Glossary for "Digby" recipes

Compiled by Spencer W. Thomas with help from many other people.

This glossary attempts to explain some of the more obscure terms used in the "Digby" mead recipes. Corrections and clarifications are welcome. Send e-mail to me, spencer@umich.edu, or if your WWW browser supports forms, you can use the feedback form. I can especially use help with the herbs, including possible medicinal uses. Pictures would be cool, too.

Steve Mercer transcribed the complete list of ingredients.


Agrimony
A genus of plants (N.O. Rosaceæ), of which one species (A. Eupatoria), to which the Eng. name is usually attached, is common in Britain. See notes on herbs.

Ambergris
A wax-like substance of marbled ashy colour, found floating in tropical seas, and as a morbid secretion in the intestines of the sperm-whale. It is odoriferous and used in perfumery; formerly in cookery. See notes on herbs.

Angelica
An aromatic umbelliferous plant (A. archangelica, or Archangelica officinalis) indigenous to Europe, and cultivated (since 1568) in England, for culinary or medicinal purposes. So named on account of its repute against poison and pestilence, prob. from the fragrant smell and aromatic taste of its root. See notes on herbs.

Avens
Popular name of two species of the genus Geum (N.O. Rosaceæ), the Wood Avens or Herb Bennet (G. urbanum), formerly used medicinally and to give a clove-like flavour to ale. See notes on herbs.

Balm
Probably some fragrant garden herbs (N.O. Labiatæ); the chief are Balm Gentle or Balm-mint (Melissa officinalis) and Bastard Balm (Melittis melissophyllum). Also Field Balm (Calamintha Nepeta). May also be an aromatic substance, consisting of resin mixed with volatile oils, exuding naturally from various trees of the genus Balsamodendron, and much prized for its fragrance and medicinal properties (cf. Balsam). See notes on herbs.

barm
Yeast. More likely, the lees from a previous batch or the froth from a currently fermenting batch.

Bear an Egg
He is using eggs as primitive hydrometers. Place a raw egg in the solution. It will float at a certain gravity (does anybody know what gravity this would correspond to?). Sometimes he specifies that it should float "to the width of a groat" or some such measure. This means that the amount of egg showing above the surface should be about the size of a groat, a 16-century coin worth 4 pence.

Joyce says that her experiments with modern store-bought eggs give a 1cm circle showing at a SG of 1.080.

Bettony
(Betony) A plant (Stachys Betonica) of the Labiate order, having spiked purple flowers and ovate crenate leaves. In former days medicinal and magical virtues were attributed to it.

St. Paul's betony, a small species of Speedwell (Veronica serpyllifolia). See notes on herbs.

Bistort
A species of Polygonum (P. bistorta), named from the twisted form of its large root, bearing a cylindrical spike of small flesh-coloured flowers; also called Snakeweed. See adderwort. See notes on herbs.

Bittersweet
The Woody Nightshade, Solanum Dulcamara, a common shrubling plant in Britain.

Blew
Obsolete spelling of blue.

Bluebottle
The common name for the Blue Corn-flower (Centaurea cyanus). See notes on herbs.

Blew-button, Blue-button
Unknown.

Bloodwort
A name applied to various plants having red roots or leaves, or popularly supposed to stanch blood or to draw blood. Among these are the Bloody Dock (Rumex sanguineus), the Dwarf Elder or Danewort (Sambucus Ebulus); also Burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis), the American Blood-root (Sanguinaria canadensis), and genus Hæmodorum. See notes on herbs.

Borage
A genus of plants, giving its name to a natural order (Boraginaceæ). spec. The common British species (Borago officinalis), which has bright blue flowers, and stem and leaves covered with prickly hairs; it was formerly much esteemed as a cordial, and is still largely used in making cool tankard, claret cup, etc. See notes on herbs.

Bramble
A rough prickly shrub; spec. the blackberry-bush (Rubus fruticosus). Whether this is the "red bramble" he refers to, I don't know. See notes on herbs.

