Balm and Burrage Tea

March 28th, 2017

These, as well as all other medicinal herbs, may easily be cultivated in a corner of your garden, when you are so fortunate as to live in a cottage of your own in the country; they are also to be obtained from all herbalists in large towns. Take of balm and burrage a small handful each, put this into a jug, pour in upon the herbs a quart of boiling water, allow the tea to stand for ten minutes, and then strain it off into another jug, and let it become cold. This cooling drink is recommended as a beverage for persons whose system has become heated from any cause.

Source: A Plain Cookery Book for the Working Classes, C.E. Francatelli

Mint, Balm and Other Teas

November 24th, 2016

Put either the fresh or the dried plants into boiling water in a covered vessel, which should be placed near the fire for an hour. The young shoots both of balm and of mint are to be preferred, on account of their strong aromatic qualities. These infusions may be drunk freely in feverish and in various other complaints, in which diluents are recommended. Mint tea, made with the fresh leaves, is useful in allaying nausea and vomiting.

Source: Valuable Receipts, J.M. Prescott

To make the true Palsie-water, as it was given by that once very famous Physician Doctor Matthias

July 31st, 2015

Take Lavender Flowers stripped from the stalks, and fill a Gallon-Glass with them, and pour on them good Spirit of Sack, or perfect Aqua vitæ distilled from all Flegm, let the quantity be five quarts, then circulate them for six weeks, very close with a Bladder, that nothing may breath out; let them stand in a warm place, then distil them in an Alembeck with his Cooler, then put into the said water, of Sage, Rosemary, and Wood-Betony Flowers; of each half a handful, of Lilly of the Valley, and Burrage, Bugloss, and Cowslip Flowers, one handful of each; steep these in Spirit of Wine, Malmsie, or Aqua vitæ, every one in their Season, till all may be had; then put also to them of Balm, Motherwort, Spike-flowers, Bay leaves, the leaves of Orange trees, with the Flowers, if they may be had, of each one ounce, put them into the aforesaid distilled Wine all together, and distil it as before, having first been steeped six weeks; when you have distilled it, put into it Citron Pill, dried Piony seeds hull’d, of each five Drams, of Cinamon half an Ounce, of Nutmegs, Cardamum seeds, Cubebs[1], and yellow Saunders[2], of each half an ounce, of lignum Aloes one dram; make all these into Powder, and put them into the distilled Wine abovesaid, and put to them of Cubebs anew, a good half pound of Dates, the stones taken out, and cut them in small pieces, put all these in, and close your Vessel well with a double Bladder; let them digest six weeks, then strain it hard with a Press, and filtrate the Liquor, then put into it of prepared Pearl, Smaragdus[3], Musk and Saffron, of each half a Scruple; and of Ambergreece one Scruple, red Roses dried well, Red and Yellow Saunders, of each one ounce, hang these in a Sarsenet[4] Bag in the water, being well sewed that nothing go out.

The virtues of this Water

This Water is of exceeding virtue in all Swoundings and Weaknesses of the heart, and decaying of Spirits in all Apoplexies and Palsies, also in all pains of the Joints coming of Cold, for all Bruises outwardly bathed and dipped Clothes laid to; it strengtheneth and comforteth all animal, natural and viral Spirits, and cheareth the external Senses, strengtheneth the Memory, restoreth lost Speech, and lost Appetite, all weakness of the Stomach, being both taken inwardly, and bathed outwardly; it taketh away the Giddiness of the Head, helpeth lost Hearing, it maketh a pleasant Breath, helpeth all cold disposition of the Liver, and a beginning Dropsie; it helpeth all cold Diseases of the Mother; indeed none can express sufficiently; it is to be taken morning and evening, about half a Spoonful with Crums of Bread and Sugar.

Source: The Queen-like Closet or Rich Cabinet, Hannah Wolley

1. A type of pepper.

2. Sandalwood.

3. Emerald.

4. A type of fine silk.

The Melancholy Water

June 21st, 2015

Take of the Flowers of Gilliflowers, four handfuls, Rosemary flowers three handfuls, Damask Rose leaves, Burrage and Bugloss flowers of each one handful, of Balm leaves six handfuls, of Marigold flowers one handful, of Pinks six handfuls, of Cinamon grosly beaten, half an ounce, two Nutmegs beaten, Anniseeds beaten one ounce, three peniworth of Saffron; put them all into a Pottle of Sack, and let them stand two days, stirring them sometimes well together; then distil them in an ordinary Still, and let it drop into a Glass wherein there is two grains of Musk, and eight ounces of white Sugar Candy, and some Leaf-Gold; take of this Water three times a week fasting, two spoonfuls at a time, and ofter if you find need; distil with soft fire; this is good for Women in Child-bed if they are faint.

Source: The Queen-like Closet or Rich Cabinet, Hannah Wolley

Lotion for Wrinkles

April 18th, 2015

Beautifies the face, preserves the freshness of youth, and gives a beautiful brilliancy to the skin. Take the second water of barley, one pint, and strain through a piece of fine linen; add a dozen drops of the balm of Mecca; shake it well together until the balm is thoroughly incorporated with the water, which will be effected when the water assumes a whitish or turgid appearance. Before applying, wash the face with soft water. If used once a day, this lotion will beautify the face, remove wrinkles, preserve the freshness of youth, and give a surprising brilliancy to the skin.

Source: The Ladies’ Book of Useful Information

Intermitting Fever

March 27th, 2015

Drink warm Lemonade in the beginning of every fit; it cures in a few days. Tried.

