Sunday, March 14, 2010

Mellified Man

Mellified Man refers to a legendary medicinal substance created by steeping a human cadaver in honey.

According to legend, an elderly man (over 70 years old), likely to die in the near future, would donate his corpse to be used as a healing confection. This process differed from a simple body donation because of the aspect of self-sacrifice; the mellification process would ideally start before death. The donor would stop eating any food other than honey, going as far as to bathe in the substance. Shortly, his feces (and even his sweat, according to legend) would consist of honey. When this diet finally proved fatal, the donor's body would be placed in a stone coffin filled with honey. After a century or so, the contents would have turned into a sort of confection reputedly capable of healing broken limbs and other ailments. This confection would then be carefully sold in street markets as a hard to find item with a hefty price.

Allegedly from Arabia, the mellified man legend was reported by 16th-century Chinese pharmacologist Li Shizhen in his Bencao Gangmu.

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