A German-Swiss alchemist and occultist, Paracelsus (1493-1541) was particularly influential in promoting what was called occult science in the 16th and 17th centuries. His holistic approach in botanical medicine, astrology and alchemical achievements has been a great contribution to the development of herbal medicine as well as of psychology. Amongst many things for which he is known, his cosmic view that the universe and man are intimately connected permeates in all of his philosophy. He believed that “man resembles heaven and earth because he was made from them – ‘hence we must have all their nature and all their parts, down to the last hair.’” Thus, macrocosm (the heaven) and microcosm (man) are interlinked through the medium component of sidereal or astral body in man, which is invisible like the heavenly sphere but mortal like all the terrestrial beings. Because everything in nature was made of the mixture of heaven and earth, and because all was created by God, Divine influence comes to man directly as well as through the other created things such as the stars. In other words, man’s ability to affect the world was comparable to that of the celestial stars. In this way, action among man, stars and natural objects is made reciprocal rather than hierarchical. Therefore, even though the macrocosm is the greater, the microcosm remains similar both in power and in composition.
Because of this interrelation between man and natural objects, man unites within himself all the constituents of the world, and “he could have direct knowledge of Nature on account of sympathy between the inner representative of a particular object in his own constitution and its external counterpart,” that is, by way of similitude and like qualities. This idea of ‘like attracts like’ in Paracelsian philosophy produced a number of followers and practical, or impractical, medicaments in the 17th century Europe. According to this theory, because there is an element of amity as well as enmity in natural things, by appealing to the amity inherent in each object, one can draw a positive outcome from the said objects. This theory of sympathetic magic was largely exercised in alchemy and herbal medicine, where the sympathetic force educed out from the herbs could, by appealing to the sympathy or like qualities between the two objects, improve or heal various human conditions and restore health in us.
Weapon Salve, introduced first in pseudo-Paracelsian book Archidoxis Magica, published in 1570, was one such product of Paracelsian holistic philosophy. This salve is said to cure a wound from distance by being applied to the weapon that has made the wound, rather than the salve onto the wound itself. This is possible because the blood on the weapon and the wound whose blood it is would sympathize with one another, and work together to restore the condition that has been deprived, “for every agent, when it hath begun to act, doth not attempt to make a thing inferior to itself, but as much as may be, like, and suitable to itself,” much like whatever has long stood with salt becomes salt itself. The efficacy of this salve, or the inefficacy of it, is of a great importance in this essay, for its proponents included Robert Fludd, John Baptista von Helmont, and Sir Kenelm Digby amongst other Paracelsians, while some of its primary opponents were William Foster and illustrious Daniel Sonnert. My focus in this paper will be on the arguments offered by the both parties, on the growing interests of nobles to the salve and on how such a miraculous cure is explained rationally at the advent of modern science. I will also discuss the powdered version of the salve invented by Digby as well as laying out the recipes of the salve presented by the proponents.
The pseudo-Paracelsian text, Archidoxis Magica lists the ingredients for this curative salve as well as the manner in which the salve should be prepared as follows: Take of that Moss which grows upon a skull or a bone of a dead body that has lain in the air, of man’s grease, of mummy, and man’s blood, linseed oil, oil of roses and bole-armoniack, and “[l]et them all beat together in a Morter so long, until they come to a most pure and subtil [sic] Oyntment; then keep it in a Box,” and when someone gets wounded, you are to dip a wooden stick in the blood so it would become bloody. Upon drying the blood, thrust it in the ointment, and leave it for a while. Afterwards, you are to “binde up the wound with a new Linen Rowler, every morning washing it with the Patients own Urine; and it shall be healed, be it never so great, without any Plaister or Pain.” The author of this Paracelsian text tells us that “you may Cure any one that is wounded, though he be ten miles distant from you, if you have but his blood.” Further, this salve is supposed to be effective in the treatment of toothache or other parts of human body, as well as of injuries of the horses.
