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To be boiled with posset ale (after the curds have been well drained from the same) until a fourth part be consumed.  Then as soon as a cold fit or ague begineth drink a good draught thereof and then either labour until you sweat or else force yourself to sweat in your bed, and thus do whilst your fits continue.

[Posset ale = spiced milk curd made by pouring hot milk into ale.]
Cures Ague and Cold Fits

Daisy & Elder

Take plantain leaves, daisy leaves, the green bark of elders and green germanders (Teucrium {Speedwell}), stamp them well together with fresh butter or with oil, then strain it through a linen cloth, and with a feather anoint the sore of burning till it be whole.
Cures Burns

Elder Leaves

Take leaves and seethe them well in milk till they be soft, then take them up and strain them and then boil again till it be thick and so use it to relieve sores as occasion shall serve.
Cures Sores


  1. To make a drink to destroy any pearl or film in the eye take a good handful of marigold plants and a handful of fennel, as much of may weed (Arthemis cotula) and beat them together, then strain them with a pint of beer, then put it into a pot and stop it close that the strength may not go out, then let the offended party drink thereof when he is in bed and lie of that side on which the pearl is, and likewise drink of it in the morning.
  2. Also to clear the eyes.
  3. Also a restorative for the liver.
  4. For the stopping of the spleen take fennel seeds and the roots, boil them in water, and after it is cleansed put it to honey and give it to the party to drink and seethe the herb in oil and wine together, and plasterwise apply it to the side.
  5. Take the juice of fennel mixed with honey and seethe them together till it be hard, and then eat it evening and morning, and it will consume away fatness about the heart.
  6. Also to make a powder for the colic and stone.
  7. Also for the green sickness (chlorosis) in women.


  1. For lethargy or extreme drowsiness you shall by all violent means, either by noise or other disturbances, force perforce keep the party from sleeping; and whenever he calls for drink, you shall give him white wine and hyssop water of each a little quantity mixed together.
  2. For wasting of the liver (cirrhosis?) take of hyssop, parsley and hart’s tongue of each a like quantity, and seethe them in work till they be soft, then let it stand till it be cold and then drink thereof first and last morning and evening.
    [Hart’s tongue = the fern Scolopendrium vulgare]


To make oil of lavender, take a pint of sallat oil and put it into a glass, then put to it a handful of lavender, and let it stand in the same twelve days and use it in all respects as you did your oil of camomile.


  1. Take linseed and lettuce and bruise it well, then apply it to the stomach, and remove it once in four hours to reduce violent sweating.
    Cures sweating (fever)
  2. For frenzy or inflammation of the cells of the brain, you shall cause the juice of beets to be with a syringe squirted up the patient’s nostrils, which will purge and cleanse his head exceedingly; and then give him to drink posset ale, in which violet and lettuce hath been boiled, and it will suddenly bring him to a very temperate mildness, and make the passion of frenzy forsake him.
    Cures headache (migraine)


Take rosemary and sage, of each a handful and seethe them in white wine or strong ale and then let the patient drink it lukewarm for sickness of the heart.


  1. For a headache, take rue and steep it in vinegar a day and a night, the rue being first well bruised, then with the same anoint the head twice or thrice a day.
  2. To make a preservative against the pestilence (plague) take of sage, rue, briar leaves, elder leaves of each a handful, stamp them and strain them with a quart of white wine, and put thereto a little ginger, and a good spoonful of the best treacle, and drink thereof morning and evening.
  3. Take of rue and beets a like quantity, bruise them and take the juice, mix it with clarified honey and boil it in red wine, and drink it warm first and last morning and evening for an easy lax.
    Cures constipation
  4. For the stinging of any adder or venomous thing take a handful of rue and stamp it with rusty bacon till it come to a perfect salve, and therewith dress the sore till it be whole.
    Cures (snake) bite


  1. To stay the flux of the rheum (running nose and eyes) take sage and dry it before the fire and rub it to powder: then take bay salt (sea salt) and dry and beat it to powder and take a nutmeg and grate it, and mix them all together, and put them in a long linen bag, then heat it upon a tile stove, and lay it to the nape of the neck.
  2. Also the juice of mints and sage for a strong stinking breath.
  3. Also for the toothache take small sage, rue, smallage, featherfew (feverfew), wormwood and mints, of each of them a handful, then stamp them all together, putting thereto four drams of vinegar and one dram of bay salt, with a pennyworth of good aqua vitae (distilled spirit); stir them well together, then put it between two linen clouts of the bigness of your cheek, temples and jaw, and quilt it in the manner of coarse embroidery; then set it upon a chafing-dish of coals, and as hot as you may abide it, lay it over that side where the pain is, and lay you down on that side, and as it cools warm it again, or else have another ready warm to lay on.
    [Smallage = Apium gaveolens also called wild celery or water parsley]
  4. Take sage and salt of each alike and stamp them well together, then bake it till it be hard, and make a fine powder thereof, then wherewith rub the teeth evening and morning and it will take away all yellowness.
    Cures plaque
  5. If the party be outwardly venomed take sage and bruise it well and apply it to the sore, renewing it at least twice a day, but if it be inwardly, then let the party drink the juice of sage either in wine or ale morning and evening.
    Cures Bite (insect) or boil
  6. Also to make a water to heal any green wound; cut or sore with honey.
    Cures bruising
  7. For any fever, take sage, ragwort, yarrow, unset leeks of each a like quantity, stamp them with bay salt and apply to the wrists of the hands.

Willow Leaves

Take the leaves of willow and boil them well in oil and therewith anoint the place where you would have any hair to grow, whether upon head or beard.
Cures baldness


  1. For dim eyes, take wormwood, beaten with the gall of a bull and then strain it and anoint the eyes therewith and it will clear them exceedingly.
  2. For a swelling in the mouth, take the juice of wormwood, camomile and skirret (water parsnips), and mix them with honey and bathe the swelling therewith and it will cure it.
  3. To stay the flux of vomiting take wormwood and sour bread toasted, of each a like quantity and beat them well in a mortar and fry together with juice of mints and plantain and lay it plasterwise to the mouth of the stomach when it is hot.
  4. Take smallage (wild celery), mallows (wild mallow), wormwood and rue, stamp them well together and fry them in olive oil till they be thick, plasterwise apply it to the place where you would have the plague blotch rise, and let it lie until it break, then to heal it up, take the juice of smallage, wheat flour and milk and boil them into a poultice, and apply it morning and evening till it be whole.  Also for the dropsy and pain in the spleen.

Adapted from Gervase Markham – The English Housewife – 1615