ACETARIA: A discourse of Sallets

ACETARIA: A Diſcourse of Sallets

Sallets in general conſiſt of certain Eſculent Plants and Herbs, improv’d by Culture, Induſtry, and Art of the Gard’ner: Or, as others ſay, they are a Compoſition of Edule  Plants and Roots of ſeveral kinds, to be eaten Raw or Green, Blanch’d or Candied: ſimple–and per ſe, or intermingl’d with others according to the Seaſon. The Boil’d, Bak’d, Pickl’d, or otherwiſe diſguis’d, variouſly accommodated by the skilful Cooks, to render them grateful to the more feminine Palat, or Herbs rather for the Pot, &c. challenge not the name of Sallet ſo properly here, tho’ ſometimes mention’d; And therefore, Thoſe who Criticize not ſo nicely upon the Word, ſeem to diſtinguiſh the Olera (which were never eaten Raw) from Acetaria, which [2]were never Boil’d; and ſo they derive the Etymology of Olus, from Olla, the Pot. But others deduce it from Όλος, comprehending the Univerſal Genus of the Vegetable Kingdom; as from Παν Panis; eſteeming that he who had Bread and Herbs, was ſufficiently bleſs’d with all a frugal Man cou’d need or deſire: Others again will have it, ab Olendo, i.e. Creſcendo, from its continual growth and ſpringing up: So the younger Scaliger on Varro: But his Father Julius extends it not ſo generally to all Plants, as to all the Eſculents, according to the Text: We  call thoſe Olera (ſays Theophraſtus) which are commonly eaten, in which ſenſe it may be taken, to include both Boil’d and Raw: Laſt of all, ab Alendo, as having been the Original, and genuine Food of all Mankind from the Creation.

A great deal more of this Learned Stuff were to be pick’d up from the Cumini Sectores, and impertinently Curious; whilſt as it concerns the buſineſs in hand, we are by Sallet to underſtand a particular Compoſition of certain Crude and freſh Herbs, such as uſually are, or may ſafely be eaten with ſome Acetous Juice, Oyl, Salt, &c. to give them a grateful Guſt and Vehicle; excluſive of the ψυχραι τραπεζαι,eaten without their due Correctives, which the Learned Salmaſius, and, indeed generally, the old Phyſicians affirm (and that truly) all Crude and raw λαχανα require to render them wholſome; ſo as probably they were from hence, as Pliny thinks, call’d Acetaria: and not (as Hermolaus and ſome others) Acceptaria ab Accipiendo; nor from Accedere, though ſo ready at hand, and eaſily dreſs’d; requiring neither Fire, Coſt, or Attendance, to boil, roaſt, and prepare them as did Fleſh, and other Proviſions; from which, and other Prerogatives, they were always in uſe, &c. And hence indeed the more frugal Italians andFrench, to this Day, gather Ogni Verdura, any thing almoſt that’s Green and Tender, to the very Tops of Nettles; ſo as every Hedge affords a Sallet (not unagreeable) ſeaſon’d with its proper Oxybaphon ofVinegar, Salt, Oyl, &c. which doubtleſs gives it both the Reliſh and Name of Salad, Emſalada , as with us of Sallet; from the Sapidity, which renders not Plants and Herbs alone, but Men themſelves, and their Converſations, pleaſant and agreeable: But of this enough, and perhaps too much; leaſt whilſt I write of Salt and Sallet, I appear my ſelf Inſipid: I paſs therefore to the Ingredients, which we will call

Furniture and Materials

The Materials of Sallets, which together with the groſſer Olera, conſiſt of Roots, Stalks, Leaves, Buds, Flowers, &c. Fruits (belonging to another Claſs) would require a much ampler Volume, than would ſuit our Kalendar, (of which this pretends to be an Appendix only) ſhould we extend the following Catalogue further than to a brief enumeration only of ſuch Herbaceous Plants, Oluſcula and smallerEſculents, as are chiefly us’d in Cold Sallets, of whose Culture we have treated there; and as we gather them from the Mother and Genial Bed, with a touch only of their Qualities, for Reasons hereafter given.

1. Alexanders, Hippoſelinum; S. Smyrnium vulgare (much of the nature of Perſly) is moderately hot, and of a cleanſing Faculty, Deobſtructing, nouriſhing, and comforting the Stomach. The gentle freſh Sprouts, Buds, and Tops are to be choſen, and the Stalks eaten in the Spring; and when Blanch’d, in Winter likewiſe, with Oyl, Pepper, Salt, &c. by themſelves, or in Compoſition: They make alſo an excellentVernal Pottage.

2. Artichaux, Cinara, (Carduus Sativus) hot and dry. The Heads being ſlit in quarters firſt eaten raw, with Oyl, a little Vinegar, Salt, and Pepper, gratefully recommend a Glaſs of Wine; Dr. Muffet ſays, at the end of Meals.

They are likewiſe, whilſt tender and ſmall, fried in freſh Butter criſp with Perſley. But then become a moſt delicate and excellent Reſtorative, when full grown, they are boil’d the common way. The Bottomsare alſo bak’d in Pies, with Marrow, Dates, and other rich Ingredients: In Italy they ſometimes broil them, and as the Scaly Leaves open, baſte them with freſh and ſweet Oyl; but with Care extraordinary, for if a drop fall upon the Coals, all is marr’d; that hazard eſcap’d, they eat them with the Juice of Orange and Sugar.

The Stalk is Blanch’d in Autumn, and the Pith eaten raw or boil’d. The way of preſerving them freſh all Winter, is by ſeparating the Bottoms from the Leaves, and after Parboiling, allowing to every Bottom, a ſmall earthen glaz’d Pot; burying it all over in freſh melted Butter, as they do Wild-Fowl, &c. Or if more than one, in a larger Pot, in the ſame Bed and Covering, Layer upon Layer.

They are alſo preſerv’d by ſtringing them on Pack-thread, a clean Paper being put between every Bottom, to hinder them from touching one another, and ſo hung up in a dry place. They are likewiſe Pickl’d.

‘Tis not very long ſince this noble Thiſtle came firſt into Italy, Improv’d to this Magnitude by Culture; and ſo rare in England, that they were commonly ſold for Crowns a piece: But what Carthage yearly ſpent in them (as Pliny computes the Sum) amounted to Seſtertia Sena Millia, 30000 l. Sterling.

Note, That the Spaniſh Cardon, a wild and ſmaller Artichoak, with ſharp pointed Leaves, and leſſer Head; the Stalks being Blanch’d and tender, are ſerv’d-up a la Poiverade (that is with Oyl, Pepper, &c.) as the French term is.

3. Baſil, Ocimum (as Baulm) imparts a grateful Flavour, if not too ſtrong, ſomewhat offenſive to the Eyes; and therefore the tender Tops to be very ſparingly us’d in our Sallet.

4. Baulm, Meliſſa, Baum, hot and dry, Cordial and exhilarating, ſovereign for the Brain, ſtrengthning the Memory, and powerfully chaſing away Melancholy. The tender Leaves are us’d in Compoſition with other Herbs; and the Sprigs freſh gather’d, put into Wine or other Drinks, during the heat of Summer, give it a marvellous quickneſs: This noble Plant yields an incomparable Wine, made as is that of Cowſlip-Flowers.

5. Beet, Beta; of which there is both Red, Black, and White: The Coſta, or Rib of the White Beet (by the French call’d the Chard) being boil’d, melts, and eats like Marrow. And the Roots (eſpecially of theRed) cut into thin ſlices, boil’d, when cold, is of it ſelf a grateful winter Sallet; or being mingl’d with other Oluſcula, Oyl, Vinegar, Salt, &c. ‘Tis of quality Cold and Moiſt, and naturally ſomewhat Laxative: But however by the Epigrammatiſt ſtil’d Fooliſh and Inſipid, as Innocentior quam Olus (for ſo the Learned Harduin reads the place) ’tis by Diphilus of old, and others ſince, preferr’d before Cabbage as of better Nouriſhment: Martial (not unlearn’d in the Art of Sallet) commends it with Wine and Pepper: He names it indeed—Fabrorum prandia, for its being ſo vulgar. But eaten with Oyl and Vinegar, as uſually, it is no deſpicable Sallet. There is a Beet growing near the Sea, which is the moſt delicate of all. The Roots of the Red Beet, pared into thin Slices and Circles, are by the French and Italians contriv’d into curious Figures to adorn their Sallets.

6. Blite, Blitum; Engliſh Mercury, or (as our Country Houſe wives call it) All-good, the gentle Turiones, and Tops may be eaten as Sparagus, or ſodden in Pottage: There is both a white and red, much us’d inSpain and Italy; but beſides its humidity and deterſive Nature, ’tis Inſipid enough.

7. Borrage, Borrago (Gaudia semper ago) hot and kindly moiſt, purifying the Blood, is an exhilarating Cordial, of a pleaſant Flavour: The tender Leaves, and Flowers eſpecially, may be eaten in Compoſition; but above all, the Sprigs in Wine, like thoſe of Baum, are of known Vertue to revive the Hypochondriac, and chear the hard Student. See Bugloſs.

8. Brooklime, Anagallis aquatica; moderately hot and moiſt, prevalent in the Scorbute, and Stone.

9. Bugloſs, Bugloſſum; in mature much like Borrage, yet ſomething more aſtringent. The Flowers of both, with the intire Plant, greatly reſtorative, being Conſerv’d: And for the reſt, ſo much commended byAverroes; that for its effects, cheriſhing the Spirits, juſtly call’d Euphroſynum; Nay, ſome will have it the Nepenthes of Homer: But indeed, what we now call Bugloſs, was not that of the Ancients, but ratherBorrage, for the like Virtue named Corrago.

Burnet, See Pimpinella.

10. Buds, Gemmæ, Turiones; the firſt Rudiments and Tops of moſt Sallet-Plants, preferrable to all other leſs tender Parts; ſuch as Aſhen-Keys, Broom-buds, hot and dry, retaining the vertue of Capers, eſteem’d to be very opening, and prevalent againſt the Spleen and Scurvy; and being Pickl’d, are ſprinkl’d among the Sallets, or eaten by themſelves.

11. Cabbage, Braſſica (and its ſeveral kinds) Pompey’s beloved Diſh, ſo highly celebrated by old Cato, Pythagoras, and Chryſippus the Phyſician (as the only Panacea) is not ſo generally magnify’d by the reſt of Doctors, as affording but a craſs and melancholy Juice; yet Looſening if but moderately boil’d, if over-much, Aſtringent, according to C. Celſus; and therefore ſeldom eaten raw, excepting by the Dutch. The Cymæ, or Sprouts rather of the Cole are very delicate, ſo boil’d as to retain their Verdure and green Colour. In raiſing this Plant great care is to be had of the Seed. The beſt comes from Denmark and Ruſſia, eſpecially the Cauly-flower, (anciently unknown) or from Aleppo. Of the French, the Pancaliere a la large Costé, the white, large and ponderous are to be choſen; and ſo the Cauly-flower: After boiling ſome ſteep them in Milk, and ſeethe them again in Beef-Broth: Of old they added a little Nitre. The Broccoli from Naples, perhaps the Halmyridia of Pliny (or Athenæus rather) Capiata marina & florida, our Sea-keele (the ancient Crambe) and growing on our Coaſt, are very delicate, as are the Savoys, commended for being not ſo rank, but agreeable to moſt Palates, and of better Nouriſhment: In general, Cabbages are thought to allay Fumes, and prevent Intoxication: But ſome will have them noxious to the Sight; others impute it to the Cauly-flower rather: But whilſt the Learned are not agreed about it, Theophraſtus affirms the contrary, and Pliny commends the Juice raw, with a little Honey, for the moiſt and weeping Eye, not the dry or dull. But after all, Cabbage (’tis confeſs’d) is greatly accus’d for lying undigeſted in the Stomach, and provoking Eructations; which makes me wonder at the Veneration we read the Ancients had for them, calling them Divine, and Swearing, per Braſſicam. ‘Tis ſcarce an hundred Years ſince we firſt had Cabbages out of Holland. Sir Anth. Aſhley of Wiburg St. Giles in Dorſetſhire, being (as I am told) the firſt who planted them in England.

12. Cardon, See Artichaux.

13. Carrots, Dauci, or Paſtinaca Sativa; temperately warm and dry, Spicy; the beſt are yellow, very nouriſhing; let them be rais’d in Ground naturally rich, but not too heavy.

14. Chervile, Chærophyllum, Myrrhis; The ſweet aromatick Spaniſh Chervile, moderately hot and dry: The tender Cimæ, and Tops, with other Herbs, are never to be wanting in our Sallets, (as long as they may be had) being exceedingly wholſome and chearing the Spirits: The Roots are alſo boil’d and eaten Cold; much commended for Aged Perſons: This (as likewiſe Spinach) is us’d in Tarts, and ſerves alone for divers Sauces.

Cibbols. cl-brace Vide Onions, Schœnopræſſon.

15. Clary, Horminum, when tender not to be rejected, and in Omlets, made up with Cream, fried in ſweet Butter, are eaten with Sugar, Juice of Orange, or Limon.

16. Clavers, Aparine; the tender Winders, with young Nettle-Tops, are us’d in Lenten Pottages.

17. Corn-ſallet, Valerianella; loos’ning and refreſhing: The Tops and Leaves are a Sallet of themſelves, ſeaſonably eaten with other Salleting, the whole Winter long, and early Spring: The French call themSalad de Preter, for their being generally eaten in Lent.

18. Cowſlips, Paralyſis: See Flowers.

19. Creſſes, Naſturtium, Garden Creſſes; to be monthly ſown: But above all the Indian, moderately hot, and aromatick, quicken the torpent Spirits, and purge the Brain, and are of ſingular effect againſt theScorbute. Both the tender Leaves, Calices, Cappuchin Capers, and Flowers, are laudably mixed with the colder Plants. The Buds being Candy’d, are likewiſe us’d in Strewings all Winter. There is the Naſtur. Hybernicum commended alſo, and the vulgar Water-Creſs, proper in the Spring, all of the ſame Nature, tho’ of different Degrees, and best for raw and cold Stomachs, but nouriſh little.

