being imported from the colonies by Lilly's time (Elizabeth I smoked a pipe) so surely some physic or other made it into a remedy...?
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Joined: 21 Jun 2006
Posts: 118

Posted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know from time to time while indulging in 'esoteric/occult' studies, I've come across such remedies. If so many witches hadn't been burned up there would no doubt be more! My recommendation is to scour the used bookstores in search of such material. Oft times, the older the better. Other thoughts to bear in mind are 1: The remanufacture of medicines already abundant in nature, 2: The ruse of addicting additives used in manmade remedies, 3: The denial of leaving the public to choose what works for them (" ..ask your doctor if so&so is right for you.."), 4: The fact that the more removed we become from nature, the higher the incidence of cancer. As far as I know, Color Therapy is outlawed in the U.S., and some years back an older physician was sentenced to 35 years in a Florida prison for curing patients w/Ozone therapy. On the other hand there seem to be a lot of violet-ray-therapy devices on eBay, usually in excess of 60 years old! I'm sure effective therapy availability has much to do in just where you live.

Last edited by jac on Sun Jul 09, 2006 2:48 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Joined: 11 Oct 2003
Posts: 4130
Location: England

Posted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tobacco is governed by Mars according to Culpeper. This is what he writes of it in his 'Complete Herbal':

Government and virtues : It is a martial plant. It is found by good experience to be available to expectorate tough phlegm from the stomach, chest, and lungs. The juice thereof made into a syrup, or the distilled water of the herb drank with some sugar, or without, if you will, or the smoak taken by a pipe, as is usual, but fainting, helps to expel worms in the stomach and belly, and to ease the pains in the head, or megrim, and the griping pains in the bowels. It is profitable for those that are troubled with the stone in the kidneys, both to ease the pains by provoking urine, and also to expel gravel and the stone engendered therein, and hath been found very effectual to expel windiness, and other humours, which cause the strangling of the mother. The seed thereof is very effectual to expel the tooth ache, and the ashes of the burnt herb to cleanse the gums, and make the teeth white. The herb bruised and applied to the place grieved with the king's evil, helps it in nine or ten days effectually. Monardus saith, It is a counter poison against the biting of any venomous creature, the herb also being outwardly applied to the hurt place. The distilled water is often given with some sugar before the fit of an ague, to lessen it, and take it away in three or four times using. If the distilled f s of the herb, having been bruised before the distillation, and not distilled dry, be set in warm dung for fourteen days, and afterwards be hung in a bag in a wine cellar, the liquor that distills therefrom is singularly good to use in cramps, aches, the gout and sciatica, and to heal itches, scabs, and running ulcers, cankers, and all foul sores whatsoever. The juice is also good for all the said griefs, and likewise to kill lice in children's heads. The green herb bruised and applied to any green wounds, cures any fresh wound or cut whatsoever: and the juice put into old sores, both cleanses and heals them. There is also made hereof a singularly good salve to help imposthumes, hard tumours, and other swellings by blows and falls.
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Joined: 10 Jun 2006
Posts: 800

Posted: Sun Jul 09, 2006 12:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Doh! Culpeper! Of course!

*smacks forehead*

I need to brush up on my reading, clearly... Laughing
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