Not surprisingly, in the 17th century Europe, where science began to be seen as a rational and experimental enterprise, this doctrine of weapon salve came under serious attack. One such criticism was launched by an English chaplain and clergyman, William Foster, in the book entitled, A Sponge to wipe away the Weapon-Salve, published in 1631. He intended to prove its inefficacy, thus irrationality, of this salve by way of refuting its claim to be medicine, its legitimacy as a domain of natural philosophy and its insistence of being in accordance with the scripture. The sponge here refers to his set of arguments that will wipe off any delusional effects imposed upon us by this mystical salve. Foster was reacting against the contemporary general acceptance of such a cure whose origin was neither apparent nor explicable in rational and experimental science of the time, for he says people suppose this cure to be lawful and effective simply “because no man amongst us hath as yet written to contradict it.” But the fact that no one undertook the task of refuting it is simply because, he argues, “till late it was little known amongst us, and therefore little or not at all inquired into,” and he feels the need to publicly denounce it as a superstitious and magical cure that is in discordance with the teachings of the Church. His argument is fourfold – he will insist that this cure is indeed magical and done only by the help from the devil, hence rendering the practice demonic: 1. by appealing to reason and philosophy, 2. from words of the authorities, 3. by examining its effects and 4. by the credibility of the inventor of this cure. He reasons that this cure cannot be a lawful medicine and hence diabolical, because all lawful medicine must be either by divine institution or by natural operation, and this weapon-salve works neither way. It does not work by divine institution, he says, because it is nowhere to be seen in the scripture about the medicine that can cure from a distance, and it does not work naturally because it does not work by means of corporeal contact, as any natural medicine must. Second, none of the ancient authorities spoke of it anywhere, nor scriptures, nor respectable contemporary physicians such as Johhanes Roberti speaks of it as lawful. Third, this ointment works just like any other magical, i.e. diabolical, ointments used by witches and devils. For although it can cure a patient from a distance, “[i]f the weapon be put in the fire, his body will be blistred as if the fire it selfe had burned it,” hence it is also possible that “by the annoynted Weapon you may kill the patient (if you will) without touching him.” Lastly, he attacks the very credibility of the author of this cure, Paracelsus, saying that Paracelsus was “a man which condemned all ancient Physicians and Philosophers, [and] endevored to bring many strange and un-heard of practices into the Art of Medicine, [and] that he was a man of base and wicked life and conversation, ” and hence “Paracelsus is of no credit.” Considering all these points, Foster thinks it adds up to meet all the requirements for it to be called the work of witches and devils. From there, he argues that [w]itchcraft is an offense of the highest nature against God,” and that all Christians must avoid the use of this cure. Further, he argues, it must be evident that this cure is not trustworthy, i.e. lawful, from the fact that the ways in which its ingredients are gathered can differ depending on which physicians you ask. Thus, Foster says, “this salve is not made alike by all men,” and some say the “Mosse growne on the Scull of a Theese Hanged [is needed]. Others say it may be of any man taken away by any kind of violent death, [while o]thers prescribe Mosse growne upon the Scull of any dead man, whether he came by his death violently or naturally.” This, I believe, is a fair criticism. Foster singles out an English Paracelsian physician, Robert Fludd, argues against the physician’s comparison of the salve’s power to the rays of the sun. Just as the sun sends down the beam of heat in a direct line, “Mr. Dr. saith, this line [of the power of the salve] is a direct invisible line.” The sun, Foster argues, is giant and has degrees as well as is larger in size than the earth that its influence is accounted for by the proportion of the sun. But this salve has no proportion or magnitude. So just as “[a] little fire cannot burne or heat a great body, at a great distance… [n]o more can a little Salve worke naturally on a Patient at a great distance,” and the air carrying the curative power to the wound “will be hindered and stopped, if not altered and changed.” But it is evident from experience that the air when it “meets with glabritious [sic] and terse bodies, as polished iron (like Mr. Doctors weapon) stone, glass, &c. is turned into water.” And since the rectitude of the line is broken this way, “Mr. Doctors line will faile, the Cure fayle” and “Mr. Doctors reason is broken also.”
