Though not liable to many disorders, the gypsies in Eastern Europe, from their wandering, out-of-doors life, and camping by marshes and pools where there is malaria, suffer a great deal from fevers, which in their simple system of medicine are divided into two types:
- The shilale – chills or cold
- The tate shilalyi – “hot-cold,” or fever and ague.
For the former, chills or cold, the following remedy is applied:
Three lungs and three livers, of frogs are dried and powdered and drunk in spirits, after which the sick man or woman says the following incantation:
“Čuckerdya pal m’re per Čáven save miseçe! Čuckerdya pal m’re per Den miseçeske drom odry prejiál!
“Frogs in my belly Devour what is bad Frogs in my belly Show the evil the way out!”
By “the evil” is understood evil spirits. According to the old Shamanic belief, which was the primæval religion of all mankind, every disease is caused by an evil spirit which enters the body and can only be driven out by magic.
Teeth which have been buried for many years, serve to make a singular fetish. They are mingled with the bones of a tree-frog, and the whole then sewed up in a little bag. If a man has anything for sale, and will draw or rub this bag over it, he will have many offers or customers for the articles thus enchanted.
The bones are prepared by putting the frog into a glass or earthen receptacle full of small holes. This is buried in an anthill. The ants enter the holes and eat away all the flesh, leaving the bones which after a few weeks are removed.