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---Synonym---Tanner's Bark. The Common, or British Oak, for many centuries the chief forest tree of England, is intimately bound up with the history of these islands from Druid times. A spray of oak was for long engraved on one side of our sixpences and shillings, but is now superseded by the British lion. The Oak, although widely distributed over Europe, is regarded as peculiarly English

"…apply a plaster of the powder to the place, the pain will presently cease, to the admiration of the beholders.   Mistletoe of the Oak, Infused in Wine, and drunk, does the same…"

"…and there Macerated with water, we have brought forth in a manner the very same herbs, as out of an Oaken root, the herb Polypody, and Oak-fern, and Splenewort…"

Oak Fern   

"…and there Macerated with water, we have brought forth in a manner the very same herbs, as out of an Oaken root, the herb Polypody, and Oak-fern, and Splenewort…"


"… If you search in Barley, you shall find a small ear of wild Oats, that is black and wrested, like the foot of a Locust…"


Oderifersous - Bearing or yielding an odor; perfumed; usually, sweet of scent; fragrant; as, odoriferous spices, particles, fumes, breezes.

"… Pliny puts Apples in earthen basins, and so lets them swim in Wine.  For, says he, the Wine by this means will yield a more Odoriferous smell..."

"…Now I come to drink, for I have spoken of meat sufficiently.  And I will teach you to make many sorts of Wine, and that they may be pleasant and Odoriferous. .."


The king of Calydon in Aetolia, husband of Althaea, and father of Meleager. He is thought to have introduced viniculture to Aetolia, and Dionysus himself had given him the first vine branch (oinos, wine). The sons of his brother Agrius removed him from the throne, but Diomedes restored Oeneus to power. Later in life, during a journey through the Peloponnesus, his nephews killed him. Diomedes buried him in Argos, in a spot that was from then on called Oeno√ę

"… Aelianus reports out of Apion, that in the time of Oeneus King of the South, there was seen a crane that had two heads; and in another king's days, another bird was seen that had four heads…"

Oenanthe  /  Oenothera        

Oenanthe, genus Oenanthe -- (poisonous herbs: water dropworts) water dropwort, hemlock water dropwort, Oenanthe crocata -- (European poisonous herb having tuberous roots, yellow juice that stains the skin, yellow flowers and foliage resembling celery; all parts extremely poisonous) : water fennel, Oenanthe aquatica -- (European poisonous herb with fibrous roots)

"…The herb Oenanthe shall flourish all the year…" 

"…  Theophrastus has told us that the herb Oenothera will tame wild beasts, and make them drunk.  And as I said elsewhere, Theophrastus his Oenothera is our Rose-Laurel, against Discorides…"


"…For the less Dross and Offal's that your metal have, they are so much the more serviceable for your use in working…"


 "…Our practice is this, when the Figs begin to wax ripe, we take a wooden Needle, and anoint it over with Oil, and so thrust it through both ends of the Figs…"

"…But cover the pot lest any dirt should fall in.  And let them stand for three days, and Infuse.  Then set them on a gentle fire, and boil them five hours for fifteen days together, until the Oil has extracted all the virtue of the Infused Herbs…"


"…  Pliny writes the very same experiment out of  Varro.  That Beans and Pulse being laid up in Oil-buts, and covered over with ashes, have lasted a great while…"

Oil of Almond         

See:   Almond

"… Rear Eggs are good.  Twenty of them boiled hard cut in the middle, and the yolks taken forth.  Fill up the hollow places in the whites, with Oil of sweet Almonds and Rosin of Turpentine.  Extract the Liquor in a glass vessel. .."

"…Take Saltpeter, three ounces, Oil of bitter Almonds, two pounds, of Squils, half a pound.  One Lemon without the Pills.  Mingle them, and let them ferment three days.  Then, with chemical instruments, extract the oil, and anoint your Tetters therewith, and they will be gone, though they seem to turn to a Leprosy…"

Oil of Ben / Oil of Benjamin           

See:  Ben, Benjamin

"…Take Oil of Ben, or of Almonds, mix Musk, Amber, Cinnamon, and Zedoary, well beaten in it.  Put it in a glass bottle, and set it in the Sun, or in Balneo, ten days…"

"…Sweet 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 fragrant Oil, to be used in precious ointments…"

