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Baccus / Bacchus    

Bacchus - The god of wine, son of Jupiter and Semele.

"...Diodorus writes, that the vine at first was but one, and that was wild, but now by the help of Bacchus alone, from the quality of the ground, the nature of the climate, and the art of planting, it is varied into many kinds, that it were madness to number them up, and not worth our time…"

"…Set your head below that point, and you shall behold a huge face like  a monstrous Baccus, and your finger as great as your arm…"

Bactrian Camel \  Baetrian Camel   

Camel - A large ruminant used in Asia and Africa for carrying burdens and for riding. The camel is remarkable for its ability to go a long time without drinking. Its hoofs are small, and situated at the extremities of the toes, and the weight of the animal rests on the callous. The dromedary (Camelus dromedarius) has one bunch on the back, while the Bactrian camel (C. Bactrianus) has two.

See:  Camel

".. Didymus, in his works called Geoponica, reports, that in certain mountains in India, Boars and Camels feed together, and so fall to copulation, and gender a Camel. And this Camel so gendered, has a double rifting, or two bunches upon his back. …"

"…And this Camel so gendered, has a double rifting, or two bunches upon his back. But as the Mule which is generated of a Horse and an Ass, is in many qualities like the sire, so the Camel which is begotten of a Boars, is strong and full of stiff bristles like a Boar, and is not so soon down in the mud as other Camels are, but helps himself out lustily by his own force, and will carry twice so great a burden as others. But the reason of their name, why they are called Baetrian camel, is this, because the first that ever was so generated, was bred in the country of Baetria.   …" 


Bait - Any substance, esp. food, used in catching fish, or other animals, by alluring them to a hook, snare, inclosure, or net.

"…Moreover, if men fasten to the Hook the Bait that is made of a salted Mousefish, and move this gently in the sea, the Sargus will come to it exceedingly, and gather about the Hook for the love of it, and are easily caught by their greediness after the meat…"

"… Ticinus, a river in Italy, produces a Fish called Thymalus, that is not taken with the dainty Baits that other Fish are, but only with the Gnat, an enemy to man, and she delights in no other Bait..."


Balance - . An apparatus for weighing. &hand; In its simplest form, a balance consists of a beam or lever supported exactly in the middle, having two scales or basins of equal weight suspended from its extremities.  

"… Take a perfect Balance, and put in one Scale of any metal. .."


 "…if you will curb soft and loose breasts…as are unripe Services, Sloes, Acacia, Pomegranate Pills, Balanstia, unripe Pine nuts, wild Pears, and Plantain,  if they all boil in Vinegar, and be laid to the breasts, or some of them…"

"…Or thus may you restrain that part of common Whores, with Galls, Gums, whites of Eggs, Dragon's blood, Acacia, Plantain, Hypocistis, Balanstia, Mastick, Cypress nuts, Grape skins, Acorn cups.  Or in that hollow part where the Glans breaks forth, and gaping, shows the Nucleus, with Mastick and Terra Lemnia…"


"…And it will not only degenerate into Betony, but into Ballamint also.  Likewise the boughs of the shrub Casia, as Galen reports, will degenerate into Cinnamon…"


Ballast - Any heavy substance, as stone, iron, etc., put into the hold to sink a vessel in the water to such a depth as to prevent capsizing.

"…We made trial also of some kinds of earth that had been far fetched, such as they had used for the Ballast of their ships, and we found such Herbs generated thereof, as we knew not what they were…"


Balsamus, Balsamum, Balm

Balm of Gilead, a small evergreen African and Asiatic tree of the terebinthine family (Balsamodendron Gileadense). Its leaves yield, when bruised, a strong aromatic scent; and from this tree is obtained the balm of Gilead of the shops, or balsam of Mecca. This has a yellowish or greenish colour, a warm, bitterish, aromatic taste, and a fragrant smell. It is valued as an unguent and cosmetic by the Turks.

"… Palladius records out of the same author, that if you steep Artichoke seeds for three days together in the oil of Bays, or Spikenard, or Balm gum, or the juice of Roses, or of Mastick…"

"…When you go to bed, to eat Balm, and you cannot desire more pleasant sights then will appear to you, fields, gardens, trees, flowers, meadows, and all the ground a pleasant green, and covered with shady bowers.  Wheresoever you cast your eyes, the whole world will appear pleasant and green.  Bugloss will do the same…"

Balneo Mariae  / Balneo                      

"…Take Saxifrage, Maidenhair, Pellitory of the wall, Parsley, Pimpernel and Ceterach.   Distill them in Balneo Mariae, and let the patient drink of it every other day.  For it corrodes and eats away the Stone, though never so great…"

"…And setting the vessel under it, you shall have the mositure of it drop forth, and the Calx will resolve into water.  Put this into a glass Vial, and let the water evaporate in Balneo…"


"…Draw of the water by Balneum, and the Essence must then be expressed out in a press.   Ferment it in Dung for five days, and it will yield you the scent, color and virtues of the Herbs in perfection…"

Balsam  /  Balsame                 

The balsams are aromatic resinous substances, flowing spontaneously or by incision from certain plants. A great variety of substances pass under this name, but the term is now usually restricted to resins which, in addition to a volatile oil, contain benzoic and cinnamic acid. Among the true balsams are the Balm of Gilead, and the balsams of copaiba, Peru, and Tolu

"…If you add Musk, Amber and Civit to the aforesaid skins, they will smell much more sweet and gratefully.  Or take four parts of Western Balsam, one of Musk, as much of Amber, and rub it on your gloves with a sponge, and they will smell very sweet…"

"…  Balsame of the East, is a present remedy against Poison by ointments, or the biting of a Serpent, says Aetius…"

"…The Balsame, as they call it, which is brought from the West Indies, is excellent against them.  For when I anointed their mouth and jaws with it, they died in half an hour…"

Banda Mediolanensis    

"…After this, take three pounds of copper, that which is commonly called Banda Mediolanensis…"


Bane - That which destroys life, esp. poison of a deadly quality.

"…And then we will prescribe the manner of gathering fruit, lest they might be Bruised with handling or falling, which if they should, it would be their Bane, and the beginning of their Putrefaction. .."

"… Nardum kills sheep.   Dioscorides.  Cattle and goats, if they drink the water where Rhododendron is steeped, will die.  Pliny and Ononymus, an author nameless.    Flea Bane kills Goats and Sheep.  So does Savin…."


Banker - A money changer.  One who conducts the business of banking; one who, individually, or as a member of a company, keeps an establishment for the deposit or loan of money, or for traffic in money, bills of exchange, etc.

"…Which speculation is useful not only for Bankers, but also for Smiths, when they desire to try metals in Fixing of Silver, or other operations, which I will attempt to declare plainly…"


Banning - A curse; an imprecation.