20. Cucumber, Cucumis; tho’ very cold and moiſt, the moſt approved Sallet alone, or in Compoſition, of all the Vinaigrets, to ſharpen the Appetite, and cool the Liver, &c. if rightly prepar’d; that is, by rectifying the vulgar Miſtake of altogether extracting the Juice, in which it ſhould rather be ſoak’d: Nor ought it to be over Oyl’d, too much abating of its grateful Acidity, and palling the Taſte from a contrariety of Particles: Let them therefore be pared, and cut in thin Slices, with a Clove or two of Onion to correct the Crudity, macerated in the Juice, often turn’d and moderately drain’d. Others prepare them, by ſhaking the Slices between two Diſhes, and dreſs them with very little Oyl, well beaten, and mingled with the Juice of Limon, Orange, or Vinegar, Salt and Pepper. Some again, (and indeed the moſt approv’d) eat them as ſoon as they are cut, retaining their Liquor, which being exhauſted (by the former Method) have nothing remaining in them to help the Concoction. Of old they boil’d the Cucumber, and paring off the Rind, eat them with Oyl, Vinegar, and Honey; Sugar not being ſo well known. Laſtly, the Pulp in Broth is greatly refreſhing, and may be mingl’d in moſt Sallets, without the leaſt damage, contrary to the common Opinion; it not being long, ſince Cucumber, however dreſs’d, was thought fit to be thrown away, being accounted little better than Poyſon. Tavernier tells us, that in the Levant, if a Child cry for ſomething to Eat, they give it a raw Cucumber inſtead of Bread. The young ones may be boil’d in White-Wine. The ſmaller sort (known by the name of Gerckems) muriated with the Seeds of Dill, and theMango Pickle are for the Winter.

21. Daiſy, Buphthalmum, Ox-Eye, or Bellis-major: The young Roots are frequently eaten by the Spaniards and Italians all the Spring till June.

22. Dandelion, Dens Leonis, Condrilla: Macerated in ſeveral Waters, to extract the bitterneſs; tho’ ſomewhat opening, is very wholſome, and little inferior to Succory, Endive, &c. The French Country-People eat the Roots; and ’twas with this homely Sallet, the Good-Wife Hecate entertain’d Theſeus. See Sowthiſtle.

23. Dock, Oxylapathum, or ſharp-pointed Dock: Emollient, and tho’ otherwiſe not for our Sallet, the Roots brewed in Ale or Beer, are excellent for the Scorbute.

Earth-Nuts, Bulbo-Caſtanum; (found in divers places of Surry, near Kingſton, and other parts) the Rind par’d off, are eaten crude by Rustics, with a little Pepper; but are beſt boil’d like other Roots, or in Pottage rather, and are ſweet and nouriſhing.

24. Elder, Sambucus; The Flowers infus’d in Vinegar, grateful both to the Stomach and Taſte; attenuate thick and viſcid Humours; and tho’ the Leaves are ſomewhat rank of Smell, and ſo not commendable inSallet; they are otherwiſe (as indeed is the intire Shrub) of the most ſovereign Vertue; and the ſpring Buds and tender Leaves, excellently wholſome in Pottage at that Seaſon of the Year. See Flowers.

25. Endive, Endivium, Intubum Sativum; the largeſt, whiteſt, and tendereſt Leaves beſt boil’d, and leſs crude. It is naturally Cold, profitable for hot Stomachs; Inciſive and opening Obſtructions of the Liver: The curled is more delicate, being eaten alone, or in Compoſition, with the uſual Intinctus: It is alſo excellent being boil’d; the middle part of the Blanch’d-Stalk ſeparated, eats firm, and the ampler Leaves by many perferr’d before Lettuce. See Succory.

Eſchalot. See Onions.

26. Fennel, Fœniculum: The ſweeteſt of Bolognia: Aromatick, hot, and dry; expels Wind, ſharpens the Sight, and recreates the Brain; eſpecially the tender Umbella and Seed-Pods. The Stalks are to be peel’d when young, and then dreſs’d like Sellery. The tender Tufts and Leaves emerging, being minc’d, are eaten alone with Vinegar, or Oyl, and Pepper, and to correct the colder Materials, enter properly into Compoſition. The Italians eat the blanch’d Stalk (which they call Cartucci) all Winter long. There is a very ſmall Green-Worm, which ſometimes lodges in the Stemm of this Plant, which is to be taken out, as the Red one in that of Sellery.

27. Flowers, Flores; chiefly of the Aromatick Eſculents and Plants are preferrable, as generally endow’d with the Vertues of their Simples, in a more intenſe degree; and may therefore be eaten alone in their proper Vehicles, or Compoſition with other Salleting, ſprinkl’d among them; But give a more palatable Reliſh, being Infus’d in Vinegar; Eſpecially thoſe of the Clove-Gillyflower, Elder, Orange, Cowſlip, Rosemary, Arch-Angel, Sage, Naſturtium Indicum, &c. Some of them are Pickl’d, and divers of them make alſo very pleasant and wholſome Theas, as do likewiſe the Wild Time, Bugloſſ, Mint, &c.

28. Garlick, Allium; dry towards Exceſs; and tho’ both by Spaniards and Italians, and the more Southern People, familiarly eaten, with almoſt every thing, and eſteem’d of such ſigular Vertue to help Conception, and thought a Charm againſt all Infection and Poyſon (by which it has obtain’d the Name of the Country-man’s Theriacle) we yet think it more proper for our Northern Ruſtics, especially living inUliginous and moiſt places, or ſuch as uſe the Sea: Whilſt we abſolutely forbid it entrance into our Salleting, by reaſon of its intolerable Rankneſs, and which made it ſo deteſted of old; that the eating of it was (as we read) part of the Puniſhment for ſuch as had committed the horrid’ſt Crimes. To be ſure, ’tis not for Ladies Palats, nor thoſe who court them, farther than to permit a light touch on the Diſh, with a Clovethereof, much better ſupply’d by the gentler Roccombo.

Note, That in Spain they ſometimes eat it boil’d, which taming its fierceneſs, turns it into Nouriſhment, or rather Medicine.

Ginny-Pepper, Capſicum. See Pepper.

29. Goats-beard, Trago-pogon: The Root is excellent even in Sallet, and very Nutritive, exceeding profitable for the Breaſt, and may be ſtew’d and dreſs’d as Scorzonera.

30. Hops, Lupulus: Hot and moiſt, rather Medicinal, than fit for Sallet; the Buds and young Tendrels excepted, which may be eaten raw; but more conveniently being boil’d, and cold like Aſparagus: They areDiuretic; depurate the Blood, and open Obſtructions.

31. Hyſſop, Hyſſopus; Thymus Capitatus Creticus; Majoran, Mary-gold, &c. as all hot, ſpicy Aromatics, (commonly growing in Kitchin-Gardens) are of Faculty to Comfort, and ſtrengthen; prevalent againſt Melancoly and Phlegm; Plants, like theſe, going under the Names of Pot Herbs, are much more proper for Broths and Decoctions, than the tender Sallet: Yet the Tops and Flowers reduc’d to Powder, are by ſome reſerv’d for Strewings, upon the colder Ingredients; communicating no ungrateful Fragrancy.

32. Jack-by-the-Hedge, Alliaria, or Sauce-alone; has many Medicinal Properties, and is eaten as other Sallets, eſpecially by Country People, growing wild under their Banks and Hedges.

33. Leeks, and Cibbols, Porrum; hot, and of Vertue Prolifick, ſince Latona, the Mother of Appolo long’d after them: The Welch, who eat them much, are obſerv’d to be very fruitful: They are alſo friendly to the Lungs and Stomach, being ſod in Milk; a few therefore of the ſlender and green Summities, a little ſhred, do not amiſs in Compoſition. See Onion.

34. Lettuce, Lactuca: Tho’ by Metaphor call’d Mortuorum Cibi, (to ſay nothing of Adonis and his ſad Miſtriſs) by reason of its Soporiferous quality, ever was, and ſtill continues the principal Foundation of the univerſal Tribe of Sallets; which is to Cool and Refreſh, beſides its other Properties: And therefore in ſuch high eſteem with the Ancients; that divers of the Valerian Family, dignify’d and enobled their Name with that of Lactucinii.

It is indeed of Nature more cold and moiſt than any of the reſt; yet leſs aſtringent, and ſo harmleſs that it may ſafely be eaten raw in Fevers; for it allays Heat, bridles Choler, extinguiſhes Thirſt, excites Appetite, kindly Nouriſhes, and above all repreſſes Vapours, conciliates Sleep, mitigates Pain; beſides the effect it has upon the Morals, Temperance and Chaſtity. Galen (whoſe beloved Sallet it was) from itspinguid, ſubdulcid and agreeable Nature, ſays it breeds the moſt laudable Blood. No marvel then that they were by the Ancients called Sana, by way of eminency, and ſo highly valu’d by the great Auguſtus, that attributing his Recovery of a dangerous Sickneſs to them, ’tis reported, he erected a Statue, and built an Altar to this noble Plant. And that the moſt abſtemious and excellent Emperor Tacitus (ſpending almoſt nothing at his frugal Table in other Dainties) was yet ſo great a Friend to Lettuce, that he was us’d to ſay of his Prodigality, Somnum ſe mercari illa ſumptus effuſione. How it was celebrated by Galen we have heard; how he us’d it he tells himſelf; namely, beginning with Lettuce in his younger Days, and concluding with it when he grew old, and that to his great advantage. In a word, we meet with nothing among all our crude Materials and Sallet ſtore, ſo proper to mingle with any of the reſt, nor ſo wholſome to be eaten alone, or in Compoſition, moderately, and with the uſual Oxelœum of Vinegar, Pepper, andOyl, &c. which laſt does not ſo perfectly agree with the Alphange, to which the Juice of Orange, or Limon and Sugar is more deſirable: Ariſtoxenus is reported to have irrigated his Lettuce-Beds with anOinomelite, or mixture of Wine and Honey: And certainly ’tis not for nothing that our Garden-Lovers, and Brothers of the Sallet, have been ſo exceedingly Induſtrious to cultivate this Noble Plant, and multiply its Species; for to name a few in preſent uſe: We have the Alphange of Montpelier, criſp and delicate; the Arabic; Ambervelleres; Belgrade, Cabbage, Capuchin, Coſs-Lettuce, Curl’d; the Genoa (laſting all the Winter) the Imperial, Lambs, or Agnine, and Lobbs or Lop-Lettuces. The French Minion a dwarf kind: The Oak-Leaf, Paſſion, Roman, Shell, and Sileſian, hard and crimp (eſteemed of the beſt and rareſt) with divers more: And here let it be noted, that beſides three or four ſorts of this Plant, and ſome few of the reſt, there was within our remembrance, rarely any other Salleting ſerv’d up to the beſt Tables; with unblanch’d Endive, Succory, Purſelan, (and indeed little other variety) Sugar and Vinegar being the conſtant Vehicles (without Oyl) but now Sugar is almoſt wholly baniſh’d from all, except the more effeminate Palates, as too much palling, and taking from the grateful Acid now in uſe, tho’ otherwiſe not totally to be reproved: Lettuce boil’d and Condited is ſometimes ſpoken of.

35. Limon, Limonia, citrea mala; exceedingly refreſhing, Cordial, &c. The Pulp being blended with the Juice, ſecluding the over-ſweet or bitter. See Orange.

36. Mallow, Malva; the curl’d, emollient, and friendly to the Ventricle, and ſo rather Medicinal; yet may the Tops, well boil’d, be admitted, and the reſt (tho’ out of uſe at preſent) was taken by the Poets for allSallets in general. Pythagoras held Malvæ folium Sanctiſimum; and we find Epimenides in Plato at his Mallows and Aſphodel; and indeed it was of old the firſt Diſh at Table: The Romans had it alſo in deliciis, Malvæ ſalubres corpori, approved by Galen and Dioſcorides; namely the Garden-Mallow, by others the Wild; but I think both proper rather for the Pot, than Sallet. Nonius ſuppoſes the tallRoſea, Arboreſcent Holi-hocks, that bears the broad Flower, for the beſt, and very Laxative; but by reaſon of their clammineſs and Lentor, baniſhed from our Sallet, tho’ by ſome commended and eaten withOyl and Vinegar, and ſome with Butter.

Mercury, Bonus Henricus, Engliſh Mercury, or Lapathum Unctuoſum. See Blitum.

37. Melon, Melo; to have been reckon’d rather among Fruits; and tho’ an uſual Ingredient in our Sallet; yet for its tranſcendent delicacy and flavor, cooling and exhilarating Nature (if ſweet, dry, weighty, and well-fed) not only ſuperior all the Gourd-kind, but Paragon with the nobleſt Productions of the Garden. Joſ. Scaliger and Caſaubon, think our Melon unknown to the Ancients, (which others contradict) as yet under the name of Cucumers: But he who reads how artificially they were Cultivated, rais’d under Glaſſes, and expos’d to the hot Sun, (for Tiberius) cannot well doubt of their being the ſame with ours.

There is alſo a Winter-Melon, large and with black Seeds, exceedingly Cooling, brought us from abroad, and the hotter Climates, where they drink Water after eating Melons; but in the colder (after all diſpute) Wine is judg’d the better: That it has indeed by ſome been accus’d as apt to corrupt in the Stomach (as do all things elſe eaten in exceſs) is not deny’d: But a perfect good Melon is certainly as harmleſs a Fruit as any whatſoever; and may ſafely be mingl’d with Sallet, in Pulp or Slices, or more properly eaten by it ſelf, with a little Salt and Pepper; for a Melon which requires Sugar to commend it, wants of Perfection. Note, That this Fruit was very rarely cultivated in England, ſo as to bring it to Maturity, till Sir Geo. Gardner came out of Spain. I my ſelf remembring, when an ordinary Melon would have been ſold for five or ſix Shillings. The ſmall unripe Fruit, when the others are paſt, may be Pickl’d with Mango, and are very delicate.

38. Mint, Mentha; the Anguſtifolia Spicata, Spear-Mint; dry and warm, very fragrant, a little preſs’d, is friendly to the weak Stomach, and powerful againſt all Nervous Crudities: The gentler Tops of theOrange-Mint, enter well into our Compoſition, or are grateful alone (as are alſo the other ſorts) with the Juice of Orange, and a little Sugar.

