John French - The Art of Distillation - Book IV

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BOOK IV

OF ANIMALS

WATERS, SPIRITS, AND OILS, SIMPLE AND COMPOUND OUT OF ANIMALS


OIL AND WATER OUT OF BLOOD IS MADE THUS

Take of blood as much as you please. Let it stand in putrefaction in a glass vessel close covered the space of forty days. Then distill it in ashes, and there will come forth a water and oil. Extract the salt out of the feces with the said water. Calcine the salt in a crucible and then dissolve it in the said water. Then distill off the water (which will be a good rectifying of the water) and dry the salt very well, which then mix with the foresaid oil being first rectified, and digest them both together for the space of a month.

TO MAKE THE MAGISTERY OF BLOOD

Take of the purest blood as much as you please. Put it into a pelican, so that three parts of four may be empty, and then digest it a month in horse dung (in which time it will swell and become as much more as it was when it was put in). Then distill off the phlegm in balneum, and in the bottom will remain the magistery of blood which must be distilled and cohobated nine times in a retort in ashes, and then it is perfected.
This magistery is of excellent virtue which, being taken inwardly, and applied outwardly cures most diseases and eases pain, being very balsamical.

ELIXIR OF MUMMY IS MADE THUS

Take of mummy (viz., of man's flesh hardened), cut small four ounces, spirit of wine terebinthinated ten ounces, and put them into a glazed vessel (three parts of four being empty) which set in horse dung to digest for the space of a month. Then take it out and express it, and let the expression be circulated a month. Then let it run through manica hippocratis, and then evaporate the spirit until that which remains in the bottom be like an oil which is the true elixir of mummy.
This elixir is a wonderful preservative against all infections, also very balsamical.

THE ESSENCE OF MAN'S BRAINS

Take the brains of a young man that has died a violent death, together with the membranes, arteries, veins, nerves, all the pith of the back, and bruise these in a stone mortar until they become a kind of pap. Then put as much of the spirit of wine as will cover it three or four fingers breadth. Then put it into a large glass so that three parts of four be empty, being hermetically closed. Then digest it half a year in horse dung. Then take it out and distill it in balneum and cohobate the water until the greatest part of the brains be distilled off.
A scruple or two of this essence taken in some specifical water once in a day is a most infallible medicine against the falling sickness.

A FAMOUS SPIRIT MADE OUT OF CRANIUM HUMANUM

Take of cranium humanum as much as you please. Break it into small pieces, which put into a glass retort well luted, with a large receiver well luted. Then put a strong fire to it by degrees, continuing of it until you see no more fumes come forth, and you shall have a yellowish spirit, a red oil, and a volatile salt.
Take this salt and the yellow spirit, and digest them by circulation two or three months in balneum, and you shall have a most excellent spirit.
This spirit is of affinity with, if not the same as, that famous spirit of Dr. Goddards in Holborne.
It helps the falling sickness, gout, dropsie, infirm stomach, and indeed strengthens all weak parts, and opens all obstructions, and is a kind of panacea.

ANOTHER EXCELLENT SPIRIT MADE OUT OF CRANIUM, HARTS HORN, OR IVORY

Take of either of these. (If you take cranium, it need not be bruised at all, only broken into little pieces; if harts horn or ivory, you must cut them in thin pieces). Lay it piece by piece upon a net spread upon any vessel, being most full of water. Cover this net with another vessel very close. Then make the water boil, and keep it boiling three days and three nights, and in that time the bones or horns will be as soft as cheese. Then pound them, and to every pound thereof, put half a pound of hungarian vitriol uncalcined, and as much spirit of wine as will make them into a thin paste. This paste digest in a vessel hermetically sealed the space of a month in balneum. Then distill it in a retort in sand until all be dry, and you shall have a most excellent spirit.
This spirit is of wonderful use in the epilepsy convulsions, all fevers putrid or pestilential, passions of the heart, and is a very excellent sudorific.
This spirit may be taken from the quantity of half an ounce to an ounce in some specifical liquor.

A WATER AND OIL MADE OUT OF HAIR

Fill an earthen retort with hair cut small. Set it over the fire and fit a receiver to it. There will come over a very stinking water and oil.
This water and oil is used in Germany to be sprinkled upon fences and hedges to keep wild and hurtful cattle from coming to do harm in any place, for such is the stink of this liquor that it does frighten them from coming to any place near it.

