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

Thieves’ Vinegar

July 22nd, 2017

Take a large handful of lavender blossoms, and the same quantity of sage, mint, rue, wormwood and rosemary. Chop and mix them well. Put them into a jar, with half an ounce of camphor that has been dissolved in a little alcohol, and pour in three quarts of strong clear vinegar. Keep the jar for two or three weeks in the hot sun, and at night plunge it into a box of heated sand. Afterwards strain and bottle the liquid, putting into each bottle a clove of garlic sliced. To have it very clear, after it has been bottled for a week, you should pour it off carefully from the sediment, and filter it through blotting paper. Then wash the bottles, and return the vinegar to them. It should be kept very tightly corked. It is used for sprinkling about in sick-rooms; and also in close damp oppressive weather. Inhaling the odour from a small bottle will frequently prevent faintness in a crowd.

It is best to make it in June.

This vinegar is so called from an old tradition, that during the prevalence of the plague in London the composition was invented by four thieves, who found it a preservative from contagion; and were by that means enabled to remain in the city and exercise their profession to great advantage, after most of the inhabitants had fled.

Source: Directions for Cookery, in its Various Branches, Eliza Leslie

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

A Cure for Sprains

March 22nd, 2017

Bruise thoroughly a handful of sage-leaves, and boil them in a gill of vinegar for ten minutes, or until reduced to half the original quantity; apply this in a folded rag to the part affected, and tie it on securely with a bandage.

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

To get rid of Red Ants

February 20th, 2017

A small quantity of green sage, placed in the closet, will cause red ants to disappear. The flour of sulphur, also, sprinkled round the places they frequent, will cause them to disappear.

Source: Valuable Receipts, J.M. Prescott

Putrid Sore Throat

January 21st, 2017

Mix one gill of strong apple vinegar, cue tablespoonful of common salt, tablespoonful of strained honey, half a pod of red pepper; boil them together; strain into half a pint of strong sage tea. In severe cases give half a teaspoonful for an adult every hour; decrease the dose as the disease is relieved. Use some as a gargle.

Source: Mrs Hill’s New Cook-Book

For the Teeth

December 12th, 2016

A very agreeable dentifrice is made from an ounce of myrrh in fine powder, and a little powdered green sage, mixed with two spoonfuls of honey. The teeth should be washed with it every night and morning. Spite of all that is said against it, charcoal holds the highest place as a tooth-powder. It has the property, too, of opposing putrefaction, and destroying vices of the gums. It is most conveniently used when made into paste with honey.

Source: The Housekeeper’s Friend: A Practical Cookbook

An Indispensable Powder

September 3rd, 2016

A trouble scarcely to be named among refined persons is profuse perspiration, which ruins clothing and comfort alike. For this it is recommended to bathe frequently, putting into the water a cold infusion of rosemary, sage or thyme, and afterward dust the under-garments with a mixture of two and a half drachms of camphor, four ounces of orris-root, and sixteen ounces of starch, the whole reduced to impalpable powder. Tie it in a coarse muslin bag, (or one made of flannel is better if you wish to use it on the flesh,) and shake it over the clothes. This makes a very fine bathing powder.

Source: The Housekeeper’s Friend: A Practical Cookbook

Spongy Gums

March 9th, 2016

If the gums become spongy, or detached from the necks of the teeth, your diet is probably defective, and more fresh vegetable is demanded. Lance the gums, however, and let them bleed freely, and
gargle the mouth with alum and water, or strong sage-tea unsweetened ; but the best application to spongy gums, and in case of salivation, is pure tannin, or, as a substitute, tincture of galls.

Source: Health, Disease and Remedy, George Moore

Sore Throat

February 16th, 2016

Everybody has a cure for this trouble, but simple remedies appear to be most effectual. Salt and water is used by many as a gargle, but a little alum and honey dissolved in sage tea is better. An application of cloths wrung out of hot water and applied to the neck, changing as often as they begin to cool, has the most potency for removing inflammation of anything we ever tried. It should be kept up for a number of hours; during the evening is usually the most convenient time for applying this remedy.

Cut slices of salt pork or fat bacon, simmer a few minutes in hot vinegar, and apply to throat as hot as possible. When this is taken off as the throat is relieved, put around a bandage of soft flannel. A gargle of equal parts of borax and alum, dissolved in water, is also excellent. To be used frequently.

Camphorated oil is an excellent lotion for sore throat, sore chest, aching limbs, etc. For a gargle for sore throat, put a pinch of chlorate of potash in a glass of water. Gargle the throat with it
twice a day, or oftener, if necessary

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