Medical snippets #15: Few, yet noble and generous medicines

‘That his Medicines may be fewer, is evident in Physicians that practise in the Country, who ride far to Patients, and carry in their Mans Cloak-bag, Medicines enough, not only for the person he is sent to, but also for most other persons, and Cases he meets with in his Travels, and therefore his Closet needs contain but few, yet noble and generous Medicines, and such as may serve him upon all occasions, supplying what’s defective from the Fields or Gardens. He may avoid all pompous, useless, chargable Medicines of the Shops, and substitute in their place, cheaper, and more conducible to health; He may very well lay aside the precious Stones, Saphir, Emerals, &c. the high priced Magistrals of Coral, and Pearl, made worse by their preparations, or rather destroyed thereby in their Virtue, as also Unicorns Horn, and Bezoar, all which are now rarely used alone, but in the received Compositions; He may also spare the charges of leaf-gold, for guilding Pots, Glasses, Pills, Electuaries, Boles, &c. which serves only to raise the Bill.’

Christopher Merret, A short view of the frauds, and abuses committed by apothecaries; as well in relation to patients, as physicians: and of the only remedy thereof by physicians making their own medicines (1670)

Balliol College Library shelfmark: 905 h 4 (7)