"…And he ( Theophrastus) reports it likewise of Basil, that it will grow more plentifully and better, it it be sown with cursing and Banning…"

Banquet of the Wise Men    

"…Plutark in his Tract, which he calls the Banquet of the wise men, shows that a shepherd brought in the house of Periander,  A babe gendred of a man and a mare"  

Baptista, Leo    

"… Leo Baptista says, if you place a glazed vessel full of Salt, and well stopt with lime, putting oil under that no water may penetrate into it, that it may hang in the middle of the waters of a Cistern…"


Barbel - A fish of the genus Cyprinus, of the order of abdominals. The mouth is toothless; the gill has three rays; the body is smooth and white. This fish is about three feet long, and weighs 18 pounds. It is a very coarse fish, living in deep still rivers and rooting like swine in the soft banks. Its dorsal fin is armed with a strong spine, sharply serrated, from which circumstance it probably received its name.

"…The eggs of the Barbel, or Spawn are not to be eaten in May, because they are dangerous…"

Barbery Tree   

A shrub of the genus Berberis, common along roadsides and in neglected fields. B. Vulgaris is the species best known; its oblong red berries are made into a preserve or sauce, and have been deemed efficacious in fluxes and fevers. The bark dyes a fine yellow, esp. The bark of the root. [Also spelt berberry

"…or I take it, that the Oxyacantha, or the Barbery tree, is nothing else but a bastard, or a wild Tuber…"


Bard -  A poet and a singer among the ancient Celts; one whose occupation was to compose and sing verses, in honor of the heroic achievements of princes and brave men. The bards used an instrument of music like a lyre or guitar, and not only praised the brave, but reproached the cowardly.

"…and those are called Magicians, whom the latines call Wise-men, …The Celts in France call them Druids, Bards, and Semnothites; The Egyptians call them Priests; and the Cabalists call them Prophets…"

Bartholomew, Saint  

"…they answered he was a heretic, and that he had escaped from being cast headlong from a tower, upon Saint Bartholomew his day, which is the time appointed for the destruction of such wicked men…."


Barley - A species of valuable grain, used especially for making malt, from which are distilled liquors of extensive use, as beer, ale and porter. It is of the genus hordeum, consisting of several species. Those principally cultivated in England, are the common spring barley, the long eared barley, the winter or square barley, by some called big,and the sprat or battledore barley. This grain is used in medicine, as possessing emollient, diluent, and expectorant qualities.

"…Wherefore he took the purest and the cleanest Wheat and Barley that he could get, and having picked out all other seed whatsoever, sowed them in the ground…"

"… Tiberius has taught the way how do do it.  You must knead three pints of bruised or ground Barley, and put to it the froth of Nitre and a little Salt, and make it into loaves…"

Barley bread        

"…But to make them (Hair)  grow quickly, take Barley bread with Salt, and Bear's grease…"

 "…The crumbs of Barley bread burned with Salt sprinkled on, and Honey, will not only make the teeth white, but make the breath sweet…"


"…Then take Peach Kernels, with the skins picked off.  Seeds of Gourds, Melons, white Poppy, Barleymeal, of each one ounce and half…"

"… Bind Barleymeal Bran in a Linen cloth, and let it down into a pot full of water…"

Barley Straw   

 "…Then wash it with Lye made of Cabbage stalks, ashes, and Barley Straw…"

"…A Lye to dye the hair…Thus, put Barley Straw into an earthen pot with a great mouth, Feny-Graec. and wild Cumin, mingle between them, Quicklime and Tobacco, made into powder…


Barly-water - A decoction of barley, which is reputed soft and lubricating, and much used in medicine.

"…With us, women that have to do in the Sun, to defend their faces from the heat of it, that that may not be black, they defend it with the white of an Egg beaten with a little starch, and mingled.  And when the voyage is done, they wash off this covering with Barly-water…"

 "…Then make cakes of them with Barley Water, wherein Gum Traganth has been soaked.  You may use this for Soap when you wash your hands.  For they scour them, and make them white…"

Basil-Gentle / Basel                             

Basil - Royal

"", Culpeper, Nicholas, 1616-1654. -- "The greater ordinary Bazil riseth up usually with one upright Stalk diversly branching forth on all sides, with two Leaves at everyJoynt, which are somewhat broad and round, yet pointed, of a pale green colour, but fresh, a little snipt about the edges, and of a strong heady scent: The Flowers are smal and white standing at the tops of the Branches, with two smal Leavs at the Joynt, in som places green, in others brown, after which come black Seed. The Root perisheth at the approach of Winter, and therfore must be new sowen every year."

"…When this star rises, the Basil-gentle waxes whitherish, and corriander waxes dry, as Theophrastus writes…"

 "… Florentinus says, that Basel is an enemy to women, and that so such, that if it be put under the dish, and the woman knows not of it, she will never put her hand to the dish, before it is taken away…"

"…The seed of Withywind being planted near to Basil, as soon as it shoot up, will presently wind itself round about the stalks of the Basil, and by often winding about them, will wrap them all into one…"


See:   Cockatrice

In Greek and Roman mythology, the Basilisk, or Cockatrice, was a serpent with the head and wings of a cock and the tail of a dragon. Its glance killed whatever it encountered. A Cockatricewas often known as the offspring of a chicken Hen and a marauding Basilisk.

"…The Lamprey fights with serpents, and with her biting, kills the Basilisk, which is the most poisonous serpent that is…"

"…The Sea-Lamprey stayeth a ship, not principally with any one part, but with her whole body. And there be many like examples. On the other side, many things work by some of their parts, as the Cockatrice and the Basilisk, by their eyes…" 


Bastard - A natural" child; a child begotten and born out of wedlock; an illegitimate child; one born of an illicit union.

"…for I take it, that the Oxyacantha, or the Barbery Tree, is nothing else but a Bastard, or a wild Tuber. and therefore if a man follow that example of   Corellius, and Graft the Oxyacantha often into the branch or stock, it will be much bettered, and become the Tuber tree…"

"…Sometimes also, of a right and noble Vine is generated a Bastard Vine, and that so different in kind often, that is has nothing of the right garden Vine, but all nearly wild…"

Bastard Sicamore / Bastard Sycamore        

See:   Sycamore

"…There is an odoriferous water extracted out of the flowers of Azadaret, or Bastard Sycamore, very thin and full of favor…"

Bat's Bane   

See: Bane

"…Zoroastes in his Geoponics says they die by the fume of Ivy…"

Bay / Bay Tree                                

"…They are such as are very hot, as the Bay tree, the Buckthorn, the Holm, the Piel tree.  But Mnestor adds the Mulberry tree, and men conjecture so, because they will presently blunt the ax…"

"…Since Wine and Vinegar are wonderful good against the pestilence, or else of the Bay tree, whose leaves bruised and smelled to, will presently drive away pestilent contagion…"


The fruit of Myrica cerifera (wax myrtle); the shrub itself; called also candleberry tree. Bayberry tallow, a fragrant green wax obtained from the bayberry or wax myrtle; called also myrtle wax.