WATER OF MILK IS MADE THUS

Take of what milk you please a gallon. In it dissolve half a pound of salt, and put to it two handfuls of plantain, and an ounce of licorice sliced. Then distill it in a hot still with a gentle fire.
This water is of excellent use in hot distempers of the lungs and kidneys.
You may put in other ingredients according to the use you would have it for.

AN EXCELLENT COMPOUND WATER OF MILK FOR ANY INFLAMMATIONS IN THE EYES

Take of woman's milk a pint, of white copperas a pound, and distill them in ashes. Note that as soon as you perceive any sharp spirit to come off, then cease.
Let inflamed eyes be washed three or four times in a day with this water, and it helps them wonderfully.

SPIRIT OF URINE IS MADE THUS

Take of the urine of a young man drinking much wine, as much as you please. Let it stand in glass vessels in putrefaction forty days. Then pouring it from its feces, distill it in a glass gourd in sand until all be dry. Then cohobate the said spirit on the caput mortuary three times. Then distill it in a gourd of a long neck and there will ascend, besides the spirit, a crystalline salt which you may either keep by itself, being called the volatile salt of urine, or mix it with its spirit which will thereby become very penetrating if they be digested for some days together.
Note that the pipe of the head must be wide or else the volatile salt will soon stop it.
Note that this salt is so penetrating that it penetrates the body of the glass.
This spirit by rectification may be made so pure and subtle that it will burn as fire and dissolve gold and precious stones.
This being often applied to any place pained with the gout eases it presently. It also quickens any part that is benumbed.
The salt volatile is Helmont's famous medicine for the jaundice.

A COMPOUND SPIRIT OF URINE

Take of hungarian vitriol a pound, and the urine of a boy that is healthy four pounds. Put these into a glass vessel well closed so that three parts of four may be empty. Digest them in balneum for the space of a month and then distill them in ashes until all be dry.
This spirit is of great virtue in the epilepsy, gout, dropsy, convulsions, being taken from two drams to half an ounce in some specifical liquor.

TO MAKE A SPIRIT OF HONEY

Take good strong stale mead, otherwise called metheglin, as much as you please, distill it in a copper still or alembic, with its refrigeratory, and it will yield a spirit like aqua vitae.

THE QUINTESSENCE OF HONEY IS MADE THUS

Take of the purest honey two pounds, and of fountain water one pound. Boil these together until the water be boiled away, taking off the scum that rises. Then take the honey and put it into a glass, four parts of five being empty. Close it well and set it in digestion a whole year and you shall have the essence of honey swimming on the top in form of an oil, being of as fragrant smell as anything in the world. The phlegm will be in the middle, and the feculent matter in the bottom, of a dark color and stinking smell.

SOME MAKE THE QUINTESSENCE OF HONEY AFTER THIS MANNER

Take as much honey as you please, of the best, and put it into a glass. First distill off the phlegm in balneum, and then extract the tincture out of what remains with the said water. Then calcine the remaining feces and extract from thence the salt with the foresaid water being distilled off from the tincture. Calcine the salt and melt it in a crucible. Then let it dissolve in a cellar, and then again evaporate it away. You shall have a most white salt which let imbibe as much of the tincture as it will. Digest them for three months, and you shall have an essence of honey.

AN ESSENCE OF HONEY MAY BE MADE THUS

Take of honey well despumated as much as you please. Pour upon it as much of the best rectified spirit of wine as will cover it five or six fingers breadth. Digest them in a glass vessel well closed (the fourth part only being full) in a temperate balneum the space of a fortnight or until the spirit be very well tinged. Then decant off the spirit and put on more until all the tincture be extracted. Put all these tinctures together, and evaporate the spirit until what remains begins to be thickish at the bottom and of a golden colon
This is a very excellent essence of honey and is of so pleasant an odor that scarce anything is like to it.
It is so cordial that it even revives the dying if two or three drops thereof be taken in some cordial water.

A MOST STRONG SPIRIT OF THE VINEGAR OF HONEY

Take a pound of honey and put to it of the best white wine vinegar six pints, an ounce of white pepper bruised small, of the strongest mustard seed bruised three ounces. Put these into a glass vessel so that three parts of four be empty. Digest them in a temperate balneum, or set the vessel in the sun for the space of a fortnight. Then distill them in balneum and you shall have a spirit far sharper than the common spirit of vinegar.
This spirit is stronger and better than any common distilled vinegar for the dissolving of hard things and extracting of the tinctures out of things.

