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The patients of love-sickness in Antiquity and the Middle Ages have been by preference males. The method to treat them was already described by Ovid in his Remedia Amoris. A woman, represented as ugly and repulsive as possible, should frighten off the lover from his malady. It is interesting, that love-sickness in the Age of Enlightenment changed to a gynaecological affection, whereby the sleeping with a healthy and strong male was recommended as the best therapy. In the last two centuries love-sickness lost its importance in Medicine. In Erotomany, as a sexually indifferent disease, we can still find today some remnants. — Love-potions (philtre) have been a well known problem in medical literature till to the 18th century. It was not only supposed to have been women who prepared the philtres, but note-worthy enough, the ingredients used were also often parts of women, such as: menstrual blood, mucous secretion, placenta and so on. Such an "inphiltration" has been followed by various diseases, in particular by love-sickness. Some authors assumed that love-sickness was caused by a real "Virus amatorium" in the menstrual blood. Only with difficulty medicine could free itself from the concept of the "venomous woman", and even until today the idea of a "Menotoxin" has remained.
Sudhoffs Archiv © 1975 Franz Steiner Verlag