Or take a tea-spoonful of Oil of Sulphur in a cup of Balm-Tea, once or twice a day.

Source: Primitive Physic: or an easy and natural method of curing most diseases, John Wesley.

The Ale of Health and Strength, by Viscount St. Albans.

June 15th, 2008

Take Sassafras wood half an ounds, Sarsaparilla three ounces, white Saunders one ounce, Chamapition an ounce, China-root half an ounce, Mace a quarter of an ounce, cut the wood as thin as may be with a knife into small pieces, and bruise them in a Mortar; put to them these sorts of Herbs, (viz.) Cowslip flowers, Roman-wormwood, of each a handful, of Sage, Rosemary, Betony, Mugwort, Balm and Sweet-marjoram, of each half a handful, of Hops; boil all these in six gallons of Ale till it come to four; then put the wood and hearbs into six gallons of Ale of the second wort, and boil it till it comes to four, let it run from the dregs, and put your Ale together, and tun it as you do other purging Ale, &c.

Source: A Queen’s Delight: Or, The Art of Preserving, Conserving and Candying, Nathaniel Brooke

Ingredients: Balm

February 9th, 2008

The herb Balm, or Melissa, which is cultivated quite commonly in our cottage gardens, has its origin in the wild, or bastard Balm, growing in our woods, especially in the South of England, and bearing the name of “Mellitis.” Each is a labiate plant, and “Bawme,” say the Arabians, “makes the heart merry and joyful.” The title, “Balm,” is an abbreviation of Balsam, which signifies “the chief of sweet-smelling oils;” Hebrew, Bal smin, “chief of oils”; and the botanical suffix, Melissa, bears reference to the large quantity of honey (mel) contained in the flowers of this herb.

When cultivated, it yields from its leaves and tops an essential oil which includes a chemical principle, or “stearopten.” “The juice of Balm,” as Gerard tells us, “glueth together greene wounds,” and the leaves, say both Pliny and Dioscorides, “being applied, do close up woundes without any perill of inflammation.” It is now known as a scientific fact that the balsamic oils of aromatic plants make most excellent surgical dressings. They give off ozone, and thus exercise anti-putrescent effects. Moreover, as chemical “hydrocarbons,” they contain so little oxygen, that in wounds dressed with the fixed balsamic herbal oils, the atomic germs of disease are starved out. Furthermore, the resinous parts of these balsamic oils, as they dry upon the sore or wound, seal it up, and effectually exclude all noxious air. So the essential oils of balm, peppermint, lavender, and the like, with pine oil, resin of turpentine, and the balsam of benzoin (Friars’ Balsam) should serve admirably for ready application on lint or fine rag to cuts and superficial sores. In domestic surgery, the lamentation of Jeremiah falls to the ground: “Is there no balm in Gilead: is there no physician there?” Concerning which “balm of Gilead,” it may be here told that it was formerly of great esteem in the East as a medicine, and as a fragrant unguent. It was the true balsam of Judea, which at one time grew nowhere else in the whole world but at Jericho. But when the Turks took the Holy Land, they transplanted this balsam to Grand Cairo, and guarded its shrubs most jealously by Janissaries during the time the balsam was flowing.

In the “Treacle Bible,” 1584, Jeremiah viii., v. 22, this passage is rendered: “Is there not treacle at Gylead?” Venice treacle, or triacle, was a famous antidote in the middle ages to all animal poisons. It was named Theriaca (the Latin word for our present treacle) from the Greek word Therion, a small animal, in allusion to the vipers which were added to the triacle by Andromachus, physician to the emperor Nero.

Tea made of our garden balm, by virtue of the volatile oil, will prove restorative, and will promote perspiration if taken hot on the access of a cold or of influenza; also, if used in like manner, it will help effectively to bring on the delayed monthly flow with women. But an infusion of the plant made with cold water, acts better as a remedy for hysterical headache, and as a general nervine stimulant because the volatile aromatic virtues are not dispelled by heat. Formerly, a spirit of balm, combined with lemon peel, nutmeg, and angelica-root, enjoyed a great reputation as a restorative cordial under the name of Carmelite water. Paracelsus thought so highly of balm that he believed it would completely revivify a man, as primum ens melissoe. The London Dispensatory of 1696 said: “The essence of balm given in Canary wine every morning will renew youth, strengthen the brain, relieve languishing nature, and prevent baldness.” “Balm,” adds John Evelyn, “is sovereign for the brain, strengthening the memory, and powerfully chasing away melancholy.” In France, women bruise the young shoots of balm, and make them into cakes, with eggs, sugar, and rose water, which they give to mothers in childbed as a strengthener.

It is fabled that the Jew Ahasuerus (who refused a cup of water to our Saviour on His way to Golgotha, and was therefore doomed to wander athirst until Christ should come again) on a Whitsuntide evening, asked for a draught of small beer at the door of a Staffordshire cottager who was far advanced in consumption. He got the drink, and out of gratitude advised the sick man to gather in the garden three leaves of Balm, and to put them into a cup of beer. This was to be repeated every fourth day for twelve days, the refilling of the cup to be continued as often as might be wished; then “the disease shall be cured and thy body altered.” So saying, the Jew departed and was never seen there again. But the cottager obeyed the injunction, and at the end of the twelve days had become a sound man.

Source: Herbal Simples Approved for Modern Uses of Cure, William Thomas Fernie