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Other remedies included one coxcomb,
some goose fat mixed with some honey, the salted flesh of a rabid dog, some maggots
from the carcass of a rabid dog, etc.; and as many remedies existed for the
local application of 'preventers', or for mixing them in drinks or food

Definition 1. used to indicate the purpose, aim, or destination of an action.
Example He was heading for the door ; They worked for reform.

Definition 2. used to indicate receipt or benefit.
Example help for the needy.

Definition 3. as the result of.
Example payment for work.

Definition 4. used to show duration or continuance.
Example We walked for an hour.

Definition 5. with respect to.
Example too cold for June.

Definition 6. in order to do or obtain.
Example We are going for lunch.

Definition 7. on behalf of.
Example Who will speak for me?
Crossref. Syn. in favor of

Definition 8. in favor of.
Example I'm all for you.
Crossref. Syn. in favor of

Definition 9. in exchange for.
Example a dime for the pen.

Definition 10. in spite of; notwithstanding.
Example She is very attractive for all her joking.

Definition 11. by reason of; because of.
Example They clapped for joy.

Definition 12. indicating.
Example This is the symbol for infinity.
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Comments  
used to indicate the purpose, aim
Perhaps I'm being slow, but I don't find the last part of the sentence at all easy to disentangle. I'm assuming that "preventers" are remedies (of some type), and that "them" is intended to refer to "preventers". In other words, these "preventers" could be applied locally (by smearing them on the appropriate part of the body, I suppose), or could be mixed in drinks or food.

If this is right then the sentence seems flawed to me. I don't think "for" is the correct word.
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Thank you for agreeing!! I also thought preventers were remedies...
Thank you
One widespread myth was that rabies was caused by a small 'worm' at the base
of the tongue. A contemporary poet of Ovid (1st century BC), Grattius Falistcus,
knew about the mythical origin of the sublingual 'lyssa' of rabid dogs that Pliny
popularized; they believed that extracting the worms completely cured the dog.
And as a preventive, this worm was also thought to possess magical curative powers
in preventing the disease in the person bitten when it was injected, but only
after having been carried three times around a fire. Prevention was also thought
to be obtained by eating a cock's brain. Other remedies included one coxcomb,
some goose fat mixed with some honey, the salted flesh of a rabid dog, some maggots
from the carcass of a rabid dog, etc.; and as many remedies existed for the
local application of 'preventers', or for mixing them in drinks or food. Moreover,
there were numerous talismans 'capable' of diverting rabid dogs from a person,
such as a dog's heart or placing a dog's tongue in one's shoes, or arming oneself
with a tail of a weasel. But one of the most common 'preventers' of rabies has
always been to pray for divine intervention (Figure 1.1), an evocation which
many times was successful, for the variety of reasons later known.
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The goal of the curative method is to apply medicine locally or mix them in drinks or food. I think the sentence makes sense. He meant remedies as a method here, but earlier he meant them as medicine.

Does that make sense?
afewminuteslate
The goal of the curative method is to apply medicine locally or mix them in drinks or food. I think the sentence makes sense. He meant remedies as a method here, but earlier he meant them as medicine.

Does that make sense?

To me, no. I don't see how to read "remedies" as meaning "methods".
http://dictionary.cambridge.org/define.asp?key=remedy*1+0&dict=A

a substance or method for curing an illness, or a way of dealing with a problem or difficulty

Other dictionaries tend to define it as "something for curing an illness". I think that's my best explanation. I asked other people and one said that "for" introduced a goal, which wasn't the ultimate one.
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