Saturday, October 15, 2011

Receipt against the Plague

Historic cookbooks sometimes included advice and information on everything from child rearing to cleaning and furnishing your home.  Remedies for all sorts of maladies could also be found.

Lynn Cullity shared this recipe from The Art of Cookery by Mrs. Glasse, 1796, in which Mrs. Glasse  includes a receipt (recipe) to "protect from the plague".

Receipt to Protect from the Plague

Take of rue, sage, mint, rosemary, wormwood, and lavender, a handful of each; infuse them together in a gallon of white wine vinegar, put the whole into a stone pot, closely covered up, upon wood ashes for four days, after which draw off (or strain through fine flannel) the liquid, and put it into bottles well corked; and into every quart bottle put a quarter of an once of camphor: with this preparation wash your mouth, and rub your loins and your temples every day; snuff a little up your nostrils when you go into the air, and carry about you a bit of spunge dipped in the same, in order to smell to upon all occasions, especially when you are near any place or person that is infected.

They write, that four malefactors, (who had robbed the infected houses, and murdered the people during the course of the plague,) owned, when they came to the gallows, that they had preserved themselves from the contagion by using the above medicine only:  and that they went the whole time from house to house without any fear of the distemper.

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