Broombuds
Most likely, the buds from broom: A shrub, Sarothamnus or Cytisus Scoparius (N.O. Leguminosæ), large handsome yellow papilionaceous flowers; abundant on sandy banks, pastures, and heaths in Britain, and diffused over Western Europe. Also the genus to which this belongs, and the allied genus Genista, including the White Broom, and Giant or Irish Broom cultivated in gardens, and many other species. See notes on herbs.

Bugle
The English name of the plants belonging to the genus Ajuga, esp. the common species A. reptans. See notes on herbs.

Bugloss
A name applied to several boraginaceous plants, particularly the small, corn, or field b. (Lycopsis or Anchusa arvensis); viper's b. (Echium vulgare), and other species of Echium; also by some old herbalists to Helminthia echioides, prickly ox-tongue. See notes on herbs.

Burnet
The popular name of plants belonging to the genera Sanguisorba and Poterium (N.O. Rosaceæ), of which the Great or Common Burnet (Sanguisorba officinalis) is common in meadows, and the Lesser or Salad Burnet (Poterium Sanguisorba) on the Chalk. The old herbalists confounded with these the Burnet Saxifrage Pimpinella Saxifraga, an umbelliferous plant resembling the Burnets in foliage. See notes on herbs.

Carduus Benedictus
Also known as "blessed thistle." An intensely bitter herb. See notes on herbs.

Celandine
The name of two distinct plants, bearing yellow flowers; by the old herbalists regarded as species of the same plant, and identified (probably correctly) with the `greater and lesser chelidonia' of ancient writers.

Common or Greater Celandine, Chelidonium majus (N.O. Papaveraceæ); called by Lyte swallow-wort. Its thick yellow juice was formerly supposed to be a powerful remedy for weak sight.

Small or Lesser Celandine, the Pilewort or Figwort, Ranunculus Ficaria. See notes on herbs.

Chicory
The plant Cichorium Intybus (N.O. Compositæ), with bright blue flowers, found wild in the south of England, and elsewhere in Europe and Asia, and cultivated in various parts for its root. See notes on herbs.

Clove gilly-flowers
Cloves.

A dissenting opinion on this from Carole Newson-Smith: Clove gilly-flower is an old name for clove-pinks (mini-carnations). Their botanical name is dianthus caryophyllus granadin.*

Clown's Allheal
A name given by Gerard (1597) to the Woundwort (Stachys palustris). See notes on herbs.

Coltsfoot
The common name of Tussilago Farfara (N.O. Compositæ), a common weed in waste or clayey ground, with large spreading cordate leaves downy beneath, and yellow flowers appearing in early spring before the leaves. See notes on herbs.

Comfrey
The English name of Symphytum officinale (N.O. Boraginaceæ), a tall plant, common on margins of streams and ditches, with rough leaves, and drooping clusters of yellowish-white or reddish-purple bell-shaped flowers; formerly esteemed as a vulnerary. See notes on herbs.

Cowslip
The common name of Primula veris, a well-known wild plant in pastures and grassy banks, blossoming in spring, with drooping umbels of fragrant yellow flowers. Also called paigle.

French or mountain cowslip, the Auricula (Primula Auricula) See notes on herbs.

Conduit Water
The Oxford English Dictionary defines this as "spring water."

Dock
The common name of various species of the genus Rumex (N.O. Polygonaceæ), coarse weedy herbs with thickened rootstock, sheathing stipules, and panicled racemes of inconspicuous greenish flowers. Without qualifying word usually the common dock (R. obtusifolius), well known as the popular antidote for nettle-stings. See notes on herbs.

Dragons, Green Dragon, Dragonwort
The plant Dracunculus vulgaris (formerly Arum Dracunculus). See notes on herbs.

Eglantine
Sweetbriar. See notes on herbs.

Elecampane
A perennial composite plant, Horse-heal (Inula Helenium), with very large yellow radiate flowers and bitter aromatic leaves and root; formerly used as a tonic and stimulant. See notes on herbs.

