Antidotaria are full recipes with a number of ingredients that usually have a name – such as Aqua Matricariae – and include the ingredients, the purpose, the procedure and extra information.

Receptaria are short recipes frequently without a name, with fewer ingredients and fewer steps in the procedure. They can be described as being ‘medicine for…’.

Experimenta are based on first hand experience and observation or hearsay by a physician (or a doctor-without-degree). They could be experiments conducted by the author or learned from colleagues. They are found in commonplace books that physicians wrote for themselves. Such a book would have been divided into headings and blank pages and subsequently filled with notes and recipes.

Hysteric Troches

Take of Asa Foetida (Ferula – dried latex/gum) and Galbanum (Ferula gummosa – aromatic gum resin) each 2 drams and half; Myrrh (Commiphora myrrh –…
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Miss Efficient

Bitter melon is known as Miss Efficient in Nigeria for its certainty as an abortifacient. In Cameroon the seeds are used as a pessary. In…
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Troches

Nicholas Culpeper’s Compete Herbal, 1652. The Latins call them Placentula, or little cakes; they are usually little round cakes, flat. Their first invention was, that…
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The Savin Pills

Take the tops of Savin (Juniperus sabina), half a dram; Saffron (Crocus sativus) and Castor (Ricinus communis), each 15 grains; Take HYSTERIC TROCHES (see separate…
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The Diuretic Syrup

Take the Bark of the Roots of Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and that of Parsley (Petroselinum crispum/sativum), each 8 ounces; Spring Water 3 quarts. Digest in…
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Miss Efficient

Momordica charantia, aka Miss Efficient. A Cameroon abortive pessary: 10 seeds are ground to a past and divided into three small balls using saliva. One…
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Aqua Matricariae

White bryony (Bryonia) roots juice 3 quarts; Feverfew (Tanecetum Matricaria /Parthanium) and Rue (Ruta graveolens) 3 pint each; Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium) and Thyme (Thymus vulgare)…
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