39. Muſhroms, Fungi; By the Orator call’d Terræ, by Porphyry Deorum filii, without Seed (as produc’d by the Midwifry of Autumnal Thunder-Storms, portending the Miſchief they cauſe) by the French, Champignons, with all the Species of the Boletus, &c. for being, as ſome hold, neither Root, Herb, Flower, nor Fruit, nor to be eaten crude; ſhould be therefore baniſh’d entry into our Sallet, were I to order the Compoſition; however ſo highly contended for by many, as the very principal and top of all the reſt; whilſt I think them tolerable only (at leaſt in this Climate) if being freſh and skilfully choſen, they are accommodated with the niceſt Care and Circumſpection; generally reported to have ſomething malignant and noxious in them: Nor without cauſe; from the many ſad Examples, frequent Miſchiefs, and funeſt Accidents they have produc’d, not only to particular Perſons, but whole Families: Exalted indeed they were to the ſecond Courſe of the Cæsarian Tables, with the noble Title Βρωμα θεων, a Dainty fit for theGods alone; to whom they ſent the Emperor Claudius, as they have many ſince, to the other World. But he that reads how Seneca deplores his loſt Friend, that brave Commander Annæus Serenus, and ſeveral other gallant Perſons with him, who all of them periſh’d at the same Repaſt; would be apt to ask with the Naturaliſt (ſpeaking of this ſuſpicious Dainty) Quæ voluptas tanta ancipitis cibi? and who indeed would hazard it? So true is that of the Poet; He that eats Muſhroms, many time Nil amplius edit, eats no more perhaps all his Life after. What other deterring Epithets are given for our Caution, Βαρη πνιγοεντα μυκητων, heavy and choaking. (Athenæus reporting of the Poet Euripides’s, finding a Woman and her three Children ſtrangl’d by eating of them) one would think ſufficient warning.

Among theſe comes in the Fungus Reticularis, to be found about London, as at Fulham and other places; whilſt at no ſmall charge we ſend for them into France; as we alſo do for Trufles, Pig-nuts, and other ſubterraneous Tubera, which in Italy they fry in Oyl, and eat with Pepper: They are commonly diſcovered by a Naſute Swine purpoſely brought up; being of a Cheſsnut Colour, and heady Smell, and not ſeldom found in England, particularly in a Park of my Lord Cotton’s at Ruſhton or Rusbery in Northampton-ſhire, and doubtleſs in other places too were they ſought after. How these rank and provocative Excreſcences are to be treated (of themſelves inſipid enough, and only famous for their kindly taking any Pickle or Conditure) that they may do the leſs Miſchief we might here ſet down. But ſince there be ſo many ways of Dreſſing them, that I can incourage none to uſe them, for Reaſons given (beſides that they do not at all concern our ſafer and innocent Sallet Furniture) I forbear it; and referr thoſe who long after this beloved Ragout, and other Voluptuaria Venena (as Seneca calls them) to what our Learned Dr. Lyſter ſays of the many Venomous Inſects harbouring and corrupting in a new found-out Species ofMuſhroms had lately in deliciis. Thoſe, in the mean time, which are eſteemed beſt, and leſs pernicious, (of which ſee the Appendix) are ſuch as riſe in rich, airy, and dry Paſture-Grounds; growing on the Staff or Pedicule of about an Inch thick and high; moderately Swelling (Target-like) round and firm, being underneath of a pale ſaffronish hue, curiouſly radiated in parallel Lines and Edges, which becoming either Yellow, Orange, or Black, are to be rejected: But beſides what the Harveſt-Months produce, they are likewiſe rais’d Artificially; as at Naples in their Wine-Cellars, upon an heap of rank Earth, heaped upon a certain ſuppoſed Stone, but in truth, (as the curious and noble Peireſky tells us, he found to be) nothing but an heap of old Fungus‘s, reduc’d and compacted to a ſtony hardness, upon which they lay Earth, and ſprinkle it with warm Water, in which Muſhroms have been ſteeped. And in France, by making an hot Bed of Aſſes-Dung, and when the heat is in Temper, watering it (as above) well impregnated with the Parings and Offals of refuſe Fungus‘s; and ſuch a Bed will laſt two or three Years, and ſometimes our common Melon-Beds afford them, beſides other Experiments.

40. Muſtard, Sinapi; exceeding hot and mordicant, not only in the Seed but Leaf alſo; eſpecially in Seedling young Plants, like thoſe of Radiſhes (newly peeping out of the Bed) is of incomparable effect to quicken and revive the Spirits; ſtrengthening the Memory, expelling heavineſs, preventing the Vertiginous Palſie, and is a laudable Cephalick. Beſides it is an approv’d Antiſcorbutick; aids Concoction, cuts and diſſipates Phlegmatick Humours. In ſhort, ’tis the moſt noble Embamma, and ſo neceſſary an Ingredient to all cold and raw Salleting, that it is very rarely, if at all, to be left out. In Italy in making Muſtard, they mingle Limon and Orange-Peel, with the Seeds. How the beſt is made, ſee hereafter.

Naſturtium Indicum. See Creſſes.

41. Nettles, Urtica; Hot, dry, Diuretic, Solvent; purifies the Blood: The Buds, and very tender Cimae, a little bruiſed, are by ſome eaten raw, by others boil’d, eſpecially in Spring-Pottage, with other Herbs.

42. Onion, Cepa, Porrum; the beſt are ſuch as are brought us out of Spain, whence they of St. Omers had them, and ſome that have weigh’d eight Pounds. Chooſe therefore the large, round, white, and thin Skin’d. Being eaten crude and alone with Oyl, Vinegar, and Pepper, we own them in Sallet, not ſo hot as Garlick, nor at all ſo rank: Boil’d, they give a kindly reliſh; raise Appetite, corroborate the Stomach, cut Phlegm, and profit the Aſthmatical: But eaten in exceſs, are ſaid to offend the Head and Eyes, unleſs Edulcorated with a gentle maceration. In the mean time, as to their being noxious to the Sight, is imputable only to the Vapour riſing from the raw Onion, when peeled, which ſome commend for its purging and quickning that Senſe. How they are us’d in Pottage, boil’d in Milk, stew’d, &c. concerns the Kitchin. In our cold Sallet we ſupply them with the Porrum Sectile, Tops of Leeks, and Eſchalots (Aſcalonia) of guſt more exalted, yet not to the degree of Garlick. Or (by what of later uſe is much preferr’d) with a Seed or two of Raccombo, of a yet milder and delicate nature, which by rubbing the Diſh only, imparts its Vertue agreeably enough. In Italy they frequently make a Sallet of Scalions, Cives, and Chibbols only ſeaſon’d withOyl and Pepper; and an honeſt laborious Country-man, with good Bread, Salt, and a little Parſley, will make a contented Meal with a roaſted Onion. How this noble Bulb was deified in Egypt we are told, and that whilſt they were building the Pyramids, there was ſpent in this Root Ninety Tun of Gold among the Workmen. So luſhious and tempting it ſeems they were, that as whole Nations have ſubſiſted on them alone; ſo the Iſraelites were ready to return to Slavery and Brick-making for the love of them. Indeed Hecamedes we find preſents them to Patroclus, in Homer, as a Regalo; But certainly we are either miſtaken in the Species (which ſome will have to be Melons) or uſe Poetick Licence, when we ſo highly magnify them.

43. Orach, Atriplex: Is cooling, allays the Pituit Humor: Being ſet over the Fire, neither this, nor Lettuce, needs any other Water than their own moiſture to boil them in, without Expreſſion: The tender Leaves are mingl’d with other cold Salleting; but ’tis better in Pottage. See Blitum.

44. Orange, Arantiæ (Malum aureum) Moderately dry, cooling, and inciſive; ſharpens Appetite, exceedingly refreſhes and reſists Putrefaction: We ſpeak of the Sub acid; the ſweet and bitter Orange being of no uſe in our Sallet. The Limon is ſomewhat more acute, cooling and extinguiſhing Thirſt; of all the Οξυβαφα the best ſuccedaneum to Vinegar. The very Spoils and Rinds of Orange and Limon being ſhred and ſprinkl’d among the other Herbs, correct the Acrimony. But they are the tender Seedlings from the Hot-Bed, which impart an Aromatic exceedingly grateful to the Stomach. Vide Limon.

45. Parſnep, Paſtinaca, Carrot: firſt boil’d, being cold, is of it ſelf a Winter-Sallet, eaten with Oyl, Vinegar, &c. and having ſomething of Spicy, is by ſome, thought more nouriſhing than the Turnep.

46. Peaſe, Piſum: the Pod of the Sugar-Peaſe, when firſt beginning to appear, with the Husk and Tendrels, affording a pretty Acid, enter into the Compoſition, as do thoſe of Hops and the Vine.

47. Peper, Piper, hot and dry in a high degree; of approv’d Vertue against all flatulency proceeding from cold and phlegmatic Conſtitutions, and generally all Crudities whatſoever; and therefore for being of univerſal uſe to correct and temper the cooler Herbs, and ſuch as abound in moiſture; It is a never to be omitted Ingredient of our Sallets; provided it be not too minutely beaten (as oft we find it) to an almoſt impalpable Duſt, which is very pernicious and frequently adheres and ſticks in the folds of the Stomach, where, inſtead of promoting Concoction, it often cauſes a Cardialgium, and fires the Blood: It ſhould therefore be groſly contus’d only.

Indian Capſicum, ſuperlatively hot and burning, is yet by the Africans eaten with Salt and Vinegar by it ſelf, as an uſual Condiment; but wou’d be of dangerous conſequence with us; being ſo much more of an acrimonious and terribly biting quality, which by Art and Mixture is notwithſtanding render’d not only ſafe, but very agreeable in our Sallet.

Take the Pods, and dry them well in a Pan; and when they are become ſufficiently hard, cut them into ſmall pieces, and ſtamp ’em in a Mortar to duſt: To each Ounce of which add a Pound of Wheat-flour, fermented with a little Levain: Kneed and make them into Cakes or Loaves cut long-wiſe, in ſhape of Naples-Biſcuit. Theſe Re-bake a ſecond time, till they are Stone-hard: Pound them again as before, and ferce it through a fine Sieve, for a very proper Seaſoning, inſtead of vulgar Peper. The Mordicancy thus allay’d, be ſure to make the Mortar very clean, after having beaten Indian Capſicum, before you ſtamp any thing in it elſe. The green Husks, or firſt peeping Buds of the Walnut-Tree, dry’d to Powder, ſerve for Peper in ſome places, and ſo do Myrtle-berries.

48. Perſley, Petroſelinum, or Apium hortenſe; being hot and dry, opens Obſtructions, is very Diuretic, yet nouriſhing, edulcorated in ſhifted warm Water (the Roots eſpecially) but of leſs Vertue thanAlexanders; nor ſo convenient in our crude Sallet, as when decocted on a Medicinal Account. Some few tops of the tender Leaves may yet be admitted; tho’ it was of old, we read, never brought to the Table at all, as ſacred to Oblivium and the Defunct. In the mean time, there being nothing more proper for Stuffing, (Farces) and other Sauces, we conſign it to the Olitories. Note, that Perſley is not ſo hurtful to the Eyes as is reported. See Sellery.

49. Pimpernel, Pimpinella; eaten by the French and Italians, is our common Burnet; of ſo chearing and exhilarating a quality, and ſo generally commended, as (giving it admittance into all Sallets) ’tis paſs’d into a Proverb:

L’Inſalata non è buon, ne bella

Ove non è la Pimpinella.

But a freſh ſprig in Wine, recommends it to us as its moſt genuine Element.

50. Purslain, Portulaca; eſpecially the Golden whilſt tender, next the Seed-leaves, with the young Stalks, being eminently moiſt and cooling, quickens Appetite, aſſwages Thirſt, and is very profitable for hot and Bilious Tempers, as well as Sanguine, and generally entertain’d in all our Sallets, mingled with the hotter Herbs: Tis likewiſe familiarly eaten alone with Oyl and Vinegar; but with moderation, as having been ſometimes found to corrupt in the Stomach, which being Pickl’d ’tis not ſo apt to do. Some eat it cold, after it has been boil’d, which Dr. Muffet would have in Wine, for Nouriſhment.

The Shrub Halimus, is a ſort of Sea-Purſlain: The newly peeping Leaves (tho’ rarely us’d) afford a no unpleaſant Acidule, even during winter, if it prove not too ſevere.

Purſlain is accus’d for being hurtful to the Teeth, if too much eaten.

51. Radiſh, Raphanus. Albeit rather Medicinal, than ſo commendably accompanying our Sallets (wherein they often ſlice the larger Roots) are much inferior to the young Seedling Leaves and Roots; raiſed on the Monthly Hot-Bed, almoſt the whole Year round, affording a very grateful mordacity, and ſufficiently attempers the cooler Ingredients: The bigger Roots (ſo much desir’d) ſhould be ſuch as being tranſparent, eat ſhort and quick, without ſtringineſs, and not too biting. Theſe are eaten alone with Salt only, as carrying their Peper in them; and were indeed by Dioſcorides and Pliny celebrated above all Roots whatſoever; inſomuch as in the Delphic Temple, there was Raphanus ex auro dicatus, a Radish of ſolid Gold; and ’tis ſaid of Moſchius, that he wrote a whole Volume in their praiſe. Notwithſtanding all which, I am ſure, the great Hippocrates utterly condemns them, as Vitioſoe, innatantes ac aegre concoctiles. And the Naturaliſt calls it Cibus Illiberalis, fitter for Ruſtics than Gentlemens Tables. And indeed (beſides that they decay the Teeth) experience tells us, that as the Prince of Phyſicians writes, It is hard of Digeſtion, Inimicous to the Stomach, cauſing nauſeous Eructations, and ſometimes Vomiting, tho’ otherwiſeDiuretic, and thought to repel the Vapours of Wine, when the Wits were at their genial Club. Dioſcorides and Galen differ about their Eating; One preſcribes it before Meals, the latter for after. Some macerate the young Roots in warm milk, to render them more Nouriſhing.

There is a Raphanus ruſticanus, the Spaniſh black Horſe Radish, of a hotter quality, and not ſo friendly to the Head; but a notable Antiſcorbutic, which may be eaten all the Winter, and on that account an excellent Ingredient in the Compoſition of Muſtard; as are alſo the thin Shavings, mingled with our cold Herbs. And now before I have done with this Root, for an excellent and univerſal Condiment. TakeHorſe-Radiſh, whilſt newly drawn out of the Earth, otherwiſe laid to ſteep in Water a competent time; then grate it on a Grater which has no bottom, that ſo it may paſs thro’, like a Mucilage, into a Diſh of Earthen Ware: This temper’d with Vinegar, in which a little Sugar has been diſſolv’d, you have a Sauce ſupplying Muſtard to the Sallet, and ſerving likewiſe for any Diſh beſides.

52. Rampion, Rapunculus, or the Eſculent Campanula: The tender Roots eaten in the Spring, like thoſe of Radiſhes, but much more Nouriſhing.