Eringo, Eryngo
The candied root of the Sea Holly (Eryngium maritimum), formerly used as a sweetmeat, and regarded as an aphrodisiac. See notes on herbs.

Eyebright
The popular name of the plant Euphrasia officinalis, formerly in repute as a remedy for weak eyes: = euphrasy. See notes on herbs.

Feverfew
The plant Pyrethrum Parthenium. (Dialect) The Erythræa Centaurium. See notes on herbs.

Ground-ivy
The herb ale-hoof, Nepeta Glechoma or Glechoma hederacea, a common labiate plant having bluish-purple flowers and kidney-shaped leaves. See notes on herbs.

Groundsel
Any plant belonging to the genus Senecio (N.O. Compositæ), esp. S. vulgaris (`common groundsel'), a common European weed, which is given as food to cage-birds and was formerly largely used for medical purposes. See notes on herbs.

Furnace
OED: A boiler, cauldron, crucible. Obs. exc. dial.

Galingale
The aromatic root of certain East Indian plants of the genera Alpinia and Kæmpferia, formerly much used in medicine and cookery.

Applied to an English species of sedge, Cyperus longus, sometimes distinguished as `English galingale', the root of which has similar properties to those of the true galingale.

Gallon
From the Measures of Capacity FAQ: U.K.: "...for ale 282 cu in; for wine 231 cu in" (Conner, p 364) Note that the 231 cu in wine gallon is identical to the U.S. gallon. This was the legal size of the gallon as established under Queen Anne in 1707. Also, the 282 cu in ale gallon is 1.65% larger than the 277.42 cu in Imperial gallon! The Imperial Gallon was established in 1824 as the weight of 10 pounds of water at 62 degrees F. However, it should be noted that the 282 cu in ale gallon does not imply that the derivative measures are not 1.65% larger. In particular the pint served in pubs is based on the 20 ounce pint. Camra members may argue this given recent regulatory statements in the U.K.

U.S.: 231 cu in, 128 U.S. fluid ounces.

Groat
The Oxford English Dictionary says, in part:
The English groat coined in 1351-2 was made equal to four pence. This ratio between the groat and the penny continued to be maintained; but owing to the progressive debasement of both coins, the `old groats' which remained in circulation were valued at a higher rate. The groat ceased to be issued for circulation in 1662, and was not afterwards coined under that name.
About the `old groat', it has this to say
A denomination of coin which was recognized from the 13th c. in various countries of Europe. Its standard seems to have been in the 14th c. theoretically one-eighth of an ounce of silver; but its actual intrinsic value varied greatly in different countries and at different periods.
Unfortunately, neither definition tells us how "wide" the coin is. I would presume that Digby, writing in the 1600s, was referring to the English 4p coin.

Steve Mercer <steve.mercer@network.com> writes:

Several countries have issued coins with the name Groat. The groat of Sir Digby's time and place was an English silver coin worth four pence. According to the OED, the English groat was minted from 1351 to 1662. Other sources give slightly different dates, but agree about the general time period. The groat ceased to be issued for circulation in 1662, and was not afterwards coined under that name. The fourpence or fourpenny piece minted after 1836 was occasionally called a groat, but this name was not officially recognized, and was rarely used.
According to the "Standard Catalogue of British Coins" printed in 1964, groats came in different sizes depending on the time and location in which they were minted. The English silver groat of Charles I (1625-1649) would have been the most common groat in circulation during Digby's lifetime. Measurements from the book reveal examples of Charles I silver groats that were the size of a US nickel, slightly larger than a US Nickel, Slightly smaller than a US quarter, and the size of a US quarter. The quarter and near-quarter sized groats were more common in the book. Professional coin dealers in 1964 would sell Charles I groats for prices as high as 150 Pounds for the very rare or high quality coins.
Gromwell
The common name for any of the plants of the genus Lithospermum (N.O. Boraginaceæ), characterized by hard stony seeds, which were formerly much used in medicine. See notes on herbs.