"…Also you may make Artichokes smell like Bays, if you take a Bayberry, and make a hole in it, and put therein your Artichoke seed, and so plant it…"

"…  Palladius almost as Dioscorides , in January, boil many Bayberrys, that are ripe and full in hot water…"


"…In my time, there have been seen certain Cherries in Naples, which they called Bay-cherries, somewhat bitter, but yet pleasant withal…"


Bdellium - A gummy resinous juice, produced by a tree in the East Indies, of which we have no satisfactory account. It is brought from the E. Indies and from Arabia, in pieces of different sizes and figures, externally of a dark reddish brown, internally, clear and not unlike to glue. To the taste, it is slightly bitterish and pungent; its odor is agreeable. In the mouth, it becomes soft and sticks to the teeth; on a red hot iron, it readily catches flame and burns with a crackling noise. It is used as a perfume and a medicine, being a weak deobstruent.

"…Take the flowers of Sage, Origanum, Mugwort, Savory, Elder, Sage leaves,… Spodium, Schaeinanthus, Bdellium, Mummy, Sagapenum…"

Bindeweed  / Bindweed    

Bindweed - All the Convolvulus family have purgative properties in a greater or less degree. Convolvulus Scammonia is used in homoeopathy. A tincture is made from the gum resin. The drugs known as Jalap and Scammony are produced from the Jalap Bindweed and the C. Scammonia.

 "…Then Distil the flowers of Bindeweed, Citrons, Oranges together…"


"…There may be made diverse kinds of sweet compounds, of which are made Beads, which some use to reckon their prayers by, and others to trim their cloths with.  Also Wash-Balls to cleanse and sweeten the hands…"


"…Add to the Wax, Bean-meal, excellent well beaten.  And this will burn candles without any excrement.  For it increses the weight and bigness, and the fraud is scarce discerned…"

"…Then wrap up the seeds in some small loose earth, which for this purpose you have before meddled with the ashes of burnt Bean straw…"


"… Columella.   Oxen will grow fat with Corn, Grass and Tares, ground Beans, and Beanstalks.  Also with Barly, whole or broken, and parted from the hulls…"


Bear - Any species of the genus Ursus, and of the closely allied genera. Bears are plantigrade Carnivora, but they live largely on fruit and insects. The European brown bear (U. arctos), the white polar bear (U. maritimus), the grizzly bear (U. horribilis), the American black bear, and its variety the cinnamon bear (U. Americanus), the Syrian bear (Ursus Syriacus), and the sloth bear, are among the notable species.

"… Bear eyes are often dimmed, and for that cause they desire honeycomb above all things, that the Bees stinging their mouths, may thereby draw forth, together with the blood, that dull and gross Humor…"

"…A Horse, that is a creature made obedient to man, has a capital hatred with a Bear, that is a beast hurtful to man…"


(Black) Hellebore (Helleborus Foetitus).

The Black Hellebore - once known as Melampode - is a perennial, low-growing plant, with dark, shining, smooth leaves and flower-stalks rising directly from the root, its pure white blossoms appearing in the depth of winter and thereby earning for it the favourite name of Christmas Rose. The generic name of this plant is derived from the Greek elein (to injure) and bora (food), and indicates its poisonous nature. The specific name refers to the darkcoloured rootstock.  (Botanical.com, A Modern Herbal, Mrs. M. Grieve)

"…The herb called Bears-foot, that which grows on the Hill Oeta and Parnasfus, is very excellent, but elsewhere, of small force…"


See Cimex

Bedbugs, family Cimicidae, order Hemiptera, are flat, broadly oval, wingless bugs about 0.6 cm (0.24 in) in length that feed by sucking blood from birds and mammals. The common bedbug that attacks humans is Cimex lectularius, which is often a pest in houses, hotels, military barracks, and other living quarters; it also attacks animals. This insect is usually nocturnal, hiding in cracks and crevices during the day. The adults may live several months and can survive long periods without food. Bedbugs inflict irritating bites; they are not known to cause disease.

"…The little worm Cimex is good against the biting of Asps, as Pliny shows by hens, who, if they eat that worm, are all day after, free from the hurt of Asps…."


Bee - An insect of the order Hymenoptera, and family Apidæ (the honeybees), or family Andrenidæ (the solitary bees.)

"… Aelianus writes, that Oxen are commodious many ways, among the rest, this is one excellent commodity, that being dead, there may be generated of them a very profitable kind of creatures, namely Bees…"

"…Nothing does more deform the visage then the stinging of Bees…"


Beech - A tree arranged by Linne under the genus fagus, with the chestnut. The beech grows to a large size, with branches forming a beautiful head, with thick foliage. The bark is smooth and of a silvery cast. The mast or nuts are the food of swine, and of certain wild animals, and yield a good oil for lamps. When eaten by man, they are said to occasion giddiness and headache.

"… Albertus reports, (if the thing be as true as it is strange, but let the truth thereof lie upon his credit) he reports, I say, that Oak or Beech boughs being Grafted  into the Tree Myrica, is quite changed into it, and so into the tree called Tremisca, which is a baser kind of wood…"

"…If you put them  ( Chestnuts) in wicker baskets, and plaster up the baskets round about.  But the rods which the baskets be made of must be Beech rods…"


Beer - A spirituous liquor made from any farinaceous grain; but generally from barley, which is first malted and ground, and its fermentable substance extracted by hot water. This extract or infusion is evaporated by boiling in caldrons, and hops or some other plant of an agreeable bitterness added. The liquor is then suffered to ferment in vats. Beer is of different degrees of strength, and is denominated small beer, ale, porter, brown stout, &c.,according to its strength, or other peculiar qualities.

"… Dioscorides teaches to make Beer of Barley, also a drink is made of Barley called Curmi, they use that drink often for Wine…"

"…whence Pliny, of Corn drink is made.   Beer in Egypt, called Zythum, in Spain , Caelia and Ceria, Beer in France and other provinces…."


"… Pliny teaches that Spelt will grow white by a kind of chalk, thus.  Let this Spelt be of Beer-corn, which he called a seed…" 


Beet - A plant of the genus Beta. The species cultivated in gardens are the cicla and vulgaris,or white and red beet. There are many varieties; some with long taper roots, and others with flat roots, like turnips.

"…As Sotion shows.  To make a Beet grow in bigness, says he, you must cover the roots over with some fresh Ox Dung, and divide the leaves or buds…"

"…He puts Beet roots bruised into Wine, it will be Vinegar when three hours are over.  But if he would restore it again as it was, he puts in Cabbage roots…"


Beetle - A heavy mallet or wooden hammer,used to drive wedges, beat pavements, &c.; called also a stamper, or rammer.