OIL OR QUINTESSENCE OF WAX

Take of the best wax a pound and as much of pure sand well washed from all its impurity and again dried. First, melt the wax, and then mix the sand with it very exactly. Then put them into a glass retort well coated. Fit a strong receiver to it and set it in sand. Give it fire by degrees, continuing it four days, which at last must be very strong. There will come off a spiritous oil which must be rectified seven times in a glass retort, every time changing the retort, and you shall have a subtle oil of a golden color.
This oil extracts the virtues of all flowers presently, being set in the sun. It is wonderful balsamical for the cure of wounds or ulcers both inward and outward. Being applied outwardly, it also eases all pains, quickens any deadened member, as in the palsy.

WATER IS MADE OUT OF FLESH THUS

Take what flesh you please, the bloodiest part thereof, unwashed, being cut very small, and then bruised (or if it be a feathered fowl, take it being chased up and down until it be wearied, and then suddenly strangled, the feathers being plucked off without putting of it into water, and thus being plucked bare and the bowels taken out, cut the flesh, bones, gizard, liver, heart). Pour upon it as much water as will be sufficient, with what spices and herbs you please. Then set it over a gentle fire in an earthen vessel, glazed, the space of 24 hours. Put the head upon it and lute it close, and there will distill off a comfortable restorative water.

WATER OR LIQUOR IS MADE OUT OF FLESH THUS

Take of what flesh you please, or feathered fowl prepared as before. Bruise it small, and put it into a copper vessel tinned within side, without any water being put to it. Put a cover to it and lute it close. Set it in balneum or over the vapor of seething water. If the flesh be tender, it will be turned into a clear liquor the space of twelve hours, if harder it will require a longer time. You may put in what spices or herbs you please to give it a good relish and odor. After all is done you may strain it and keep it for use, being very restorative and good for weak stomachs that cannot concoct hard meat.
If this be digested in a pelican or bolt-head a fortnight, it will be far better.
After this manner may be prepared snails, worms, and such like which are very medicinal.

A VERY EXCELLENT RESTORATIVE LIQUOR

Take of the heart, lungs, and liver of a calf, the seine parts of a fox new killed, cut them small, and put to them a quart of shell snails well scoured with salt water. Let these be put into a copper vessel tinned within side and covered close that no vapor comes forth. Set this vessel over the vapor of seething water, and in 24 hours or thereabouts they will be for the most part of them turned into a liquor of themselves. Then take out this liquor and put it into a large pelican or bolt-head, putting to them a quart of old Mallago wine, rosemary flowers, betony flowers, marigold flowers, marsh wallow flowers, of each a handful; half a pound of raisins of the sun stoned, mace, and nutmeg, of each two drams; then pour off that which is clear from the feces and sweeten it with sugar or syrup of gilly flowers. Let the patient take thereof five or six spoonfuls, three or four times a day.
This liquor recovers the decaying strength wonderfully. They that by reason of their weakness can neither eat nor digest any manner of common meat will, in a short time, be sensibly strengthened if they drink a quarter of a pint of this morning and evening.

A BALSAM MADE OF BEAR'S FAT

Take of bear's fat a pound, distill it in a retort, and rectify it three or four times. To this, thus rectified, put the tincture of rosemary and made with spirit of wine, of each three ounces. Mix them well together. In these infuse cloves, cinnamon, saffron, nutmeg, of each three drams, in warm ashes the space of a night. Then strain them and put to the oil four ounces of the best wax melted and mingled well together.
This is a most incomparable balsam for the gout and palsy.

THE OIL OF SNAKES AND ADDERS

Take snakes or adders when they are fat which will be in June or July. Cut off their heads, take off their skins, and unbowel them. Put them into a glass gourd, and pour on so much of the pure spirit of wine well rectified that it may cover them four or five fingers breadth. Stop the glass well and set it in balneum until all their substance be turned into an oil, which keep well stopped for your use.
This oil does wonderful cures in recovering hearing in those that be deaf, if a few drops thereof be put warm into the ears.
A nobleman of Germany that was famous for curing the deaf used this as his chiefest medicine, by which they say he cured those that were born deaf.

