Hack Tuke, Daniel – Healing - Ague cured by suggestion and charms, amulets, and spells
Type of Spiritual Experience
Ague may refer to a kind of intermittent fever or Malaria, which has similar symptoms
A description of the experience
As described in Illustrations Of The Influence Of The Mind Upon The Body In Health And Disease, Designed To Elucidate The Action Of The Imagination - Daniel Hack Tuke, M.D., M.R.C.P.,
CHAPTER XVI. INFLUENCE OF MENTAL STATES UPON DISORDERS OF SENSATION, MOTION, AND THE ORGANIC FUNCTIONS.
SECTION III. — Influence of Mental States upon Disorders involving- the Involuntary Muscles and the Organic Functions.
Intermittent Fever. — A chapter might be written simply on the charms supposed to be of efficacy in ague. One remedy was wearing round the neck the mysterious word "Abracadabra," written in a peculiar manner. Chips from the gallows, placed in a bag and hung round the neck, or put on the skin, "will cure the ague, or prevent it” says Grose. The same result was expected from the halter of a criminal who had been executed.
In Brand's "Popular Antiquities" (vol. iii, p. 149), from which the above is taken, occurs the following : " Mr. Douce's MS. notes say, ‘It is usual with many persons about Exeter who are affected with ague, to visit at dead of night the nearest cross-road five different times, and there bury a new-laid egg. The visit is paid about an hour before the cold fit is expected ; and they are persuaded that with the egg they shall bury the ague.' I shall here note another remedy against the ague mentioned as above, viz., by breaking a salted cake of bran, and giving it to a dog when the fit comes on, by which means they suppose the malady to be transferred from them to the animal."
"Amulets," says Adams, in his charming and learned commentary on Paulus AEgineta, "were very much used in ancient times for the cure of quartans. Alexander Traillian had great confidence in them. Galen supposed that they owed their virtues to the physical properties of the substances which were appended" (vol. i, p. 248).
It is stated that the ague was very successfully cured by Faith, on a large scale, by Ferrarius. In the course of a twelvemonth he cut the disease short in about fifty persons solely by slips of paper, on which he inscribed the word "febrifuge," and gave them to the patients with the instruction that they should cut off a letter every day. A Spanish lieutenant recovered by the time he arrived at the sixth letter (The Zoist. Commenced 1843. Edited by Dr. Elliotson, 1850, p. 161).
John Hunter says, "Agues have been cured by charms, which have been used with a thorough conviction of their being a sovereign remedy. I am apt to suppose that a spider's web, when taken for an ague, cures in the same way; at least in one case, for on giving it without the patient's knowledge it had not the slightest effect, but by persuading the patient that it was a spider, the effect was produced ; at least the disease did not return " (ii, I, p. 360).