Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A cataplasm of webs



Research and poetry.....I remember the thrill of discovering how a spider creates a web across a stream. Of how she can spin a web across my lawn, from the apple tree to the elder.

Many things are still coming together. Walking on the racecourse with Julie and her dog, picking blackberries and elderberries. Raspberries from the allotment - still ripening, even more jam. Making elderberry cordial with ginger and cloves - it seems elderberries are a super fruit, even more so than blueberries.

Reviving my old obsession with Culpeper in discovering an amazing book at Yale Medical Library with brilliant illustrations. This remedy seems particularly seasonal.

A CATAPLASM OF WEBS
Take Venice Turpentine 2 ounces; Juice of Plantain 1 ounce and half; Figs 3; the yellow pareing of Orange Rind 2 drams; Bole 1 dram and half; Soot half an once; Pigeons Dung 1 ounce and halfl large Spider Webs 6; black Soap 4 ounces; Vinegar enough to beat it up with. To drive an Ague, tie this about the Wrists, so as to make it bear hard upon the Pulses, two hours before the Fit.

Thomas Fuller, Pharmacopoeia Extemporanea, 1710