"…Theophrastus shows us how to do it.  We must take the young slips or branches of divers kinds, and bruise them with a Beetle, so that they may stick and hang together, and then bind them up very hard each to other, and set them in the ground…"

"…The art of Kembing, and making of it, out of fifty pounds of Flax bundles, to make fifteen pounds of Flax.  then again it is polished in Thread, it is often beat upon a hard stone with water, and when it is woven it is bruised again with Beetles…"


See:  Deadly Nightshade, Fair Lady, Belladonna, Hypnoticon, Solanum Manicon, Stramonium

"", Culpeper, Nicholas, 1616-1654. --"Common Nightshade hath an upright, round, green, hollow stalk, about a Foot or half a yard high, bushing forth into many Branches, whereon grow many green Leavs, somwhat broad and pointed at the ends, soft and full of Juyce, somwhat like unto Bazil, but larger, and a little unevenly dented about the edges at the tops of the Stalks and Branches, come forth three or four or more white Flowers made of five smal pointed Leavs apiece, standing on a Stalk together, one above another with yellow pointels in the middle, composed of four or five yellow threds set together which aftewards turn into so many pendulous green Berries of the bigness of smal Pease, full of green Juyce, and smal whitish round flat Seed lying within it. The Root is white and a little woody when it hath given Flower and Fruit with many smal Fibres at it; The whol Plant is of a waterish insipide tast, but the Juyce within the Berries is somwhat viscuous, and of a cooling and binding quality."

"…We may make the same of Nightshade, which is also called, Hypnoticon, from the effect of it.  A drachm of the rind, drank in wine, causes sleep, but gently and kindly.  This later age, seems to have lost the knowledge of Solanum Manicon…" 

"…  Fuschius his Stramonium, and the herb commonly called Belladonna whose qualities are wonderfully Dormitive…"


Bellows - An instrument, utensil or machine for blowing fire, either in private dwellings or in forges, furnaces and shops. It is so formed as by being dilated and contracted, to inhale air by a lateral orifice which is opened and closed with a valve, and to propel it through a tube upon the fire.

"…Then put them into a Fornace of reverberation, the space of six hours, increasing the fire by degrees, that at last they may become red hot, but not melt, therefore use no Bellows…"

"…For it will come so forcibly, that it will kindle a fire, and serve for Bellows for Brass and Iron melting furnaces…"


Ben - A purgative fruit or nut, the largest of which resembles a filbert, yielding an oil used in pharmacy.

See:   Benjamin, Oil of Ben , Glans Unguentaria, Morobolane

"… Ben, called in latin, Glans Unguentaria, is used in precious ointments instead of oil.   Pliny called it Morobolane.  So also Martial…"


See:    Ben, Oil of Benjamin

"…Is to be made by putting Benjamin into a glass retort, and fitting it to the furnace.  Then increase the fire without any fear of combustion, and you will obtain a fragent oil, to be used in precious ointments.  So Oil of Storax, Calamite, and Labdanum, and other Gums…"

"…If you want salt for your meats, the seed of Sumach strewed in with Benjamin, will season anything.   Pliny…"


"… But Beritius uses this means to make them stay long on their tree.  He takes the blossoms of the tree when they begin to wither, and wraps in them every pomegranate by itself, and then binds them about with bonds…"

"…But Beritius and Diophanes write, that the Mulberry tree itself, which makes all other Apple fruit to become red, may be caused to bring forth white Mulberries…"

Berotinum/ Berotinus   

"…Then make red hot a plate of iron, and lay part of the coat of mail, or all of it upon the same.  When it shows an ash color, workmen call it Berotinum.."

"…Then make the plate of iron hot again, and lay on the hooks a second time, and when an ash color, or that they commonly call Berotinus, appears, plunge them into the water again, that they may be strong…"


The Wood Betony (S. Betonica according to present-day nomenclature, though nemed Betonica officinalis, by Linnaeus) was held in high repute not only in the Middle Ages, but also by the Greeks who extolled its qualities. An old Italian proverb, ' Sell your coat and buy Betony, ' and 'He has as many virtues as Betony,' a saying of the Spaniards, show what value was placed on its remedial properties. Antonius Musa, chief physician to the Emperor Augustus, wrote a long treatise, showing it was a certain cure for no less than fortyseven diseases. (Botanical.com, A Modern Herbal, Mrs. M. Grieve)

"…  Martial writes, that, "Basil-royal degenerates into wild Betony," if it be laid open to the sun's hotest and greatest force…"

 "… Theophrastus counsels you to water them  ( Betony) with Salt Liquor, and so they will be better…"

Bewitch / Bewitched         

"… Isigonus and Memphodorus say, there are some families in Africa, that Bewitch with their tongue the very woods.  Which if they do but admire somewhat earnestly, or if they praise fair trees, growing corn, lusty children, good horses, or fat sheep, they presently wither, and die of a sudden, from no other cause or harm…"

"…The same Isigonus says, there are among Lriballians and Illyrians, certain men, who have two pupils in each eye, and do Bewitch most deadly with them…"

Bezoar Stone    

A hard mass of entangled material sometimes found in the stomachs and intestines of animals and man as a hairball (trichobezoar), vegetable-fibre ball (phytobezoar) or a combination.

"…The Bezoar Stone, brought from the West Indies, being hung about the neck nigh to the heart, or four grains of it in powder, taken in Wine, is good against the Plague, and the infection of all pestilential fevers…"


 "…Wine of Corn…Now the same drink is made in the northern climates of Corn, and they call it Biera, but they put Hops to it, for it cannot be made without…"

Bill of a Swallow   

See:   Swallow

"…The ashes of the Bill of a Swallow, powdered with Myrrhe, and strewn into the wine you drink, will keep you secure from being drunk.   Horus, the King of Assyria, found out this invention.   Pliny…."

Bind \ Binding    

Bind - To prevent or restrain from customary or natural action; as, certain drugs bind the bowels.

"… When Goats and Sheep feed on green food, because it will loosen the belly the more.  But Goat  Milk does not try the belly so much, because these Cattle feed on Binding meats, as on the Oak, Mastick, Olive boughs, and Turpentine tree. .."

"… Bind Barleymeal Bran in a Linen cloth, and let it down into a pot full of water…"


"…This is also made of the fruit Sebesten in Syria, and likewise it may be made of ordinary Birdlime…"

"…While you draw out this vitrified matter, let it touch the sides of the Fornace for it will cleave thereto like Birdlime, hardly to be pulled off without a part of the wall…"


"…Hence they called them Cram'd, because they were well fed, and had gross bellies.  Those were called Birdpens, where they fatted all sorts of ."


There are several species of the Aristolochias used by herbalists in India. The root is spindle-shaped from 5 cm. to 3 dm. in length, about 2 cm. in thickness, fleshy, very brittle, greyish externally, brownish-yellow inside, bitter and of a strong disagreeable odour when fresh.  (Botanical.com, A Modern Herbal, Mrs. M. Grieve)

"…Says Pliny, by the root the fishermen of Campania use, called, round Birthwort.  Also called the Venom of the Earth.  This root they bruise, and mingle it with lime, and cast it to the sea.  The fish come to it with great delight, and are presently killed, and float on the water…"


"…To dye the eyebrows with black earth like Birume or Sea-Cole.  Being burned, it is a very fine black.  And it is added to those remedies that serve to dye the eyebrows and the hair black…"


"…Gratius writes of this kind of Dog, thus generated of a Bitch and a Tyger. There is also another kind of Dog…"

 "…Also, a Dog will follow you if you have a Fecundate of a Bitch close in a bag with you, and let him smell to it…"


 "…There are such women in Scythia, called Bithiae, says Appollonides…(kill whatever they look earnestly on)…"


"…There is a kind of tree that brings forth a very bitter fruit, so bitter that is is called Amarendula, that is to say, a Bitterling…"


See: Oil of Peter, Naphtha, Maltha

Bitumen -Any of a group of solid and semi-solid hydrocarbons that can be converted into liquid form by beating. Bitumens can be refined to produce such commercial products as gasoline, fuel oil, and asphalt

"…Now I shall search out the kinds of Bitumen.  The first kind is liquid, called Naphtha, we call it Oil of Peter, which remains in stones and Kitram…."

