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By Hermann Heinrich Ploss

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Extra info for Woman. An Historical Gynaecological and Anthropological Compendium, Volume 3

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Let it open in luke-warm water, and then give the water to the woman in labour to drink. " Jacobs 2 adds the following interesting observations. The plant grows in the Arabian desert and is highly esteemed in Arabia for the above-mentioned purpose. The Achinese also owe their knowledge of it and its effect to the Arab priests. Thus, it is not improbable that it was transplanted to the European lying-in room by the Crusaders. It is called rosa della madonna because it is supposed to have sprung up where the Virgin Mary set her foot in the desert on her flight to Egypt.

In France it is believed that labour is made easier by tying the woman's girdle on the church bell and making the bell sound three strokes (Boddin) . The French also think that it promotes delivery if the wife puts on her husband's trousers, stockings or boots (see Thiers) . 5 . SUPERNATURAL HELP I N LABOUR AMONG THE PEOPLES O F RUSSIA AND THE SLAVS Among the peoples of Russia Sumzow stated in 1 882 that there still prevailed many kinds of mystic customs for making childbirth easier. Thus in the province of Vilna, the midwife held a lighted taper before the patient's eyes ; besides this she knocked on the ceiling of the room with a broom ; in doing this she was applying to the house spirit, the protector of the family.

W. Barsow, in the Province of Rjasan. In the Province of Viatka, according to Ossokin's state- 32 SUPERNATURAL HELP IN LABOUR AMONG THE PEOPLES OF RUSSIA AND THE SLAVS ment, the woman in labour was also led about : and to make delivery easier a piece of the horse's harness was put into the bed. In the village of Korablenko (Province of Rjasan), in difficult labour, wedding candles were lighted ; the patient was given oats to drink and her plait of hair was loosened. On the River Orel, according to Barsow, locks are opened and bags untied.

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