During the 17th century it was claimed that witches possessed the
Mark of Satan on their body.
There were claimed to be two kinds of this mark: visible and invisible. Visible marks included moles, warts, birth-stains, supernumerary teats and spots of an unusual appearance. In an effort to find these visible marks, a woman suspected of witch craft was stripped naked and had all her hair shaved off. The witch finders claimed that the invisible kind of mark could be found because at that point the flesh of the victim was unsusceptible to pain, and would not bleed when punctured. If there existed on any part of the skin surface a spot that did not bleed when cut, then that was deemed evidence of a witch.
In searching for an invisible Mark of Satan, a witch finder systematically pricked all parts of the victim's body so as to discover a spot that failed to yield blood, or until the accused woman ceased to cry out in pain. The test was usually successful because the torture was so severe that the woman would either pretend not to feel any pain so as to end the ordeal, or would become insensitive to pain and delirious. An account of such a trial appears in the 1785 edition of Beccaria's 'Essay on Crimes and Punishments':
'In the year 1652, a country woman, named Michelle Chaudron, of the little territory of Geneva, met the Devil in her way from the city. The Devil gave her a kiss, received her homage, and imprinted on her upper lip, and on her right breast, the mark which he is wont to bestow upon his favourites. This seal of the Devil is a little sign upon the skin, which renders it insensible, as we are assumed by all the demonographical civilians of those times. The devil ordered Michelle Chaudron to bewitch two young girls. She obeyed her master punctually, the parents of the two girls accusing her of dealing with the devil. The girls being confronted with the criminal, declared that they felt a continual pricking in some parts of their bodies, and that they were possessed. Physicians were called, at least men that passed for physicians in those days. They visited the girls. They sought for the seal of the devil on the body of Michelle, which seal is called, in the verbal process, the Satanic mark. Into one of these marks they plunged a long needle, which was already no small torture. Blood issued from the wound and Michelle testified by her cries, that the part was not insensible.
The judges not finding sufficient proof that Michelle Chaudron was a witch, ordered her to be tortured, which infallibly produced the proof they wanted. The poor wretch overcome by torment, confessed, at last, everything they desired. The physicians sought again for the Satanic mark, and found it in a little black spot on one of her thighs. Into this they plunged the needle. the poor creature, exhausted and almost expiring with the pain of the torture, was insensible to the needle, and did not cry out. She was instantly condemned to be burnt, but the world beginning at this time to be a little more civilised, she was previously strangled.'
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Amorphophallus is a genus of herbaceous plants of the aroid family (Araceae) consisting of about 170 species - including the impressive Tian arum - found mainly in lowland secondary forests in the tropics from west Africa eastwards into Polynesia. Plants of the genus have a single leaf that emerges from an underground tuber. This leaf consists of a vertical petiole (stalk) and a horizontal leaf-blade that is dissected into few or numerous small leaflets. Plants of the genus flower rarely, some as infrequently as once every seven years, the flower emerging at night and dying within 24 hours. Most species give off a foul odour of decaying flesh, and attract flying insects that feed upon rotting flesh so as to effect pollination. As the female and male flowers are not receptive at the same time, the plants need to retain visiting insects over night, and achieve this by providing food in the form of protein-rich fleshy warts at the base of the spathe, or in special organs developed on the spadix.
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The Gecko are a family of nocturnal lizards (Gekotidae) characterized by the general flatness of their form, especially of the head, which is rather triangular. The body is covered on the upper part with numerous round prominences or warts and the feet are rather short with toes nearly equal in length and furnished with flattened suction pads which enable the gecko to run up perpendicular walls. The greatest number feed on insects and their larvae and pupae. Several of the species infest houses, where, although they are perfectly innocuous, their appearance makes them unwelcome tenants. One species is common in North Africa and Southern Europe.
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Natter-Jack Toad (Bufo calamita) is another name for the Rush Toad. It is light yellowish-brown in colour, clouded with dull olive and with a bright yellow line running down the back. The warts of the skin and the eyes are more prominent than in the Common Toad but the glandular swellings on the head are less. The Natter-Jack Toad lays eggs in water which hatch into very small tadpoles which take about six weeks to metamorphose. The Natter- Jack Toad is rare in England but found across Europe and Tibet.
