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Tuesday, 1 June 2010

Witch Milk And Witches Marks

Witch Milk And Witches Marks Cover

Book: Witch Milk And Witches Marks by Thomas Forbes

The term witch's milk, referring usually to the mammary secretion of newborn infants,t is an example of that small group of medical and biological words and phrases which had its origin in the popular vocabulary of past centuries. (Freemartin2' is a similar term.) Such expressions lack the classical dignity of Greek and Latin ancestry, but they have a flavor and Interest of their own. What was the source of the phrase witch's milk, with its implications of superstition and sorcery, and how has it persisted to take its place in modern scientific terminology?

Although little attention is given to the phenomenon in modern textbooks of pediatrics, it is well established that during the first weeks after birth the mammary glands of some babies hypertrophy and produce a colostrumlike secretion. Normally the secretion soon ends, and the glands regress. Partly on the basis of an important study by Lyons,' it is now generally believed that two maternal hormones, estrogen and prolactin, which during the later stages of pregnancy are Preparing the maternal mammary glands for lactation, may escape into the fetal circulation in sufficient quantity so that the same phenomenon appears in the infant. If this theory is correct, the transitory production of witch's milk can be Explained by the obvious fact that the availability to the baby of the maternal hormones ceases at birth. However, since prolactin has also been found in the pituitary glands of fetal calves,6 it is possible that a brief activity of the baby's pituitary gland may also help to account for the appearance of the secretion.

Download Thomas Forbes's eBook: Witch Milk And Witches Marks

Free eBooks (Can Be Downloaded):

George Moir - Magic And Witchcraft
Anonymous - Witchcraft And Wicca Faq
Andrew Lang - The Witch And Other Stories
Thomas Forbes - Witch Milk And Witches Marks