Chap. 08. Of Preparations Galenick Internal.

Authors have made a great number of them, we have reduced them to the following ten Heads.

I. Juices.

  • 1. They are to be pressed out of Herbs, when they are young and tender, or rather, when they are just come to their flowering, because then the Juice is in its greatest Vigour, and gathered withall in a fair and dry Season.
  • 2. They are made by beating the Roots, Herbs and Flowers, in a Stone or Iron Mortar, with a Wooden Pestle, and expressing the Juice with a Press.
  • 3. They are either Liquid or Inspissate.
  • 4. The Liquid are either from hot herbs, and such as are volatil; or from cold: If from hot Herbs, they are to settle 6, 8, or 10 Hours, then to be decanted from their settlings, and put into a Glass or Bottle, putting Oil Olive upon them 2 or 3 Inches thick, to preserve them.
  • 5. If cold Herbs, after settling, the clear is to be decanted, and clarified by boiling and scumming, or with Whites of Eggs, and then Bottled, with Oil put over the same.
  • 6. Inspissate Juices, are never made from hot, dry , and volatil Plants, but from such as have a more glutinous or clammy Juice, such as Acatia, Aloes, Cambogium, Catechu, Comfrey, Elaterium, Liquorice, Meconium, Opium, Scammony, Sloes, &c.

II. Infusions.

  • 1. They are made from such Plants, Roots, Barks, Leaves, Flowers, Seeds, which are of hot, dry, and volatil Parts, and of such a Substance, as being rare, easily yield their Tincture.
  • 2. They are very rarely or never made of cold Herbs and Plants, such as are of a thick Substance, and it may be Resinous withall.
  • 3. If their Substance is thin and rare, a cold Infusion, or Digestion, (if in Summer-time) may do.
  • 4. But if of a more compact, solid or tenacious Substance, after being reduced into gross Pouder, they are to be digested in a warm Oven, or in a Sand heat for some days, shaking the Bottle once or twice a Day; then being settled, the clear is to be decanted, and kept close stopt for use.
  • 5. The Infusion may be made in Water, Wine, or Vinegar, according to the Design and Intention of the Physician: If in Simple Water, it is then called by the bare Name of an Infusion: If in Wine, it is called a Medicated Wine: If in Wine Vinegar, a Medicated Vinegar.

III. Decoctions.

  • 1. They are never made of hot, dry, subtil, spirituous and volatil Parts, because, in boiling, all those fine Particles would be lost.
  • 2. Or if they are decocted, it ought to be always in an Alembick, with a Receiver luted to it, to receive its spirituous and volatil Parts; that when the Decoction is made and clarified, they may afterwards be mixed therewith.
  • 3. The Boiling is half an Hour, an Hour, or two, more or less, according to the crassitude of the Body; as they may be either Herbs, Roots, Barks, Woods, &c.
  • 4. It is made either in Water, Broth, Wine, or Vinegar, according to the Intention and Design; but for the most part in Water.
  • 5. It is a Medicament for present use, and therefore there needs no Directions for its keeping or preservation.

IV. Syrups and Juleps.

  • They are made, 1. Of Infusions. 2. Of Decoctions. 3. Of Juices, of Herbs, Plants, Flowers, Seeds, &c.
  • 2. Those made by Infusion, are chiefly from flowers, as of Balaustians, Blewbottle, Clovegilliflowers, Damask Roses, Peony, Peach Flowers, Poppies Wild, Rosemary, Saffron, Violets, &c. by being digested one whole Night close covered, either in the heat of a Bath, or Sand heat, often repeating the Infusion.
  • 3. Those made by Decoction, are from such Herbs, Plants, Roots, Barks, &c. as will admit of Boiling , as we have declared in the former Section.
  • 4. Those by Juices, are made of all your succulent Herbs and Plants, freed from their fzces or impurities, by settling or clarifying with Whites of Eggs.
  • 5. The way of making. To every Pint of clear Infusion, Decoction, or Juice, put two Pounds of Double refined Sugar , which mix together by melting only in Balneo, not at all Boiling it.
  • 6. All Syrups will keep a Year, if kept close stopt in Glasses, but stop them not with Cork or Bladder, for then they will be apt to break the Glass, only bind a piece of thin Leather, or Paper, prickt with a few small holes over the mouth thereof.
  • 7. Juleps, are thin, or half Syrups, being made of Infusions, Decoctions, or Juices, with but half the quantity of Sugar; and these will keep but a little while, viz. 2 or 3 Months, being apt to grow sour.

V. Pouders.

  • 1. The Ingredients, whether Roots, Barks, Leaves, Flowers, Seeds, Rosins, &c. are to be made very dry, either by Sun, a warm Oven , or some other Artificial heat.
  • 2. By the help of a proper Mill, they are to be ground into Pouder.
  • 3. But where Mill is not to be met with, or it is but a small matter, which is to be reduced, it must be done by beating in a Brass or Iron Mortar, with an Iron Pestle, and then made to pass thro a fine Searce; beating the remainder which will not pass, and searcing it, so long till it is all, or very near all past thro'.
  • 4. Resinous Bodies, such as Scammony, &c. will not easily be reduced without the help of a little Oil; anointing the bottom of the Mortar now and then, as also the end of the Pestle with a little Oil Olive, by which means, it will with much more ease and speed be reduced.
  • 5. Camphir, tho' it may be reduced with a few drops of Oil; yet it is much better done, by adding to it a very small quantity of Brandy, or Spirit of Wine, and then to grind it in a Mortar.
  • 6. All Pouders ought to be kept in Glass Bottles, close stopt with good Corks, but rather with Glass Stoppers; otherwise they presently loose themselves, and will be good for nothing.