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The teasel is a plant of the genus Dipsacus, family Dipsacceae. It is a herb with prickly leaves and flower heads. The British Wild Teasel (Dipsacus fullonum) is also known as Comb and Brush and Venus' Basin. The name teasel comes from the former use of the prickly heads for raising the nap of newly woven cloth. Formerly, water which collected in the leaves was used as an eye wash and to cure warts, hence the alternative name of Venus' Basin.
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The Vampire Bat (Phyllostomatidae) is a large family of about 150 species of bat distinguished by a well developed 'leaf' above the nose, or by skin folds or warts beneath the chin. The middle finger of the wing has three joints. Vampire Bats are confined to the tropical and sub-tropical regions of the world where they live in forest areas feeding on fruit and insects, although two species, Desmodus and Diphylla are blood sucking.
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Sexually transmitted disease (STD) is a general term that refers to as many as twenty different illnesses. These are transmitted by sex - usually through the exchange of bodily fluids such as semen, vaginal fluid, and blood. STD's such as herpes, can be acquired by kissing or close contact with infected areas - not just intercourse. If left untreated, STD's can cause permanent damage that leaves you blind, brain-damaged, or sterile. The most common STD's are chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhea, genital warts, syphilis, hepatitis B, crabs, and trichomoniasis. STD's can be prevented, most can be cured. They infect men, women, and children. Mothers can also transmit STD's to their babies. Anyone at any age can be a victim. It is not true that having had an STD once and having been cured, you will not get it again. Anyone who has sex can get a sexually transmitted disease and millions do. More than 4 million people get chlamydia each year. Genital herpes affects an estimated thirty million Americans, with as many as 500,000 new cases reported each year. There are over one million cases of gonorrhea each year. And syphilis, once thought to be on the decline, made a rising comeback in the 1990s.
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Warts are small, harmless tumours caused by viruses. Left alone, many of them will eventually disappear by themselves. They're harmless, quite common, and very contagious. Most people get warts by contact with someone who has them. Contact can be indirect, too, as in a community shower or swimming pool. Wearing sandals or thongs in these areas will minimize the risk. When you come into contact with one of the wart-causing viruses, they infect the skin and multiply. Usually, the wart grows bigger over time and can take on a rough, scaly appearance. There are many types of warts and they can develop almost anywhere on the body: common warts, usually found on the hands and fingers; plantar warts, small, hard kernels found on the soles of feet; flat warts, seen most often on the faces of children and young adults, are smooth, flat and yellow-brown in colour; genital warts, generally larger and softer than other warts; and periungal warts, caused by excessive fingernail biting.
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Glacial acetic acid is a pure form of acetic acid which solidifies in cold weather. It burns the skin, and was used for burning off warts and was formerly perfumed and used to wet the sponge found in a vinaigrette, and was used in the preparation of toilet vinegar.
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Potash was the name originally given to the product obtained when a solution of vegetable ashes is boiled with quicklime in iron pots, and the residue ignited. It derives its name from the ashes, and the pots (called potash kettles) in which the solution was evaporated. In the crude state it is impure potassium carbonate, and when purified is known as pearl-ash. It is used in the making of glass and soap, and large quantities of it are produced from certain 'potash minerals' (especially carnallite), instead of from wood ashes. The name potash was later often given to potassium hydroxide, which is also termed caustic potash. This is either prepared from the carbonate or by the electrolysis of potassic chloride solution, using mercury as the cathode. It is a white solid, usually sold in lumps or in the form of sticks, dissolves readily in water, and has a strongly alkaline reaction. It changes the colour of many natural colouring matters, eg turns pink litmus blue, and eats or corrodes most animal and vegetable tissues. It rapidly absorbs moisture and carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It neutralizes all acids, yielding the corresponding potassic salts, and is largely made use of in chemical laboratories and in several of the arts. Crude potash is also used in the manufacture of soft soaps. It is fusible at a heat of 300 degrees, and is volatilized at low ignition. It was used in surgery under the name of lapis infernalis or lapis causticus for destroying warts, fungoid growths, etc, and was also applied beneficially to the bites of dogs, venomous snakes, etc.
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