53. Rocket, Eruca Spaniſh; hot and dry, to be qualified with Lettuce, Purcelain, and the reſt, &c. See Tarragon.

Roccombo. See Onions.

54. Roſemary, Roſmarinus; Soverainly Cephalic, and for the Memory, Sight, and Nerves, incomparable: And tho’ not us’d in the Leaf with our Sallet furniture, yet the Flowers, a little bitter, are always welcome in Vinegar; but above all, a freſh Sprig or two in a Glaſs of Wine. See Flowers.

55. Sage, Salvia; hot and dry. The tops of the Red, well pick’d and waſh’d (being often defil’d with Venomous Slime, and almoſt imperceptible Inſects) with the Flowers, retain all the noble Properties of the other hot Plants; more eſpecially for the Head, Memory, Eyes, and all Paralytical Affections. In ſhort, ’tis a Plant endu’d with ſo many and wonderful Properties, as that the aſſiduous uſe of it is ſaid to render Men Immortal: We cannot therefore but allow the tender Summities of the young Leaves; but principally the Flowers in our cold Sallet; yet ſo as not to domineer.

Salſifax, Scorzonera. See Vipergraſs.

56. Sampier, Crithmum: That growing on the Sea-Cliffs (as about Dover, &c.) not only Pickl’d, but crude and cold, when young and tender (and ſuch as we may Cultivate, and have in our Kitchin-Gardens, almoſt the Year round) is in my Opinion, for its Aromatic, and other excellent Vertues and Effects againſt the Spleen, Cleanſing the Paſſages, ſharpning Appetite, &c. ſo far preferrable to moſt of our hotter Herbs, and Sallet-Ingredients, that I have long wonder’d, it has not been long ſince propagated in the Potagere, as it is in France; from whence I have often receiv’d the Seeds, which have proſper’d better, and more kindly with me, than what comes from our own Coaſts: It does not indeed Pickle ſo well, as being of a more tender Stalk and Leaf: But in all other reſpects for compoſing Sallets, it has nothing like it.

57. Scalions, Aſcalonia, Cepæ; The French call them Appetites, which it notably quickens and ſtirs up: Corrects Crudities, and promotes Concoction. The Italians ſteep them in Water, mince, and eat them cold with Oyl, Vinegar, Salt, &c.

58. Scurvy-graſs, Cochlearia, of the Garden, but eſpecially that of the Sea, is ſharp, biting, and hot; of Nature like Naſturtium, prevalent in the Scorbute. A few of the tender Leaves may be admitted in our Compoſition. See Naſturtium Indicum.

59. Sellery, Apium Italicum, (and of the Petroſeline Family) was formerly a ſtranger with us (nor very long ſince in Italy) is an hot and more generous ſort of Macedonian Perſley, or Smallage. The tender Leaves of the Blancht Stalk do well in our Sallet, as likewiſe the ſlices of the whiten’d Stems, which being crimp and ſhort, firſt peel’d and ſlit long wiſe, are eaten with Oyl, Vinegar, Salt, and Peper; and for its high and grateful Taste, is ever plac’d in the middle of the Grand Sallet, at our Great Mens Tables, and Prætors Feaſts, as the Grace of the whole Board. Caution is to be given of a ſmall red Worm, often lurking in theſe Stalks, as does the green in Fennil.

Shallots. See Onion.

60. Skirrets, Siſarum; hot and moiſt, corroborating, and good for the Stomach, exceedingly nouriſhing, wholſome and delicate; of all the Root-kind, not ſubject to be Windy, and ſo valued by the EmperorTiberius, that he accepted them for Tribute.

This excellent Root is ſeldom eaten raw; but being boil’d, ſtew’d, roaſted under the Embers, bak’d in Pies, whole, ſliced, or in pulp, is very acceptable to all Palates. ‘Tis reported they were heretofore ſomething bitter; See what Culture and Education effects!

61. Sorrel, Acetoſa: of which there are divers kinds. The French Acetocella, with the round Leaf, growing plentifully in the North of England; Roman Oxalis; the broad German, &c. but the beſt is of Green-Land: by nature cold, Abſterſive, Acid, ſharpning Appetite, aſſwages Heat, cools the Liver, ſtrengthens the Heart; is an Antiſcorbutic, reſiſting Putrefaction, and imparting ſo grateful a quickneſs to the reſt, as ſupplies the want of Orange, Limon, and other Omphacia, and therefore never to be excluded. Vide Wood-Sorrel.

62. Sow-thiſtle, Sonchus; of the Intybus-kind. Galen was us’d to eat it as Lettuce; exceedingly welcome to the late Morocco. Ambaſſador and his Retinue.

63. Sparagus, Aſparagus (ab Aſperitate) temperately hot, and moiſt; Cordial, Diuretic, eaſie of Digeſtion, and next to Fleſh, nothing more nourishing, as Sim. Sethius, an excellent Phyſician holds. They are ſometimes, but very ſeldom, eaten raw with Oyl, and Vinegar; but with more delicacy (the bitterneſs firſt exhauſted) being ſo ſpeedily boil’d, as not to loſe the verdure and agreeable tenderneſs; which is done by letting the Water boil, before you put them in. I do not eſteem the Dutch great and larger ſort (eſpecially rais’d by the rankneſs of the Beds) ſo ſweet and agreeable, as thoſe of a moderate ſize.

64. Spinach, Spinachia: of old not us’d in Sallets, and the oftner kept out the better; I ſpeak of the crude: But being boil’d to a Pult, and without other Water than its own moiſture, is a moſt excellent Condiment with Butter, Vinegar, or Limon, for almoſt all ſorts of boil’d Fleſh, and may accompany a Sick Man’s Diet. ‘Tis Laxative and Emollient, and therefore profitable for the Aged, and (tho’ by original aSpaniard) may be had at almoſt any Season, and in all places.

Stone-Crop, Sedum Minus. See Trick-Madame.

65. Succory, Cichorium, an Intube; erratic and wild, with a narrow dark Leaf, different from the Sative, tho’ probably by culture only; and for being very bitter, a little edulcorated with Sugar and Vinegar, is by ſome eaten in the Summer, and more grateful to the Stomach than the Palate. See Endive.

66. Tansy, Tanacetum; hot and cleanſing; but in regard of its domineering reliſh, ſparingly mixt with our cold Sallet, and much fitter (tho’ in very ſmall quantity) for the Pan, being qualified with the Juices of other freſh Herbs, Spinach, Green Corn, Violet, Primrose-Leaves, &c. at entrance of the Spring, and then fried browniſh, is eaten hot with the Juice of Orange and Sugar, as one of the moſt agreeable of all the boil’d Herbaceous Diſhes.

67. Tarragon, Draco Herba, of Spaniſh Extraction; hot and ſpicy: The Tops and young Shoots, like thoſe of Rochet, never to be ſecluded our Compoſition, eſpecially where there is much Lettuce. ‘Tis highly cordial and friendly to the Head, Heart, Liver, correcting the weakneſs of the Ventricle, &c.

68. Thiſtle, Carduus Mariæ; our Lady’s milky or dappl’d Thiſtle, diſarm’d of its Prickles, is worth eſteem: The young Stalk about May, being peel’d and ſoak’d in Water, to extract the bitterneſs, boil’d or raw, is a very wholſome Sallet, eaten with Oyl, Salt, and Peper; ſome eat them ſodden in proper Broath, or bak’d in Pies, like the Artichoak; but the tender Stalk boil’d or fry’d, ſome preferr; both Nouriſhing and Reſtorative.

69. Trick-Madame, Sedum minus, Stone-Crop; is cooling and moiſt, grateful to the Stomach. The Cimata and Tops, when young and tender, dreſs’d as Purſelane, is a frequent Ingredient in our cold Sallet.

70. Turnep, Rapum; moderately hot and moiſt: Napus; the long Navet is certainly the moſt delicate of them, and best Nouriſhing. Pliny ſpeaks of no fewer than ſix ſorts, and of ſeveral Colours; ſome of which were ſuspected to be artificially tinged. But with us, the yellow is preferr’d; by others the red Bohemian. But of whatever kind, being ſown upon the Hot-bed, and no bigger than ſeedling Radiſh, they do excellently in Compoſition; as do alſo the Stalks of the common Turnep, when firſt beginning to Bud.

And here ſhould not be forgotten, that wholſome, as well as agreeable ſort of Bread, we are taught to make; and of which we have eaten at the greateſt Perſons Tables, hardly to be distinguiſh’d from the beſt of Wheat.

Let the Turneps firſt be peel’d, and boil’d in Water till ſoft and tender; then ſtrongly preſſing out the Juice, mix them together, and when dry (beaten or pounded very fine) with their weight of Wheat-Meal, ſeaſon it as you do other Bread, and knead it up; then letting the Dough remain a little to ferment, faſhion the Paſte into Loaves, and bake it like common Bread.

Some roaſt Turneps in a Paper under the Embers, and eat them with Sugar and Butter.

71. Vine, Vitis, the Capreols, Tendrels, and Claſpers (like thoſe of the Hop, &c.) whilſt very young, have an agreeable Acid, which may be eaten alone, or with other Sallet.

72. Viper-graſs, Tragopogon, Scorzonera, Salſifex, &c. tho’ Medicinal, and excellent againſt the Palpitation of the Heart, Faintings, Obſtruction of the Bowels, &c. are beſides a very ſweet and pleaſantSallet; being laid to ſoak out the bitterneſs, then peel’d, may be eaten raw, or Condited; but beſt of all ſtew’d with Marrow, Spice, Wine, &c. as Artichoak, Skirrets, &c. ſliced or whole. They likewiſe may bake, fry, or boil them; a more excellent Root there is hardly growing.

73. Wood-Sorrel, Trifolium acetoſum, or Alleluja, of the nature of other Sorrels.

To all which might we add ſundry more, formerly had in deliciis, ſince grown obſolete or quite neglected with us: As among the nobleſt Bulbs, that of the Tulip; a Root of which has been valued not to eat, but for the Flower (and yet eaten by miſtake) at more than an hundred Pounds. The young freſh Bulbs are ſweet and high of taſte. The Aſphodil or Daffodil; a Sallet ſo rare in Heſiod’s Days, that Lobel thinks it the Parſnep, tho’ not at all like it; however it was (with the Mallow) taken anciently for any Edule-Root.

The Ornithogalons roaſted, as they do Cheſtnuts, are eaten by the Italians, the wild yellow eſpecially, with Oyl, Vinegar, and Peper. And ſo the ſmall tuberous Roots of Gramen Amygdaloſum; which they alſo roaſt, and make an Emulſion of, to uſe in Broaths as a great Reſtorative. The Oxylapathum, us’d of old; in the time of Galen was eaten frequently. As alſo Dracontium, with the Mordicant Arum Theophraſti, which Dodonæus teaches how to Dreſs. Nay, divers of the Satyrions, which ſome condited with Sugar, others boil’d in Milk for a great Nouriſher, now diſcarded. But what think we of the Cicuta, which there are who reckon among Sallet Herbs? But whatever it is in any other Country, ’tis certainly Mortiferous in ours. To these add the Viola Matronalis, Radix Lunaria, &c. nay, the Green Poppy, by most accounted among the deadly Poyſons: How cautious then ought our Sallet-Gatherers to be, in reading ancient Authors; leſt they happen to be impos’d on, where they treat of Plants, that are familiarly eaten in other Countries, and among other Nations and People of more robuſt and ſtrong conſtitutions? beſsides the hazard of being miſtaken in the Names of divers Simples, not as yet fully agreed upon among the Learned in Botany.

There are beſsides ſeveral remaining, which tho’ Abdicated here with us, find Entertainment ſtill in Foreign Countries: As the large Heliotrope and Sun-flower (e’re it comes to expand, and ſhew its golden Face) which being dreſs’d as the Artichoak, is eaten for a dainty. This I add as a new Diſcovery. I once made Macaroons with the ripe blanch’d Seeds, but the Turpentine did ſo domineer over all, that it did not anſwer expectation. The Radix Perſonata mounting with their young Heads, Lyſimachia ſiliquoſa glabra minor, when freſh and tender, begins to come into the Sallet-Tribe. The pale whiter Popy, is eaten by the Genoueſe. By the Spaniards, the tops of Wormwood with Oyl alone, and without ſo much as Bread; profitable indeed to the Stomach, but offenſive to the Head; As is alſo Coriander and Rue, which Galenwas accuſtom’d to eat raw, and by it ſelf, with Oyl and Salt, as exceedingly grateful, as well as wholſome, and of great vertue againſt Infection. Pliny, I remember, reports it to be of ſuch effect for the Preſervation of Sight; that the Painters of his Time, us’d to devour a great quantity of it. And it is ſtill by the Italians frequently mingled among their Sallets. The Lapatha Perſonata (common Burdock) comes now and then to the beſt Tables, about April, and when young, before the Burrs and Clots appear, being ſtrip’d, and the bitterneſs ſoaked out, treated as the Chardoon, is eaten in Poiverade; Some alſo boil them. More might here be reckon’d up, but theſe may ſuffice; ſince as we find ſome are left off, and gone out, ſo others be introduc’d and come in their room, and that in much greater Plenty and Variety, than was ever known by our Ancestors. The Cucumber it ſelf, now ſo univerſally eaten, being accounted little better than Poyſon, even within our Memory, as already noted.

To conclude, and after all that has been ſaid of Plants and Salleting, formerly in great eſteem, (but ſince obſolete and quite rejected); What if the exalted Juice of the ancient Silphium ſhould come in, and challenge the Precedency? It is a Plant formerly ſo highly priz’d, and rare for the richneſs of its Taſte and other Vertues; that as it was dedicated to Apollo, and hung up in his Temple at Delphi; So we read of one ſingle Root brought to the Emperor Nero for an extraordinary Preſent; and the Drug ſo eſteem’d, that the Romans had long before amaſs’d a quantity of it, and kept it in the Treaſury, till Julius Cæſar rob’d it, and took this away, as a thing of mighty value: In a word, it was of that Account; that as a ſacred Plant, thoſe of the Cyrenaic Africa, honour’d the very Figure of it, by ſtamping it on the Reverſe of their Coin; and when they would commend a thing for its worth to the Skies, Βατ-ου σιλφιον, grew into a Proverb: Battus having been the Founder of the City Cyrene, near which it only grew. ‘Tis indeed conteſted among the Learned Botanoſophiſts, whether this Plant was not the ſame with Laſerpitium, and the Laſer it yields, the odoriferous Benzoin? But doubtleſs had we the true and genuine Silphium (for it appears to have been often ſophiſticated, and a ſpurious ſort brought into Italy) it would ſoon recover its priſtine Reputation, and that it was not celebrated ſo for nothing extraordinary; ſince beſsides its Medicinal Vertue; it was a wonderful Corroborater of the Stomach, a Reſtorer of loſt Appetite, and Maſculine Vigour, &c. and that they made uſe of it almoſt in every thing they eat.

