Conserve of Red Roses

August 13th, 2017

Doctor Glisson makes his conserve of red Roses thus: Boil gently a pound of red Rose leaves (well picked, and the Nails cut off) in about a pint and a half (or a little more, as by discretion you shall judge fit, after having done it once; The Doctors Apothecary takes two pints) of Spring water; till the water have drawn out all the Tincture of the Roses into it self, and that the leaves be very tender, and look pale like Linnen; which may be in a good half hour, or an hour, keeping the pot covered whiles it boileth. Then pour the tincted Liquor from the pale Leaves (strain it out, pressing it gently, so that you may have Liquor enough to dissolve your Sugar) and set it upon the fire by it self to boil, putting into it a pound of pure double refined Sugar in small Powder; which as soon as it is dissolved, put in a second pound; then a third, lastly a fourth, so that you have four pound of Sugar to every pound of Rose-leaves. (The Apothecary useth to put all the four pounds into the Liquor altogether at once,) Boil these four pounds of Sugar with the tincted Liquor, till it be a high Syrup, very near a candy height, (as high as it can be, not to flake or candy) Then put the pale Rose-leaves, into this high Syrup, as it yet standeth upon the fire, or immediately upon the taking it off the fire. But presently take it from the fire, and stir them exceeding well together, to mix them uniformly; then let them stand till they be cold; then pot them up. If you put up your Conserve into pots, whiles it is yet throughly warm, and leave them uncovered some days, putting them in the hot Sun or stove, there will grow a fine candy upon the top, which will preserve the conserve without paper upon it, from moulding, till you break the candied crust, to take out some of the conserve.

The colour both of the Rose-leaves and the Syrup about them, will be exceeding beautiful and red, and the taste excellent; and the whole very tender and smoothing, and easie to digest in the stomack without clogging it, as doth the ordinary rough conserve made of raw Roses beaten with Sugar, which is very rough in the throat. The worst of it is, that if you put not a Paper to lie always close upon the top of the conserve, it will be apt to grow mouldy there on the top; especially aprés que le pot est entamé.

The Conserve of Roses, besides being good for Colds and Coughs, and for the Lunges, is exceeding good for sharpness and heat of Urine, and soreness of the bladder, eaten much by it self, or drunk with Milk, or distilled water of Mallows, and Plantaine, or of Milk.

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

How to make a Stringent Gargle

May 17th, 2017

Put the following ingredients into a very clean earthen pipkin:— Twenty sage leaves, a handful of red rose leaves, and a pint of water; boil these for twenty minutes, then add a gill of vinegar, and two table-spoonfuls of honey; boil again for ten minutes, and strain the gargle through a muslin rag, to be used when cold.

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

To Preserve and Strengthen the Hair

November 30th, 2016

One ounce of bi-carbonate of soda, two drams of tincture of cantharides, two ounces of spirits of rosemary, and a half pint of rosewater. Mix the bi-carbonate of soda with the rosewater, and add the other ingredients. Apply it with a sponge, rubbing it well into the roots of the hair until a lather is produced; then rinse with water, and dry on a coarse towel.

Source: 76: A Cook Book

Rose-Water

November 22nd, 2016

Preferable to the distilled for a perfume, or for culinary purposes. Attar of rose, twelve drops; rub it up with half an ounce of white sugar and two drachms carbonate magnesia; then add gradually one quart of water and two ounces of proof spirit, and filter through paper.

Source: The White House Cookbook, F.L. Gillette

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

Milk of Roses

May 21st, 2015

This is a cosmetic. Pound an ounce of almonds in a mortar very finely; then put in shavings of honey soap in a small quantity. Add enough rose-water to enable you to work the composition with the pestle into a fine cream; and in order that it may keep, add to the whole an ounce of spirits of wine, by slow degrees. Scent with otto of roses. Strain through muslin. Apply to the face with a sponge or a piece of lint.

