Sir Thomas Gower’s Metheglin for Health

September 8th, 2017

First boil the water and scum it; Then to 12 Gallons put 6 handfuls of Sweet-bryar-leaves, of Sweet-marjoram, Rosemary, Thyme, of each one a handful: Flowers of Marigold, Borrage, Bugloss, Sage, each two handfuls. Boil all together very gently, till a third waste. To eight Gallons of this put two Gallons of pure honey, and boil them till the Liquor bear an Egge, the breadth of threepence or a Groat, together with such spices as you like (bruised, but not beaten) an ounce of all is sufficient.

You must observe carefully. 1. Before you set the Liquor to boil, to cause a lusty Servant (his Arms well washed) to mix the honey and water together, labouring it with his hands at least an hour without intermission. 2. That when it begins to boil fast, you take away part of the fire, so as it may boil slowly, and the scum and dross go all to one side, the other remaining clear. When you take it off, let none of the liquor go away with the dross. 3. When you take it from the fire, let it settle well, before it be tunned into the vessel, wherein you mean to keep it: and when it comes near the bottom, let it be taken carefully from the sediment, with a thin Dish, so as nothing be put into the vessel, but what is clear. 4. Stop it very close (when it is set in the place, where it must remain) cover it with a cloth, upon which some handfuls of Bay-salt and Salpeter is laid, and over that lay clay, and a Turf. 5. Put into it, when you stop it, some New-laid-eggs in number proportionable to the bigness of the vessel, Shell’s unbroken. Six Eggs to about sixteen Gallons. The whole Egg-shell and all will be entirely consumed.

Source: The Closet Of Sir Kenelm Digby Knight Opened, K. Digby

Broth for Sick and Convalescent Persons

July 24th, 2017

Put a Crag-end of a Neck of Mutton, a Knuckle of Veal, and a Pullet into a Pipkin of water, with a spoonful or two of French-barley first scalded in a water or two. The Pullet is put in after the other meat is well skimmed, and hath boiled an hour. A good hour after that, put in a large quantity of Sorrel, Lettice, Purslane, Borage and Bugloss, and boil an hour more at least three hours in all. Before you put in the herbs, season the broth with Salt, a little Pepper and Cloves, strain out the broth and drink it.

But for Potage, put at first a good piece of fleshy young Beef with the rest of the meat. And put not in your herbs till half an hour before you take off the Pot. When you use not herbs, but Carrots and Turneps, put in a little Peny-royal and a sprig of Thyme. Vary in the season with Green-pease, or Cucumber quartered longwise, or Green sower Verjuyce Grapes; always well-seasoned with Pepper and Salt and Cloves. You pour some of the broth upon the sliced-bread by little and little, stewing it, before you put the Herbs upon the Potage.

The best way of ordering your bread in Potages, is thus. Take light spungy fine white French-bread, cut only the crusts into tosts. Tost them exceeding dry before the fire, so that they be yellow. Then put them hot into a hot dish, and pour upon them some very good strong broth, boiling hot. Cover this, and let them stew together gently, not boil; and feed it with fresh-broth, still as it needeth; This will make the bread swell much, and become like gelly.

Source: The Closet Of Sir Kenelm Digby Knight Opened, K. Digby

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

The Snail water excellent for Consumptions

March 7th, 2016

Take a Peck of Snails with the Shells on their Backs, have in a readiness a good fire of Charcoal well kindled, make a hole in the midst of the fire, and cast your Snails into the fire, renew your fire till the Snails are well rosted, then rub them with a clean Cloth, till you have rubbed off all the green which will come off.

Then bruise them in a Mortar, shells and all, then take Clary, Celandine, Burrage, Scabious, Bugloss, five leav’d Grass, and if you find your self hot, put in some Wood-Sorrel, of every one of these one handful, with five tops of Angelica.

These Herbs being all bruised in a Mortar, put them in a sweet earthen Pot with five quarts of white Wine, and two quarts of Ale, steep them all night; then put them into an Alembeck, let the herbs be in the bottom of the Pot, and the Snails upon the Herbs, and upon the Snails put a Pint of Earth-worms slit and clean washed in white Wine, and put upon them four ounces of Anniseeds or Fennel-seeds well bruised, and five great handfuls of Rosemary Flowers well picked, two or three Races of Turmerick thin sliced, Harts-horn and Ivory, of each four ounces, well steeped in a quart of white Wine till it be like a Jelly, then draw it forth with care.

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

To make Syrup of Turneps for a Consumption

January 9th, 2016

Take half a peck of Turneps washed and pared clean, cut them thin, put to them one pound of Raisins of the Sun stoned, one quarter of a pound of Figs cut small, one Ounce of Anniseeds bruised, half an Ounce of Licoras sliced, one Ounce of Cloves bruised, two handfuls of Burrage Flowers, and so much water as will cover all, and two fingers breadth above them, then boil it on a great fire in an earthen Vessel covered, untill the roots be soft and tender, then strain out the Liquor, and to every Pint of it put a pound of fine Sugar, the whites of two Eggs beaten, boil it to a Syrrop, and use it often, two or three spoonfuls at a time.

