Anybody know anything about "Moonmilk?"

K N and P J Harris ecoli at cix.compulink.co.uk
Thu Nov 2 16:58:48 EST 1995

> ==========
> bionet/microbiology #1036, from ewarren at dscbqvarsa.er.usgs.gov, 1575 
chars, Tue  31 Oct 1995 19:50:55 
> ----------
> Article: 1988 of bionet.microbiology
> Xref: cix.compulink.co.uk sci.bio.microbiology:1496 
bionet.microbiology:1988 sci.geo.geology:20400 sci.chem:39118
> Path: 
> ov!usgsnews at usgs.gov!ewarren
> From: ewarren at dscbqvarsa.er.usgs.gov (Ean Warren)
> Newsgroups: 
> Subject: Anybody know anything about "Moonmilk?"
> Date: Tue, 31 Oct 1995 19:50:55 GMT
> Organization: US Geological Survey
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> Distribution: usgs
> Message-ID: <1995Oct31.195055.5216 at dscbqvarsa.er.usgs.gov>
> NNTP-Posting-Host: mprcamnl.wr.usgs.gov
> Originator: ewarren at mprcamnl.wr.usgs.gov
> Hello,
> On behalf of a colleague, I am looking for any information on a
> substance called "Moonmilk."  Moonmilk was mined from five caves
> near Lausanne, Switzerland from the Middle Ages through the 19th
> century.  It was used as a "healing earth" along the lines of
> Terra lemnia (clay from the island of Lemnos), Terra samia (clay
> from the island of Samos), Terra militensis (Maltese or St.
> Paul's Earth) and Armenian bol (a red clay).  Moonmilk was used
> to treat sores, upset stomachs and milk flow impairment.
> Moonmilk is a limestone sediment.  Earlier literature (1978)
> claims to have found a microbial species called "Macromonas
> bipunctata" and evidence of Actinomycetes and Streptomycetes.
> Thank you for any information you might have.
> -- 
> Ean Warren
> ewarren at usgs.gov
Sounds as though it might have been stalactite material. High calcium 
and magnesium which would fit with the microbial population.
Peter Harris,
Reading, UK.

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