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Bitters in Pills

The sorcerers and doctors directed their attention above all to the digestive functions because only in this field were they able to make fairly certain diagnoses. The first modern scientific thought in the medical field has the digestive system as its basis.

Hippocrates had understood that the balance of the human body has its origins in well-assimilated nourishment, and for this reason at the basis of his medicines are herbs and their various uses starting from the famous herbal tea made with barley and honey which had very beneficial refreshing properties for the stomach. Other medicines were based on fennel, anise, cyclamen: although treated differently, these substances are still used today.

The herbalist Cratenas, in Italian Crautea (of the first century BC) was a true specialist in digestives, nothing was impossible for him, but his true masterpiece was what he was able to do for the stomach of its king Mithridates VI. This man was rather prone to suspicion, constantly fearful that someone was thinking of killing him and above all afraid of dying from poison. He had thus acquired the habit of ingesting an increasingly stronger dose of poison every day with the aim of becoming habituated. Ultimately, he endured and digested doses that would have exterminated an entire legion. Crautea's work had been, in short, top quality. An almost perfect job.

So much so that when the king, defeated by Lucullus and Pompey and even betrayed by his son Pharnaces, wanted to kill himself so as not to fall alive into the hands of the enemy, he was unable to take his own life, despite having ingested the entire supply of poisons in one fell swoop. His stomach, protected by Crautea drugs, could now digest anything. Mithridates, to put an end to his days, was forced to order one of his officers to stab him.

Unfortunately, people of Crautea's caliber no longer exist; but there is always someone capable of recommending a digestive capable of taking the weight of a bowl of beans and onions off our stomachs.

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