"… Dioscorides says, that the Thracian Stone is bred in a certain river of Scythia, the name of it is Pontus.  It has the force of Jet, they say it is inflamed by water, and quenched with oil, like as Bitumen…"


---Synonyms---Bramble. Bumble-Kite. Bramble-Kite. Bly. Brummel. Brameberry. Scaldhead. Brambleberry

 "…Or else, if you open a little the skin of the seed, and put within it the juice of red Roses, Clove-gilliflowers, and Blackberries that grow upon Brambles, or of any other like thing…"

"…Of old, they made a decoction of Sage leaves, the green husks of Walnuts, Sumac, Myrtle berries, Blackberries, Cypress nuts, rinds of the roots of the Halm tree, and such-like…" ("How the hairs are dyed black…")


"…The Doves, for a preservative against enchantments, first gather some little Bay tree boughs, and then lay them upon their nests, to preserve their young, so do the Kites use White Brambles, the turtles Swordgrass, the Crows Withy, the Lapwings Venus-hair, the Ravens Ivy, the hens Carrot, the Partridges Reed-leaves, the Blackbirds Myrtle, the larks grass, the Swans Park-leaves, the Eagle uses Maidenhair, or the stone Etites for the same purpose…"

"…Ficinus reports, and he had it out of Albertus, that there is a certain bird, much like a Blackbird, which is generated of the Putrefaction of Sage, which receives her life and quickening from the general life of the whole world…"


"… Coracini, Blackfish, whose heads shine like Gold, allure the Aulopii, when they observe some such dainty food, and they come to it rejoicing…."

Blackmoore /  Blackmore         

"…When the glass is melted with heat in the furnace, with any little color it will be tainted.  If you cast in yellow, the face of him that looks into it, will seem to have the Yellow Jaundices.  If black, he will appear wan and deformed.  If you add much of it, like to a Blackmoore…"

Black Tin 

"…The ancient writers that have been conversant in the nature of metals, are wont to call tin by the name of White Lead, and lead, by the name of Black Tin. .."


Blacksmith - A smith who works in iron, and makes iron utensils; more properly, an iron-smith.

"…Put the Quicksilver into a casting vessel, and put together with it that water, which the Blacksmith has used to quench his hot Iron in…"


Bladder - A thin membranous bag in animals, which serves as the receptacle of some secreted fluid, as the urinary bladder, the gall bladder, &c. By way of eminence, the word, in common language, denotes the urinary bladder, either within the animal, or when taken out and inflated with air.

"…Make Glass balls, but of pure glass, and without Bladders as much as you can, as the receivers for distillations…"

"…And that for twentyfour hours, and it will here and there make little Bladders, which being touched, will bleed much blood, that she can hardly be known from a maid..."


Blanch: To make white by removing the skin of, as by scalding; as, to blanch almonds. To whiten, as the surface of meat, by plunging into boiling water and afterwards into cold, so as to harden the surface and retain the juices.

:…Use often bitter Almonds, half a pound.  Put them in hot water to Blanch them…"

"…To extract oil out of Citron seed. We must use the same means.   Blanch and cleanse them…"


"…They take the melted glass out with an Iron.  With their Blast they frame an empty Pillar.  They open it on one side with their Tongs, and while it is red hot they lay it upon a plain plate of Iron, that is equally made…"

Bloodstone  /  Bloody Stone        

Bloodstone - A stone, imagined, if worn as an amulet, to be a good preventive of bleeding at the nose.

"To make a Jacinth…Give the Cock grains of the Bloody Stone, instead of Wheat, and he will easily lay hold of them…"

"…This is only for friends.  Take nine parts of burnt Tin, seven of Lead, two of Cinnabaris.  Of Spanish Soder and Tartar, one part and a half.  Of the Blood stone one part, of Painters Red a fourth part…"


"…You must cut off (somewhat near the root) a stalk of Endive or Blue-bottle, or Bugloss, but the old wild Endive is best for this purpose…"


Boar - The male of swine not castrated.

"…Aristotle says, that Boars feed upon the herb Arum, or Wakerobin, to keep them soluble…"

"…And you must counterfeit Stags, Boar, Rhinocerets, Elephants, Lions, and what other creatures you please…"

Bodin, Jean   

(See:  ref, "Science and Secrets of Nature", William Eamon, Chap. 6)

Jean Bodin was the author of many books, including the "Demonomania". Political philosopher, economist and law student, Bodin was appointed king's attorney under Henry III. While he used this position to prevent Catholicism being forced on the king's subjects, he was not so liberal in his approach to witchcraft, astrology and magic, which he attacked in the "Demonomanie des Sorciers". He also, interestingly, maintained that Sovereignty arises from human needs, not Divine Right. He died of the plague in 1596.(provided by Clay Holden)

"…A certain Frenchman in his book called "Daemonomania" ( terms me a Magician, a Conjurer, and thinks this book of mine, long since printed, should be burned, because I have written of the " Fairies Ointment," which I set forth only in detestation of the frauds of devils and witches…"


Bodkin - An instrument of steel; bone, ivory or the like, with a small blade, and a sharp point, for making holes by piercing. A like instrument with an eye, for drawing thread, tape, or ribin through a loop, &c. An instrument to dress the hair.

"…  Palladius prescribes the same more precisely.  If you take, says he, a Truttle of goats dung, and bore it through, and make it hollow cunningly with a Bodkin, and then fill it up with the seed of lettuce, cresses, Basil, Rotchet, and radish…"

 "…For with some characters fraudulently invented and bound under the wings, they thrust through the head of a Cock with a Bodkin, and staying awhile, they pull it forth again, and the Pullet flies away without any wound or loss of blood…"


"… Boetius teaches you thus;  You shall easily hunt such Partridge, if you cast unto them meal wet in Wine.  For every bird is soon taken with it…"

Bole Armenick  /  Bole-Armeniac               

"… Three Drachms of Cinnamon in powder, ten of Cypress Nuts, five green Pineapples, two Drachms of Bole-Armenick and Mastick…"

"…Take Dragon's blood, Bole-Armeniac, Pomegranate shells, white of an Egg, Mastick, Galls, of each one ounce.  Powder them, and make them all up with hot water.  Put some of this confection into the hole that goes into the Matrix…"


Bombast literally means the produce of the bombyx (Middle Latin bombax, Greek bombux), and applied to cotton-wool used for padding. The head of the cotton plant was called "bombast" or "bombace" in the sixteenth century. Bombast was much used in the reign of Henry VIII. for padding, and hence inflated language was so called.