But ſhould we now really tell the World, that this precious Juice is, by many, thought to be no other than the Faetid Aſſa our nicer Sallet-Eaters (who yet beſtow as odious an Epithet on the vulgar Garlick) would cry out upon it as intolerable, and perhaps hardly believe it: But as Ariſtophanes has brought it in, and ſufficiently deſcrib’d it; ſo the Scholiaſt upon the place, puts it out of Controverſy: And that they made uſe both of the Leaves, Stalk, (and Extract eſpecially) as we now do Garlick, and other Hautgouts as nauſeous altogether. In the mean time, Garcius, Bontius, and others, aſſure us, that the Indians at this day univerſally ſauce their Viands with it; and the Bramins (who eat no Fleſh at all) inrich their Sallets, by constantly rubbing the Diſhes with it. Nor are ſome of our own ſkilful Cooks Ingnorant, how to condite and uſe it, with the Applauſe of thoſe, who, ignorant of the Secret, have admir’d the richneſs of the Guſt it has imparted, when it has been ſubſtituted inſtead of all our Cipollati, and other ſeaſonings of that Nature.

And thus have we done with the various Species of all ſuch Eſculents as may properly enter the Compoſition of our Acetaria, and cold Sallet. And if I have briefly touch’d upon their Natures, Degrees, andprimary Qualities, which Intend or Remit, as to the Scale of Heat, Cold, Drineſs, Moiſture, &c. (which is to be underſtood according to the different Texture of their component Particles) it has not been without what I thought neceſſary for the Inſtruction of the Gatherer, and Sallet-Dreſſer; how he ought to chooſe, ſort, and mingle his Materials and Ingredients together.

What Care and Circumſpection ſhould attend the choice and collection of Sallet Herbs, has been partly ſhew’d. I can therefore, by no means, approve of that extravagant Fancy of ſome, who tell us, that aFool is as fit to be the Gatherer of a Sallet as a Wiſer Man. Becauſe, ſay they, one can hardly chooſe amiſs, provided the Plants be green, young, and tender, where-ever they meet with them: But ſad experience ſhews, how many fatal Miſtakes have been committed by thoſe who took the deadly Cicutæ, Hemlocks, Aconits, &c. for Garden Perſley, and Parſneps; the Myrrhis Sylveſtris, or Cow-Weed, for Chaerophilum, (Chervil) Thapſia for Fennel; the wild Chondrilla for Succory; Dogs-Mercury inſtead of Spinach: Papaver Corniculatum Luteum, and horn’d Poppy for Eringo; Oenanthe aquatica for the Paluſtral Apium, and a world more, whoſe dire effects have been many times ſudden Death, and the cause of Mortal Accidents to thoſe who have eaten of them unwittingly: But ſuppoſing ſome of thoſe wild and unknown Plants ſhould not prove ſo deleterious and unwholſome; yet may others of them annoy the Head, Brain, and Genus Nervoſum, weaken the Eyes, offend the Stomach, affect the Liver, torment the Bowels, and diſcover their malignity in dangerous and dreadful Symptoms. And therefore ſuch Plants as are rather Medicinal than Nouriſhing and Refreſhing, are ſtudiouſly to be rejected. So highly neceſſary it is, that what we ſometimes find in old Books concerning Edules of other Countries and Climates (frequently call’d by the Names of ſuch as are wholſome in ours, and among us) miſlead not the unskilful Gatherer; to prevent which we read of divers Popes and Emperors, that had ſometimes Learned Phyſicians for their Maſter-Cooks. I cannot therefore but exceedingly approve of that charitable Advice of Mr. Ray (Tranſact. Num. 238.) who thinks it the Intereſt of Mankind, that all Perſons ſhould be caution’d of advent’ring upon unknown Herbs and Plants to their Prejudice: Of ſuch, I ſay, with our excellent Poet (a little chang’d)

Happy from ſuch conceal’d, if ſtill do lie,

Of Roots and Herbs the unwholſome Luxury.

The Illuſtrious and Learned Columna has, by obſerving what Inſects did uſually feed on, make Conjectures of the Nature of the Plants. But I ſhould not ſo readily adventure upon it on that account, as to its wholſomneſs: For tho’ indeed one may ſafely eat of a Peach or Abricot, after a Snail has been Taſter, I queſtion whether it might be ſo of all other Fruits and Herbs attack’d by other Inſects: Nor would one conclude, the Hyoſcyamus harmleſs, because the Cimex feeds upon it, as the Learned Dr. Lyſter has diſcover’d. Notice ſhould therefore be taken what Eggs of Inſects are found adhering to the Leaves of Sallet-Herbs, and frequently cleave ſo firmly to them, as not eaſily to be waſh’d off, and ſo not being taken notice of, paſſing for accidental and harmleſs Spots only, may yet produce very ill effects.

Grillus, who according to the Doctrine of Tranſmigration (as Plutarch tells us) had, in his turn, been a Beaſt; diſcourſes how much better he fed, and liv’d, than when he was turn’d to Man again, as knowing then, what Plants were beſt and moſt proper for him: Whilſt Men, Sarcophagiſts (Fleſh-Eaters) in all this time were yet to ſeek. And ’tis indeed very evident, that Cattel, and other πανφαγα, and herbaceousAnimals which feed on Plants, are directed by their Smell, and accordingly make election of their Food: But Men (beſsides the Smell and Taſte) have, or ſhould have, Reaſon, Experience, and the Aids ofNatural Philoſophy to be their Guides in this Matter. We have heard of Plants, that (like the Baſilisk) kill and infect by looking on them only; and ſome by the touch. The truth is, there’s need of all the Senſes to determine Analogically concerning the Vertues and Properties, even of the Leaves alone of many Edule Plants: The moſt eminent Principles of near the whole Tribe of Sallet Vegetables, inclining rather toAcid and Sowre than to any other quality, eſpecially, Salt, Sweet, or Luſcious. There is therefore Skill and Judgment requir’d, how to ſuit and mingle our Sallet-Ingredients, ſo as may beſt agree with the Conſtitution of the (vulgarly reputed) Humors of thoſe who either ſtand in need of, or affect theſe Refreſhments, and by ſo adjuſting them, that as nothing ſhould be ſuffer’d to domineer, ſo ſhould none of them loſe their genuine Guſt, Savour, or Vertue. To this end,

The Cooler, and moderately refreſhing, ſhould be choſen to extinguiſh Thirſt, attemper the Blood, repreſs Vapours, &c.

The Hot, Dry, Aromatic, Cordial and friendly to the Brain, may be qualify’d by the Cold and Moiſt: The Bitter and Stomachical, with the Sub-acid and gentler Herbs: The Mordicant and pungent, and ſuch as repreſs or diſcuſs Flatulency (revive the Spirits, and aid Concoction;) with ſuch as abate, and take off the keenneſs, mollify and reconcile the more harſh and churliſh: The mild and inſipid, animated withpiquant and brisk: The Aſtringent and Binders, with ſuch as are Laxative and Deobſtruct: The over-ſluggish, raw, and unactive, with thoſe that are Eupeptic, and promote Concoction: There are Pectorals for the Breaſt and Bowels. Thoſe of middle Nature, according as they appear to be more or leſs Specific; and as their Characters (tho’ briefly) are deſcrib’d in our foregoing Catalogue: For notwithſtanding it ſeem in general, that raw Sallets and Herbs have experimentally been found to be the most ſoveraign Diet in that Endemial (and indeed with us, Epidemical and almoſt univerſal) Contagion the Scorbute, to which we of this Nation, and moſt other Ilanders are obnoxious; yet, ſince the Naſturtia are ſingly, and alone as it were, the moſt effectual, and powerful Agents in conquering and expugning that cruel Enemy; it were enough to give the Sallet-Dreſſer direction how to chooſe, mingle, and proportion his Ingredients; as well as to ſhew what Remedies there are contain’d in our Magazine of Sallet-Plants upon all Occaſions, rightly marſhal’d and skilfully apply’d. So as (with our ſweet Cowley)

If thro’ the ſtrong and beauteous Fence

Of Temperance and Innocence,

And wholſome Labours, and a quiet Mind,

Diſeaſes paſſage find;

They muſt not think here to aſſail

A Land unarm’d, or without Guard,

They muſt fight for it, and diſpute it hard,

Before they can prevail;

Scarce any Plant is uſed here,

Which ‘gainſt ſome Aile a Weapon does not bear.

We have ſaid how neceſſary it is, that in the Compoſure of a Sallet, every Plant ſhould come in to bear its part, without being over-power’d by ſome Herb of a ſtronger Taſte, ſo as to endanger the native Saporand vertue of the reſt; but fall into their places, like the Notes in Muſic, in which there ſhould be nothing harſh or grating: And tho’ admitting ſome Diſcords (to diſtinguiſh and illuſtrate the reſt) ſtriking in the more ſprightly, and ſometimes gentler Notes, reconcile all Diſſonancies, and melt them into an agreeable Compoſition. Thus the Comical Maſter-Cook, introduc’d by Damoxenus, when asked πως εσις αυτοις ονμφονια; What Harmony there was in Meats? The very ſame (ſays he) that a Diateſſaron, Diapente, and Diapaſon have one to another in a Conſort of Muſic: And that there was as great care requir’d, not to mingle Sapores minime conſentientes, jarring and repugnant Taſtes; looking upon him as a lamentable Ignorant, who ſhould be no better vers’d in Democritus. The whole Scene is very diverting, as Athenæuspreſents it; and to the ſame ſenſe Macrobius, Saturn. lib. I. cap. I. In ſhort, the main Skill of the Artiſt lies in this:

What choice to chooſe, for delicacy beſt;

What Order ſo contriv’d, as not to mix

Taſtes not well join’d, inelegant, but bring

Taſte after Taſte, upheld by kindlieſt change.

As our Paradiſian Bard introduces Eve, dreſſing of a Sallet for her Angelical Gueſt.

Thus, by the diſcreet choice and mixture of the Oxoleon (Oyl, Vinegar, Salt, &c.) the Compoſition is perfect; ſo as neither the Prodigal, Niggard, nor Inſipid, ſhould (according to the Italian Rule) preſcribe in my Opinion; ſince One may be too profuſe, the Other over-ſaving, and the Third (like himſelf) give it no Reliſh at all: It may be too ſharp, if it exceed a grateful Acid; too Inſulſe and flat, if the Profuſion be extream. From all which it appears, that a Wiſe-Man is the proper Compoſer of an excellent Sallet, and how many Tranſcendences belong to an accompliſh’d Sallet-Dreſſer, ſo as to emerge an exact Criticindeed, He ſhould be skill’d in the Degrees, Terms, and various Species of Taſtes, according to the Scheme ſet us down in the Tables of the Learned Dr. Grew, to which I refer the Curious.

‘Tis moreover to be conſider’d, that Edule Plants are not in all their Taſtes and Vertues alike: For as Providence has made us to conſiſt of different Parts and Members, both Internal and External; ſo require they different Juices to nouriſh and ſupply them: Wherefore the force and activity of ſome Plants lie in the Root; and even the Leaves of ſome Bitter-Roots are ſweet, and è contra. Of others, in the Stem, Leaves,Buds, Flowers, &c. Some exert their Vigour without Decoction; others being a little preſs’d or contus’d; others again Raw, and beſt in Conſort; ſome alone, and per ſe without any σκενασια, Preparation, or Mixture at all. Care therefore muſt be taken by the Collector, that what he gathers anſwer to theſe Qualities; and that as near as he can, they conſiſt (I ſpeak of the cruder Salleting) of the Oluſcula, and ex foliis pubeſcentibus, or (as Martial calls them) Prototomi rudes, and very tendereſt Parts Gems, young Buds, and even firſt Rudiments of their ſeveral Plants; ſuch as we ſometimes find in the Craws of the Wood-Culver, Stock-Dove, Partridge, Pheaſants, and other Upland Fowl, where we have a natural Sallet, pick’d, and almoſt dreſs’d to our hands.

I. Preparatory to the Dreſſing therefore, let your Herby Ingredients be exquiſitely cull’d, and cleans’d of all worm-eaten, ſlimy, canker’d, dry, ſpotted, or any ways vitiated Leaves. And then that they be rather diſcreetly ſprinkl’d, than over-much ſob’d with Spring-Water, eſpecially Lettuce, which Dr. Muffet thinks impairs their Vertue; but this, I ſuppoſe he means of the Cabbage-kind, whoſe heads are ſufficiently protected by the outer Leaves which cover it. After waſhing, let them remain a while in the Cullender, to drain the ſuperfluous moiſture: And laſtly, ſwing them altogether gently in a clean courſe Napkin; and ſo they will be in perfect condition to receive the Intinctus following.

II. That the Oyl, an Ingredient ſo indiſpenſibly and highly neceſſary, as to have obtain’d the name of Cibarium (and with us of Sallet-Oyl) be very clean, not high-colour’d, nor yellow; but with an Eye rather of a pallid Olive green, without Smell, or the leaſt touch of rancid, or indeed of any other ſensible Taſte or Scent at all; but ſmooth, light, and pleaſant upon the Tongue; ſuch as the genuine Omphacine, and native Luca Olives afford, fit to allay the tartneſs of Vinegar, and other Acids, yet gently to warm and humectate where it paſſes. Some who have an averſion to Oyl, ſubſtitute freſh Butter in its ſtead; but ’tis ſo exceedingly clogging to the Stomach, as by no means to be allow’d.

III. Thirdly, That the Vinegar and other liquid Acids, perfectly clear, neither ſowre, Vapid or ſpent; be of the beſt Wine Vinegar, whether Diſtill’d, or otherwiſe Aromatiz’d, and impregnated with the Infuſion of Clove-gillyflowers, Elder, Roſes, Roſemary, Naſturtium, &c. inrich’d with the Vertues of the Plant.

A Verjuice not unfit for Sallet, is made by a Grape of that Name, or the green immature Cluſters of moſt other Grapes, preſs’d and put into a ſmall Veſſel to ferment.

