"The Tacuinum Sanitatis is about the six things that are necessary for every man in the daily preservation of his health, about their correct uses and their effects. The first is the treatment of air, which concerns the heart. The second is the right use of foods and drinks. The third is the correct use of movement and rest. The fourth is the problem of prohibition of the body from sleep, or excessive wakefulness. The fifth is the correct use of elimination and retention of humors. The sixth is the regulating of the person by moderating joy, anger, fear, and distress. The secret of the preservation of health, in fact, will be in the proper balance of all these elements, since it is the disturbance of this balance that causes the illnesses which the glorious and most exalted God permits."
Nature: It is the union of two for the purpose of introducing the sperm.
Optimum: That which lasts until the sperm has been completely emitted.
Usefulness: It preserves the species.
Dangers: It is harmful to those with cold and dry breathing.
Neutralization of the Dangers: With sperm-producing foods.
Southerly Wind (Ventus Meridionalis) [Paris]
Nature: Warm in the second degree, dry in the first.
Optimum: The kind that sweeps across favorable regions.
Usefulness: Good for the chest.
Dangers: Weakens the senses.
Neutralization of the Dangers: With baths.
Nature: Warm in the third degree, dry in the second.
Optimum: The kind called naptici, that is, from the mountains and with a sharp odor.
Usefulness: They stimulate urination, influence coitus and, mixed with honey, clear up catarrh of the chest.
Dangers: Bad for the brain and the senses.
Neutralization of the Dangers: With sesame oil and with the oil of sweet almonds.
Effects: They cause hot blood and an acute crisis of the bile. They are primarily indicated for cold temperaments, for old people, in Winter, and in the Northerly regions.
The Fruit of the Mandragora (Fructus Mandragora) (Vienna)
Nature: Cold in the third degree, dry in the second.
Optimum: The highly fragrant variety.
Usefulness: Smelling it helps alleviate headaches and insomnia; spreading it on the skin works against elephantiasis and black infections.
Dangers: It stupifies the senses.
Neutralization of the Dangers: With the fruits of ivy.
Effects: It is not comestible. It is good for warm temperaments, for the young, in Summer, and in the Southern regions.
The Tacuinum Sanitatis or Handbook of Health is a latin translation from Arab medical treatises. Extensive manuscript illuminations came later, in the 14th and 15th centuries and quite a number of copies were made and circulated throughout europe.
- The smaller images above come from the (always wonderful) Gode Cookery website which has 48 example illuminations.
- Notre Dame University have a few examples of how the illuminations appear on manuscript pages.
- The larger jpegs above come from (the just found) Stanford University site which have probably the clearest digitized images of anywhere - but if you search, you'll see that they have been published in the recent past and are available for sale. Most european seats of learning have either example images or their own copy of the manuscript.