Hart's tongue
The common name of the fern Scolopendrium vulgare; also extended to other species of the genus; rarely applied to some other polypodiaceous ferns, as Olfersia cervina and Polypodium Singaporianum See notes on herbs.

Herbs
The Digby recipes call for a wide variety of wild and garden herbs. Here's a cautionary note from Joyce Miller on using them:

Seriously, though, nobody should go out and start adding handfuls of wild vegetation to their fermenters. That could be very dangerous. What was called "wild carrot" in England could be the same thing as what we Americans call "wild carrot", but probably not. Heavily-used plants were imported, but a lot of stuff here was just named after something it resembled back in England. And "dock" -- do you have any idea how many different plants were called by that name? It's just incredible. Everything from salad herbs to stinging nettles. Common names for plants were exactly that -- names commonly in use at that time and place, and these change over time and geography, just like language. If I find some sources for identifying medieval pot-herbs, I'll let you know.

The definitions in this glossary came, for the most part, from the Oxford English Dictionary. I've tried to verify, by looking at the quotations, that the definitions given here were in effect at the time Digby was writing (1600s).

Hogshead
"A large cask or barrel; esp.: one containing from 63 to 140 gallons ... A U.S. unit equal to 63 gallons" (Webster). Ian Nottage reports a U.K. hogshead to be 54 Imperial Gallons

Horehound
A labiate herb, Marrubium vulgare, having stem and leaves covered with white cottony pubescence; its aromatic bitter juice is much used as a remedy for coughs, etc. Hence extended to several allied herbs, horehound proper being then distinguished as common or white horehound. See notes on herbs.

Hypericum
A large genus of plants (herbs or shrubs), of very wide distribution, the type of the N.O. Hypericaceæ, having pentamerous yellow flowers, stamens arranged in from 3 to 5 clusters, and leaves usually marked with pellucid dots (specially conspicuous in the common species H. perforatum); commonly known as St. John's-worts. See notes on herbs.

Hyssop
A small bushy aromatic herb of the genus Hyssopus (N.O. Labiatæ); spec. the common cultivated species H. officinalis, a native of Southern Europe, formerly much used medicinally, esp. in decoctions. See notes on herbs.

Kiver
A shallow wooden vessel or tub.

Lady's-mantle
A common name for the rosaceous herb Alchemilla vulgaris. See notes on herbs.

Liverwort
The lichen-like plant Marchantia polymorpha. Also agrimony. See notes on herbs.

Maidenhair
The name of certain ferns having fine hair-like stalks and delicate fronds.

Adiantum Capillus-veneris, called also black or true maidenhair; formerly much used in medicine.

Asplenium Trichomanes, called also common or English maidenhair. See notes on herbs.

Marshmallow
A shrubby herb, Althea officinalis (NO. Malvaceæ), which grows near salt marshes, having ovate leaves, pale rose-coloured flowers, and a mucilaginous root. See notes on herbs.

May-weed
Not clear. OED says "see maythe," under which it has Stinking Camomile, Anthemis Cotula. Applied also to various other composite plants resembling this, as Anthemis nobilis, Matricaria Chamomilla, M. inodora, Chrysanthemum Leucanthemum, Pyrethrum Parthenium. Red maythe refers to red or purple camomile, Adonis autumnalis.

It also says, "see maidweed," which is Stinking Camomile. Neither reference explictly mentions "brown mayweed," which is what Digby lists. See notes on herbs.

Meadow-sweet
The rosaceous plant Spiræa Ulmaria, common in moist meadows and along the banks of streams, growing on erect, rigid stems to a height of about two feet, with dense heads of creamy white and highly fragrant flowers. In the U.S. applied to another species, S. salicifolia. See notes on herbs.

Mellilot
(Melilot) A plant of the leguminous genus Melilotus, esp. M. officinalis or Yellow Melilot, the dried flowers of which were formerly much used in making plasters, poultices, etc. See notes on herbs.