IV. Fourthly, That the Salt (aliorum Condimentorum Condimentum, as Plutarch calls it) deterſive, penetrating, quickning (and ſo great a reſiſter of Putrefaction, and univerſal uſe, as to have ſometimes merited Divine Epithets) be of the brighteſt Bay grey-Salt; moderately dried, and contus’d, as being the leaſt Corroſive: But of this, as of Sugar alſo, which ſome mingle with the Salt (as warming without heating) if perfectly refin’d, there would be no great difficulty; provided none, ſave Ladies, were of the Meſs; whilſt the perfection of Sallets, and that which gives them the name, conſiſts in the grateful Saline Acid-point, temper’d as is directed, and which we find to be moſt eſteem’d by judicious Palates: Some, in the mean time, have been ſo nice, and luxuriouſly curious as for the heightning, and (as they affect to ſpeak) giving the utmoſt poinant and Relevèe in lieu of our vulgar Salt, to recommend and cry-up the Eſſential-Salts and Spirits of the moſt Sanative Vegetables; or ſuch of the Alcalizate and Fixt; extracted from the Calcination of Baulm, Roſemary, Wormwood, Scurvy-graſs, &c. Affirming that without the groſs Plant, we might have healing, cooling, generous, and refreſhing Cordials, and all the Materia Medicaout of the Salt-Cellar only: But to ſay no more of this Impertinence, as to Salts of Vegetables; many indeed there be, who reckon them not much unlike in Operation, however different in Taſte, Cryſtals, andFigure: It being a queſtion, whether they at all retain the Vertues and Faculties of their Simples, unleſs they could be made without Colcination. Franciſcus Redi, gives us his Opinion of this, in a Proceſs how they are to be prepar’d; and ſo does our Learned Doctor (whom we lately nam’d) whether Lixivial, Eſſential, Marine, or other factitious Salts of Plants, with their Qualities, and how they differ: But ſince ’tis thought all Fixed Salts made the common way, are little better than our common Salt, let it ſuffice, that our Sallet-Salt be of the beſt ordinary Bay-Salt, clean, bright, dry, and without clamineſs.

Of Sugar (by ſome call’d Indian-Salt) as it is rarely us’d in Sallet, it ſhould be of the beſt refined, white, hard, cloſe, yet light and ſweet as the Madera’s: Nouriſhing, preſerving, cleanſing, delighting the Taſte, and preferrable to Honey for moſt uſes. Note, That both this, Salt, and Vinegar, are to be proportion’d to the Conſtitution, as well as what is ſaid of the Plants themſelves. The one for cold, the other for hot stomachs.

V. That the Muſtard (another noble Ingredient) be of the beſt Tewksberry; or elſe compos’d of the ſoundest and weightieſt Yorkſhire Seed, exquiſitely ſifted, winnow’d, and freed from the Husks, a little (not over-much) dry’d by the Fire, temper’d to the conſiſtence of a Pap with Vinegar, in which ſhavings of the Horſe-Radiſh have been ſteep’d: Then cutting an Onion, and putting it into a ſmall Earthen Gally-Pot, or ſome thick Glaſs of that ſhape; pour the Muſtard over it, and cloſe it very well with a Cork. There be, who preſerve the Flower and Duſt of the bruiſed Seed in a well-ſtopp’d Glaſs, to temper, and have it freſh when they pleaſe. But what is yet by ſome eſteem’d beyond all theſe, is compos’d of the dried Seeds of the Indian Naſturtium, reduc’d to Powder, finely bolted, and mixt with a little Levain, and ſo from time to time made freſh, as indeed all other Muſtard ſhould be.

Note, That the Seeds are pounded in a Mortar; or bruis’d with a poliſh’d Cannon-Bullet, in a large wooden Bowl-Diſh, or which is moſt preferr’d, ground in a Quern contriv’d for this purpoſe only.

VI. Sixthly, That the Pepper (white or black) be not bruis’d to too ſmall a Duſt; which, as we caution’d, is very prejudicial. And here let me mention the Root of the Minor Pimpinella, or ſmall Burnet Saxifrage; which being dried, is by ſome extoll’d beyond all other Peppers, and more wholſom.

Of other Strewings and Aromatizers, which may likewiſe be admitted to inrich our Sallet, we have already ſpoken, where we mention Orange and Limon-peel; to which may alſo be added, Jamaica-Pepper,Juniper-berries, &c. as of ſingular Vertue.

Nor here ſhould I omit (the mentioning at leaſt of) Saffron, which the German Houſewives have a way of forming into Balls, by mingling it with a little Honey; which throughly dried, they reduce to Powder, and ſprinkle it over their Sallets for a noble Cordial. Thoſe of Spain and Italy, we know, generally make uſe of this Flower, mingling its golden Tincture with almoſt every thing they eat; But its being ſo apt to prevail above every thing with which ’tis blended, we little incourage its admittance into our Sallet.

VII. Seventhly, That there be the Yolks of freſh and new-laid Eggs, boil’d moderately hard, to be mingl’d and maſh’d with the Muſtard, Oyl, and Vinegar; and part to cut into quarters, and eat with the Herbs.

VIII. Eighthly, (according to the ſuper-curious) that the Knife, with which the Sallet Herbs are cut (eſpecially Oranges, Limons, &c.) be of Silver, and by no means of Steel, which all Acids are apt to corrode, and retain a Metalic reliſh of.

IX. Ninthly and Laſtly, That the Saladiere, (Sallet-Diſhes) be of Porcelane, or of the Holland-Delft-Ware; neither too deep nor ſhallow, according to the quantity of the Sallet Ingredients; Pewter, or evenSilver, not at all ſo well agreeing with Oyl and Vinegar, which leave their ſeveral Tinctures. And note, That there ought to be one of the Diſhes, in which to beat and mingle the Liquid Vehicles; and a ſecond to receive the crude Herbs in, upon which they are to be pour’d; and then with a Fork and a Spoon kept continually ſtirr’d, ’till all the Furniture be equally moiſten’d: Some, who are huſbands of their Oyl, pour at firſt the Oyl alone, as more apt to communicate and diffuſe its Slipperineſs, than when it is mingled and beaten with the Acids; which they pour on laſt of all; and ’tis incredible how ſmall a quantity of Oyl (in this quality, like the gilding of Wyer) is ſufficient, to imbue a very plentiful aſſembly of Sallet-Herbs.

The Sallet-Gatherer likewiſe ſhould be provided with a light, and neatly made Withy-Dutch-Basket, divided into ſeveral Partitions. Thus inſtructed and knowing in the Apparatus; the Species, Proportions, and manner of Dreſſing, according to the ſeveral Seaſons you have in the following Table.

It being one of the Inquiries of the Noble Mr. Boyle, what Herbs were proper and fit to make Sallets with, and how beſt to order them? we have here (by the Aſſiſtance of Mr. London, His Majeſty’s Principal Gard’ner) reduc’d them to a competent Number, not exceeding Thirty Five; but which may be vary’d and inlarg’d, by taking in, or leaving out, any other Sallet-Plant, mention’d in the foregoing Liſt, under theſe three or four Heads.

But all theſe ſorts are not to be had at the very ſame time, and therefore we have divided them into the Quarterly Seaſons, each containing and laſting Three Months.

Note, That by Parts is to be underſtood a Pugil; which is no more than one does uſually take up between the Thumb and the two next Fingers. By Faſcicule a reaſonable full Grip, or Handful.


IX. Blanch’d
Species. Ordering and Culture.
sl-brace 1. Endive, Tied-up to Blanch.
2. Cichory, cr-brace Earth’d-up
3. Sellery,
4. Sweet-Fennel,
5. Rampions,
6. Roman cr-brace Lettuce, cr-brace Tied-up to Blanch.
7. Coſſe
8. Sileſian Tied cloſe up.
9. Cabbage Pome and Blanch of themſelves.

XXVI. Green Unblanch’d
Species. Ordering and Culture.
sl-brace 10. Lob-Lettuce, cr-brace Leaves, all of a midling ſize.
11. Corn-Sallet,
12. Purſlane,
13. Creſſes broad, cr-brace Seed-Leaves, and the next to them.
14. Spinach, curled,
15. Sorrel French, cr-brace The fine young Leaves only, with the first Shoots.
16. Sorrel, Greenland,
17. Radiſh, Only the tender young Leaves.
18. Creſſes, The Seed-Leaves, and thoſe only next them.
19. Turnep, cr-brace The Seed-Leaves only.
20. Muſtard,
21. Scurvy-graſs,
22. Chervil, cr-brace The young Leaves immediately after the Seedlings.
23. Burnet,
24. Rocket, Spaniſh
25. Perſley,
26. Tarragon, cr-brace The tender Shoots and Tops.
27. Mints,
28. Sampier, cr-brace The young tender Leaves and Shoots.
29. Balm,
30. Sage, Red
31. Shalots, cr-brace The tender young Leaves.
32. Cives and Onion,
33. Naſturtium, Indian The Flowers and Bud-Flowers.
34. Rampion, Belgrade cr-brace The Seed-Leaves and young Tops.
35. Trip-Madame,

Month. January, February, and March.
Species. Proportion.
Blanch’d as before cl-brace Rampions, cl-brace 10 cr-brace Roots in number.
Endive, 2
Succory, 5
Fennel, ſweet, 10
Sellery, 4
Green and
sl-brace Lamb-Lettuce, cr-brace A pugil of each.
Radiſh, cr-brace Three parts each.
Turneps, cr-brace Of each One part.
Muſtard Seedlings,
Spinach, Two parts.
Sorrel, Greenland, cr-brace One part of each.
Sorrel, French,
Chervel, ſweet,
Tarragon, Twenty large Leaves.
Balm, cr-brace One ſmall part of each.
Shalots, cr-brace Very few.
Cabbage-Winter, Two pugils or ſmall handfuls.

Month. April, May, and June.
Species. Proportion.
Blanch’d cl-brace Lop, cr-brace Lettuce. cr-brace Of each a pugil.
Sileſian Winter
Roman Winter
Green Herbs
Note, That
the young
Seedling Leaves
Orange and
Limon may all
theſe Months be
mingled with
the Sallet
sl-brace Radiſhes, Three parts.
Creſſes, Two parts.
Purſelan, 1 Faſciat, or pretty full gripe.
Sorrel, French Two parts.
Sampier, One part.
Onions, young Six parts.
Sage-tops, the Red, Two parts.
Perſley, cr-brace Of each One part.
Creſſes, the Indian,
Lettuce, Belgrade,
Chervil, ſweet,
Burnet, Two parts.

Month. July, Auguſt, and September.
Species. Proportion.
Blanch’d, and
may be eaten
by themſelves
with ſome

cl-brace Sileſian Lettuce, One whole Lettuce.
Roman Lettuce, cr-brace Two parts.
Cabbage, Four parts.
Green Herbs
by themſelves,
or mingl’d
with the

sl-brace Creſſes, cr-brace Two parts.
Purſlane, cr-brace One part.
Belgrade, or Crumpen-Lettuce, cr-brace Two parts.
Tarragon, One part.
Sorrel, French cr-brace Two parts of each.
Trip-Madame, One part.

Month. October, November, and December.
Species. Proportion.
Blanch’d sl-brace Endive, cr-brace Two if large, four if ſmall, Stalk and part of the Root and Tendereſt Leaves.
Lop-Lettuce, cr-brace An handful of each.
Radiſh, Three parts.
Creſſes, Two parts.
Green cl-brace Turneps, cr-brace One part of each.
Muſtard Seedlings,
Creſſes, broad cr-brace Two parts of each.


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A Book of Fruits and Flowers: Of Beanes



To defend Humours.

TakeBeanes, the rinde or the upper skin being pul’d off, bruise them, and mingle them with the white of an Egg, and make it stick to the temples, it keepeth back humours flowing to the Eyes.

To dissolve the Stone; which is one of the Physitians greatest secrets.

Take a peck of greenBeane cods, well cleaved, and without dew or rain, and two good handfulls ofSaxifrage, lay the same into a Still, one row ofBean cods, another ofSaxifrage, and so Distill another quart of water after this manner, and then Distill another proportion of Beancodds alone, and use to drink oft these two Waters; if the Patient be most troubled with heat of the Reins, then it is good to use the Beancodd water stilled alone more often, and the other upon comming downe of the sharp gravell or stone.

Unguentum Sanativum.

Take ofTerpentineone pound,Wax six ounces, Oyle ofCammomilehalfe a pint, put all these together in a pan, and put to them a handfull ofCammomile, bruised, or cut very small, boyle them upon a soft fire till they be well melted, and no more; then take it from the fire, and strayne it into a clean pan, and so let it coole all night, and in the morning put it up for your use. This Oyntment is good for any cut, wound, or breaking of the flesh, it eateth away dead flesh, and ranklings, and doth heale againe quickly.

A Serecloath for all Aches.

Take Rossenone pound,Perrossen a quarter of a pound, asMastick andDeer sewetthe like,Turpentinetwo ounces,Clovesbruised, one ounce, Macebruised, two ounces,Saffron two drams, boyle all these together in Oyle ofCammomile, and keep it for your use.

An Oyntment to be made at any time of the yeare, and is approved good, and hath helped old Paines, Griefes, and Aches.

Take Steers Gall, Sallet Oyle andAqua vita of each five spoon-fulls, boyle them together a little, and therewith annoint the place pained, by the fire, and lay a warm cloath on it.

An Oyntment for the Sciatica.

Roaste a handfull or two ofOnions, and take Neats-foot Oyle, and Aqua vita, of each a pint, stamp, or rather boyle all these together to an Oyle, or Oyntment, and straine it into a gally pot, and therewith annoynt the place grieved as hot as you can endure it, morning and evening.

A Water to drive away any Infection.

TakeDraggons, Angelica, Rue, Wormwood, of each a handfull, chop them pretty small, and steep them in a quart ofWhite-wine, twenty four hours, then distill them in a Still, and reserve the water in a glasse close stopped; give to the sick Patient six or seaven spoonfuls thereof at a time fasting, and let him fast an houre and an halfe after, and keep himselfe very warme in his bed, or otherwise.

An excellent Conservative for the stomach, helping digestion, warming the braine, and drying the Rheumes.

Take two ounces of good old Conserve of red Roses, of chosenMethridatetwo drams, mingle them well together, and eat thereof to bed-ward, the quantity of a hazell nut; this doth expell all windinesse of the stomach, expelleth raw humours and venomous vapours, causeth good digestion, dryeth the Rheume, strengthneth the memory and sight.

