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Friday, February 27, 2015

HIDROPESÍA WITH A 13TH CENTURY ROOT DRINK RECIPE TO ALLIVIATE IT


Indication of edema – a symptom of malnutrition
Photo from Geno Teofilo/Oxfam 
dropsy (obs), edema, hydrops. It is the accumulation of watery fluid in cells, cavities of tissues of the body, which results in swelling. In medieval times, it was thought to be an illness directly related to overeating. Now it is known that it is not a disease, but a symptom of one, which could range from hives to a heart or kidney condition. It can be brought on by famine, a protein deficiency in the diet or a consequence of pregnancy or the menstrual cycle. It can be fatal if chronic.

Avenzoar recommended a fragrant rush syrup as a cure for its drying effect on the illness. The Anon Al-Andalus recommends a mixture of fennel root, wild carrot bark, caper and celery stems and other ingredients to eleviate it. Vilanova thought grappa, a liquor, which he called “water of life,” cured dropsy. The English drank a decoction of sea holly root for the same. Juniper was used as a remedy in both countries. [Anón/Huici.1966:489:268; Castro. Alimentación. 1996:228; ES: Renfrow. Jun 16, 04; Gázquez. Cocina. 2002:275; and Ibn Zuhr/García Sánchez. 1992:103]

MAKING A LITTLE DRINK OF ROOTS ADAPTED FROM ANÓN AL-ANDALUS #489 BEBIDA PEQUEÑA DE RAÍCES, RECETA PARA HACERLA, p 268[1]

Ingredients


Size Matters
Photo from: Pyogenes Gruffer
2 oz stems from a caper bush
2 oz celery
2 oz fennel root
2 oz wild carrots
2 handfuls lavender
2 handfuls cilantro
2 handfuls eupatorbium, of the rose family[2]
2 handfuls chicory
2 handfuls pennyroyal
2 handfuls euphorbia
1 oz cinnamon
1 oz cloves
1 oz ginger
2.85 gr saffron
3 lbs honey


roftibot picture
Photo from lys.dexic wigflip.com
Preparation

Remove 2 oz ea of bark from caper roots, celery, fennel and wild carrots. Gather 2 handfuls each of lavender, cilantro, eupatorbium, chicory, pennyroyal and euphorbia. Take a spice bag and fill it with 1 oz each of cinnamon, cloves and ginger. Add 2.85 gr. mashed saffron.  Put all this in pot and cover it with water. Boil until the water is flavored with these ingredients. Strain it discard the bark and herbs.

Heat 3 lbs honey and skim it.  Pour it into the water mixture with the spice bag and boil until it becomes a syrup. Pour this into a glazed vessel. Drink 2 oz of this with 3 oz warm water. Its benefits are: it is good for the liver reducing blood loose; it is useful for the spleen and cleans the stomach, eliminates excessive phlegm wherever found in the body, and it elviates diseases such as dropsy, if it be the will of God.


ANÓN AL ANDALUS #489 BEBIDA PEQUEÑA DE RAÍCES, RECETA PARA HACERLA, p 268
AMBROSIO HUICI’S TRANSLATION
Se toma de las cortezas de raíces de alcaparro, de apio, de raíz de hinojo y de corteza de zanahoria camprestre, dos onzas de casa una; de balbāl, de cilantro de pozo, de dawmirān, algãfet, archicoria, poleo y tamarisco, dos puñados de cada uno. La bolsa: canela y flores de clavo y jengibre, una onza de cada uno; de azafrán, medio mizcal; de miel limpia de su espuma, tres libras. Se cuecen las semillas y las hierbas, cubiertas de agua hasta que salga su fuerza; entonces se toma lo limpio de ellos, se añade a la miel y se lleva al fuego; se pone la bolsa en la marmita hasta que se haga un jarabe perfecto, se saca del fuego y se viere en una vasija vidriada. La bebida se hace de dos onzas con tres de agua caliente. Su provecho: aprovecha para el hígado y abre su oclusión; es útil para el bazo y limpia el estómago de lo superfluo de la flema, en donde quiera que se encuentre en el cuerpo  y es provechosa en las enfermedades de la hidropesía, si Dios quiere.


PERRY’S TRANSLATION INTO ENGLISH OF
ANON AL-ANDALUS #489. THE LITTLE DRINK OF ROOTS: WAY OF MAKING IT
Take the skin[4] of the stems of caper bush, the skin of the stems of celery, the skin of fennel root and the skin of wild carrots, two ûqiyas of each; two handfuls each of halhâ l (lavender?), cilantro of the spring, dawmirân, ghâfit,[210] chicory, pennyroyal and euphorbia. The bag: cinnamon, and flower of cloves and ginger, an ûqiya of each; half a mithqâl of saffron; three ratls of honey, cleaned of its foam. Cook the seeds and herbs, covered with water, until their strength comes out. Then take the clean part, add to the honey, and take it to the fire, and put the bag in a kettle until it forms a well-made syrup. Take it from the fire and pour it into an earthenware vessel. The drink is made with two ûqiyas of syrup to three ûqiyas of hot water. Its benefits: it benefits the liver and opens occlusions of it, it is useful for the spleen and cleanses the stomach of its extra phlegm wherever it is found in the body, and it is of profit in diseases of dropsy, God willing.


[1] Due to the impossibility of procuring all the ingredients, this recipe was not tried.
[2] As per Perry’s footnote 210.
[3] El eupatoriom de la familiar rosáceas.
[4] Note: descrepancies exist between the Medieval Chef’s version and that of Perry. Without having the Hispano-Arabic text available, it is not possible to judge which is right. Also the Medisval Spanish Chef does not translate directly but puts translation into modern language as much as possible. Perry, directly translates for the most part.

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