Mouse-ear
A species of hawkweed, Hieracium Pilosella. See notes on herbs.

Mugwort
The plant Artemisia vulgaris, formerly also called motherwort. Also applied to other species of Artemisia, as wormwood, A. Absinthium.See notes on herbs.

Muscovy
A species of Crane's-bill or Geranium, Erodium moschatum. See notes on herbs.

Mother of wine
The OED says, in a definition of "mother": "Dregs, scum. ... applied chiefly to the scum rising to the surface of fermenting liquors. Obs."

(A 1611 definition) The white, or mouldie spots that float on the top of old wine.

Nettle
Digby refers to the red nettle, probably the red dead-nettle, but may be a variety of the stinging nettle (genus Urtica).

Dead-nettle The English name for plants of the genus Lamium (N.O. Labiatæ), having leaves like those of a nettle, but which do not sting; esp. L. album white dead-nettle, and L. purpureum red dead-nettle; also applied to L. Galeobdolon (G. luteum) yellow dead-nettle or archangel, and occasionally to species of Stachys or other labiates. See notes on herbs.

Oak of Jerusalem
Chenopodium Botrys, having leaves jagged like those of an oak. See notes on herbs.

Organ, Origan, Origanum
A plant of the genus Origanum, esp. Wild Marjoram (O. vulgare); formerly also applied to other aromatic labiates, as Pennyroyal (Mentha Pulegium).

Digby may use the term "organ" for pennyroyal, while "origanum" is used for wild marjoram. See notes on herbs.

Orris
A plant of the genus Iris, esp. Iris germanica and I. florentina; the flower-de-luce. The rhizome of three species of Iris (I. florentina, I. germanica, I. pallida), which has a fragrant odour like that of violets; it is used powdered as a perfume and in medicine. See notes on herbs.

Oseille
Sorrel.

Pellitory (of the Wall), Parietary
A low bushy plant (Parietaria officinalis, N.O. Urticaceæ) with small ovate leaves and greenish flowers, growing upon or at the foot of walls. Commonly distinguished as pellitory of the wall. See notes on herbs.

Pennyroyal
A species of mint (Mentha Pulegium), with small leaves and prostrate habit; formerly much cultivated and esteemed for its supposed medicinal virtues. See notes on herbs.

Philipendula, Filipendula
The drop-wort (Spiræa Filipendula). See notes on herbs.

Pimpernel
The OED gives three definitions, the first two listed "obsolete," with the latest authoritative quotations in the 1580s. The third is supported by quotations starting in 1538. This makes it difficult to determine which plant was meant by Digby. See notes on herbs.

1. Originally (as still in the Romanic languages) applied to Great Burnet, Sanguisorba officinalis, and Salad Burnet, Poterium Sanguisorba. (According to some, properly to the latter.)

2. Burnet Saxifrage (Pimpinella Saxifraga, N.O. Umbelliferæ).

3. Now, The common name of Anagallis arvensis (N.O. Primulaceæ), a small decumbent annual found in cornfields and waste ground, with smooth ovate opposite leaves, and bright scarlet flowers (varying with blue, and, more rarely, flesh-coloured or white) which close in cloudy or rainy weather (whence its rustic names poor man's weatherglass, shepherd's glass, etc.): distinctively called field or scarlet pimpernel.

Pottle
This term was used for 1/2 a gallon in reference to beer. See also the Measures of Capacity FAQ.

Pourpier, Purpie
Apparently, Digby's Pourpier is the same as purpie, for which the OED says, "In medieval lists of plant-names a regular synonym of portulaca." In particular, it seems to be the same as purslane. See notes on herbs.

Portulaca A genus of plants, comprising low succulent herbs bearing white, yellow, red, or purple terminal flowers, expanding only once in direct sunshine; esp. a plant of a cultivated species of this genus.