An Oyntmnt for any wound or sore.

Take two pound ofSheeps suet, or ratherDeers suet, a pint ofCandy Oyle, a quarter of a pound of the newest and bestBees-wax, melt them together, stirring them well, and put to them one ounce of the Oyle of Spike, and halfe an ounce of theGoldsmiths Boras, then heating them againe, and stirring them all together, put it up in a gally pot, and keep it close stopped till you have cause to use it; this is an approved Oyntment to cure any wounds or sores new or old.

An excellent Oyntment for any Bruise or Ache.

Take two pound ofMay Butterpurified, powre it out from the dregs, and put to it ofBroomeflowers andElderflowers, of each a good handfull, so clean picked that you use nothing but the leaves, mix them all together in a stone pot, and boyle them seaven or eight howres in a kettell of water, being covered with a board, and kept downe with weights, keeping the kettell alwayes full of water, with the help of another kettell of boyling water ready to fill up the first as it wasteth, and when it waxeth somewhat coole, but not cold, straine the Oyntment from the Hearbs, into a gally pot, and keep it for your use.

A Plaister for a Bile or Push.

Take a yolk of an Egg, and halfe a spoonfull of EnglishHoney, mix them together with fine wheat flower, and making it to a Plaister, apply it warme to the place grieved.

An approved good drink for the Pestilence.

Take six spoonfuls ofDraggon-water, two good spoonfulls of Wine-Vineger, two penny weights of EnglishSaffron, and as much Treacle ofGene, as a littleWalnut, dissolve all these together upon the fire, and let the Patient drink it blood-warm, within twenty hours or sooner that he is sick, and let him neither eat nor drink six howres after, but lye so warme in his bed, that he may sweat, this expelleth the Disease from the heart, and if he be disposed to a sore, it will streightwayes appeare, which you shall draw out with a Plaister ofFlos Unguentorum.

For the Rheume in the gums or teeth.

BoyleRosemary in faire water, with some ten or twelveCloves, shut, and when it is boyled take as much Claretwine as there is water left, and mingle with it, and make it boyle but a little againe, then strayne it into some glasse, and wash the mouth there with morning and evening; this will take away the Rheume in short time; and if you boyle a littleMastick. therewith, it is the better.

For the Emroids.

TakeEgremonyand bruise it small, and then fry it with Sheep suet, andHoney, of each a like quantity, and lay it as hot as you can suffer it to the Fundament, and it will heale very faire and well.

An approved medicine for the Dropsey.

Take the Hearb calledBitter sweet, it grows in waters, and bears a purple flower, slice the stalks, and boyle a pretty deale of them inWhite-wine, drink thereof first and last, morning and evening, and it will cure the Dropsey.

A Powder for Wounds.

TakeOrpiment, andVerdigreese, of each an ounce, ofVitriallburned till it be red, two ounces, beat each of them by it selfe in a brasen Morter, as small as flower, then mingle them all together, that they appear all as one, and keep it in bagges of leather, well bound, for it will last seaven years with the same vertue, and it is calledPowder peerlesse, it hath no peer for working inChyrurgery, for put of this powder in a wound where is dead flesh, and lay scrap’t lint about it, and a Plainer of Disklosions next upon it, and it will heale it.

An approved Medicine for the Green sicknesse.

Take a quart of Clarretwine, one pound ofCurrants, and a handfull of youngRosemarycrops, and halfe an ounce ofMace, seeth these to a pint, and let the Patient drink thereof three spoonfulls at a time, morning and evening, and eat some of the Currantsalso after.

A Medicine for a Pleurisie, Stitch, or Winde, offending in any part of the Body.

Gather the young shutes ofOake, after the fall of aWood, and picking out the tenderest and softest of them, especially those which look redest, bind them up together in a wet paper, and roste them in hot embers, as you doe aWarden, whereby they will dry to powder, of which powder let the Patient take a spoonfull in a little Posset Ale, or Beer, warmed, in the morning, fasting after it two hours, or more, if he be able, doing the like about three after noon, and two hours after supper, four or five dayes together, which thus done in the beginning of the Disease, is by often experiments found to cure such windy paines in the side, stomach, or other parts of the body; you may dry them also in a dish, in an Oven after the bread is drawn; you shall doe well to gather enough of them in the Spring, and make good store of the powder then, to keep for all the year following.

An approved Medicine for the Gout in the feet.

Take anOxes paunch new killed, and warm out of the belly, about the latter end of May, or beginning of June, make two holes therein, and put in your feet, and lay store of warm cloaths about it, to keep it warm so long as can be. Use this three or four dayes together, for three weeks or a moneth, whether you have the fit or paine of the Gout, at that time or no, so you have had it at any time before. This hath cured divers persons, that they have never been troubled with it againe.

For one that cannot make water.

Take the white strings of Filmyroots, ofPrimroseswash them very clean, and boyle of them halfe a handfull, in a pint ofBeer orWhite-wine, till halfe be consumed, then straine it through a clean cloath, and drink thereof a quarter of a pint, somewhat warme, morning and evening, for three dayes, it will purge away all viscous or obstructions stopping the passage of the water,probatum.

To kill the Ring worme, and heat thereof.

Take a quart of White winevineger, boyle therein ofWoodbineleaves,Sage, andPlantaine of each one handfull, of whiteCoperas, one pound, of Allum as much as an Egge; when it is boyled to halfe a pint, straine out the liquor, and therewith wash the soare as hard as you can suffer it.

To make a Water for all Wounds and Cankers.

Take a handfull of red Sageleaves, a handfull ofSelandine, as muchWoodbineleaves, then take a gallon of Conduict water, and put the hearbs in it, and let them boyle to a pottell, and then strayning the Hearbs through a strainer, take the liquor and set it over the fire againe, and take a pint of EnglishHoney, a good handfull ofRoche Allum, as much of whiteCopperastinne beaten, a penny worth ofGrainesbruised, and let them boyle all together three or four warms, and then let the scum be taken off with a feather, and when it is cold put it in an earthen pot or bottell, so as it may be kept close; and for an old Wound take of the thinnest, and for a green Wound, of the thickest, and having dressed them with this Water, cover the soare either with Veale, or Mutton, and skin it with Dockleaves.

For a Swelling that cometh suddenly in mans Limbs.

Take Hartstongue,Cherfoyle, and cut them small, and then take dreggs of Ale, andWheatBranne, andSheepstallow molten, and doe all in a pot, and seeth them till they be thick, and then make a Plaister, and lay it to the swelling.

The Folklore of Plants: Plants in Folk Medicine


From the earliest times plants have been most extensively used in the cure of disease, although in days of old it was not so much their inherent medicinal properties which brought them into repute as their supposed magical virtues. Oftentimes, in truth, the only merit of a plant lay in the charm formula attached to it, the due utterance of which ensured relief to the patient. Originally there can be no doubt that such verbal forms were prayers, “since dwindled into mystic sentences.” [1] Again, before a plant could work its healing powers, due regard had to be paid to the planet under whose influence it was supposed to be; [2] for Aubrey mentions an old belief that if a plant “be not gathered according to the rules of astrology, it hath little or no virtue in it.” Hence, in accordance with this notion, we find numerous directions for the cutting and preparing of certain plants for medicinal purposes, a curious list of which occurs in Culpepper’s “British Herbal and Family Physician.” This old herbalist, who was a strong believer in astrology, tells us that such as are of this way of thinking, and none else, are fit to be physicians. But he was not the only one who had strict views on this matter, as the literature of his day proves–astrology, too, having held a prominent place in most of the gardening books of the same period. Michael Drayton, who has chronicled so many of the credulities of his time, referring to the longevity of antediluvian men, writes:–

“Besides, in medicine, simples had the power
That none need then the planetary hour
To help their workinge, they so juiceful were.”

The adder’s-tongue, if plucked during the wane of the moon, was a cure for tumours, and there is a Swabian belief that one, “who on Friday of the full moon pulls up the amaranth by the root, and folding it in a white cloth, wears it against his naked breast, will be made bullet-proof.” [3] Consumptive patients, in olden times, were three times passed, “Through a circular wreath of woodbine, cut during the increase of the March moon, and let down over the body from head to foot.” [4] In France, too, at the present day, the vervain is gathered under the different changes of the moon, with secret incantations, after which it is said to possess remarkable curative properties.

In Cornwall, the club-moss, if properly gathered, is considered “good against all diseases of the eye.” The mode of procedure is this:–“On the third day of the moon, when the thin crescent is seen for the first time, show it the knife with which the moss is to be cut, and repeat this formula:–

‘As Christ healed the issue of blood,
Do thou cut what thou cuttest for good.’

At sundown, the operator, after carefully washing his hands, is to cut the club-moss kneeling. It is then to be wrapped in a white cloth, and subsequently boiled in water taken from the spring nearest to its place of growth. This may be used as a fomentation, or the club-moss may be made into an ointment with the butter from the milk of a new cow.” [5]

Some plants have, from time immemorial, been much in request from the season or period of their blooming, beyond which fact it is difficult to account for the virtues ascribed to them. Thus, among the Romans, the first anemone of the year, when gathered with this form of incantation, “I gather thee for a remedy against disease,” was regarded as a preservative from fever; a survival of which belief still prevails in our own country:–

“The first spring-blown anemone she in his doublet wove,
To keep him safe from pestilence wherever he should rove.”

On the other hand, in some countries there is a very strong prejudice against the wild anemone, the air being said “to be so tainted by them, that they who inhale it often incur severe sickness.” [6] Similarly we may compare the notion that flowers blooming out of season have a fatal significance, as we have noted elsewhere.

The sacred associations attached to many plants have invested them, at all times, with a scientific repute in the healing art, instances of which may be traced up to a very early period. Thus, the peony, which, from its mythical divine origin, was an important flower in the primitive pharmacopoeia, has even in modern times retained its reputation; and to this day Sussex mothers put necklaces of beads turned from the peony root around their children’s necks, to prevent convulsions and to assist them in their teething. When worn on the person, it was long considered, too, a most effectual remedy for insanity, and Culpepper speaks of its virtues in the cure of the falling sickness. [7] The thistle, sacred to Thor, is another plant of this kind, and indeed instances are very numerous. On the other hand, some plants, from their great virtues as “all-heals,” it would seem, had such names as “Angelica” and “Archangel” bestowed on them. [8]

In later times many plants became connected with the name of Christ, and with the events of the crucifixion itself–facts which occasionally explain their mysterious virtues. Thus the vervain, known as the “holy herb,” and which was one of the sacred plants of the Druids, has long been held in repute, the subjoined rhyme assigning as the reason:–

“All hail, thou holy herb, vervin,
Growing on the ground;
On the Mount of Calvary
There wast thou found;
Thou helpest many a grief,
And staunchest many a wound.
In the name of sweet Jesu,
I lift thee from the ground.”


To quote one or two further instances, a popular recipe for preventing the prick of a thorn from festering is to repeat this formula:–

“Christ was of a virgin born,
And he was pricked with a thorn,
And it did neither bell nor swell,
And I trust in Jesus this never will.”


In Cornwall, some years ago, the following charm was much used, forms of which may occasionally be heard at the present day:–

“Happy man that Christ was born,
He was crowned with a thorn;
He was pierced through the skin,
For to let the poison in.
But His five wounds, so they say,
Closed before He passed away.
In with healing, out with thorn,
Happy man that Christ was born.”


Another version used in the North of England is this:–

“Unto the Virgin Mary our Saviour was horn,
And on his head he wore a crown of thorn;
If you believe this true, and mind it well,
This hurt will never fester nor swell.”

The _Angelica sylvestris_ was popularly known as “Holy Ghost,” from the angel-like properties therein having been considered good “against poisons, pestilent agues, or the pestilence.”


Cockayne, in his “Saxon Leechdoms,” mentions an old poem descriptive of the virtues of the mugwort:–

“Thou hast might for three,
And against thirty,
For venom availest
For plying vile things.”


So, too, certain plants of the saints acquired a notoriety for specific virtues; and hence St. John’s wort, with its leaves marked with blood-like spots, which appear, according to tradition, on the anniversary of his decollation, is still “the wonderful herb” that cures all sorts of wounds. Herb-bennet, popularly designated “Star of the earth,” a name applied to the avens, hemlock, and valerian, should properly be, says Dr. Prior, “St. Benedict’s herb, a name assigned to such plants as were supposed to be antidotes, in allusion to a legend of this saint, which represents that upon his blessing a cup of poisoned wine which a monk had given to destroy him, the glass was shivered to pieces.” In the same way, herb-gerard was called from St. Gerard, who was formerly invoked against gout, a complaint for which this plant was once in high repute. St. James’s wort was so called from its being used for the diseases of horses, of which this great pilgrim-saint was the patron. It is curious in how many unexpected ways these odd items of folk-lore in their association with the saints meet us, showing that in numerous instances it is entirely their association with certain saints that has made them of medical repute.

Some trees and plants have gained a medical notoriety from the fact of their having a mystical history, and from the supernatural qualities ascribed to them. But, as Bulwer-Lytton has suggested in his “Strange Story,” the wood of certain trees to which magical properties are ascribed may in truth possess virtues little understood, and deserving of careful investigation. Thus, among these, the rowan would take its place, as would the common hazel, from which the miner’s divining-rod is always cut. [9] An old-fashioned charm to cure the bite of an adder was to lay a cross formed of two pieces of hazel-wood on the ground, repeating three times this formula [10]:–

“Underneath this hazelin mote,
There’s a braggotty worm with a speckled throat,
Nine double is he;
Now from nine double to eight double
And from eight double to seven double-ell.”


The mystical history of the apple accounts for its popularity as a medical agent, although, of course, we must not attribute all the lingering rustic cures to this source. Thus, according to an old Devonshire rhyme,

“Eat an apple going to bed,
Make the doctor beg his bread.”

Its juice has long been deemed potent against warts, and a Lincolnshire cure for eyes affected by rheumatism or weakness is a poultice made of rotten apples.


The oak, long famous for its supernatural strength and power, has been much employed in folk-medicine. A German cure for ague is to walk round an oak and say:–

“Good evening, thou good one old;
I bring thee the warm and the cold.”


Similarly, in our own country, oak-trees planted at the junction of cross-roads were much resorted to by persons suffering from ague, for the purpose of transferring to them their complaint, [11] and elsewhere allusion has already been made to the practice of curing sickly children by passing through a split piece of oak. A German remedy for gout is to take hold of an oak, or of a young shoot already felled, and to repeat these words:–

“Oak-shoot, I to thee complain,
All the torturing gout plagues me;
I cannot go for it,
Thou canst stand it.
The first bird that flies above thee,
To him give it in his flight,
Let him take it with him in the air.”


