The methode of phisicke conteyning the causes, signes, and cures of invvard diseases in mans body from the head to the foote. VVhereunto is added, the forme and rule of making remedies and medicines, which our phisitians commonly vse at this day, with the proportion, quantitie, & names of ech [sic] medicine. By Philip Barrough.
Barrough, Philip, fl. 1590.

CAP. LXIII. To take away barainnesse. DE STERILITATE REMOVENDA.

STERILITAS in Latin, barennes in English.* It is caused of the womans part or of the mans part. It is of the mans part, when his seede is either hote, & as it were burned, or else cold, thinne, waterie and feeble, as is the seede of old and feeble men: or when it is sent foorth thicker then it ought to be: or be∣cause the men be halfe geldinges, & haue a very short yard, so that they can not cast their seede into the innermost place of the matrice, which also some∣time chaunceth through much fatnesse: for fat men haue such great bellies, that they can∣not cast the seede into the deepest partes of the bodie. Also women of their part can not conceaue, that haue their matrice either hote and fiery, or cold and moist, or foule, filthy & drie. For (as Hippocrates faith) 5. Apho. 62. the seede is corrupted or quenched in such. Also women that be very grosse and fat, do not conceaue (as Hippocrates witnesseth. 5. Apho. 46. Moreouer women that be leane & slender do not conceaue, or if they do conceaue, they do suffer aborsion straight way, which also Hyppocrates witnesseth. 5. Apho. 44. Also some do not conceaue, because their wombe is weake or straight or short: or because the vessels of it be stopped or shut vp, or blinded and couered by reason of a scarre, or because the necke of the womb is drawn crooked, or because the mouth of the matrice is to streight or to wide open. Also vnwilling carnall copulation for the most part is vaine and barren: for loue cau∣seth conception, and therefore louing women do conceaue often. Also age to great, or to little, doeth let conception. Therefore you must separate them that be young from carnall copulation, so that the man may be 30. yeares old, and the woman 18. But specially an vn∣comly Page  158 & foolish shape and forme of the womans bodie, doth giue an occasion to barennes. For a woman, that is fertile, ought to haue a moderate stature & height of the body, breadth of the loynes and the share, buttocks sticking out, a handsome & conuenient greatnesse of the belly, a streight breast and large pappes. The signes whereby the diuersitie of causes be known be these.* The hote distempure of a man, is easily known by the abundance of haires, specially blacke haires vpon the genitalles, and the places adioyning, from aboue vnto the midde thighes. Also this distemperature is lasciuious and readie to carnall lust, but it is soone satiate and filled.* A temperament that is to cold, is declared by the partes being a∣bout the stones being bald and without haire. Also they that be of this temperature, be not desirous and prone to carnall lust. Heate of the matrice is known by the heate in the rest of the body, & because fewe menstruis are sent out and that with paine, so that sometime the womans priuities are exulcerate with it, & that which is sent out, is blackish▪ Also there fol∣loweth this temperature, an instinction or tickling to lecherie, and drinesse of the whole bo∣die. A temperature of the matrice, which is cold, is known by suppression & stopping of the menstruis, and by astonishment engendred in the loines, the legs, & the parts about the pri∣uities. Also they that haue this temperament, doe despise vse of carnall lust, and haue the mouth of the matrice drawen togither. If through to much moistnesse, barennesse be ingen∣dred, then in the act of generation, they are verie much bedewed with moistnesse and the menstruis floweth much in quantitie and thinne. Drinesse is knowen by the contrarie signes to moistnesse. The rest of the causes may be knowen partly by sight, and partly by the tel∣ling of the partie, or other about her. For the cure commonly to both, as well the man as the woman:* It is conuenient for them to keepe the whole bodie verie temperate, and to keepe a meane and measure in labouring, eating, drinking, and bathing, and in all other exercises. Men therefore that haue their seede corrupted through naughty and euill kind of diet, if they vse a more ordinate diet and healthfull, their genitours will haue fecunditie and fertilitie. Let the woman neither wearie her selfe with to much labour, nor let her not be altogether idle: for idlenesse doeth fill and stuffe the whole bodie with superfluous hu∣mours, and excrementes: but great labour drieth vp the bloud, and consumeth the men∣struis. Let her vse meates and drinkes easie of digestion, and such as the stomach may well comprehende and consume. And you must specially obserue in their order of good diet, that neither the man nor the woman be made fat. For they that be fatte, are vnapt to pro∣create and beget children, because their genitours can not touch together, and also be∣cause they send out little seede. Moreouer it is conuenient that you giue vnto such as desire to get children, some accustomed and pleasant thing to eat or drink before meate, which be most apt to prouoke carnall lust, & to ingender seede: as those be that do heate measurably, & puffe vp with wind. Therfore wine in this case measurably drunk, is to be preferred afore