To this accusation and many others launched by this English chaplain, Robert Fludd responds with the treatise entitled, The Squesing of Parson Fosters Sponge, ordained by him for the wiping away of the Weapon-Salve, in 1631, stating that Foster’s book “expressed both in his erroneous doctrine touching the maine subject of that manner of curing, as also his rude and… Shallowness of the person in this business,” and Fludd promises us with his treatise to “quell the unsatiable appetite of [Foster’s] slave-devouring Sponge, and squeeze or crush it so, that it shall be constrained to vomit up… the weapon-salve, which it hath drunk and sucked up.” Fludd felt indeed rather disoriented at Foster’s serious accusation, for who was William Foster, really? He was no one but a parson with no experience in the matter, yet he was so proud of his attack against this distinguished physician that “he saw to it that two of the title-pages of his tract were nailed to Fludd’s door in the middle of the night,” and accused him of witchcraft. It was bitter enough that his works had been ignored in his own country and the first person to speak of it publicly slandered him, but also the fact that “they were referred to by someone of little significance in a most insulting fashion” was enough to ensure a reply from the renowned physician. The humiliation he suffered was enormous that his response began with a derogatory greeting about Foster’s use of grammar. Having thus casually ridiculed Foster for being ignoble to term Fludd as Master Doctor, setting Master before Doctor, he embarks on a series of convincing arguments, which he calls theo-philosophy, or theosophy. First he refutes Foster’s argument that this cure is a work of witchcraft just because it is not recorded anywhere in the scripture, by pointing out that healing or fluxing in medicine would also be diabolical if what Foster says is true. Second, Fludd insists that this cure is performed sympathetically, that is, by virtual contact of the blood of the wound and that on the weapon through the intermediacy of air. Further, he points out the fallacy of Foster that the ointment works on the wound from distance. This is not only false but also indicative of Foster’s incapacity to comprehend the philosophy of Paracelsus. As has been explained earlier, man can be comparable to the greater world. Hence, the wounded person is seen as a microcosm, composed of spirit and body, and just as the Holy spirit fills the microcosm, so does the same incorruptible spirit fills the little world. Fludd likens this spirit to the animating principle in man, i.e. blood. Blood, he argues, is then the seat of the soul or vital spirit which is inspired by God, and this “Spirit being dispersed through the veynes and arteryes, doth stirre up and move the living creature in every part.” So even when the blood flows out from the wound, it would still retain its vivifying nature as spirit, and correct and repair what has been lost by the violence it has received. It can be spoken of, analogously, that it is like “the wise Spider, who when her web is made imperfect, and in part broken, doth her diligence to bring it again to its wonted perfection.” So the blood from the wound corresponds sympathetically with the blood in the ointment, as the ointment is made of man’s parts, and sends out the power to restore the damage in harmony. This power works very much like the celestial influence or the sun’s beam operates on the earth to vivify the spirits of plants and animals. This explains how there is no impediment or stops of the spirit from being conveyed through the air even if there is a corporeal body in between. Further, the degree of similarity in the blood from the wound and the blood in the ointment makes them homogeneous and well acquainted with one another, which also explains why the use of this salve is helpful.