Primrose
A well-known plant (Primula veris var. acaulis Linn., P. vulgaris Huds., P. acaulis Jacq., P. grandiflora Lam.), bearing pale yellowish flowers in early spring, growing wild in woods and hedges and on banks, esp. on clayey soil, and cultivated in many varieties as a garden plant. Also, the flower of this plant. (But note: Formerly applied to the Daisy, Bellis perennis.) See notes on herbs.

Pugil
Etymologically, a handful; but from the 17th century defined as `as much as can be taken up between the thumb and the next two (or sometimes three) fingers'; a little handful or big pinch.

Purslane
A low succulent herb, Portulaca oleracea, widely distributed throughout tropical and warmer temperate regions, used in salads, and sometimes as a pot-herb, or for pickling. Also called common or garden purslane. Formerly cultivated in English kitchen gardens, but now rarely met with. See notes on herbs.

Raisins of the sun
Sun-dried grapes.

Ribwort
The Narrow-leaved Plantain (Plantago lanceolata); ribgrass. See notes on herbs.

Rocket
Also known as Arugula and Rocquet. A cruciferous annual (Eruca sativa) having purple-veined white flowers and acrid leaves, used in Southern Europe as a salad. Also, wild rocket, hedge mustard. See notes on herbs.

Rue
A perennial evergreen shrub of the genus Ruta, esp. Ruta graveolens, having bitter, strong-scented leaves which were formerly much used for medicinal purposes. See notes on herbs.

Sack
OED: "A general name for a class of white wines formerly imported from Spain and the Canaries." This includes, but is not limited to, sherry.

Sanicle
The umbelliferous plant Sanicula europæa (more fully wood sanicle). Also, in extended sense, any plant of the genus Sanicula, as S. marilandica, the black snakeroot. See notes on herbs.

Saxifrage
Any plant of the genus Saxifraga, esp. S. granulata (White Meadow Saxifrage). The numerous species are mostly dwarf herbs with tufted foliage and panicles of white, yellow or red flowers; many root in the clefts of rocks. See notes on herbs.

Scabious
Any of the herbaceous plants of the genus Scabiosa (N.O. Dipsaceæ), formerly believed to be efficacious for the cure of certain skin-diseases. See notes on herbs.

Scurvy grass
A cruciferous plant, Cochlearia officinalis, believed to possess anti-scorbutic properties. See notes on herbs.

Self-heal
A name for various plants believed to have great healing properties, esp. Prunella vulgaris (Common S.), Sanicula europæa, and formerly Pimpinella Saxifraga (see pimpernel). See notes on herbs.

Skirret
A perennial umbelliferous plant, Sium sisarum, a species of water parsnip, formerly much cultivated in Europe for its esculent tubers; the root of this plant. See notes on herbs.

Smallage
One or other of several varieties of celery or parsley; esp. wild celery or water parsley, Apium graveolens. See notes on herbs.

Sorrel
One or other of certain small perennial plants belonging to the genus Rumex, characterized by a sour taste, and to some extent cultivated for culinary purposes; esp. the common wild species, R. acetosa.

Wood sorrel The common name of Oxalis Acetosella, a low-growing woodland plant having delicate trifoliate leaves and small white flowers streaked with purple, appearing in spring. See notes on herbs.

Spignel
The aromatic root of the umbelliferous plant Meum athamanticum, used, when dried and ground, in medicine as a carminative or stimulant, or as a spice in cookery. See notes on herbs.

Spike
May be French Lavender (Lavandula Spica). See notes on herbs.

Spleenwort
One or other of various ferns belonging to the genus Asplenium; also, the genus itself. Hart's-tongue, A. scolopendrium. See notes on herbs.

Succory
The plant Cichorium Intybus (N.O. Compositæ), with bright blue flowers, found wild in England, esp. by roadsides. Also, its leaves and roots used medicinally and as food (cf. chicory, endive). See notes on herbs.

Sweetbriar
A species of wild rose (R. rubiginosa) with fragrant leaves and shoots. See notes on herbs.

