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Practical alchemy archives - Primum Ens of Melissa

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Date: Fri, 14 Mar 1997 11:55:27 +0000
From: Greg Boag

This is my first posting to the 'practical' e-mail group. I have just
finished reading up on the Dec,Jan(?) and Feb postings and have found the
discussion very interesting.

My present area of interest is in the Primum Ens of Melissa. I have been
working on this ens for about five years now completeing a new batch of the
preparation every year during that time ... trying to effect some
improvements and increase the amount of finished product each year.

Some of you might have read an article I sent to the PON newsletter 'The
Stone' in its early stages on the preparation of the ens Melissa, so for
those of you who are interested in investigating this work and have found no
reference to it elsewhere you might try and find the description of the
process PON kindly published there.(I mention this because the ens Melissa
is a very good work for those most attracted to the vegetable realm or as
yet do not have a great deal of equipment).

Since the publication of that article I have learnt a lot more about the
preparation of this ens but nevertheless have found myself struggling with a
problem which I though one of you might be able to help me with.

In the final stage of the preparation of the green (sometimes
brown-green)oil which is the ens of Melissa itself it is questionable as to
how 'pure' the preparation is, for, according to rule rule of practice an
alchemical preparation when complete and pure or clean should smell sweet -
a sign of its having reached a maximum of purity. But the ens is not like
this at all. Its smell is quite earthy and so is its taste (even in a
dilution of one drop to 100mls of water or wine). This earthy state does not
seem to undermine its effect though for I have good reason to belive at
least one individual I know who has followed my regime for preparing the ens
Mellisa has had some very noticable physical signs of the rejuvinative
effects prescribed to such preparations as this.

As yet I have not been able to isolate enough of the ens each year (outside
of the batch I take myself during that year) to have enough to perform to
many experiments in further purification.

Has anyone worked with the ens Melissa ... or indeed any of the other
extracted ens' who is willing to give some advice. Or alternatively is there
anyone out there who can enlighten me on the subject of purifying
preparations to this 'sweetness' I have mentioned?


Greg Boag

Date: Fri, 21 Mar 1997 06:19:38 -0500
From: Beat Krummenacher

Dear Greg,

I have manufactured the ens melissae personally. Its color is yellow-gold.
The smell and the taste are pleasant and somewhat sweetish. However from my
experience the ens does not work as strongly as it should. A complete
spagyric essence is much more effective. Such essences are much more
delightful and more fine in their smell and in their taste. Why?

I have thought about why the process does not lead to an essence with the
predicted effects. In my opinion the reason lies in a misinterpretation of
the manufacturing direction. In reality potassium carbonate is used on
chemical examination to disintegrate the dried balm. As extractive solvent
one takes absolute alcohol. Both matters have significance in alchemy, but
almost certainly are not the both substances Paracelsus has used.

Consider: The salt magnet of the old ones was not potassium carbonate. Of
course they used calcined tartar as raw material, which however was
caustified by using further substances and first thereby was made to their
salt magnet. If one c austifies the tartar, so one receives an essentially
more alkaline salt, which owns a much stronger magnetic effect. In addition
Paracelsus might have used the volatile mercury from the dry distillation
of acetates as his extractive solvent. You may not forget, that the
alchemists widely have spoken of the spirit of wine, but have meant thereby
their spirit of philosophical wine.

Hence the repetition of the manufacturing process with the stronger salt
magnet and the spirit of philosophical wine might lead to the genuine ens
melissae. Whether this hypothesis is correct, I can not say at once. I soon
shall begin at any rate with the experimental examination of this

Kind regards

Date: Fri, 21 Mar 1997 15:56:18 -0500
From: Raymond P. Cullen

Dear Greg,

I cannot really help since I have not made an ens, but possibly we could
as a group look at the process that you have performed. Beat has a point
that the potassium carbonate may be too harsh. Could you summarize the
steps that you executed to create the "earthy" ens?


Date: Sun, 23 Mar 1997 13:52:54 +1200
From: C M Larsen

Dear Greg, Beat, Ray,

Just a few comments at present as I will await Greg's summary before
going into details - he lives only a few kilometres distant so I do know
his general procedure which after all is fundamentally the same for

I have made and used the Primum Ens Melissae for some years after being
spurred into action by a friend in North America, and find my efforts
both sweet and effective, although maybe not quite to the extent of that
written about in old texts.

I suspect the quality of my efforts is enhanced by the fact that I have
two grape vines so produce both my own alcohol and tartar, liquified in
comparatively pollution-free air. Of course, I also grow my own
Melissa which I use fresh as recommended in A Compendium of Alchemical
Processes (Glauber etc) reducing it to a thin pap as suggested in the
recipe following - not by laborious beating as recommended but in an old
kitchen vitamizer with a little of the liquified tartar. I add a
little dry tartar to resaturate the solution.

More details later but I will just say that this results in a final
green oil, sweet and effective. I would be very interested to hear
from anyone, like myself, in the older age group who has used the Ens as
it is difficult to ascertain the supposed rejunvenating effect in a
younger person. I do know that my hair seems to return to its natural
colour while I'm taking a course of Ens. Other effects are not quite
so obvious but I certainly feel good on it!