Oil of Bricks    

 "…Some quench hot bricks in the liquified Salt, and then Distil them with a most intense fire, as in Oil of Bricks…"

Oil of Coloquintida      

See:   Coloquintida

"…Oil of Coloquintida seeds.  The fairest yield a sixth part of a golden color.  It kills worms, and expels them from the children, being rubbed on the mouth of their stomach…"

Oil of Eggs     

"… Oil of Eggs is made by another art.  Take fifty or sixty Eggs, boil them till they are hard.  Then peal them, and take out the yolk.  Set them over warm coals in a tinned Posnet, till all their moisture be consumed, still stirring them with a wooden Spattle…"

Oil of Honey           

"…So also we dye the tails and manes of white horses red.  But I can easily do it with Oil of Honey, for when the clear and Saffron colored waters are drawn off, increase the fire, and the oil will come forth, the red…"

"… Oil of Honey makes a yellow color, and red, and it will last fourteen days or more…"

Oil of Iron     

 "… Paracelsus, being skilled in distillation, tried to do it another way.  For, says he, if any man shall quench often in Oil of Iron, a Loadstone red hot, it will by degrees recover force, and augment so much, that it will easily pull a nail forth that is fast in a wall…"

Oil of Myrrh     

See:   Myrrh

"… Oil of MyrrhBoil some Eggs hard.  Cut them in the middle, take out the yolks, and fill their places with Myrrh, powdered and Seirced.  Lay them in an earthen pan upon long cross sticks, that the Eggs may not imbibe the Oil again.  Sut them in a moist cellar so the Oil will drop down into the pan…."

Oil of Nettle    

See:  Nettle

"...Oil of Nettle seed.  An ounce and a half may be extracted out of a pound and a half of seeds, being picked and blanched. It is very good to dye womens hair of a gold color…"

Oil of Paper      

"…Used Oil of Paper.  Namely, extracting it from burnt Paper…"

Oil of Peter    

See:   Naphtha, Bitumen

"…It is made of Turpentine rosin, liquid pitch, Vernish, Frankincense and Camphire, equal parts; quick Brimstone a third part and half; two parts of Saltpeter refined, three parts of Aqua Fortis, as much of Oil of Peter and gunpowder.  Pound them together, and make fireballs…"

"…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…"

Oil of Poplar    

See:   Poplar

"…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…"

Oil of Poppy    

See:  Poppy

"…Oil of Poppy seed.  Is extracted the same way, and yields a third part of a golden color, and useful in dormitive medicines…"

Oil of Roses     

"… For in some membranes, where the Testes are bound together, under which there are some soft Carbuncles, and tender, that are called Lions Fat.  This will help people to make ill faces look comely, mingled with Oil of Roses…"

Oil of Sulphur        

See:   Sulfur,   Sulphur

"…Also, there is made a water of Allom and Salt Distilled, that whitens the teeth exceedingly, and confirms them.  But the Oil of Sulphur does it best.  For it smooths them and wipes away all spots…"

"…Red Oil of Sulphur…"

Oil of Talk     

See:  Talk

"…The famous Oil of Talk is extracted only by the vehement heat of fire…"

Oil of Tartar          

See: Tarter

 "…But the powder that remains being dry, with the Oil of Tartar dried and dissolved, must be cast again upon plates made of equal parts of Gold and Silver, with an earthen Crucible…"

"… Other use this Liniment only.  Press the Cream out of Lemon seeds.  With two ounces of it, mingle one ounce of Oil of Tartar, and as much Oil of Almonds…"

Oil of Turpentine    

"...Oil of Turpentine …As Damageron teaches.  The fruit of Turpentine is ground in a mill, as the olives are, and pressed out, and so it sends forth oil.  The kernels serve to feed hogs and to burn…"

Oil of Vitriol         

See:   Vitriol

"… Oil of Vitriol …Dissolve Vitriol in an earthen pan with a wide mouth.  Let the Phlegm evaporate, then increase the fire and burn it until it becomes all red and the fourth part consumed…"

"…If you mingle Oil of Vitriol with common ink or any other black color, in few days by corroding the paper, or the ink itself, the letters will vanish, or in a month, as you put in more or less of the oil…"

Oil of Walnuts     

"…We may also take away the creaking noise of Tin, if we melt it seven times, and quench it every time in the Urine of children, or else in the Oil of Walnuts…"

Oil of Water    

"…By the moisture whereof, the Myrrh will dissolve into Oil of Water…"


"…Of a Stellio is made an ill medicament.  For when he is dead in Wine, all the faces of those that drink of it, will be red spotted.  Wherefore, they that would disfigure Whores, kill him in an Ointment.  The remedy is, the yolk of an Egg, Honey and Glass.   Pliny…"

"…In this manner is Oil drawn out of Juniper, Cypress, and Lingnum Aloes.  But in this last, you must use art and diligence, and a gentle fire, because it is mixed in Ointments…."