VI. Electuaries and Lohochs.

  • 1. They are made of subtil, or levigated, or fine searced Pouders, mixed with Honey, or a Syrup of double refined Sugar, made into Syrup with Water or Wine, of the thickness of Honey.
  • 2. The Proportion for a good bodied Electuarie, is 3 Ounces of clarified Honey to an Ounce of Pouder, or 3 Pounds of clarified Honey, or as much double refined Sugar dissolved and reduced to the Substance of Honey, to one Pound of Pouder, which are to be mixed well together, either by beating in a Mortar, or over a very gentle Heat; then to be put into Gally-Pots, and to be tyed over with White Paper and Leather, and so kept for use.
  • 3. A Lohoch, or Licking Medicine, is only a thin kind of Electuary, in which to every Ounce of Pouder, there is to be put 5 or 6 Ounces of clarified Honey, or Sugar : These are used chiefly as Pectorals in all Diseases of the Brest and Lungs.
  • 4. Electuaries, (if well lookt after) will keep nearly a Year, but Lohochs will keep twice that time.

VII. Lozenges.

  • 1. A thick Mucilage is to be made of Gum Tragacanth, with Water, or rather with equal parts of Water and Spirit of Wine, or Juice of Limons: This is to be thickned with double refined Sugar in very fine Pouder, and beat together in a Mortar, till it comes to a stiff Paste.
  • 2. Or fine Sugar may be dissolved in Brandy to a Candy height, and then mixed with the mucilage aforegoing.
  • 3. Lozenges are made either for Vomits, and then you may put to each half Dram 3 Grains of Emetick Tartar, which may be made into one Lozenge, and so the Patient may take either one, two, or three Lozenges, according to Age and Strength,
  • 4. Or the Lozenges are Opiates, in which one or two Grains of choice Opium in fine Pouder, may be mixed, to make one Lozenge of half a Dram, or a Dram, to be given as a Dose according to Age, Strength, Necessity, and other Circumstances, in vehement Coughs, Catarrhs, &c.
  • 5. Or as Common Pectorals, against Asthmas, Wheezings, Hoarsness, shortness of Breath, and then Pouders of Liquorice, of Catechu, Cloves, Ginger, Mace, Nutmegs, &c. may be mixed with the Mucilage and Honey, or Sugar, in such proportions, as the Physician shall think fit.
  • 6. Then being well beaten, or wrought together, the Paste is to be rowled put into thin Plates or Cakes, and so with a straight Ruler and a Knife, to be cut out into quadrangular Lozenges, which are to be carefully dried, and kept for use.

VIII. Pills.

  • 1. The ingredients are severally to be reduced to a subtil Pouder, by first beating in a Brass or Iron Mortar, and then to be passed thro' a fine Searce.
  • 2. To this Pouder so much choice Honey, or some proper Syrup is to be added, as may make it (by well beating it in a Mortar) into a Paste, of such a stiffness as may be made into Pills; which Paste, is not be so hard or stiff as to crumble, nor yet so soft as to fall flat, and not keep up the roundness of its form.
  • 3. Some Gum-Resinous Bodies, as Aloes, Cambogia, Scammony, &c. being reduced into a fine Pouder, are rather to be made up into Pills with fair Water, than with Honey or Syrup, for they will as soon dissolve in the Stomach, and keep a long time without mouldiness: But then they are immediately to be formed into Pills, as soon as the Mass is made, otherwise it will grow hard, and not afterwards to be done.

IX. Troches.

  • 1. These are in form like little Cakes, much about the bigness of a Copper Farthing, being only designed, that Pouders, which of themselves are not able to resist the intromission of the Air, might be kept a long time pure, and free from spoiling.
  • 2. Take half an Ounce of pure white Gum Tragacanth, put to it half a Pint or more of fair Water: Let it stand warm for 24 Hours, till it becomes a Mucilage, or Gelly.
  • 3. Take the Pouders (being made impalpable) and mix with this Mucilage, by beating in a Mortar, so much as may make a stiff Paste, which rowl out into thin Plates, and with a round hollow thin edged Brass, Silver, or Steel Instrument, cut it out into little Troches, or Cakes.
  • 4. These you are to dry either in the Sun, or a warm Oven, after the Bread is out, and being through dry, put them up into a Gally-Pot, or other proper Vessel, for use, tying them over with a Paper and Leather, to keep them from the Air.

X. Salts Essential.

  • 1. Take a Plant when it is full of Juice, viz. in its Flowering time, a sufficient quantity bruise it in a Wooden Mortar, and add a pretty deal of fair Water: Boil till half be consumed: Strain the Decoction by strongly pressing it out; and then Boil it to the thickness of Honey.
  • 2. Take this mucilaginous Magma, put it into a Glass or glazed Vessel, and set it in a cold place for 8 or 10 Days; so will a Crystal Salt arise like Sal Gem, which gather, and wash it with the distilled Water from the same Plant, which dry and keep it for use.
  • 3. Thus is made Salt of Carduus, Mugwort, Wormwood, and other bitter Herbs; but of other Herbs with much difficulty.
  • 4. But such as yield a sweet Juice, give a plentiful quantity of Essential Salt, as the Sugar Cane: For Sugar is the Essential Salt of that Plant; so also do Figs, Raisons of the Sun, and other like sweet things; for Figs and Raisons, when old and dried, will shew some small quantity of that Essential Salt on their out sides, hard, dry, and of a white colour.

Botanologia, or The English Herbal, was written by William Salmon, M.D., in 1710.
This page was proofread by Peppercat / Christopher Hedley.