All seems well, but there are some serious defects to the efficacy of this medicine. As Daniel Sennert, himself a renowned physician and alchemist in Germany, jumps into the Foster-Fludd debate five years later, however rationally this medicine is explained, facts remain that 1) the salve does not always produce the desired effect, i.e. it does not always work, 2) there seems to be no apparent connection between the cure and the ointment, for just because a wound gets cured occasionally after the ointment is applied does not follow that the cure is caused by the ointment, calling it the fallacy of the cause. Sennert indeed suggests that the wound is probably cured naturally without the help of the medicine. That such a doubt is further increased by various other questions is evident, for Sennert asks, “if one at the same time should receive divers wounds in divers places, which oft times falls out of divers weapons, is it enough to anoint one weapon for all?… Or must every particular weapon be anointed? And whether will every particular ointment or salve doe its proper office, so that this goeth directly to this wound, that was made by this weapon, and that to that wound which was done by another weapon?” This is a fair question that yet needs to be answered. Moreover, it seems natural to ask, if this ointment has any power either of preserving or cherishing the balsam, i.e. the spirit of life, why not is the ointment applied directly to the wounded part? Perhaps the weapon salve has this advantage that by the use of this ointment, the patient will feel no pain during the cure, but if the ointment can be freely abused by anyone at the scene, by going through the anointment of the weapon, it risks a danger of being misused, resulting perhaps in the death of the patient, just as Foster argued. Further, oftentimes, if not always, the blood is spilt in dirty places, which makes not only the extraction of the blood difficult but also the extraction of the blood completely is impossible. This is a problem because when the blood “is frozen in winter, & the bloody Rags are wash’d in warme water; sticks sprinkled with blood are burned… the wounded person feeles no hurt.” This is contrary to the number of alleged claims of the efficacy of the cure. For the reasons raised above, Sennert concludes that, rather than complicating the cure, attributing the cure to the nature as more plausible and rational, for we all know that nature cures not only small wounds but also great ones, as he repeatedly emphasizes “wounds are very often healed by Nature, without the help of any Medicament.”
Despite the seeming decline of the popularity of this salve in the 1630’s, Kenelm Digby, an English courtier and diplomat, claimed to possess the sympathetic cure in the 1650’s, similarly designed with the Weapon-Salve. Digby’s claim was that 1) his cure was powder and not salve, hence is suited for corpuscular explanation prevalent at his time, and that 2) unlike its counter-part, i.e. Weapon-Salve, it has been used for over 20 years with success. The way in which its efficacy is proved is by Digby’s personal anecdote in 1624, where he allegedly cured the wound of a gentleman by the name of James Howell. The significance of the cure being powder rather than salve is of a historical one. For, as Elizabeth Hedrick points out in her elegantly written article, the reason for why his cure was powder had to do with claming the priority to the possession of the said cure, independently from the Paracelsian Weapon-Salve. Hence, his cure was able to bypass the criticism specific to occult forces attributed to the salve. Indeed, Digby even claims that he came to possess the formula for the cure from a Persian Friar who was only briefly in Europe. Further, by virtue of its being powder rather than salve, he was able to explain the efficacy of it in terms of corpuscular theory and contrasted it with the salve that “the powder was a simple, dry compound while the weapon-salve began as and remained a wet preparation consisting of various exotic ingredients such as bear grease, boar fat, blood, wine, skull moss and mummy,” clearly emphasizing the scientific aspect of his cure and differentiating it from irrational, occult cure of the salve. One of the primary criticisms of the weapon slave consisted that it performs action in distance, and this is contrary to the view held by the traditional scholasticism. Hence, whatever works without contact was rendered as occult, and occult cures risked dangers of suggesting the devils at work. In such areas, the power of magnetism was often brought up both by the proponents of the salve and critics of it to support their arguments. For instance, Fludd would often refer to the magnetic force as the proof for the efficacy of his weapon salve in that the spirit in the blood may be transferred from the body to the anointed weapon, just as the magnetic force has the ability to cause separated parts to seek reunion over unlimited distances. Yet at other times, the argument from the validity of the magnetic force was also used by the critics like Hart in opposition to Fludd in that “although some agents worke at some distance, yet is there alwais some proportion to be observed betwixt the agent and the patient; and although there be not alwais a naturall contact, yet there is commonly some effluxe, or emanation whereby the one toucheth the other,” concluding that “even in the case of magnet some form of material emanation must cause contact between the attracting bodies.” In Sennert’s view, Fludd’s weapon salve as a cosmic magnetism was still an occult science, while magnetism of the loadstone is natural and “works only over short distances in a straight line” and its force cannot be “extended in infinitum and it is hindered by the interposition of other substances,” unlike the weapon salve, which claims to penetrate through obstacles. But both parties, i.e. Fludd and Hart, seem to be in agreement that the weapon salve work, if it does, from distance. For as has been mentioned earlier, Fludd likens this sympathetic force to the sun’s beam operating on the earth to vivify the spirits of plants and animals, without getting impeded by objects in between them. And for Hart, it is specifically because the theory of weapon salve requires it to be capable of acting in distance, he as well as other critics cannot accept the salve to be legitimate. However, Digby’s powder of sympathy is different from the traditional Paracelsian salve in that by virtue of its being powder, he made it at least conceptually easy to be explained in terms of atomic, corpuscular theory current of the time. Further, his language is very much in line with the emerging chemists such as Robert Boyle and others like him that it appears now a completely different medicine from its ‘prototype’ – the weapon salve. Let us now take a look at how he explains the procedure of making this powder so that we may see a clear difference from the recipes and ingredients of the predecessors of the cure.