THE QUINTESSENCE OF SNAKES, ADDERS, OR VIPERS

Take of the biggest and fattest snakes, adders, or vipers which you can get in June or July. Cut off their heads, take off their skins, and unbowel them. Then cut them into small pieces and put them into a glass of a wide mouth. Set them in a warm balneum so that they may be well dried which will be in three or four days. Then take them out, and put them into a bolthead. Pour on them of the best alcolized wine, as much as will cover them six or eight fingers breadth. Stop the glass hermetically, and digest them fifteen days in balneum, or so long until the wine be sufficiently covered, which pour forth. Then pour on more of the foresaid spirit of wine until all the quintessence be extracted. Then put all the tinged spirits together, and draw off the spirit in a gentle balneum, until it be thick at the bottom. On this pour spirit of wine caryophyllated, stir them well together, and digest them in a circulatory ten days. Then abstract the spirit of wine, and the quintessence remains at the bottom perfect.
This quintessence is of extraordinary virtue for the purifying of the blood, flesh, and skin and, consequently, of all diseases therein. It cures also the falling sickness, and strengthens the brain, sight, and hearing, and preserves from grey hairs, renews youth, preserves women from abortion, cures the gout, consumption, causes sweat, and is very good in and against pestilential infections.

VIPER WINE IS MADE THUS

Take of the best fat vipers, cut off their heads, take off their skins, and unbowel them. Then put them into the best canary sack, four or six according to their bigness into a gallon. Let them stand two or three months. Then draw off you wine as you drink it.
Some put them alive into the wine, and there suffocate them, and afterwards take them out, and cut off their heads, take off their skins, and unbowel them, and then put them into the same wine again, and do as before.
This wine has the same virtues as the foregoing quintessence. It also provokes to venery, cures the leprosy and such like corruptions of the blood.

KUNRATH'S FAMOUS WATER CALLED AQUA MAGNANIMITATIS

Take of pismires or ants (the biggest that have a sourish smell are the best) two handfuls, spirit of wine a gallon. Digest them in a glass vessel close shut the space of a month in which time they will be dissolved into a liquor. Then distill them in balneum until all be dry. Then put the same quantity of ants as before. Digest and distill them in the said liquor as before. Do this three times, and then aromatize the spirit with some cinnamon.
Note that upon the spirit will float an oil which must be separated.
This spirit is of excellent use to stir up the animal spirit - in so much that John Casmire, Palse-grave of the Rhene and Seyfrie of Collen, General against the Turks, did always drink of it when they went to fight, to increase magnanimity and courage which it did even to admiration.
This spirit does also wonderfully irritate them that are slothful to venery.
It also provokes urine even to admiration.
It does also wonderfully irritate the spirits that are dulled and deeded with any cold distemper.
This oil does the same effects, and indeed more powerfully.
This oil does, besides what is spoken of the spirit, help deafness exceedingly, two or three drops being dropped into the ear, after it is well syringed, once in a day for a week together.
It helps also the eyes that have any film growing on them, being now and then dropped into them.

ANOTHER AQUA MAGNANIMITATIS IS MADE THUS

Take of ants or pismires a handful, of their eggs two hundred, of millepedes or woodlice one hundred, and of bees one hundred and fifty. Digest all these in two pints of spirit of wine, being very well impregnated with the brightest soot. Digest them together the space of a month, then pour off the clear spirit and keep it safe.
This water, or spirit, is of the same virtue as the former.

WATER OF DUNG IS MADE THUS

Take of any dung as much as you please. While it is still fresh, put it into a common cold still and with a soft fire distill it off. It will be best if the bottom of the still be set over a vapor. If you would have it be stronger, cohobate the said water over its feces several times; for we see there is great virtue in dung. It makes ground fertile, and many sorts thereof are very medicinal.

A WATER OF DOVES' DUNG IS MADE THUS

Take of doves' dung as much as you please. To every pound put a pint of Rhenish wine, in which let it steep all night in a gentle balneum. Then distill it in a glass gourd in ashes. Cohobate this liquor three times. If there be any volatile salt, mix it with the water.
This water is very excellent against all obstructions of the kidneys, bladder, it helps the jaundice presently, two or three spoonfuls thereof being drunk once every morning and evening.

A WATER MADE OF HORSE DUNG

Take of the dung of a horse that is fed in the stable as much as you please. Let it stand two days out of the sun and out of the wet. To every pound of this pour a pint of white wine. Let them stand in a warm balneum a fortnight. Then distill them in a glass gourd in sand. Cohobate this three or four times. If there be any volatile salt, mix it with the water.
This water is very excellent against the bastard pleurisy, stitches, wind, obstruction of the reins, bladder, very good in a dropsy, jaundice, scurvy, etc. If three or four spoonfuls be taken every morning in the water of juniper berries, it also causes sweat.

