In our age of gyms and jogging, dental floss and deodorants, mouthwash and moisturisers, a chap can waft along with ease every day feeling fit and fragrant.
But back in 1654, with Oliver Cromwell ruling England, good health and grooming for men was somewhat more basic.
Then, no self-respecting male's medicine chest was apparently complete without liberal supplies of cat's dung, snail's blood and chicken droppings - not to mention arsenic and brimstone. Gruesome as they may sound, they were recommended as remedies for everything from bad breath to baldness, fatness to flatulence.
The fascinating array of potions and lotions is chronicled in The Path-Way To Health, a sort of 17th century version of Men's Health magazine, which has emerged from a private collection of antiquarian books.
One of the earliest medical journals written in English, it will go up for auction in October. These are some of its suggested cures:
According to the journal's author Peter Levens, the best way to restore growth 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."
For those brave enough to try the cure today, Culver-dung may be translated as chicken dung, while "Lye" is a strong alkaline solution of potassium salts made from ashes and used in soapmaking. Quite where one might acquire "Beares suet" today is open to question.
Source - Daily Mail