I often struggle with a bad temper. I bang my head on a cupboard and reel off a bunch of cussing, then feel guilty about the cussing. If I'm then criticized for the cussing, I spew anger at the criticizer and feel even worse, feeling the loss of adrenaline and sad because of hurting someone. Finally I've found the cure, thanks to St. Hildegard von Bingen, a 12th century Doctor of the Church.
For Anger. A person who becomes so agitated in his anger that he experiences pains should take bay leaves and dry them on a hot tile, and do the same with sage and marjoram, then dry these plants in the sun, and grind them up. Then he should mix these three powders together, in such a way that the powder from the bay leaves constitutes more than the powder from the sage, and the powder from the sage more than the powder from marjoram. Then one should put it up to one's nose because of its good aroma. One should also place a small amount of this powder in some cold wine, mix it up, and rub it into the brow, the temple, and the chest. The bay leaves possess a considerable, hot dryness; the wine moistens the humors that dry up those of a person's anger; the heat of the marjoram soothes the brain that has been stirred up by anger; and the dry heat of the sage gathers together again the humors that the anger has scattered. When the bay leaves are dried upon a hot tile and absorb the health that emanates from it and are laid, as said, in the sun together with the marjoram and the sage, that because of their powerful action are laid in the sun and are thus moderated, they alleviate the abovementioned sufferings through their wholesome heat. Because of its naturally gentle action, the powder that is mixed with the unheated wine also soothes, as said, the vessels of the forehead, the temple, and the chest which have been agitated by the anger.
For Anger and Melancholy. If a person is overcome by anger or melancholy, he should quickly heat some wine on the fire, mix it with cold water, and drink it. In this fashion the vapors from his bile, which has led him into anger, will be suppressed.
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