Source: The Ladies’ Book Of Useful Information

A Water for Fainting of the Heart

April 21st, 2015

Take of Bugloss water and Red Rose Water, of each one Pint, of Red Cows milk half a Pint, Anni-seed and Cinamon of each half an Ounce bruised, Maiden hair two handfuls, Harts-tongue one handful, bruise them, and mix all these together, and distil them in an ordinary Still, drink of it Morning and Evening with a little Sugar.

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

To Cause the Hair to Grow very Thick

March 26th, 2015

One of the most powerful stimulants for the growth of the hair is the following: Take a quarter of an ounce of the chippings of alkanet root, tie in a scrap of coarse muslin, and suspend it in a jar containing eight ounces of sweet oil for a week, covering it from the dust. Add to this sixty drops tincture of cantharides, ten drops oil of rose, sixty drops of neroli, and sixty drops oil of lemon. Let this stand twenty days, closely corked, and you will have one of the greatest hair-invigorators and hair-growers that this world has ever produced.

Source: The Ladies’ Book Of Useful Information

Ingredient: Poppy

March 3rd, 2015

The Scarlet Poppy of our cornfields (Papaver Rhoeas) is one of the most brilliant and familiar of English wild flowers, being strikingly conspicuous as a weed by its blossoms rich in scarlet petals, which are black at the base. The title Papaver has been derived from pap, a soft food given to young infants, in which it was at one time customary to boil Poppy seeds for the purpose of inducing sleep. Provincially this plant bears the titles of “Cop Rose” (from its rose-like flowers, and the button-like form of its cop, or capsule) and “Canker Rose,” from its detriment to wheat crops.

The generic term Rhoeas comes from reo, to fall, because the scarlet petals have so fragile a hold on their receptacles; and the plant has been endowed with the sobriquet, “John Silver Pin, fair without and foul within.” In the Eastern counties of England any article of finery brought out only occasionally, and worn with ostentation by a person otherwise a slattern, is called “Joan Silver Pin.” After this sense the appellation has been applied to the Scarlet Poppy. Its showy flower is so attractive to the eye, whilst its inner juice is noxious, and stains the hands of those who thoughtlessly crush it with their fingers.

“And Poppies a sanguine mantle spread,
For the blood of the dragon St. Margaret shed.”

Robert Turner naively says, “The Red Poppy Flower (Papaver erraticum) resembleth at its bottom the settling of the ‘Blood in pleurisie'”; and, he adds, “how excellent is that flower in diseases of the pleurisie with similar surfeits hath been sufficiently experienced.”

It is further called Blindy Buff, Blind Eyes, Headwarke, and Headache, from the stupefying effects of smelling it. Apothecaries make a syrup of a splendid deep colour from its vividly red petals; but this does not exercise any soporific action like that concocted from the white Poppy, which is a sort of modified opiate, suitable for infants under certain conditions, when sanctioned by a doctor. Otherwise, all sedatives of a narcotic sort are to be strongly condemned for use by mothers, or nurses:–

“But a child that bids the world ‘Good-night’
In downright earnest, and cuts it quite,
(A cherub no art can copy),
‘Tis a perfect picture to see him lie,
As if he had supped on dormouse pie,
An ancient classical dish, by-the-bye,
With a sauce of syrup of Poppy.”

Petronius, in the time of Nero, A.D. 80, “delivered an odd receipt for dressing dormouse sausages, and serving them up with Poppies and honey, which must have been a very soporiferous dainty, and as good as owl pye to such as want a nap after dinner.”

The white Poppy is specially cultivated in Britain for the sake of its seed capsules, which possess attributes similar to opium, but of a weaker strength. These capsules are commonly known as Poppyheads, obtained from the druggist for use in domestic fomentations to allay pain. Also from the capsules, without their seeds, is made the customary syrup of White Poppies, which is so familiar as a sedative for childhood; but it should be always remembered that infants of tender years are highly susceptible to the influence even of this mild form of opium. The true gum opium, and laudanum, which is its tincture, are derived from Eastern Poppies (Papaver somniferum) by incisions made in the capsules at a proper season of the year. The cultivated Poppy of the garden will afford English opium in a like manner, but it is seldom used for this purpose. A milky juice exudes when the capsules of these cultivated flowers are cut, or bruised. They are familiar to most children as drumsticks, plucked in the garden after the gaudy petals of the flowers have fallen off. The leaves and stems likewise afford some of the same juice, which, when inspissated, is known as English opium. The seeds of the white Poppy yield by expression a bland nutritive oil, which may be substituted for that of olives, or sweet almonds, in cooking, and for similar uses. Dried Poppy-heads, formerly in constant request for making hot soothing stupes, or for application directly to a part in pain, are now superseded for the most part by the many modern liquid preparations of opium handy for the purpose, to be mixed with hot water, or applied in poultices.