"…Make your cotton of some Linen of the same color or Bombast…"

"…Make a Linen  Tongue, or of Bombast, and dip into the vessel, where Wine is mingled with water…"


"…If you carve any shape upon the bud, the Fig will express it when it is grown.  Or else if you carve it into the Fig when it is first fashioned.  But you must do it either with a Wooden Pen, or a Bone Pen, and so your labor shall be sure to take effect…"

Book of Distillations    

 "…And though other things shall be described in my Book of Distillations, yet that this place of Physick be not left empty, I changed my opinion, and have set down some of them here…"

Book of Histories    

"…They cover the oven with hot Dung, and if need be they make a fire round about it.  So are the Eggs hatched at their due times.   Paulus Jovius in his Book of Histories…"


Borax - Sub-borate of soda; a salt formed by the combination of boracic acid with the marine alkali or soda. It is brought from the East Indies, where it is said to be found at the bottom or on the margin of certain lakes,particularly in Thibet. It is said to be artificially prepared in Persia, like niter. It comes in three states. 1. Crude borax, tinkal, or chrysocolla, from Persia, in greenish masses of a greasy feel, or in opake crystals. 2. Borax of China, somewhat purer, in small plates or masses, irregularly crystallized, and of a dirty white. 3. Dutch or purified borax, in portions of transparent crystals, which is the kind generally used. It is an excellent flux in docimastic operations, a styptic in medicine, and useful in soldering metals.

"…The next operation is to make one ounce of Salt Ammoniac an equal quantity of Borax, eight ounces of Auripigment…"

"…When it is come to temper it should be, cast upon it two ounces of Borax, and let it alone till it dissolve into smoke…"


"…If that part of the glass, that is set against your mouth, shall stick forth before like a wreathed band or a Boss-buckler, you mouth will appear to come forth like an ass's or sows snout. .."


"…wherewith Linen thread is spun, in the midst of it, it has many small holes, and in the very hollow of it, is put fire with some combustible matter, and so is it easily shot forth of a weak Bow…"


Box - A tree or shrub, constituting the genus buxus, used for bordering flower-beds. The African box is the myrsine.

"…  Palladius counsels you to bore the hole through the root, and stop it with a stake of Box, or some wedge made of Iron, or of Copper…"

"… Then bruise the roots of Celandine, and of the greater clivers Madder, of each a like qulity.  Mingle them, being bruised, very well with oil, wherein Cummin seed,  shavings of Box, and a little Saffron, are mingled, annoint your head, and let it abide so for twenty hours…"


 "…Then add Rosin of Turpentine, four ounces, white Mercury Sublimate, two ounces, Boxan, half an ounce, ten whites of Eggs made hard at the fire.  And mingle all these together.  Let them stay one night…"

Brackmans /  Brahmans   

"…the Indians call them ( Magicians ) Brackmans ,( Brahmans), in their own tongue; but in Greek they call them Gymnosophists, as much to say as naked philosophers…"


Braise - to cook slowly in a small amount of liquid in a covered pot, esp. after sauteeing in fat.

"… Pliny, the Daffodil is eaten with the seed and head Terrified.  But this roasted in the embers as Hesiod affirms, is eaten with Oil also Braised with Figs, it is eaten with great pleasure. .."


Bramble - The raspberry bush or blackberry bush; a general name of the genus rubus, of which there are several species. They are armed with prickles; hence in common language, any rough, prickly shrub.

"…two handfulls of Hypocistis, Horehound, and the tops of Bramble, one pound of the Flower of Myrtle, half a pound of the seed, two handfulls of rosebuds, with their stalks, two drachms of Saunders, Coriander prepared, and Citron Pill…"

 "…Or else, if you open a little the skin of the seed, and put within it the juice of red Roses, Clove-gilliflowers, and Blackberries that grow upon Brambles, or of any other like thing…"


Bran - . The outer coat of wheat, rye or other farinaceous grain, separated from the flour by grinding.

"…Dry grass with Mint mixed with Bran, preserve Barley special well.  Some mix Cummin and Salt together, and make them into dry masses for the preservation of Barley…"

"… Bind Barleymeal Bran in a Linen cloth, and let it down into a pot full of water…"


"…You shall draw out a water from the seeds of Cardamom, (which Apothecaries call Grains of Paradise) Cubebs, Indian Cloves, raspings of Brasil and Spirit of Wine distilled…"

"…Or, write with lime water upon an egg, and steep it in lye where Brasil is infused, and so the letters will seem to be of a violet color…"


An alloy of copper and zinc, in the proportion of about two parts of copper to one part zinc.

"…In Nonacris, a country of Arcady, there flow very cold waters out of a stone, which are called the Water of Styx, which break to pieces all vessels of Silver and Brass, and nothing can hold them but a mules foot, wherein it was brought from Antipater, into the country where Alexander was, and there his son Folla killed the King with it…"

 "…For Proclus is reported to have made burning glasses of Brass, and to have hung them on the wall against the enemy ships…"


Brawn - The flesh of a boar; also, the salted and prepared flesh of a boar.

"… Collers  of Brawn and the Trojan Hog, were forbidden by the law of regulating expense. .."


Bray - To pound, beat or grind small; as, to bray a fool in a mortar.

"…Of Linseed Oil, Turpentine, and Bole-armenick, an ounce.   Bray them all together in a Mortar, and keep them in a long straight glass…"

"…The weapon Salve…then they Bray it in a Mortar, always putting water to it, to melt the gum…"


Brazen - Pertaining to brass; proceeding from brass; as a brazen din.

"…anoint the face with Oil of Tartar, and let it dry on, and wash it not at all.  Do this for ten days, pour forth the clear water into a Brazen vessel…"

"… If it is kept in Lees of Oil, as also Whetstones, shoes, Brazen vessels from Rust, all household stuff made of wood, potters vessels and the like…"


Brazier - a metal container for burning coal, used to give warmth to people who have to be outside in cold weather or to cook on.

"…I will speak of those which are made of Copper alone.  You must by at the Braziers shops some thin plates of Copper, of the thickness of strong paper…"


Bread - A mass of dough, made by moistening and kneading the flour or meal of some species of grain, and baked in an oven, or pan.

"…Out of Didymus some add Nitre, for Nitre makes Bread more crumbly, as it does flesh also.  Some the day before they make their Bread, cast Grapes into the water, and the next day when they will make their Bread …"

"…For this will kill these Syrens, and drive them away.  But I used very hot Bread, newly taken forth of the oven, cut in the middle, and putting the hair between them till they grow cold…"


Briar - a wild rose bush with long stems and sharp thorns.

"…When they ( Snails) stick fast to Briars and shrubs, for they trouble the belly and the stomach, and cause Vomiting.    Dioscorides.…"

Briareus the Poet   

"…you will think you see Argus, one that is all eyes.  If his nose, you shall see nothing but nose so his hands, fingers, arms, that you shall see no man, but Briareus the Poet, was said to have a hundred hands…"


Brick - A mass of earth, chiefly clay, first moistened and made fine by grinding or treading, then formed into a long square in a mold, dried and baked or burnt in a kiln; used in buildings and walls.

