The Art of Physick
Section B. Of the 6 Non-Naturals
6. Of the Excrements
Neue Artznei und Practicierbuchlin, Bock, 1551
D. What Excrements are wholesome?
C. The Several Excrements if they be moderate, and seasonably thrown off, are wholesome; but is they be kept in, and tarry too long in the Body, they putrefy, and breed several sorts of Diseases: Wherefore for the preservation of Health they are to be expelled in time by the help of Art.
D. But artificial evacuation is not convenient, because we learn out of Hippocrates, That sane People purged by Cathartic Medicines, suddenly decay.
C. That is to be understood of such as are of an unblameable habit of Body, who before Meals are constant in their exercise of the Body and Mind, and take an accurate care in observing due Concoction. But as for them who keep no constant method of Feeding, or through Intemperance, or Business, or Ignorance, tho healthy and strong, they cannot pretend to be safe from Diseases, unless it be by a provident loosening the Belly by intervals, or sometimes by making use of more powerful Purgation, and by seasonable opening a Vein, or taking such Remedies as are effectual to concoct, attenuate, and cleanse, as Galen tells us in his Book De Enchymia.
D. What is to be observed in determining the Quantity of Evacuation?
C. You are always to consider the strength of the Person; for all Evacuation too excessive, is dangerous, because it weakens the strength.
D. What is the method of Evacuation?
C. Where there is most superfluous Matter, there by little and little, not all at once evacuation is to be made, lest the Body by too suddenly and too violently weakened; therefore it is better to let Blood often, then to take away too much at one time. In the same manner it is safe to purge the Body by moderate reiteration, then to give a Scowrer all at once. Thus it is better to procure Sweat, Urine, or Women's Flowers by gentle reiterated Medicines, then by one forcible Medicament. And thus the moderate Use of the Venereal Act with due cessation, may be wholesome for the preservation, whereas immoderate use of it, is the destruction of Health.
D. What is the fittest time for Evacuation?
C. As for the Season of the Year, the Spring is the fittest for Blood-letting and Purging, according to the Opinion of Hippocrates; for then, says Philothues, the Heat is neither too fierce, which causes a Dissolution of the Body, nor the Cold too vehement, which thickens the Humors. Galen also prescribes the Evacuation of superfluous Humors in Autumn, by way of Precaution. Now for the Excrements which are hurtful in themselves, as the Excrement of the Guts, Urine, Sweat, Snot, and Spittle, they are daily to be evacuated: but such as are only hurtful in their excess, as the Seed and Menstrual Blood, they may be retained till their Quantity offend.
Moderate Coition after first Sleep is most profitable, as well for the preservation of Health, as for Generation: for then the Seed is perfectly Concocted, and the loss of Spirits is easily made good again by the ensuing Sleep. Coition, during the coming down of the Monthly Courses, is prohibited, for fear the Birth prove Leprous; nor is it good upon a full or fasting Stomach. The Spring is the most proper season, and Youth the most proper age for it. In other Ages of men, the Seed is either none at all, or else unfit for Generation. If the Flowers come not down, they are to be provoked by Art, at the same time that usually they came down before. But neither Women with Child, nor Nurses, nor young Girls, nor old Women are permitted to make use of Art in the particular.
Excrement=Body waste. In modern times it usually means feces alone, but traditionally is all discharge from the body.
People with a good habit of exercise, rest and diet do not generally require purging; but those with an immoderate lifestyle and diet benefit from occasional Bloodletting and light purging.
Venereal Act=Sexual Intercourse
Spring is the best time for cleansing: Bloodletting and Purging
'Loss of Spirits': Loss of Qi
Monthly Courses: Menses
Seed: Sperm, Semen
The Art Of Physick
OF THE 7 NATURALS
Introduction to the 7 Naturals
OF THE 6 NOT-NATURALS
(Preservation of Health)
Introduction to the 6 Not-Naturals
1. Ambient Air
2. Food and Drink
3. Sleep and Waking
4a. Exercise &
6. Emotions (Passions of the Mind)
OF THE 3 PRETER-NATURALS
3a. Symptoms &