See:   Arsenic

"…The chief and essential things that are of force to endue brass with a whiter color, are these. Arsenic or Oker, that kind of quicksilver that is sublimated, as the alchemists call it, the foam or froth of silver, which is called by the Greeks, Lithargyron…"


The olive, Olea europaea, of the family Oleaceae, a handsome, long-lived, evergreen, subtropical tree, has been cultivated for at least 40 centuries for its edible fruit and its valuable oil. It is native to the eastern Mediterranean region

"…The Olive is not fit, because it is full of fat matter, and too much moisture…"

"… But Florentinus in the eleventh book of his Georgicks, has shown the manner how to Graft the Olive into a Vine, that so it shall bring forth not only bunches or clusters of Grapes, but an Olive fruit also…"


"… Diophanes shows that the Olive being Grafting into the Vine, brings forth a a fruit called Elaeo-staphylon, that is to say, an Olive-grape..."


The onion, Allium cepa, of the family Amaryllidaceae, is by far the most important bulb vegetable. It is used both in its green stage as a scallion, or green onion, and in its mature stage as a bulb--the tightly packed globe of food-storage leaves containing the volatile oil that is the source of the onion's pungent flavor. Thought to have originated in Asia, the onion has been cultivated since ancient times.

".. Pliny shows, that Onions increase desire of copulation in beasts, as the herb Rotchet does in men…"

"… Nuts and Onions have a sympathy or agreement of nature.  And therefore if you lay up Nuts among Onions, the Onions will cause the Nuts to last the longer…"


"… 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…"


"…for Aristonymus Ephesius, the son of Demonstratus, could not away with a woman's company, but made choice of an ass to lie with; and she brought him forth after a certain time, a very comely maiden, and was exceeding beautiful. She was called Onoscelis, that is to say, one having ass's thighs. And this story he gathered out of Aristotle, in the second of his paradoxes…" 


"…About harvest time, you must gather Damosins not being thoroughly ripe, nor yet too green, (but they must be wild Damosins, such as are in color like to the Onyx stone)  and you must dry them in some shadowy place the third day after they were gathered…"


"…So that one part will look like a stone, and another like an Opal of diverse colors…"


"…The stone Ophites resembles the freckles and spots of serpents, and it cures their bitings…"

 "…I have often know the Ophites, or Serpentine Marble applied to the head, both take away, and mollify the pain…"


 "…By writing letters on the messengers back, that he may not know of, having first given him an Opiate to make him sleep soundly, then write, and let them dry in…"


A perennial, with a thick, fleshy root, yellowish in colour. It has a branching stem growing about 1 to 3 feet high, thick and rough near the base. Leaves pinnate, with long petioles and large serrate leaflets, the terminal one cordate, the rest deficient at the base, hairy underneath. The flowers, yellowish, are in large, flat umbels at the top of the branches. The oleo resin is procured by cutting into the stem at the base. The juice that exudes, when sun-dried, forms the Opoponax of commerce

"…Yet it does come out but in a small quantity of an excellent odor, and free from the stink of the fire, as thus they deal with Opoponax, Galbanum, Storax and others…"

 "…Take the flowers of Sage, Origanum,… Rose of Jerusalem, Doronicum, Ammoniac, Opoponax, Spodium, Schaeinanthus, Bdellium, Mummy…"

Oppianus  / Opianus / Opian     

"… Oppianus commends the Arcadian Dogs, and those of Tegea, which is a town of Acadia…"

"… Oppianus writes also, that they have neither male nor female, but are generated of themselves and their own accord, without the help of any copulation.(Oysters)…"


"…Heraclitus, calls the sun, the Fountain of heavenly light; Opheus calls it the light of life, Plato calls it heavenly fire, an everliving creature, a star that has a soul, the greatest and the daily star…"