"…Cast into Wine, Salt, Pepper and sour Leaven, mingle them and they will soon make it   Vinegar.  But to do it more quickly, quench in it often a red hot Brick or piece of Steel…"

"…Then powder finely Salt, one third part, Brick as much, Vitriol made red two parts.  Take a Brick and make a hole in it as big as the vessel is.  In the bottom then strew Alom de plume…"


Brimstone - Sulphur; a hard, brittle, inflammable substance, of a lemon yellow color, which has no smell, unless heated, and which becomes negatively electric by heat and friction. It is found, in great quantities, and sometimes pure, in the neighborhood of volcanoes. It is an ingredient in a variety of minerals and ores. The sulphur of commerce is procured from its natural beds, or artificially extracted from pyrites.

… referred to Sulfur (as well as other inflammable substances) as Brimstone .

"…For seeing they pass under the earth, through veins of Alum, Pitch, Brimstone, and the like, therefore it is that they are sometimes hurtful, and sometimes wholesome for the body…" 

 "…Hold them in the sun, then cast Brimstone on the coals, and fume the hairs, and while it burns, receive the smoke with a little tunnel at the bottom…"


Brine - Water saturated or strongly impregnated with salt, like the water of the ocean. Artificial brine is used for the preservation of the flesh of animals, fish, vegetables, &c.

"…And began to drench the fruit themselves in diverse kinds of Liquors.  Supposing that they might be the longer preserved if they were soused in Honey, Wine, Vinegar, Brine, and such like…"

"…You must take Seawater, or else Brine, and make it boil, ando so put your Pomegranates into it…"


Bristle - The stiff glossy hair of swine, especially that growing on the back, used for making brushes; similar hair on other animals.

"…In the middle sits a little man of Wood, fastened through the middle with a Hogs Bristle, so equal balanced, that with every light motion he may easily stir himself…"


"…That kind of Marble moves by itself with Vinegar, which is called Brocadello, which is compounded of divers and mingled parts…"


Broom - A plant of several species, called dyer's weed, being used by dyers to give a yellow color,dyer's broom, green wood, or wood waxen, dwarf broom, all belonging to the genus Genista. Broom rape is Orobanche, and with large purple flowers, Lathroea. Spanish Broom is a species of Spartium, and Butcher's broom is the Ruscus.

"…When vintage time is past, you must take the tops and pliant twigs of such vines as grow by the house side, and wind them at the window into the house, and bind them fast to the summers or beams with the sprigs of Broom,…"

"…Hens die by eating the seeds of Broom, called Spartum…"


 "…It is healthful, in these diseases, to apply bitter things to kill these worms, called Tiners or Syrens.  Take the flowers of myrtle trees, Broom-clary, boil them in Vinegar , till the vinegar is consumed, then rub the ends of the hair continually with it. .."


Broth - Liquid in which flesh (and sometimes other substances, as barley or rice) has been boiled; thin or simple soup.

"… Put a Capon well pulled, and his Guts taken out, into a Silver dish, and fill the one half of him with Broth, and put him into an oven. .."

Bruise  \ Bruised         

Bruise - . To break; as in a mortar; to bray, as minerals, roots, etc.; to crush.  To injure, as by a blow or collision, without laceration; to contuse; as, to bruise one's finger with a hammer; to bruise the bark of a tree with a stone; to bruise an apple by letting it fall

"…Then Bruise the roots of Celendine, and of the greater Clovers Madder, of each a like quality..."

"…Mingle them, being Bruised, very well with Oil, wherein Cumin seed,  shavings of Box, and a little Saffron, are mingled, anoint your head, and let it abide so for twenty hours. .."


"…the Brutii, a people dwelling near Naples, and the Surrentines in Campania…"

Brutus, Decius    

"…  Hircius being Consul, as Frontinus testifies, sent forth Pigeons from the nearest place he could from the walls, which had been long shut up in the dark, and half famished, to Decius Brutus, who was besieged at Matina by Anthony…"

"…They  ( Pigeons) being glad of light, and desiring meat, flew and sat upon the highest parts of the houses.  Brutus caught them, and so was confirmed of how things were.  Wherefore, always laying meat in those places, he called them back again…"

Bryony  / Briony / Brionie            

Bryony - White jalap; a genus of plants of several species. The root of the rough or white bryony is a strong irritating cathartic. Black-bryony is a genus of plants, called Tamus.

---Synonyms---Black-berried White Bryony. European White Bryony.

The Black-berried White Bryony is a plant very similar in general appearance to Bryonia dioica, having also palmate rough leaves and similar unisexual flowers, which are succeeded, however, by globular black berries. The root is very similar to that of Bryonia dioica and contains the same substances, but it is stated also to contain a glucoside Brein, which causes the drug to produce a somewhat different physiological effect. The tincture is used by homoeopathists, and is said to be one of the best diuretics in medicine. It is an excellent remedy in gravel and all other obstructions and disorders of the urinary passages, and has also been used for relieving coughs and colds of a feverish, bronchial nature.

"…You must get a great root of Brionie, or wild Nep, and with a sharp instrument engrave in it a man or a woman, giving either of them thier genitories…"

"…And in the mean while they chew four grains of Mastick in their mouths, and they spit the clammy spittle out of their mouths into the Mortar, until  it is white, as I said. Then they boil it in one pound of the distilled water, of Bryony root, till it be consumed…"

"… Distil all these severally.   Elder flowers, and flowers of wild Roses, Broom, Honeysuckles, Solomon's Seal, and Briony roots, sour Grapes, and Sarcocolla…"  (To make the face white, clear, ruddy and soft)


See: Wine

"…  Wine made of Barley, they call Brytum…"


Buck - To copulate as bucks and does.

"…for an Hare is big even after she has brought forth, she genders every month, and brings not forth all her young all at once, but now and then one upon sundry days, and presently goes to Buck again…"


Buckthorn - A genus of plants, called Rhamnus, of many species. The common purging buck-thorn grows to the height of 12 or 14 feet,and bears a black berry, which, when green, is used to dye yellow, and when ripe, green. The bark also dyes yellow. The sea buck-thorn is a genus of plants,called Hippophae.

"…They are such as are very hot, as the Bay tree, the Buckthorn, the Holm, the Piel tree.  But Mnestor adds the Mulberry tree, and men conjecture so, because they will presently blunt the ax…"


"…were excellent Magicians: as, amongst the Persians, Zoroastres the son of Orimafius, whom we spoke of before, amongst the Romans, Numa Pompilius; Thespion, amongst the Gymnosophists; Zamolxis, amongst the Thracians: Abbarais, amongst the Hyperboreans; Hermes, amongst the Egyptians and Budda among the Babylonians. Besides these, Apuleius reckons up Carinondas, Damigeron, Hifmoses, Apollonius, and Dardanus, who all followed Zoroastres and Osthanes. .."


