The secret to preventing baldness: chicken dung!

07-09-2007 | |
The secret to preventing baldness: chicken dung!

In the 17th century, British men were advised to apply chicken dung to keep them from losing the hair on their head.

One will find the measures stated in a 17th century equivalent of Men’s Health magazine, ‘The Path-Way To Health’, which is apparently one of the earliest medical journals written in English.
Author Peter Levens gives various methods that will stop bad breath, body odour and “wind in the belly”, as well as remove unwanted hair from their body.
The secret to preventing baldness, he says, or “curing” a receding hair line is to “take the ashes of Culver-dung in Lye, and wash the head therewith. Also Walnut leaves beaten with Beares suet, restoreth the haire that is plucked away. Also, the leaves and middle rinde of an Oak sodden in water, and the head washed therewith, is very good for this purpose.”
In those days, Culver-dung is basically chicken dung today, while “Lye” is a strong alkaline solution of potassium salts made from ashes and used in making soap.
The book, which bears the name John Willcock, who Apparently owned the rare copy in 1721 and made notes in its margins, is said to be auctioned at Bonhams in Oxford in October. It is expected to fetch approximately £400.

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