water. For as the prouerb is sine Cerere & Baccho friget Venus. (that is) If you haue not bread & wine: carnal lust wil coole & pine. For potherbs they must vse rocket, orminiū, it is an herb like vnto horehound, erisymo, & other such like which we haue rehearsed of them that cānot vse carnall copulatiō. Rew, calamint & mints must be eschewed altogether: for calamint & mints, although they ingender much sede, yet, that which they ingender, is feble & weake: but rewe doth altogether corrupt & destroy seede. If a woman do not conceaue through the vice and corruption of certaine humours,* it is good to empty her with a purging medicine, & to amend her with a good diet. Particularly for womē, it is good for them to take as good heede as can be to those thinges that chance to the matrice, and that their menstruis may flowe without any, impediment. Therefore when the purgation of their menstruis is nigh at hand, let them keepe a measure in eating and drinking with all their dilgence. And let them take some of those thinges, that can prouoke and stirre vp the purgacion of the men∣menstruis, as be herbes that be odoriferous and sharpe, as is, Cerefolium, fennell, apium, lo∣uage & such like, wherof you shall find plentie in the chapter of stopping of the menstruis. After the purging of the menstruis, both the right side and the left side of the matrice is o∣pen. If colde distempure doeth cause barennesse, you must correct and amende it by fo∣ments,* Cataplasmes, and suffumigations, and other medicines that haue vertue to heate: as those be which are made of motherwort, poniroyall, sage, rewe, anise seede, commin, Page  159 gladon and such like. Also it profiteth her to drinke Castoreum, and odoriferous seedes, comin, anise seede, and iuniper fruict, and other thinges that be rehearsed in the Chapter of stopping of menstruis.* You must amend and correct a hote distempure of the matrice cau∣sing barennesse, with such things as do coole & moisten: as these herbs be, letuse, mallowes, gourdes, puslaine, & orach with such like. Also she must drink wine that is thinne, white & alayed. Also it profiteth her to sleepe, and to bath in sweete water. Also you must applie to the loynes and about the priuities such thinges as do coole, as iuyce of nightshade mixed with oyle of roses, which also being laid vpon woll, may be put well into the matrice. They which do not conceaue through moistnesse of the matrice, it is good for them to vse a drier diet. Also they must exercise them selues much,* & they must be rubbed in the vpper part of the bodie. Also to thintent to purge out, and turne away humours, let them vomite some∣time after dinner, and sometime fasting, and you must dry them with scarcity of meate, and let them eate flesh of middle aged beasts rosted, and giue them pure wine, that is mighty to drink, but giue it them seldome. Also it profiteth to apply restrictiue things to the matrice, as be roses, leaues of brier, galles, sumach, mirtles, knotgrasse, pomegranate rinds, and such like sodden. But you may not do this, vnlesse the whole bodie be first purged. A dry matrice must be cured by the contrarie to that which is aforesaid, as with bathes of sweete water,* annointings, & meates that do moisten, Let her vse wine that is alayed, being not very old. And if a womans conception be impedited and stopped through grosse humours, if they be gnawing it is good to purge the womā well with hierapicra in whey: & she must vse a more exquisit diet, & meats that do ingender good iuyce: but you must consume the fleugmatike humours with much labour, with sweating, vomiting or by purging by the nether parts: & all other things which be rehearsed in the chapter of stopping of menstruis, which it beho∣ueth not to rehearse here particularly. Also windinesse ingendred in the womb,* doth let the fertility of conception, & causeth barennesse. Such women therefore as haue this, must first be amended with a straighter diet. Then you must minister both outwardly, & inwardly to them, such medicines as can dissolue, disperse, & consume windinesse, as is comin, rew, dill, seede of apium, & such like, which be rehearsed in the chapter of windinesse of the matrice, and in other places. If shutting vp of the matrice doth cause barennesse,* you shall open it by casting in of odoriferous clisters, and by vsing of foments, & incessions made of fenugreeke, lineseede, mallowes, & such like rehearsed in the chapter of straightnesse of the womb. And afterward you must proceede to stronger medicines, as motherwort, calamint, peniroyall, & maioram. They which haue the mouth of the matrice gaping much,* it is good for them to vse a drying diet, and drying foments. And it is good also to vse restrictiue medicines, as be the decoction of galles, bremble rootes, mirtles, & such like rehearsed before in the cure of a moist distempur. Last of all, if crookednesse of the matrice do cause barennesse, you shal di∣rect & make straight the matrice with mollifying foments: for foments can do that best:* but yet you may conueniently put in mollifying pessaries. But specially the decoction of peni∣royall, & motherwort, & castoreum drunk with posca, are wont to be good for a writhed ma∣trice. Paulus saith, that then carnall lust vsed backward is good to conceaue. We here haue generally comprehended the cures, onely by other chapters. For the particular cure of ech cause, must be sought out his proper chapter.