"…For it is made of Opium, Mandrake, juice of Hemlock, the seeds of Henbane, and adding a little Musk, to gain an easier reception of the smeller.  These being made up into a ball, as big as a mans hand can hold, and often smelt to, gently closes the eyes and binds them with a deep sleep…"

 Optics  \  Opticks          

"…he must be skillful in the Optics, that he may know how the sight may be deceived, and how the likeness of a vision that is seen in the water, may be seen hanging without in the air, by the help of certain glasses of diverse fashions; and how to make one see that plainly which is a great way off…"

"…In my Opticks, I showed you Spectacles, wherewith one might see very far.  Now I will try to make an instrument, wherewith we may hear man miles…"


"…Take a great glass Receiver, and fill the third part almost of it with Aqua Vita.  Put into it Lavender flowers, Jasmine, Roses, Orange and Lemon flowers.  Then add roots of Iris, Cypress, Sanders, Cinnamon, Storax, Labdanum, Cloves, Nutmegs, Calamus Aromaticus, with a little Musk, Amber and Civit. Fill the glass, and stop it well. .."

"…these are very fit to be Grafted by Emplastering, and these kinds of compound Oranges and Lemons are very commonly to be seen in many orchards in Naples…"


Alcanna, Alkanet, Orchanet - A thorny tree or shrub of the genus Lawsonia (L. alba). The fragrant white blossoms are used by the Buddhists in religious ceremonies. The powdered leaves furnish a red coloring matter used in the East to stain the hails and fingers, the manes of horses, etc. The leaves of the henna plant, or a preparation or dyestuff made from them.

See:  Al-henna, Alchena, Henna

"…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. .."

"…If after the same manner you engraff it into the root of Orchanet, by which means also you may turn a purple Gilliflower into a scarlet…"


"… Marcus Cato says, that those kinds of Olives which are called Orchites, may be well preserved, if they are laid up in Brine while they are green…"

"…if they are pound with Mastick.   Columella says, that the Olives which are called Orchites, and those which are called Panfiae, and the little round Olive called Radiolus, are to be knocked and beaten, and so cast into Brine…"


"… Columella says, if you have a Pomegranate tree that bears a sharp and sour fruit, this is your way to amend it.  You must cover the roots with Swine Dung and man's Ordure, and water them with man's Urine that has stood long in some vessel…"


Oregano is the name given to several species of plants whose leaves, when dried, impart a particular flavor to food. The common oregano of Europe and America is Origanum heracleoticum, of the Labiatae family, often mistakenly confused with wild marjoram, O. vulgare.

"…The Tortoise, having eaten a serpent, dispels the poison by eating the herb Oregano…"

Oriental galls    

See:   Gall

 "…Mingle Oriental galls, two drachms, cheese, one ounce, beanmeal three ounces, with Aqua Vita. .." 


"…That must come half a foot above the second story, and so in the lower most, but in the bottom the Orifice must be wider, like a Pyramis or Funnel…"


Origanum - A genus of aromatic labiate plants, including the sweet marjoram (O. Marjorana) and the wild marjoram (O. Vulgare).

 "…Take the flowers of Sage, Origanum, Mugwort, Savory, Elder, Sage leaves, White Mint, Rosemary, Basil, Marjoram, Pennyroyal, Rosebuds, the roots of Betony, Pellitory, Snake-weed, White Thistle, Aristolochy, Elder, Cretan Dittany, Currants…"

"…And so let him be turned, always moistening the Fillets with strewing on the Decoction of Origanum…"


"… Pliny, says, that it is received for certainty among most authors, that magick was begun in Persia by Zoroastres the son of Orimafius; or, as more curious writers hold, by another Zoroastres, surnamed Proconnefius, who lived a little before. .."


"…There was also of old bread called Ornidos, made of a certain seed of Ethiopia, so like sesamum that it is hard to know them asunder…"


"…For this cause Orpheus calls Jupiter, and the Nature of the World, man and wife, because the World is so desirous to marry and couple her parts together…"

"… The Thracian Orpheus by the playing on his harp, made barbarous nations civil who were as hard as stones to be softened…"


"…To stain Crystal with the color of Jacinth, or a Ruby, without breaking, or wearing it….take six parts of Stibium, four of Orpin, three of Arsenic, as much of Sulphur, two of Tutty…"

"…Take four ounces of Orpin, and grind it small.  Then put it into a Glass vessel whose bottom you must fortify against the force of the fire with Morter made with straw, and stop the mouth gently…"


Arsenic sesquisulphide, produced artificially as an amorphous lemonyellow powder, and occurring naturally as a yellow crystalline mineral; formerly called auripigment. It is used in king's yellow, in white Indian fire, and in certain technical processes, as indigo printing. "Our orpiment and sublimed mercurie." (Chaucer) Red orpiment, realgar; the red sulphide of arsenic. Yellow orpiment, king's yellow.