All the best,

Colleen Larsen

Date: Wed, 26 Mar 1997 16:07:51 +1200
From: Greg Boag

To Beat and Raymond

Firstly to the notes Beat provided concerning my questions. You stated that
the Melissa Ens you produced was yellow-gold tincture. It first when I
worked with this preparation I only obtained a yellowish-brown tincture as
well. In fact when I published my article in the PON newsletter on the Ens
Melissa I suggested that the green could not be obtained (as the original
recipe in Franz Hartmans 'Paracelsus the Great' called for). But since those
early experiments I have found that the green tincture is hard to get if you
only use dry Melissa. (The original recipe calls for fresh herb). The green
tincture (which I believe is largely chlorophyl) can be obtained from the
dry herb if it is expressed under pressure after filtering it out of the
Tarter-water solution. Otherwise I have found out that the green tincture is
most easily obtained by putting fresh Melissa in the blender with the tarter
saturated solution and pulping it for about five minutes.I believe that the
effect of the preparation is greatly enhanced by the addition of this
chlorophyl tincture.

You also suggested that the effectiveness of a preparation made from the
original recipe was not as expected. Therefore you suggest some alterations
to the method and material used. My question would be "do you know whether
philo' Merc' floats on top of a tarter saturated solution? And is it a good
idea to mix pure materials from two different kingdoms in one preparation as
you suggest?

I have found that the preparation can produce effects as the Hartman recipe
demands (loss of fingernails, hair and teeth which grow back). Remember my
original question wasnt about effects but about improving the final product.
The first time I took 3 drops of this diluted Ens in wine I felt mild shocks
of electricity shoot out the ends of my fingers. The sensation was not
unlike the discharge of static electricity. About a year later a gave a
small bottle of the diluted Ens to a friend who is aged, unhealthy and
somked 60 cigarettes a day. Within one month he had begun to loose both
fingernails and toenails. Within three months he had lost almost all of all
fingernails and toenails (thet grew back in time).

I have found in every case of the use of Ens I have produced individuals
experienced increased sweating, salivation, darkening of the urine and feces
and some mild aching in the kidnies, liver and lungs for short periods.As
the body is cleansed the tincture begins to effect the mind and I have
witnessed individuals finding an increase in meaningful dreams of an
initiatory nature.

So I really dont think the error lies in the recipe but in the effective
preparation of the Ens Melissa.


The recipe.

Take a quanity of purified (calcined) Potassium carbonate. (I have used both
technical, laboratory and wine-stone). Expose to the air until saturated
during the spring months. Filter.

Take clean Melissa - only the leaves and tips.

Put equal parts, by volume, of the herb and saturated solution, in a blender
and wizz for about five minutes. Macertate for 24 hours. Filter the solution.

Take absolute alcohol and pour it carefully onto the now tinctured saturated
solution. The alcohol, of course, floats. So does the spiritual part of the
tincture. Therefore the spiritual portion of the tincture - the Ens Primum -
is dissolved into the alcohol. Once the alcohol has taken up all it will of
the Ens pipe it off.

This can be taken as it is or it can be concentrated by distilling off the
alcohol (as per the original recipe). This concentration leaves both green
and brownish oils which do not redily mix. (one is spirit basedf and the
other alkaline?). As per my original question, if the tincture has not
sweetened this is where you really notice it.

I have never obtained enough of the concentrated tincture to risk
experimenting with distillation (dry) of the oil but I have removed crystals
of salts which have formed upon drying the tincture.

Well there you are. For a slightly fuller description see the book by
Hartman I mentioned above.


Date: Sat, 29 Mar 1997 12:16:48 -0500
From: Raymond P. Cullen

Dear Greg,

I feel somewhat hesitant advising you since I have yet to make an Ens,
but we should be able to speculate on the Practical forum just like on
the Inner. I don't have access to the Franz Hartmann material, so I must
use your description here and in the PON newletter for guidance.

Since you stated that the aroma was "earthy", I thought that a possible
problem may be that you are decomposing the Melissa with too high a
temperature, either during the (Step 4 of your PON article) maceration
of the herb with angel water, (Step 5) digestion of angel water with the
alcohol, or (Step 6) concentration of the Ens by distillation.

In Steps 4 and 5 you state that these should be done at the first degree
of heat. What temperature are you using and how are you controlling it?

In Step 6 you state that the Ens is concentrated by distilling the
alcohol in a water bath. If you are performing this distillation at
atmospheric pressure, your water will be at or near 100 degrees to cause
ethanol(78) to boil. Have you tried doing this in a vacuum to lower the
temperature at least back to ~40 degrees?

When you added the alcohol to the angel water, did you shake the
liquids, or did you just layer the alcohol on top of the angel water?

I will attempt to make a Melissa Ens using a purchased dried herb,
purchased potassium carbonate and purchased grain alcohol. I will skip
some of the astrological conditions, since I believe that your problem
is chemical and not chymical. I should have a vacuum system running in
two months or so. One distillation unit will be for small quantities ~20
ml, so I should be able to try a vacuum distillation of the Ens.