Another plant, which from its mystic character has been used for various complaints, is the elder. In Bohemia, three spoonsful of the water which has been used to bathe an invalid are poured under an elder-tree; and a Danish cure for toothache consists in placing an elder-twig in the mouth, and then sticking it in a wall, saying, “Depart, thou evil spirit.” The mysterious origin and surroundings of the mistletoe have invested it with a widespread importance in old folk-lore remedies, many of which are, even now-a-days, firmly credited; a reputation, too, bestowed upon it by the Druids, who styled it “all-heal,” as being an antidote for all diseases. Culpepper speaks of it as “good for the grief of the sinew, itch, sores, and toothache, the biting of mad dogs and venomous beasts;” while Sir Thomas Browne alludes to its virtues in cases of epilepsy. In France, amulets formed of mistletoe were much worn; and in Sweden, a finger-ring made of its wood is an antidote against sickness. The mandrake, as a mystic plant, was extensively sold for medicinal purposes, and in Kent may be occasionally found kept to cure barrenness; [12] and it may be remembered that La Fontaine’s fable, _La Mandragore_, turns upon its supposed power of producing children. How potent its effects were formerly held may be gathered from the very many allusions to its mystic properties in the literature of bygone years. Columella, in his well-known lines, says:–

“Whose roots show half a man, whose juice
With madness strikes.”


Shakespeare speaks of it as an opiate, and on the Continent it was much used for amulets.

Again, certain plants seem to have been specially in high repute in olden times from the marvellous influence they were credited with exercising over the human frame; consequently they were much valued by both old and young; for who would not retain the vigour of his youth, and what woman would not desire to preserve the freshness of her beauty? One of the special virtues of rosemary, for instance, was its ability to make old folks young again. A story is told of a gouty and crooked old queen, who sighed with longing regret to think that her young dancing-days were gone, so:–

“Of rosmaryn she took six pownde,
And grounde it well in a stownde,”


And then mixed it with water, in which she bathed three times a day, taking care to anoint her head with “gode balm” afterwards. In a very short time her old flesh fell away, and she became so young, tender, and fresh, that she began to look out for a husband. [13] The common fennel (_Foeniculum vulgare_) was supposed to give strength to the constitution, and was regarded as highly restorative. Longfellow, in his “Goblet of Life,” apparently alludes to our fennel:–

“Above the lowly plant it towers,
The fennel, with its yellow flowers;
And in an earlier age than ours
Was gifted with the wondrous powers
Lost vision to restore.

It gave new strength and fearless mood,
And gladiators, fierce and rude,
Mingled it in their daily food,
And he who battled and subdued,
The wreath of fennel wore.”


The lady’s-mantle, too (_Alchemilla vulgaris_), was once in great request, for, according to Hoffman, it had the power of “restoring feminine beauty, however faded, to its early freshness;” and the wild tansy (_Tanacetum vulgare_), laid to soak in buttermilk for nine days, had the reputation of “making the complexion very fair.” [14] Similarly, also, the great burnet saxifrage was said to remove freckles; and according to the old herbalists, an infusion of the common centaury (_Erythroea centaurium_) possessed the same property. [15] The hawthorn, too, was in repute among the fair sex, for, according to an old piece of proverbial lore:–

“The fair maid who, the first of May,
Goes to the fields at break of day,
And washes in dew from the hawthorn tree,
Will ever after handsome be;”


And the common fumitory, “was used when gathered in wedding hours, and boiled in water, milk, and whey, as a wash for the complexion of rustic maids.” [16] In some parts of France the water-hemlock (_Œnanthe crocata_), known with us as the “dead-tongue,” from its paralysing effects on the organs of voice, was used to destroy moles; and the yellow toad-flax (_Linaria vulgaris_) is described as “cleansing the skin wonderfully of all sorts of deformity.” Another plant of popular renown was the knotted figwort (_Scrophularia nodosa_), for Gerarde censures “divers who doe rashly teach that if it be hanged about the necke, or else carried about one, it keepeth a man in health.” Coles, speaking of the mugwort (_Artemisia vulgaris_), says that, “if a footman take mugwort and put it in his shoes in the morning, he may go forty miles before noon and not be weary;” but as far back as the time of Pliny its remarkable properties were known, for he says, “The wayfaring man that hath the herb tied about him feeleth no weariness at all, and he can never be hurt by any poisonous medicine, by any wild beast, neither yet by the sun itself.” The far-famed betony was long credited with marvellous medicinal properties, and hence the old saying which recommends a person when ill “to sell his coat and buy betony.” A species of thistle was once believed to have the curious virtue of driving away melancholy, and was hence termed the “melancholy thistle.” According to Dioscorides, “the root borne about one doth expel melancholy and remove all diseases connected therewith,” but it was to be taken in wine.

On the other hand, certain plants have been credited at most periods with hurtful and injurious properties. Thus, there is a popular idea that during the flowering of the bean more cases of lunacy occur than at any other season. [17] It is curious to find the apple–such a widespread curative–regarded as a bane, an illustration of which is given by Mr. Conway. [18] In Swabia it is said that an apple plucked from a graft on the whitethorn will, if eaten by a pregnant woman, increase her pains. On the Continent, the elder, when used as a birch, is said to check boys’ growth, a property ascribed to the knot-grass, as in Beaumont and Fletcher’s “Coxcomb” (Act ii. sc. 2):–

“We want a boy extremely for this function,
Kept under for a year with milk and knot-grass.”


The cat-mint, when chewed, created quarrelsomeness, a property said by the Italians to belong to the rampion.

Occasionally much attention in folk-medicine has been paid to lucky numbers; a remedy, in order to prove efficacious, having to be performed in accordance with certain numerical rules. In Devonshire, poultices must be made of seven different kinds of herbs, and a cure for thrush is this:–“Three rushes are taken from any running stream, passed separately through the mouth of the infant, and then thrown back into the water. As the current bears them away, so, it is believed, will the thrush leave the child.”


Similarly, in Brandenburg, if a person is afflicted with dizziness, he is recommended to run after sunset, naked, three times through a field of flax; after doing so, the flax will at once “take the dizziness to itself.” A Sussex cure for ague is to eat sage leaves, fasting, nine mornings in succession; while Flemish folk-lore enjoins any one who has the ague to go early in the morning to an old willow, make three knots in one of its branches, and say “Good morrow, old one; I give thee the cold; good morrow, old one.” A very common cure for warts is to tie as many knots on a hair as there are warts, and to throw the hair away; while an Irish charm is to give the patient nine leaves of dandelion, three leaves being eaten on three successive mornings. Indeed, the efficacy of numbers is not confined to any one locality; and Mr. Folkard [19] mentions an instance in Cuba where, “thirteen cloves of garlic at the end of a cord, worn round the neck for thirteen days, are considered a safeguard against jaundice.” It is necessary, however, that the wearer, in the middle of the night of the thirteenth day, should proceed to the corner of two streets, take off his garlic necklet, and, flinging it behind him, run home without turning round to see what has become of it. Similarly, six knots of elderwood are employed “in a Yorkshire incantation to ascertain if beasts are dying from witchcraft.” [20] In Thuringia, on the extraction of a tooth, the person must eat three daisies to be henceforth free from toothache. In Cornwall [21] bramble leaves are made use of in cases of scalds and inflammatory diseases.
Nine leaves are moistened with spring-water, and “these are applied to the burned or diseased parts.” While this is being done, for every bramble leaf the following charm is repeated three times:–

“There came three angels out of the east,
One brought fire and two brought frost;
Out fire and in frost,
In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.”


Of the thousand and one plants used in popular folk-medicine we can but give a few illustrations, so numerous are these old cures for the ills to which flesh is heir. Thus, for deafness, the juice of onion has been long recommended, and for chilblains, a Derbyshire cure is to thrash them with holly, while in some places the juice of the leek mixed with cream is held in repute. To exterminate warts a host of plants have been recommended; the juice of the dandelion being in favour in the Midland counties, whereas in the North, one has but to hang a snail on a thorn, and as the poor creature wastes away the warts will disappear. In Leicestershire the ash is employed, and in many places the elder is considered efficacious. Another old remedy is to prick the wart with a gooseberry thorn passed through a wedding-ring; and according to a Cornish belief, the first blackberry seen will banish warts. Watercress laid against warts was formerly said to drive them away. A rustic specific for whooping-cough in Hampshire is to drink new milk out of a cup made of the variegated holly; while in Sussex the excrescence found on the briar, and popularly known as “robin red-breast’s cushion,” is in demand. In consumption and diseases of the lungs, St. Fabian’s nettle, the crocus, the betony, and horehound, have long been in request, and sea-southern-wood or mugwort, occasionally corrupted into “muggons,” was once a favourite prescription in Scotland. A charming girl, whom consumption had brought to the brink of the grave, was lamented by her lover, whereupon a good-natured mermaid sang to him:–

“Wad ye let the bonnie May die in your hand,
And the mugwort flowering i’ the land?”


Thereupon, tradition says, he administered the juice of this life-giving plant to his fair lady-love, who “arose and blessed the bestower for the return of health.” Water in which peas have been boiled is given for measles, and a Lincolnshire recipe for cramp is cork worn on the person. A popular cure for ringworm in Scotland is a decoction of sun-spurge (_Euphorbia helioscopia_), or, as it is locally termed, “mare’s milk.”

In the West of England to bite the first fern seen in spring is an antidote for toothache, and in certain parts of Scotland the root of the yellow iris chopped up and chewed is said to afford relief. Some, again, recommend a double hazel-nut to be carried in the pocket, [22] and the elder, as a Danish cure, has already been noticed.

Various plants were, in days gone by, used for the bites of mad dogs and to cure hydrophobia. Angelica, madworts, and several forms of lichens were favourite remedies. The root of balaustrium, with storax, cypress-nuts, soot, olive-oil, and wine was the receipt, according to Bonaventura, of Cardinal Richelieu. Among other popular remedies were beetroot, box leaves, cabbage, cucumbers, black currants, digitalis, and euphorbia. [23] A Russian remedy was _Genista sentoria_, and in Greece rose-leaves were used internally and externally as a poultice.

Horse-radish, crane’s-bill, strawberry, and herb-gerard are old remedies for gout, and in Westphalia apple-juice mixed with saffron is administered for jaundice; while an old remedy for boils is dock-tea.
For ague, cinquefoil and yarrow were recommended, and tansy leaves are worn in the shoe by the Sussex peasantry; and in some places common groundsel has been much used as a charm. Angelica was in olden times used as an antidote for poisons. The juice of the arum was considered good for the plague, and Gerarde tells us that Henry VIII. was, “wont to drink the distilled water of broom-flowers against surfeits and diseases thereof arising.” An Irish recipe for sore-throat is a cabbage leaf tied round the throat, and the juice of cabbage taken with honey was formerly given as a cure for hoarseness or loss of voice. [24] Agrimony, too, was once in repute for sore throats, cancers, and ulcers; and as far back as the time of Pliny the almond was given as a remedy for inebriety. For rheumatism the burdock was in request, and many of our peasantry keep a potato in their pocket as charms, some, again, carrying a chestnut, either begged or stolen. As an antidote for fevers the carnation was prescribed, and the cowslip, and the hop, have the reputation of inducing sleep. The dittany and plantain, like the golden-rod, nicknamed “wound-weed,” have been used for the healing of wounds, and the application of a dock-leaf for the sting of a nettle is a well-known cure among our peasantry, having been embodied in the old familiar adage:–

“Nettle out, dock in–
Dock remove the nettle-sting,”


Of which there are several versions; as in Wiltshire, where the child uses this formula:–

“Out ‘ettle
In dock.
Dock shall ha’a a new smock,
‘Ettle zbant
Ha’ nanun.”


The young tops of the common nettle are still made by the peasantry into nettle-broth, and, amongst other directions enjoined in an old Scotch rhyme, it is to be cut in the month of June, “ere it’s in the blume”:–

“Cou’ it by the auld wa’s,
Cou’ it where the sun ne’er fa’
Stoo it when the day daws,
Cou’ the nettle early.”


The juice of fumitory is said to clear the sight, and the kennel-wort was once a popular specific for the king’s-evil. As disinfectants, wormwood and rue were much in demand; and hence Tusser says:–

“What savour is better, if physicke be true,
For places infected, than wormwood and rue?”


For depression, thyme was recommended, and a Manx preservative against all kinds of infectious diseases is ragwort. The illustrations we have given above show in how many ways plants have been in demand as popular curatives. And although an immense amount of superstition has been interwoven with folk-medicine, there is a certain amount of truth in the many remedies which for centuries have been, with more or less success, employed by the peasantry, both at home and abroad.



1. See Tylor’s “Primitive Culture,” ii.

2. See Folkard’s “Plant-lore Legends and Lyrics,” p. 164.

3. “Mystic Trees and Shrubs,” p. 717.

4. Folkard’s “Plant-lore,” p. 379.

5. Hunt’s “Popular Romances of the West of England,” 1871, p. 415

6. Folkard’s “Plant-lore Legends and Lyrics,” p. 216.

7. See Black’s “Folk-medicine,” 1883, p.195.

8. _Quarterly Review_, cxiv. 245.

9. “Sacred Trees and Flowers,” _Quarterly Review_, cxiv. 244.

10. Folkard’s “Plant Legends,” 364.

11. _Fraser’s Magazine_, 1870, p. 591.

12. “Mystic Trees and Plants;” _Fraser’s Magazine_, 1870, p. 708.

13. “Reliquiae Antiquse,” Wright and Halliwell, i. 195; _Quarterly Review_,1863, cxiv. 241.

14. Coles, “The Art of Simpling,” 1656.

15. Anne Pratt’s “Flowering Plants of Great Britain,” iv. 9.

16. Black’s “Folk-medicine,” p. 201.

17. Folkard’s “Plant-Lore Legends and Lyrics,” p. 248.

18. _Fraser’s Magazine_, 1870, p. 591.

19. “Plant-Lore Legends and Lyrics,” p. 349.

20. Black’s “Folk-medicine,” p. 185.

21. See Hunt’s “Popular Romances of the West of England.”

22. Black’s “Folk-medicine,” p. 193.

23. “Rabies or Hydrophobia,” T. M. Dolan, 1879, p. 238.

24. Black’s “Folk-medicine,” p. 193.