- Take good English vitriol [i.e. sulfuric acid]for two pence a pound, and dissolve it in warm water, using no more water than will dissolve it, leaving some of the Impurest part at the bottom undissolved.
- Then powr [pour] it off and filter it by laying a Sheet of gray Paper in a Sieve, and pouring your water or Dissolution of Vitriol into it by degrees, setting the Seive upon a large Pan to receive the filtered Liquor; when all your Liquor is filtered, boil it in an earthen Vessel glazed, till you see a thin Scum upon it.
- Set it in a Cellar to cool, covering it loosely, so that nothing may fall in.
- After two or three days standing, pour off the liquor, and you will find at the bottom and on the sides large and fair green Christals like Emerauds; drain off all the Water clean from them, and dry them.
- Then spread them abroad, in a large flat earthen Dish, & expose them to the hot Sun in the Dog-days [i.e. hottest and most sultry days of summer, usually early July to early September], taking them in at night, and setting them out in the Morning, securing them from the Rain.
- When the Sun hath calcin’d them to whiteness, beat them to Powder, & set this Powder again in the Sun, stirring it sometimes, and when you see it perfectly white, powder it, & sift it finely, and set it again in the Sun for a day.
- You will have a pure white Powder, which is the Powder of Sympathy.
As you can see, compared to the opening phrase in the Paracelsus’ recipe for the salve, which beings with ‘Take of that Moss which grows upon a skull or a bone of a dead body that has lain in the air, of man’s grease, of mummy, and man’s blood, linseed oil, oil of roses and bole-armoniack…’ the instruction on how to prepare the cure is expressed in a much more ‘scientific’ way as we would conceive of it. As far as how it appears on the recipe, it bears almost no resemblance whatsoever to the weapon salve.
However, as its name suggests, this powder too is said to work sympathetically. Digby elaborates how his cure works by way of seven principles, all of which are designed to explain the cure in a mechanistic philosophy and contemporary alchemy. He explains that first the light of the sun attracts the spirits of blood, which are upon the weapon, while the heat of the heart of the injured man pushes out the atoms and “march of themselves a good way in the air, to help there by the attraction of the Sun and of the Light.” The spirit of the vitriol in the powder makes the same voyage through the air with the atoms of blood from the weapon, while the wound exhales hot fiery spirit of the blood into the air surrounding to it. This would, then, draws onto it the air next to it, and the other air which is next to it, and so on, until there is a kind of current of air drawn round about the air. When this air comes in contact with the air that carries the spirit of vitriol from the weapon and is diffused with it, these atoms of the blood on the weapon, through air, finds the proper force and original root whence they came. Because the atoms of the blood is joined inseparably with the spirits of the vitriol, “both the one and the other do jointly imbibe together within all the corners, fibres and offices of the veins which lie open about the wound of the party hurt, which hereby are comforted, and in fine imperceptibly cured.”