Finally, your "earthy" aroma may be the same as Beat's "sweet" aroma. If
you are getting good results, why worry?


Date: Wed, 09 Apr 1997
From: Greg


Please excuse the dely in getting back to you. Regarding questions you asked
me in your last posting concerning the Ens (I'm sorry I dont have the date
and time of that poisting with me at the moment).

1)If you have access to a copy of the 'Alchemical conpendium' there's also a
recipe there.

2)Decomposing the Ens at too high a temperature?
I have attempted the first maceration (step4) at both room temperature, in
my hotwater cupboard and in an incubator at 50 degrees celcius. Similar results.

3)No I have not used a vaccum to distill the ens from the alcohol. I dont
have the equipment. You could be onto something there. I will be interested
to hearing of your results.

4)Yes I have produced batchs that have and have not been shaken. Similar

Lastly, you ask:

>If you are getting such good results why worry?

Simple. I want to improve on what I have already done. Always looking to
improve. I have such confidence in this preparation and the effects it can
produce I want to push it all the way.



Date: Thu, 10 Apr 1997
From: Arthur J Versluis

Dear All,

Would anyone know a good source for Melissa seed? I'm currently preparing
my various gardens and plantings, and would be interested in planting Melissa

Best wishes

arthur versluis

From: Norman Engel
Date: Fri, 11 Apr 1997

I do not know where you can buy melissa seeds....and I do not where you live.

However in the states most green houses and garden supply shops sell small
pots of melissa plants. Melissa grows quite vigorously and spreads quite
rapidly so two or three starter pots should provide a sizable patch its first
summer. Melissa is a perennial so it comes up year after year and can become
a garden pest if not closely watched.


Date: Sun, 13 Apr 1997
From: C M Larsen

Firstly to Arthur - if you are having problems buying Melissa at your
local garden centre, try asking for Lemon Balm which is what most people
in New Zealand call it. Any gardener with an interest in herbs is
likely to have it and be able to pass on a large clump.

A few more hints for those endeavouring to prepare an effective Melissa
Ens -

If you are using dry melissa, ensure that the herb remains under the
surface of the liquified tartar at all times. Try a sample and you
will know why! Your efforts can very quickly be ruined by the

A little extra dry tartar lying in the bottom of the flask seemingly
helps to keep both liquids in their desired state.

Using a vacuum in the last stage could easily be very helpful but I find
the following very simple and effective. I personally use a glass
retort for this stage in preference to modern laboratory equipment as I
find the hands-on approach easier with the small quantities worked with.

I carefully distil over the first, aromatic part - usually 10% but up to
25% if the quantity is very small. I put this in a sealed flask.
Then I distil most of the rest over and store for using again with

Almost invariably I find there is a little water at the end and crystals
as well as the green oil. As it is difficult to dry out the retort
with the residue still there while ensuring that no vestige of water
remains, I carefully pour the last little bit into a glass evaporating
dish and slowly dry it under heat.

I have a dropper bottle and covered filter funnel ready, then quickly
re-imbibe the dried residue with the first 10% in the sealed flask and
immediately filter it into the bottle. There is no need to wait as the
alcohol will immediately absorb any green oil.

You could repeat this stage if you felt there was any chance of
impurities still remaining, just as you would with other tinctures, by
redistilling off the alcohol and re-imbibing several times. Also you
could take the tincture right down to the oil if you want it really
potent but I find the tincture sufficient.

By the way, A Compendium of Alchemical Processes no longer seems to be
listed in Weisers catalogue so unless there is a new edition, it may be
unavailable at present. I would be prepared to copy out the short
recipe if anyone is interested. My copy of Franz Hartmann was
published in 1910 so I doubt if you will find that either! There may
easily be other sources though.

Lastly, I have a question - has anyone prepared a good usable tincture
of calcium, preferably from eggshells, and would be prepared to share
the method? I did try many years ago with rather pathetic results and
think it is time to try again.



I found a Kessinger Publication listing for two Franz Hartmann books on

Life and the Doctrines of Philippus Theophrastus Bombast of Hohenheim
Known as Paracelsus, 382 pages

Paracelsus: Life and Prophecies, 320 pages.

Do either of these books have the recipe for the ens?


Date: Mon, 21 Apr 1997
From: C M Larsen

> From: Raymond P. Cullen
> I found a Kessinger Publication listing for two Franz Hartmann books on
> Paracelsus:
> Life and the Doctrines of Philippus Theophrastus Bombast of Hohenheim
> Known as Paracelsus, 382 pages
> Paracelsus: Life and Prophecies, 320 pages.
> Do either of these books have the recipe for the ens?

The title of the Franz Hartmann book published in 1910 I have is 'The
Life and the doctrines of Philippus Theophrastus, Bombast of Hohenheim,
known by the name of Paracelsus' It is great to see that it is
available in another edition. The Primum Ens is found in the appendix,
very near the end of the book.

I have not seen the other title so cannot comment on it.