Tamarisk
A plant of the genus Tamarix, esp. T. gallica, the common tamarisk, a graceful evergreen shrub or small tree, with slender feathery branches and minute scale-like leaves, growing in sandy places in S. Europe and W. Asia, and now much planted by the seashore in the south of England. See notes on herbs.

Tansy
An erect herbaceous plant, Tanacetum vulgare, N.O. Compositæ, tribe Corymbiferæ, growing about two feet high, with deeply cut and divided leaves, and terminal corymbs of yellow rayless button-like flowers; all parts of the plant have a strong aromatic scent and bitter taste.

Formerly much used in medicine as a stomachic, and in cookery. See notes on herbs.

Applied to other plants, esp. the Silverweed or Goose-grass, Potentilla anserina, often distinguished as wild tansy and dog's or goose tansy; also locally to Yarrow, Achillea Millefolium, and Ragwort, Senecio Jacobæa

Threepence
Steve Mercer <steve.mercer@network.com> writes:
The threepence of Digby's time was a silver coin worth three pennies. Measurements taken from "The Standard Catalogue of British Coins" (1964) reveal that silver threepence minted during the time of Charles I (1625-1649) ranged in size from slightly smaller than a US dime up to the size of a US nickel. The most common size was about the diameter of a US penny. In 1964, these coins were sold for prices up to 62 British Pounds.
Tormentilla, Tormentil
A low-growing herb, Potentilla Tormentilla (Tormentilla repens), N.O. Rosaceæ, of trailing habit, common on heaths and dry pastures, bearing small four-petalled yellow flowers, and having strongly astringent roots; in use from early times in medicine, and in tanning. Also called septfoil. See notes on herbs.

Wallflower
A plant of the genus Cheiranthus (N.O. Cruciferæ), esp. C. Cheiri, growing wild on old walls, on rocks, in quarries, etc., and cultivated in gardens for its fragrant flowers (normally yellow or orange, though other colours are produced by cultivation). Also called gilliflower. See notes on herbs.

Wall rue
Also called Syrian rue, but I can't find any other information. See notes on herbs.

Whitewort
A name for several plants with white flowers or roots: Feverfew; Solomon's seal; a species of camomile. See notes on herbs.

Woodbine
A name for various plants of a climbing habit; in early use, convolvulus and ivy. The common honeysuckle, Lonicera Periclymenum, a climbing shrub with pale yellow fragrant flowers. See notes on herbs.

Wormwood
The plant Artemisia Absinthium, proverbial for its bitter taste. The leaves and tops are used in medicine as a tonic and vermifuge, and for making vermouth and absinthe; formerly also to protect clothes and bedding from moths and fleas, and in brewing ale. It yields a dark green oil. Roman wormwood is A. pontica or A. Absinthium; sea wormwood is A. maritima. See notes on herbs.

Yarrow
The common name of the herb Achillea Millefolium (N.O. Compositæ), also called milfoil and nose-bleed, frequent on roadsides, dry meadows, and waste ground, with tough greyish stem, finely-divided bipinnate leaves, and close flat clusters of flower-heads of a somewhat dull white, often varying to pink or crimson; sometimes used medicinally as a tonic. See notes on herbs.

Walm
The bubbling and heaving of water, etc. in process of boiling (melting, etc.). Also, one such motion; a `wallop', a bubble. A spell of boiling

Wine quart
57.75 cu in (i.e. the same as the US Quart), according to the Measures of Capacity FAQ

Wine pint
Presumably 1/2 a wine quart.

Recipes from The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir Kenelme Digbie Kt Opened: Whereby is Discovered Several ways for making of Metheglin, Sider, Cherry-Wine, &c. together with Excellent Directions for Cookery: As also for Preserving, Conserving, Candying, &c. First edition, London, 1669.

Transcribed by Joyce Miller <jmiller@genome.wi.mit.edu>

Glossary Credits

No doubt there are others I've forgotten to list here. If so, I apologize.