It is undeniable that Michel de Nostredame (more commonly known as Nostradamus) is most renowned for his published collection of prophecies known as Les Prophéties, or in English as The Prophecies.
Nostradamus has been credited by many as having accurately predicted many major world events, including the French Revolution, the Second World War, and September 11, 2001.
It is perhaps less well known that Nostradamus had worked for some time as an apothecary, and studied medicine as well. More interestingly, perhaps, is the cookbook that he wrote which contained apothecarial recipes.
The Life of Nostradamus
Nostradamus entered the University of Avignon at the age of 14, where he received a classical education. After about a year into his studies, however, Nostradamus was forced to leave Avignon, as a plague had broken out, and the university had to close its doors. Apparently Nostradamus used this time to travel throughout the countryside, researching herbal remedies and working as an apothecary.
Some years after working as an apothecary, Nostradamus entered the University of Montpelier as a student of medicine. When university officials discovered his previous job, they had Nostradamus expelled, as the work of an apothecary was regarded as a ‘manual trade’ that was banned by the university’s statutes.
Thus Nostradamus took to the road again, and travelled throughout France and Italy. Using his skills as an apothecary, Nostradamus treated victims of the plague. He had supposedly made use of some rather progressive methods of dealing with the plague. During that time, the standard practices that were used to treat plague victims included the use of potions made of mercury, blood-letting, and having the victims dressed in robes soaked in garlic.
Alleged Stories of Nostradamus’ Innovation
It has been alleged that Nostradamus did none of this. Instead, he practiced effective hygiene by keeping his patients clean, and having infected corpses removed from the city streets immediately. Additionally, Nostradamus reportedly administered low-fat diets, and encouraged his patients to get plenty of fresh air. Nostradamus is also credited with the creation of something called the ‘rose pill’, which was made of rosehips. This was a source of vitamin C that is said to have provided some relief to patients who had mild cases of the plague.
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