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Wednesday, October 13, 2010


aceite de ajenuz, nigella oil. It was not well known but it is light and if used for greasing a pan it diminishes excessive transpiration. Avenzoar claims that nigella oil was not used by physicians as few knew about it. He describes it as hot and dry. The light essence is beneficial for hemiplegics and for those whose organs have been affected by chronic illnesses such as paralysis. It is also good for patients suffering from tetanus. If rubbed on the forehead it diminishes excessive perspiration. He stated that the same effects are produced by mustard oil. See nigella. [Benavides-Barajas. Nueva-Clásica. 1995:50; and Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez1992:118-119]
aceite de almendas, Ar. dun al-laws, Eng. almond oil. See blog dated July 16, 2011.
aceite de azucena, lily oil. Avenzoar explained it is very good for the nervous system and for calming pain produced by cold. Perfume was made from lily oil since the times of Cleopatra at least. Reportedly she received Mark Anthony the first time on a barge with all the sails soaked in lily oil. In Al-Andalus, the flower was one of the most treasured in 11th C Muslim gardens. Wine was made from lilies too. See lirio and vino de azucena. [ES: Calle. “Poetas.” Sep 21, 01; ES: Nocera. Oct 12, 02; and Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:121]
A Selection of Cooking Oils
Photo by: jekemp 
aceite de baya de las bellotas, acorn oil. This has a heavy essence that hardens the members diminishing sensitiveness. [Benavides-Barajas. Nueva-Clásica. 1995:50]
aceite de bazo, fat or grease extracted from the spleen. Nola uses it to prevent a “Genoves tart” from sticking to a frying pan while cooking. [Nola. 1985:xliii-2; and Nola/Pérez. 1994:185]
aceite de colza, rape or conola oilsee colsa, aceite de.
aceite de eneldo, dill oil. Avenzoar described this oil as hot and humid. It calms pain. When the pain is prolonged the alleviating effect increases. Hispano Muslims used it for swelling of the spleen, by mixing 1 oz. each of cultivated hyssop, dill, wormwood and bitter almond oils. Further, after a patient was purged, he drank a little dill oil. [Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:121]
aceite de habas y de altramuces, fava and lupine oil. This is extracted like wheat by heating and has the same benefits although not often. Its action against warts is more powerful than wheat oil. See aceite de trigo. [Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:119]
aceite de hueso de melocotón, peach pit oil. This is extracted from the pit in the same manner as almonds. It is a good softener. See aceite de almendras. [Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:119]
aceite de jazmín, jasmine oil is a recommended perfume for winter according to Avenzoar. It was also recommended for muscular strain, hemiplegia, and facial paralysis. He described it as a warm soothing oil very useful for tumors in nerve organs. [Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:121]
aceite de las semillas del ricino, caster-oil. It is extracted from castor beans. This is somewhat like old olive oil being a good sedative. It is found in more than half the lipsticks sold today for its soothing affect on the skin. [Benavides-Barajas. Nueva-Clásica. 1995:50; and Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:119]
aceite de linaza, linseed oil. During the 10th C at least to the present, linseed oil from the Orbigo Valley in León and from Asturias was sent to the market in the capital of León. For cooking it is not considered as good as olive oil. [Sánchez-Albornoz. 2000:46]
aceite de lirio, lily oil, see aceite de azucena and lirio.