Even though, as we have seen, the language Digby uses is very different from the earlier physicians we have encountered, we can see that the mechanics of it is essentially the same. In Digby’s cure, the balsamic spirit is replaced with the spirit of vitriol and spirit of blood is none other than the atoms. If he had possessed this cure in 1624, why did he not announce it at the time, and wait until 1658? Hedrick believes that Digby’s aim was political rather than intellectual, and she gives a strong argument supported by a plenty of historical documents that Digby’s claim for the possession of the cure was most likely fabricated, and that “by 1658 the sympathetic cure had in various forms become so well known that the powder was a commodity worth appropriating.” That this was the case is made obvious by looking at the minutes of meetings kept by the Royal Society of London. In fact, by 1661, there had been quite a few members at the Royal Society of London, who claimed to know about this powder of sympathy, yet the powder had not yet been officially demonstrated in the scientific community. Subsequently, the society examined the efficacy of the powder in a series of meetings held between June 5th in 1661 and June 26th of the same year. There, even though Digby was also a member of the Royal Society, the man named Gilbert Talbot was called upon as an authority on the sympathetic powder, even though Digby was in the room. The fact that it had been three years since the publication of Digby’s Late Discourse in 1658, yet his fellow members at the Royal Society made absolutely no mention of him is conclusive enough that his claims to ownership of the powder was discredited by his contemporaries.
Just as the weapon salve stopped being talked about after its peak in the 1630’s, so did the moment of the powder’s peak come in the early 1660’s, and the discussion of it quickly died out. This was because, just as the weapon salve was profusely under attack thirty years before, in the early 1660’s, with the establishment of the Royal Society of London and the growing interests of the scientists to explain phenomena in nature in terms of interactions between the corpuscles, “natural philosophers began putting [the powder] to extensive trails” which “eventually caused it to be rejected as a valid phenomenon. The debate then on the efficacy of the powder seems to have ceased at about this time, even though there had been a few people who claimed to have used this cure in the early 18th century. In reality, by the late 1660’s, the powder of sympathy and weapon-salve were mentioned interchangeably by Robert Boyle and Joseph Granvill, who wrote on the powder, and the sympathetic cure, both in its powder form and in salve, seems to have been looked down by the rapidly emerging group of modern chemists.
 Born in 1493, his full name was Philippus Aureolus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim. He named himself Paracelsus after Aulus Cornelius Celsus, a Roman encyclopedist in the 1st century C.E., meaning “equal or greater than Celsus”.
 F. R. Jevons, “Paracelsus’s Two-Way Astrology. I. What Paracelsus meant by ‘Stars’” The British Journal for the History of Science 2:2 (Dec., 1964): 139-147. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4025012 (accessed September 1, 2012).
 F. R. Jevons, “Paracelsus’s Two-Way Astrology. II. Man’s Relation to the Stars” The British Journal for the History of Science 2:2 (Dec., 1964): 148-155. http://www.jstor.org/stable/4025013 (accessed September 1, 2012).
 Paracelsus, Paracelsus: Essential Readings, trans. Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke (USA: North Atlantic Books, 1999), 23. Hence, for instance, a Paracelsian, Agrippa says “it is well known amongst physicians that brain helps the brain, and lungs, the lung. So also it is said, that the right eye of a frog helps the soreness of a man’s right eye, and the left eye thereof, helps the soreness of his left eye, if they be hanged about in a cloth of its natural colour.” See Agrippa’s Three Books of Occult Philosophy, Bk I, XV.
 Henry Cornelius Agrippa, Three Books of Occult Philosophy, trans. Donald Tyson (USA: Llewellyn Publications, 2009), 46-47. See also the footnote 2, “Also Avicenna said, when a thing standeth long in salt, it is salt, and if any thing stand in a stinking place, it is made stinking. And if any thing standeth with a bold man, it is made bold; if it standeth with a fearful man, it is made fearful. (“Marvels of the World”2 [Best and Brightman, 74]).”