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

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

A Cosmetic Bath

April 3rd, 2015

Take two pounds of barley or bean flour, eight pounds of bran, and a few handfuls of Borage leaves. Boil these ingredients in a sufficient quantity of spring water. This both cleanses and softens the skin in a superior manner.

Source: The Ladies’ Book Of Useful Information

A Water for a Consumption, or for a Brain that is weak

March 31st, 2008

Take Cream (or new milk) and Claret-wine, of each three pints, of Violet-flowers, Bugloss and Borage-flowers, of each a spoonful, Comfrey, Knot-grass, and Plantane of these half a handful, three or four Pome-waters sliced, a stick of Liquorish, some Pompion seeds and strings; put to this a Cock that hath been chased and beaten before he was killed, dress it as to boil, and parboil it until there be no blood in it; then put them in a pot, and set them over your Limbeck, and the soft fire; draw out a pottle of water, then put your water in a Pipkin over a Charcoal fire, and boil it a while, dissolve therein six ounces of white Sugar-candy, & two penny weight of Saffron; when it is cold strain it into a glass, & let the Patient drink three or four spoonfuls three or four times a day blood-warm; your Cock must be cut into small pieces, & the bones broken, and in case the flowers and herbs are bard to come by, a spoonful of their stilled waters are to be used.

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

Ingredients: Borage

March 1st, 2008

The Borage, with its gallant blue flower, is cultivated in our gardens as a pot herb, and is associated in our minds with bees and claret cup. It grows wild in abundance on open plains where the soil is favourable, and it has a long-established reputation for cheering the spirits. Botanically, it is the Borago officinalis, this title being a corruption of cor-ago, i.e., cor, the heart, ago, I stimulate — quia cordis affectibus medetur, because it cures weak conditions of the heart. An old Latin adage says: Borago ego gaudia semper ago — “I, Borage, bring always courage”; or the name may be derived from the Celtic, Borrach, “a noble person.” This plant was the Bugloss of the older botanists, and it corresponds to our Common Bugloss, so called from the shape and bristly surface of its leaves, which resemble bous-glossa, the tongue of an ox. Chemically, the plant Borage contains potassium and calcium combined with mineral acids. The fresh juice affords thirty per cent., and the dried herb three per cent. of nitrate of potash. The stems and leaves supply much saline mucilage, which, when boiled and cooled, likewise deposits nitre and common salt. These crystals, when ignited, will burn with a succession of small sparkling explosions, to the great delight of the schoolboy. And it is to such saline qualities the wholesome, invigorating effects and the specially refreshing properties of the Borage are supposed to be mainly due. For which reason, the plant, “when taken in sallets,” as says an old herbalist, “doth exhilarate, and make the mind glad,” almost in the same way as a bracing sojourn by the seaside during an autumn holiday. The flowers possess cordial virtues which are very revivifying, and have been much commended against melancholic depression of the nervous system. Burton, in his Anatomy of Melancholy (1676), wrote with reference to the frontispiece of that book:–

“Borage and Hellebore fill two scenes,
Sovereign plants to purge the veins
Of melancholy, and cheer the heart
Of those black fumes which make it smart;
The best medicine that God e’er made
For this malady, if well assaid.”

“The sprigs of Borage,” wrote John Evelyn, “are of known virtue to revive the hypochondriac and cheer the hard student.”

According to Dioscorides and Pliny, the Borage was that famous nepenthe of Homer which Polydamas sent to Helen for a token “of such rare virtue that when taken steep’d in wine, if wife and children, father and mother, brother and sister, and all thy dearest friends should die before thy face, thou could’st not grieve, or shed a tear for them.” “The bowl of Helen had no other ingredient, as most criticks do conjecture, than this of borage.” And it was declared of the herb by another ancient author: Vinum potatum quo sit macerata buglossa moerorum cerebri dicunt auferre
periti
:–

“To enliven the sad with the joy of a joke,
Give them wine with some borage put in it to soak.”

The Romans named the Borage Euphrosynon, because when put into a cup of wine it made the drinkers of the same merry and glad.

Parkinson says, “The seed of Borage helpeth nurses to have more store of milk, for which purpose its leaves are most conducing.” Its saline constituents promote activity of the kidneys, and for this reason the plant is used in France to carry off catarrhs which are feverish. The fresh herb has a cucumber-like odour, and when compounded with lemon and sugar, added to wine and water, it makes a delicious “cool tankard,” as a summer drink. “A syrup concocted of the floures,” said Gerard, “quieteth the lunatick person, and the leaves eaten raw do engender good blood.” Of all nectar-loving insects, bees alone know how to pronounce the “open sesame” of admission to the honey pots of the Borage.

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