aceite de manzanilla, chamomile oil. It is very good for relaxing the limbs of the body. [Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:121; and ES: Herbs. Oct 8, 02]
aceite de matricaria,  L. Chrysanthemun parthenium, Eng. feverfew, feverfew chrysanthemum oil. The plant grows in cool places, especially in northern Spain and in dispersed areas elsewhere. Its yellow button flowers bloom in spring and summer. Medicinally, it is used for the same problems as chamomile as it is a stomach and catamenia tonic. As the odor is bitter, Laguna recommended it mixed with oxymel or wine and imbibed to reduce the phlegm and cholera. He found it useful for asthmatics and the melancholy. He also recommended it for mothers after birth. The oil dissolves easily and is good against cold. See manzanilla.  [Benavides-Barajas. Nueva-Clásica. 1995:51; Font. Plantas. 1979:586:811; and Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:122]
aceite de mostaza, mustard oil. Avenzoar noted that no one talked about mustard oil. The nature of people depends on what mustard provides as it is dry and warm. It is beneficial for organs where cold weather prevails. To calm pain, it is applied externally and serves as a substitute for mustard when added to foods. [Benavides-Barajas. Nueva-Clásica. 1995:50; and Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:118]
aceite de nabo, turnip oil. It is like radish oil but humid. See aceite de rábano. [Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:118]
aceite de naranja, orange oil, see naranja.
aceite de narciso, narcissus oil. According to Avenzoar it is good for lesions in the nervous system, dissolves tumors located in nerve organs and alleviates those suffering from hemiplegic. It is soft and aromatic. [Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:122]
aceite de nueces, walnut oil. Reportedly this was produced in Asturias. It is thought that it was exported to León. Due to the large quantities of walnuts collected every fall it is suspected that it was made in Leon as well during the 10th C. but this is not documented. [Sánchez-Albornoz. 2000:46]
aceite de oliva, OCast azeyte, Ar. záit, zayt, Eng. olive oil, see blog same name dated 20 October 2010.
aceite de piñones, pine kernel oil. Avenzoar explained that it is warm and dry. It is an agreeable tasting substitute for olive oil. It is used to cure illnesses caused by cold and alleviates cold limbs when massaged. [Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:120]
aceite de rábano, radish oil. Frequently, it was added to ointments. It is considered an aphrodisiac. [Benavides-Barajas. Nueva-Clásica. 1995:50]
aceite de rosas, rose oil or attar of rose, an essential oil. Avenzoar explained that it moderately cools. It can be said that it is in between humidity and dryness with a tendency toward the latter. It is beneficial for the limbs, expels fatigue and fortifies the body. It heals wounds with more intensity then any other product. Mixed with vinegar and oil, it is rubbed on heads to relieve sunburn. [Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:120; and ES: “Medicinal.” Sep 30, 02]
aceite de semillas, aceite de sésamo, aceite de ajonjolí,  sesame oil, see blog same name dated 20 June 2011.
aceite de toronja orange or citron oil during the Middle Ages. Today it would be grapefruit but that is a native of the Caribbean and was not documented until 1750. The oil is obtained from the flowers and the peel of the fruit. It has a smooth essence and is balanced between heat and cold. It fortifies limbs for the aroma and for its drying potency. It soothes and strengthens the stomach. [Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:121]
aceite de trigo, wheat oil. This was extracted by heating the grain to make it warm and dry. When applied, it removes warts. [Benavides-Barajas. Nueva-Clásica. 1995:50; and Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:119]
aceite de violeta, violet oil. It is good for inducing sleep and hydrating skin. The flower was one of the most loved plants by 11th C Muslims in Al-Andalus. In one of their most beautiful descriptions, it was said to be ‘the wings of a butterfly dyed with blackberries from the garden.’ [Benavides-Barajas. Nueva-Clásica. 1995:51; and ES: Calle. “Poetas.” Sep 21, 01]
aceite de Zamora, olive oil from Zamora. See blog same name dated 20 October 2010.
aceite dulce, OCast azeyte dulce, Eng extra virgin olive oil, i.e. fruity, mature. This olive oil can be salty, bitter or sour, as well, depending on its origin, pressing and maturity. [ES:Anon/Perry. Sep 5, 00; ES: “La cata.” Apr 14, 03; Ibn Razīn/Granja. 1960:48:21:52:21:377:29; Nola/Peréz. 1992:100; and Sánchez Albornoz. 200:44-46:ftn 58]

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