 I.e. balsamic oil
 This is “because the Weapons cannot alwayes be had, the wood [that resembles the weapon] is better.” Pseudo-Paracelsus, Arhidoxis Magica, 118.
 Pseudo-Paracelsus, Archidoxis Magica, 117.
 Sennert explains how it is said to be done by the proponents of the salve, “in curing the Tooth-ach, the Tooth that aketh is to be scarified with a pen-knife, with this Oyntment, after the blood is dryed into it, and the paine will perfectly cease.” See Daniel Sennert, The Weapon Salve Maladie: or a Declaration of Its Inefficiency to Perform What is Attributed to it, 7.
-  Pseudo-Paracelsus, Archidoxis Magica., 117-118. Sennert also tells us the procedure used by Crollius, “[i]f a horse be pricked in the foot with a nayle, draw out the nayle and anoint it, and the horse foot will bee forthwith cured without suppuration.” Sennert, 9.
 The full title of the book reads, “Hoplocrisma-Spongus: or, A Spong to wipe away the Weapon-Salve. A Treatise, wherein is proved, that the Cure late-taken up amongst us, by applying the Salve to the Weapon, is Magicall and unlawfull.”
 William Foster, A Sponge to wipe away the Weapon-Salve, ii in the Epistle Dedicatory.
 Foster, A Sponge to wipe away the Weapon-Salve, iii.
 Ibid., 3.
 By divine institution, he means numerous passages from the scripture where illness is said to be cured from the assistance or the words of God, such as seen in “Naamans seven times washing himself in the River Jordan to cure his leprosie (2 Kings 5): [or] the poole of Bethesdaes curing such as entered into it after the Angles stirring it (John 5).
 Ibid., 10.
 Ibid., 11-12.
 Ibid., 13.
 Ibid., 35. Foster continues, “[f]or he was a Witch and Conjecturer; and so the God whose gift hee meaneth it is, is dues huius mundi, the god of this world, as Saint Paul calls the Devill, 2 Cor. 4.4.”
 Ibid., 15.
 Ibid., 54.
 For instance, somewhat neutral critics such as James Hart in 1633, also expressed the varying explanations of the recipe for the weapon salve unsatisfactory. For instance, for Fludd blood was the central component of the salve, i.e. that without which the salve could not work, however, he pointed out Crollius even omitted blood from the ingredients. See Alelen G. Debus, “Robert Fludd and the Use of Gilbert’s De Magnete in the Weapon-Salve Controversy” in Journal of History of Medicine (Oct. 1964): 389-417. Sennert also briefly mentions of this in his treatise, The Weapon Salves Maladie, and expresses dissatisfaction.
 Ibid., 46.
 Ibid., 44-45.
 Ibid., 46.
 Again, its full title is, Doctor Fludds Answer unto M. Foster; or, the Squesing of Parson Fosters Sponge, ordained by him for the wiping away of the Weapon-Salve. Wherein the Sponge-bearers immodest carriage and behaviour towards his bretheren is detected; the bitter flames of his slanderous reports, are by the sharpe vineger of Truth corrected and quite extinguished: and lastly, the vertuous validity of his Sponge, in wiping away of the Weapon-Salve, is crushed out and cleane abolished.
 Robert Fludd, The Squesing of Parson Fosters Sponge, the Epistle to the Reader.
 Debus, “Fludd, Gilbert and the Weapon Salve.”
 Ibid., 27.
 Ibid., 70.
 Ibid., 89.
 Ibid., 103.
 Ibid., 35-36, 103.
 Daniel Sennert, The Weapon Salve Maladie: or a Declaration of Its Inefficiency to Perform What is Attributed to it, 14. Sennert goes on to say that “they can testify no more then this, that one was wounded; and that this Weapons-Salve was applyed for the Cure, and that hee grew well againe: but they cannot testify, whether hee recovered by the efficacy of this Salve.”
 Ibid., 23-24.
 Ibid., 25.
 Ibid., 27.
