Isaac Newton’s Recipe For ‘Toad Vomit Lozenges’ Is Up For Auction

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Sir Isaac Newton — famous for developing the three laws of motion and advancing calculus — apparently had a far-out idea for how to treat the plague, also called the black death: toad-vomit lozenges.

And now you can buy that ‘toad-vomit’ recipe!

During the plague, Newton gave detailed instructions on how to make the rather disgusting toad-vomit treatment, according to two unpublished pages handwritten by Newton that are now heading to the auction block.

Newton describes in detail how to suspend a toad by its legs in a chimney for three days, until it vomits up “earth with various insects in it.” This vomit must be caught on “a dish of yellow wax,” he added.

After the toad dies, its body should be turned into powder, mixed with the vomit and a serum and “made into lozenges and worn about the affected area.” This treatment would drive “away the contagion” and draw “out the poison,” Newton wrote.

In addition to the disgusting toad treatment, Newton also recommended treating the plague with gemstone amulets. The toad treatment was best, but if someone was in a pinch, then amulets made out of the gemstones hyacinth, sapphire or amber could also serve as antidotes, he wrote.

Sadly, Newton had no clue at the time, that gemstones and toad vomit didn’t have any affect on the plague.

Newton likely wrote these notes on the plague shortly after returning to the University of Cambridge in England in 1667, according to Bonhams, the auction house selling off the documents.

Either way, the theory is interesting and it give you quite the insight as to how Newton’s brain worked.

In 1936, Newton’s “plague” manuscript was sold along with  a vast trove of his other writings in Sotheby’s Portsmouth sale, but these two pages were uncovered only recently after being lost for more than 70 years, according to Bonhams. Bidding is currently at $65,000 and will run until June 10.