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Table 1 List of Spanish traditional remedies for jaundice based on the ingestion of head lice

From: The use of the head louse as a remedy for jaundice in Spanish folk medicine: an overview

References Method of preparation and dosage Geographical location
Morán Bardón, 1927 [19] 9 lice are put into the patient’s lunch over the course of 9 days without his/her knowledge. They can be put into soup, an omelette or chocolate Salamanca province
Gárate, 1929 [17] Treatment consisting of ingesting lice (I was not told whether the lice were alive or not) Bilbao (Biscay); Deva, Villabona (Guipúzcoa)
Risco and Rodríguez Martínez, 1933 [20] Take lice. They forced the patient to take 9 lice Melide (La Coruña)
Iribarren, 1943 [21] Some healers prescribe taking a handful of lice or eating live lice with bread Uitzi, Pamplona (Navarre)
Caro Baroja, 1944 [22] An extremely disgusting procedure: take a variable number of lice Vera de Bidasoa (Navarre)
Marcos de Sande, 1947 [23] Ingest 7 live lice in a piece of bread Garrovillas (Cáceres)
Díaz Mora, 1948 [24] The patient was administered 3 crushed lice dissolved in “aguardiente” (liqueur) or urine. In Gata the number of parasites ingested for correct treatment is 16 Valverde del Fresno, Eljas, Gata (Cáceres)
Lis Quibén, 1949 [25] Ingest lice. In Cotovad, for 9 days, they give the patient on an empty stomach a glass of wine with 9 lice that were left outside in the cold the night before. In Cambados, the patient eats dead lice in a broth or alive in bread. In Verín, they give the patient the noted 9 lice in milk or chocolate Verín (Orense); Cotovad, Cambados (Pontevedra)
Arias, 1955 [26] Take 9 lice for 9 days Cornellana (Salas, Asturias)
Duran Sotelo, 1961 [27] Take lice Santa Justa–Moraña (Pontevedra)
Taboada, 1961 [28] It is recommended to take 9 lice mixed in milk or chocolate Verín (Orense)
Fernández-Ruiz, 1965 [29] Medication consisting of taking lice with chocolate Asturias
Donostia, 1972 [18] Put 5 live lice, taken from a clean and disease free head, in the heart of an apple or in a piece of bread and eat them. If 5 is not enough, the next time 7 lice are used Amaiur (Navarre)
Barandiarán, 1974 [30] They say that to cure jaundice it is necessary to ingest lice Basque Country
Barriola, 1979 [31] Lice should be administered without patient knowledge, in chocolate, wine or liquor, soup, or a corn silk infusion Basque Country
Becoña Iglesias, 1981 [32] The patient should take lice without his/her knowledge. The quantity to be taken was 3 or 4 lice, once or twice. They were given in water or milk A Comboa, Estribela, Rorís (Pontevedra)
Carril, 1981 [33] They gave the affected person without his/her knowledge, 9 lice for 9 consecutive days at breakfast or lunch Salamanca province
Goicoetxea Marcaida, 1983 [34] The patient should ingest lice, better living, taking them with liquor, chocolate or the decoction of corn silk Amorebieta, Elorrio, Zeanuri (Biscay); Olaeta (Álava); Irún (Guipúzcoa)
Blanco, 1985 [35] Pour lice into broth; eat lice El Arco, Negrilla de Palencia, Robleda (Salamanca)
Junceda Avello, 1987 [36] A disgusting recipe: take 9 lice for 9 days. Eat 9 lice together with vegetables Asturias; Galicia
Martí i Pérez, 1988 [37] Ingest live lice mixed with some food Dosrius, Barcelona city (Barcelona); Blanes (Gerona)
Vázquez Gallego, 1989 [38] While fasting, give the patient over the course of 9 days, a glass of wine with 9 lice that were left outside in the cold the night before Galicia
Barandiarán, 1990 [39] It is necessary to eat lice. The patient should drink water in which 7 head lice were previously cooked Basque Country
Mateos Romero, 1990 [40] For 3 days, eat soup prepared with oil previously used to fry 8 or 10 lice. The patient should not know the origin of the recipe Torremenga (Cáceres)
Rúa Aller and Rubio Gago, 1990 [41] Drink water in which lice had been cooked Comarca de El Bierzo (León)
Carril, 1991 [42] Drink a lice decoction Fuenteguinaldo (Salamanca)
Guío Cerezo, 1992 [43] Put lice into a fig and eat it Llerena (Badajoz)
Fresquet, 1995 [44] Some people gave children a drink made of white wine with lice, cinnamon and sugar Comarca de la Ribera Alta (Valencia)
Pámpano and Redondo, 1997 [45] 9 live lice are eaten mixed with flour, honey and sugar. Afterwards, a diet of varied stocks should be followed San Vicente de Alcántara (Badajoz)
Erkoreka, 2002 [46] Live lice should be added to porridge, chocolate, coffee or other food to be taken by the patient without his/her knowledge Basque Country
Álvarez Peña, 2004 [47] Swallow live lice with milk or butter Deva (Gijón) and other councils from Asturias
Barandiarán and Manterola, 2004 [48] In Amorebieta, Bera and Elorrio, in the first decades of the 20th century, it was necessary to give the patient several lice in a small cup of chocolate or mixed with liquor without his/her knowledge: 7, 9, 11, 13, always an odd number. The same remedy was applied in Zeanuri and Olaeta, where lice were introduced into soup, and Quintana where they were placed in the patient’s ordinary food without his/her knowledge. In villages far from the coast for several days, the patient was given a tisane in which 9 lice were placed or they were mixed with some food eaten regularly. Our current surveys have also collected this remedy. In Bermeo and Hondarribia live lice were added to porridge, chocolate, coffee or other food that should be eaten by the patient without his/her knowledge. In Orozco the lice were eaten in an omelette Amorebieta, Bermeo, Elorrio, Orozco, Zeanuri (Biscay); Olaeta, Quintana (Álava); Hondarribia (Guipúzcoa); Bera (Navarre)
Álvarez Caperochipi, 2012 [49] At the beginning of the XX century, many healers applied dried head lice dissolved in water. They crushed the lice in a glass and then added water. They would give a drop to the patient and if he/she felt good they would give the patient two drops the following day. The dosage would be increased daily by one drop each day up to 21 drops to then be decreased Ilarregui and other villages from Navarre