 Fludd, The Squesing of Parson Fasters Sponge. For instance, one such classic example tells us that when a servant cut himself with an axe, Fludd treated him with the salve. At first the patient was in great pain, but as soon as Fludd anointed the axe with the ointment, the patient felt better, and when he undressed the axe, the patient was in great pain again, yet when he dressed the axe with the salve again, the patient felt completely well. For more examples of this kind, see chapter 5 of Member 2 of his treatise.
 Ibid., 14, 16-17, 28. “Seeing then Nature onely and immediately closeth up wounds…”, “the cure of a wound… is for the most part the work of mere Nature, which not onely cureth small wounds, but very great ones.”
 Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical Society, Third Series 59 (Oct., 1925 – Jun, 1926), 35-96.
 Kenelm Digby, A Late Discourse Made in a Solemn Assenbly of Nobles and Learned Men at Montpellier in France, 11-12.
 Elizabeth Hedrick, “Romancing the Salve”, in British Journal of History of Science, 41:2, (Sep. 25, 2007), 161-185.
 Debus, 415.
 James Hart quoted in Debus’ article Fludd, Gilbert & the Weapon Salve.
 Debus, 402.
 It is cosmic because in Fludd’s view, even Sennert’s ‘natural magnetism’ is likened to and is explained in terms of the man’s relation to the universe. Indeed, for Fludd, when an oblong loadstone is cut in half and its ‘equatorial’ regions seek to reunite, what is happening here is nothing but the two regions being sympathetically attracted to one another through the eternal life spirit infused by God. He calls the ‘equatorial regions’ the divine volunty and the poles the divine nolunty, and likens this to his cosmic scheme to show that “the two basic natures in the universe – the Aequinoctial and the Polar – cannot be joined.” See Debus, 407-408.
 Debus, 403.
 Kenelm Digby, The Closet of Sir Kenelm Digby Knight Opened (KY, USA: Hard Press, 2001). Also see Issei Takehara’s blog for the use of the powder and how to preserve the powder at http://isseicreekphilosophy.wordpress.com/2011/02/22/the-true-preparation-of-the-powder-of-sympathy-by-sir-kenelm-digby/, which explains the recipe in a paraphrased copy in modern English.
 I.e. balsamic oil
 see my footnote 8.
 Digby, A Late Discourse, 134.
 Ibid., 133-136.
 For instance, Digby claims that he came to possess the recipe for the powder upon his encounter with “a religious Camelite that came from the Indies and Persia to Florence… having done marvelous Cures with his Powder,” and that even though the Camelite was very secretive, upon doing “an important courtesie to the said Friar, which induced him to discover unto me his Secret.” See Digby’s treatise, 11-12. Hedrick, however, points out that the Camelite friar has a general resemblance to the wandering Egyptian sage Calasirius in Heliodorus’ Ethiopian Story, “a work upon which Digby drew his own autobiographical romance, Loose Fantasies, written in 1628 but not published until after his death.” Further, “Digby’s use of both a wandering monk and noble witnesses as authorizing tropes in [his] Late Discourse is fully in line with the conventions found in transmutation histories” which are described as William R. Newman as having elements of romance embedded in many of the alchemical writings. See Hedrick for more detailed account of the historical evidence with which she argues for the fabrication of Digby’s anecdote.
 Hedrick, Romancing the Salve, 173.
 Ibid., 172.
 Ibid. “The first entry for this date reports that ‘Sir KENELM DIGBY brought in the stones mentioned by him at the meeting of the 22nd of May, and called by him oculus mundi.’ The fifth entry for the same meeting states, ‘Magnetical cures being then discoursed of, Sir GILBERT TALBOT promised to communicate what he knew of sympathetical cures; and those members, who had any of the powder of sympathy, were desired to bring some of it at the next meeting.’” Yet Digby never spoke about the powder at any of the meetings. *Not to be confused with William Gilbert, who was the author of De Magnete, published in 1600.
 For example, the English Post for March of 1702 advertises Digby’s powder of sympathy. Hendrick, 178-179.
 Ibid., 179.