Kamel – C. – II.3 Gebrauchsschrifttum

Medizinisches Schrifttum: Many ancient beliefs in the medicinal powers of camels are recorded by Pliny (28,26). A camel’s brain, dried and taken in vinegar, cures epilepsy, as does its gall taken with honey, and its burnt dung applied with oil (the latter also cures dysentery and makes the hair curl). A camel’s urine, meanwhile, is a valuable purgative and remedy for ulcers, whereas its tail hairs, when plaited onto the left arm, can cure certain fevers.

Hildegard of Bingen also discusses the camel's medicinal uses (see PL 197, 1313f.). In particular, ground camel hump bones, taken in water, do wonders for the heart, the spleen, and various fevers; and Vincentius Bellovacensis provides some less ›standard‹ medical material, attributed to Avicenna, Dioscorides and Haly, rather than Pliny (a camel’s flesh is a diuretic, for example, its dung good for swellings and wounds, and its milk an antidote).

Nigel Harris

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