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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

ÁLOE INDIO WITH ALOE SYRUP ADAPTED RECIPE FROM AL-ANDALUS

Aquilaria tree showing darker agarwood. Poachers had scraped off the
bark to allow the tree to be come infected by the ascomycetous mold.
Photo by: en.wikipedia.org
árbol de la India (aquilasia agalloca, agáloco), Gr. agallochon, Heb. ahalim,  L. Aquilaria agallocha, Eng.  agarwood, aloes wood. This 120’ tall laurel-like sprawling tree is native of Indian Himalayas. It spread to Arabia, Medina and Babylonia. The wood cited in Arab texts has been translated as “aloe wood” for its appearance is like aloe the plant. Agarwood was mentioned in the Bible. Adam took shoots of it from the Garden of Paradise and replanted them elsewhere. All agarwood trees, therefore, are supposed to be descended from that one. The natural wood of the tree is light in color. Under normal conditions only 7% of the trees become infected with ascomycetous mold, a fungus producing an aromatic dark gum resin from which the oil is extracted that was used as incense in Al-Andalus’ mosques. It was used in perfumes and electuaries and always was been linked to the sovereigns’ use of it, as it was expensive. Even though today trees are inoculated with ascomycetous mold  or the bark is stripped off to expose them to this a fungus, the oil is a bit more expensive as the tree is a potentially threatened species.  [Anón/Huici.1966:490: 269 ; ES: Aloe. May 3, 03; ES: Shamsuddín. “Aromas.” Jul 23, 05; and OXF Eng Dict. 1989:I:A:242:356]

ALOE SYRUP. RECIPE FOR MAKING IT ADAPTED FROM HUICI’S TRANSLATION OF ANÓN AL-ANDALUS #490 JARABE DE MADERA DE ÁLOE, p. 269
for a few sips:

Trad: extraction bottles
the brown layer on top is the agarwood oil. 
This oil is sold for about 400,000THB 
(US$13,354.25) for 500ml.
Photo by: by qwadia
Ingredients

1 tbsp agarwood oil
 1 1/2 tsp  cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp  cloves
1 1/2 tsp  cassia
1 1/2 tsp  lavender 
1 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1 1/2 tsp grams mastic
1 1/2 tsp saffron
1 tbsp  sugar
1 tbsp  rosewater
1 1/4 tsp 8 musk seeds (see almiozcle)

Preparation:

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan except the musk seeds.  Heat, stirring constancy until the consistency of a syrup is reached. Remove it fro the fire. Grind the musk seeds. Pour the ground seeds and the syrup into an earthenware vessel.  Mix one part of this (1/2 oz with two parts water (1 oz) and drink (3/16 of a cup). It benefits are: it fortifies the stomach, the liver and other parts, cheers the heart, lights the skin color a little and relieves dropsy in the early stages. 

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