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Chinese Materia Dietetica, Ming: Washing-up water

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Credit: Chinese Materia Dietetica, Ming: Washing-up water. Wellcome Collection. Public Domain Mark

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Illustration of 'washing-up water' from Shiwu bencao (Materia dietetica), a dietetic herbal in four volumes dating from the Ming period (1368-1644). The identity of the author and artists is unknown. It contains entries on over 300 medicinal substances and is illustrated by almost 500 paintings in colour. The illustration shows a man washing dishes in a kitchen. The text states: Washing-up water can treat malign sores which have failed to heal after a long period. The washing-up water is boiled and salted and used to bathe the lesions. The effects are immediate.

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Washing-up water (xiwan shui)

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