For outward use laudanum may be safely added to stupes, hot or cold, a teaspoonful being usually sufficient for the purpose, or perhaps two, if the pain is severe; and powdered opium may be incorporated with one or another ointment for a similar object. If a decoction of Poppy capsules is still preferred, it should be made by adding to a quarter-of-a-pound of white Poppy heads (free from seeds, and broken up in a mortar) three pints of boiling water; then boil for ten or fifteen minutes, and strain off the decoction, which should measure about two pints.

Dr. Herbert Snow, resident physician at the Brompton Cancer Hospital, says (1895) he has found: “after a long experience, Opium exhibits a strong inhibitive influence on the cancer elements, retarding and checking the cell growth, which is a main feature of the disease. Even when no surgical operation has been performed, Opium is the only drug which markedly checks cancer growth: and the early employment of this medicine will usually add years of comfortable life to the otherwise shortened space of the sufferer’s existence.” Opium gets its name from the Greek apos, juice.

The seeds of the white Poppy are known us mawseed, or balewort, and are given as food to singing birds. In old Egypt these seeds were mixed with flour and honey, and made into cakes.

Pliny says: “The rustical peasants of Greece glazed the upper crust of their loaves with yolks of eggs, and then bestrewed them with Poppy seeds,” thus showing that the seeds were then considered free from narcotic properties. And in Queen Elizabeth’s time these seeds were strewn over confectionery, whilst the oil expressed from them was “delightful to be eaten when taken with bread.”

White Poppy capsules, when dried, furnish papaverine and narcotine, with some mucilage, and a little waxy matter. The seeds contained within the capsules yield Poppy seed oil, with a fixed oil, and a very small quantity of morphia–about five grains in a pound of white Poppy seeds. In some parts of Russia the seeds are put into soups.

The Poppy was cultivated by the Greeks before the time of Hippocrates. It has long been a symbol of death, because sending persons to sleep. Ovid says, concerning the Cave of Somnus:–

“Around whose entry nodding Poppies grow,
And all cool Simples that sweet rest bestow.”

The common scarlet Poppy was called by the Anglo-Saxons “Chesebolle,” “Chebole,” or “Chybolle,” from the ripe capsule resembling a round cheese.

There is a Welsh Poppy, with yellow flowers; and a horned Poppy, named after Glaucus, common on our sea coasts, with sea-green leaves, and large blossoms of golden yellow. Glaucus, a fisherman of Boeotia, observed that all the fishes which he caught received fresh vigour when laid on the ground, and were immediately able to leap back into the sea. He attributed these effects to some herb growing in the grass, and upon tasting the leaves of the Sea Poppy he found himself suddenly moved with an intense desire to live in the sea; wherefore he was made a sea-god by Oceanus and Tethys. Borlase says: “That in the Scilly Islands the root of the Sea Poppy is so much valued for removing all pains in the breast, stomach, and intestines, as well as so good for disordered lungs, whilst so much better there than in other places, that the apothecaries of Cornwall send thither for it; and some persons plant these roots in their gardens in Cornwall, and will not part with them under sixpence a root.” The scarlet petals of the wild Poppy, very abundant in English cornfields, when treated with sulphuric acid make a splendid red dye. With gorgeous tapestry cut from these crimson petals, the clever “drapery bee” (Apis papaveris) upholsters the walls of her solitary cell. Bruised leaves of the wild, or the garden Poppy, if applied to a part which has been stung by a bee or a wasp, will give prompt relief.

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