A WATER SMELLING LIKE AMBER MADE BY PARACELSUS OUT OF COW DUNG

Take of cow dung and distill it in balneum, and the water thereof will have the smell of ambergris.
This water is very excellent in all inward inflammations.

AN EXCELLENT SUDORIFIC MADE OF THE YOUNG BUDS OF HARTSHORN

Take of the young buds of hartshorn, while they are full of blood and moist. Bruise them into a paste. Then mix as much canary wine as will make a very thin paste. Distill them in ashes until they be very dry.
This is an excellent sudorific in all burning fevers and epidemical diseases. If a spoonful be taken by itself or in any appropriated liquor.

OIL OUT OF BONES AND HORNS IS MADE THUS

Take of what bones you please. Reduce them to a gross powder, and put them into a retort, putting a strong fire by degrees "hereunto. There will come forth an oil and volatile salt, both which you may mix together and digest them into an essence, the oil being first rectified with spirit of wine.

THE WATER OF SWALLOWS AGAINST THE FALLING SICKNESS

Take of swallows, cut into small pieces without separating anything from them six ounces, of castoreum cut small an ounce. Mix them together, and infuse them twelve hours in half a pint of canary wine. Then put them into a glass gourd and distill them in sand until all be dry. Then cohobate the liquor three times.
This water, being drunk to the quantity of two spoonfuls every morning, cures them that have the falling sickness.

OIL OF EGGS IS MADE THUS

Take of the yolks of eggs boiled very hard. Rub them in pieces with your fingers. Then fry them in a pan over a gentle fire, continually stirring them with a spoon until they become red, and the oil be resolved and flow from them. Then put them into a hair cloth, and so press forth the oil.
This oil cleans the skin from any filthiness contracted by heat. It cures pustules, chaps, excoriations, ring worm, and especially all burnings.

A WATER OF THE WHITES OF EGGS THAT WILL CURE A WOUND WITHOUT ANY VISIBLE SCAR

Take as many eggs as you please and boil them very hard. Then cut them in the middle and take out the yolks, filling up the cavities with some of those whites, being first bruised into a paste. Then put both sides of the eggs together as before, tie them together with a thread, and with a string hang them in the middle of a gourd glass, so that they touch not the sides. Stop this glass very close and set it in balneum. You shall see those whites which were bruised drop down into a liquor which you must gather up out of the bottom of the glass and keep.
You will have very little of this liquor.
This liquor applied to any green wound with a feather cures it presently, wheresoever it be, without any visible scar. It cures most wonderfully all wounds in the eyes.

A WATER OF CRABS IS MADE THUS

Take of crabs or crawfish, as many as you please. Break them to pieces and macerate them in water of sengreen for the space of a day. Then distill them and cohobate the water three times.
This water is of singular virtue in all manner of inflammations inward and outward.

AN OIL OR LIQUOR IS MADE OUT OF CRAB EYES THUS

Take of crabs' eyes very finely powdered five parts, oil of tartar per deliquium six parts (this oil of tartar must be made of salt of tartar after it has flowed in the fire). Digest them in horse dung the space of a month. Then coagulate the liquor and make an extraction with the best rectified spirit of wine that can be made (or else you lose your labor). Then evaporate the spirit of wine, and there remains an oil at the bottom.
This oil is of wonderful virtue in all putrid fevers and such like distempers, and also in all obstructions, especially, of the kidneys.

WATER OF SPAWN OF FROGS IS MADE THUS

Take of the spawn of frogs gathered in March, as much as you please. Put a handful of salt to every quart, and put them into a common cold still. With a gentle fire distill off the water until no more will distill.

A COMPOUND WATER OF THE SPERM OF FROGS

Take of the sperm of frogs gathered in March about the new of the moon four pounds, of cow dung fresh six pounds. Mix them well together and let them stand the space of a day. Then distill them in ashes.
This water allays all hot pains both inward and outward, especially of the gout.

ANOTHER COMPOUND WATER OF THE SPERM OF FROGS

Take of the sperm of frogs gathered in March two pounds and a half, the urine of a young man three pints, new treakle two ounces and a half, white vitriol, salt, alum, of each four ounces. Then distill them and put to the water an ounce and a half of the salt of vitriol, camphor, and saffron, of each an ounce.
This water being applied outwardly helps all pains, especially of the gout, and such like, and also allays hot or cold swellings. It also stenches bleeding.

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