Bugloss is a showy plant covered with prickly hairs. It grows on walls, old quarries and gravel pits, and is common oncalcareous soils. The name Bugloss, which is of Greek origin, signifies an Ox's Tongue, and was applied to it from the roughness and shape of the leaves.  (Botanical.com, A Modern Herbal, Mrs. M. Grieve)

"…So the herb Arisaron in Egypt, and Wake-robin, and Garlic, bear seeds like a snake's head, and so Bugloss and Orchanet bear seeds like a vipers head, and these are good to heal their venomous bitings. .."

"…Wheresoever you cast your eyes, the whole world will appear pleasant and green.  Bugloss will do the same, and bows of Poplar, so also Oil of Poplar…"


Bulchin - A young male calf.

 "…A Bull, as soon as he has rid a cow, gives evident signs to any man to conjecture whether he has begotten a Cow-calf or a Bulchin.  For if he lept off by the right side,it is certain that he has begotten a Bulchin..  If by the left side, then a Cow-calf…"


Bull - The male of the Bos, or bovine genus of quadrupeds, of which cow is the female

"…Ctefias in his book of Indian matters, writes, that the people called Cynamolgi, do nourish and feed many Dogs with Bulls blood, which afterward being let loose at the Bulls of India…"

"…  Cows have great hairy ears.  She can hear a Bull roar when he seeks to Bull a   Cow, thirty Furlongs off, as giving this token of his love.   Aelian…"


Bullet - . A ball of iron or lead, called also shot, used to load guns for killing man or beast. Balls for cannon are made of iron; musket-balls are made of lead.

"… It is a new invention, that Brass   Gun, or a hand Gun, may discharge ten or more Bullets one after another without intermission…"

"…And if you Lard the Bullets, they will penetrate through arms of proof…"


Bulrush - A large kind of rush, growing in wet land or water, and without knots, says Johnson, but Dryden calls it, the knotty bulrush. It is not a technical word.

"…The Goats, when their eyes are bloodshot, let out the blood, the she- Goat by the point of a Bulrush, the he- Goat by the pricking of a thorn, which lets out the evil Humor, and yet never hurts the eye, but restores him his perfect sight…"

Bung hole  

Bung hole - The hole or orifice in the bilge of a cast.

"…When the Wine is run out of the press into the Hogshead, and other vessels, and begins to purge, place an earthen neck, or one of wood, being two cubits in length, upon the Bung hole of the vessel…"


"…It is a thing to be noted in a Bur, that a flower grows within the roughness and prickles of it, which does not show itself, but conceives and brings forth feed within itself, much like as Weasels and Vipers do…"


Burdock:  The Burdock, the only British member of its genus, belongs to the Thistle group of the great order, Compositae.  Lappa. Fox's Clote. Thorny Burr. Beggar's Buttons. Cockle Buttons. Love Leaves. Philanthropium. Personata. Happy Major. Clot-Bur. ---Habitat---It grows freely throughout England (though rarely in Scotland) on waste ground and about old buildings, by roadsides and in fairly damp places. ---Description---A stout handsome plant, with large, wavy leaves and round heads of purple flowers. It is enclosed in a globular involucre of long stiff scales with hooked tips, the scales being also often interwoven with a white, cottony substance

"…With some meats, as are the Burdock seed, strewn here and there in places where birds frequent.  They are so light headed when they have eaten them, that you may take them with your hands…"

Burning Glasses   

"…I proceed to Burning Glasses, which being opposed against the sunbeams, will kindle fire upon matter laid under them.  In these also are the greatest secrets of nature known…"


Bushel - A dry measure, containing four pecks, eight gallons, or thirty-two quarts.

"… Dioscorides, shows the way how half a Bushel of bitter Nuts cleansed and dried, are pounded in a Mortar with a wooden Pestle into lumps…"

"…Out of a quarter of a Bushel of it (Rape ), eighteen pounds of Oil are drawn..."


Bustard - The tarda, a species of fowl of the grallic order, and genus Otis. The fowl grows to the weight of 25 or 27 pounds, with a breadth of wing of six or seven feet. It inhabits England, feeding on green corn and other vegetables, and on earth-worms. It runs fast and takes flight with difficulty.

"… Bustards of all birds are thought to be most in love with horses.  And it appears, because they cannot endure other living creatures, but when they see a horse, they will presently fly to him, and great joy, and come near to him…"

But / Butt  

Butt - A large cask or vessel for wine or beer. It contains two hogsheads. &hand; A wine butt contains 126 wine gallons (= 105 imperial gallons, nearly); a beer butt 108 ale gallons (= about 110 imperial gallons).

"…You must put your Quince-pears into a new earthen vessel.  Cover it.  And pitch it all over, and so put it in a But of Wine…"


Butcher - One who slaughters animals, or dresses their flesh for market; one whose occupation it is to kill animals for food.

"…The Butchers set hounds at them, and let them prey upon them, and they will for some hours defend themselves with their horns…"


Butter - An oily substance obtained from cream or milk by churning. Agitation separates the fat or oily part of milk from the thin or serous part, called butter-milk.

"… And elsewhere, the Scythians pour Mares Milk into hollow vessels of wood and shake it, and that froths with churning, and the fat of it they call Butter, which swims to the top, that which is heavy sinks to the bottom, they separate this and dry it, and when it is dry, they call it Hippace…"

"…Wash fresh Butter nine times in sweet water, and last of all, in sweet scented Rosewater, to take off the ill smell, and that it may look as white as snow, then mingle white Wax with it, and a good quantity of oil of sweet Almonds…"


Butterfly - Papilio, a genus of insects, of the order of lepidopters. They have four wings imbricated with a kind of downy scales; the tongue is convoluted in a spiral form; and the body is hairy. The species are numerous. Butter-flies proceed from the crysalids of caterpillars; caterpillars proceed from eggs deposited by butterflies; they then change into crysalids, which produce butterflies, which again deposit their eggs.

"… Tarentinus teaches us this for all fish.  Take of the strong Whale, eight Drachms, yellow Butterfly's, Annis seed, Cheese of Goat milk, of each four Drachms.  Of Opoponax, two Drachms, Hog blood, four, as much Galbanum…"

Butter Of Gold   

"…He must make weak the Saltpeter, but with some fat substance; which is done by the Glew and Butter of Gold, by mingling them according to a certain and due proportion…"


Buzzard - A species of falco, or hawk,the buteo; a rapacious,but sluggish bird; the breast usually of a yellowish white; the upper parts of a deep brown. In some parts of America, it is called the great Hen-hawk, from its feeding on poultry.

"…For Hawks do not only couple with their own kind, but with Falcons, Buzzards, and Eagles of diverse kinds, as also with most of those fowls that live upon the prey and spoil of other birds, and according to the diversity of those kinds , diverse kinds of Hawks are generated…"

"…When you Hawk, wet the Hawk's meat with Wine.  If it be a Buzzard, add a little Vinegar to it when you would have him fly…"


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