Mother’s milk: nourishing, healing and alluring liquid explored in folk lore, folk medicine and popular texts. Medicine of antiquity. Customs and beliefs.
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Cover designed by Barbara L. Watts.
For thousands of years, the very survival of mankind was dependent on one product, mother’s milk. From this flowed the beliefs, mythologies and customs that make up the folklore of breast milk. It was necessary to create receipts and rituals to make the milk flow with ease and abundance. It was essential to find way to heal afflictions of the breasts and nipples.
It was important to establish when and how to wean the child, and then to stop the flow. The milk, of course, had to be protected from evil attacks.
The folklore deals not only with remedies for conditions of the breast milk, but also with the uses of mother’s milk as medicine. It was used to treat everything from consumption and earaches to lack of vitality in adults.
The power of mother’s milk is explored in fairy tales and modern short stories as well as metaphors. It reminds us too that we are mammals. At time, perhaps, in direct connection with animals.
Investigating the many facets of mother’s milk throughout this book is an exciting journey from times long ago and places far away to right here and now.