See:   Auripigment, Arsenic

"… An Unguent used in stoves and hot-houses, is good for that purpose, made of Orpiment and Quicklime…"

"…An Unguent used in stoves and hot-houses, is good for that purpose (to take off hair), made of Orpiment and Quicklime…"


"…So the fish called Ortica, and the Purple, and Muscles, and Scallops, and Perwincles, and Limpins, and all shellfish are generated of mud…"


"…For which causes, these beasts are nourished and kept in hallowed places, that by them the time of the moons meeting with the sun may be certainly known as Orus writes in his hieroglyphics…"


"…The beast or wild goat, which in Egypt is called Oryx, has a sense or feeling of this star (Arcturus) before it rises, for then he looks upon the sunbeams, and in them does honor the Canicular star…" 


 "… (Gold).. Cures the falling sickness, madness, and Leprosy, (for which cause, Osiander the Divine wore a chain of Gold about his neck)…"


"…After this, you must take the congealed stuff when it is cold and bind it up hard with your hands in Leather thongs, or Linen cloth, or Osiers, that all the juice and moisture that is in it, may be sqeezed out of it…"

"…Let the cleft of the Eggs hang toward the bottom.  Put the earthen vessel into a chest of Osiers, and set it in a well…"


"…then, the Stag, the Ostrich, the Camel Panther, gentle creatures, and of thin spirits, have slender bodies and long necks, to show that thin, subtle spirits, have slender bodies and long narrower passage, and be elevated higher to purify them…"


"…The Osprey, the fowl called Ossisragi, and Ravens also…"


"…Pliny discussing the Osprey, says, that they have no proper kind of their own, but are descended from different sorts of eagles mingled together. And that which comes out of the Osprey, is of the kind of Ossisragi, and that which comes of the Ossifragi, is a kind of little Raven…"

Osthanes / Ostanes   

One of the Persian magi who influenced the Hellenistic alchemists in Egypt, and he appears in the well known work, the Physika kai mustika (Natural and Initiatory Things), attributed to Democritus.  Ostanes appeared as the main teacher of a group of frustrated alchemists.  He is said to have communicated wisdom in dreams.

"…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. .."


"…The dust which falls from the Curry combs, while the Ostler dresses Horses, or such kind of beasts, cures them ( Crab Lice) without any pain.  Or the powder of Lithargy, Aloes, Frankincense, Verdegreese, and Alome, beaten and mixed together with Oil of Mastic, and annointing the place.  The powder of Mercury precipitate, is best by far being applied…"


One of the most prolific poets of Rome's Golden Age, Ovid, the name by which
Publius Ovidius Naso is commonly known, specialized in the witty and sophisticated treatment of love in all its permutations. Born Mar. 20, 43 EXTREME, a year after the murder of Julius Caesar, Ovid passed his youth in his native Sulmo, untouched by the civil wars. Shortly after peace resumed, when Augustus ruled unthreatened, Ovid went to Rome to continue his education. His father intended him for a political career, but Ovid quietly rebelled. The literary temptations in the capital and his own spectacular talents drew him inevitably into writing poetry.

"...Ovid and Virgil both, mention the dog Lycisca, which, as Isiodore writes, are generated of wolves and dogs coupling together…"

"…So that they ordained a dog to be offered in sacrifice to it, as Columella says, that this star is pacified with the blood and entrails of a sucking whelp, and Ovid likewise says, that a dog bred on the earth, is sacrificed to the dog-star in heaven…"


Owl - Any species of raptorial birds of the family Strigidæ. They have large eyes and ears, and a conspicuous circle of feathers around each eye. They are mostly nocturnal in their habits.

"…Wherefore if you have any more sons born, observe this rule.  See where an Owl lays her eggs, and boil her eggs rare, and give them your child to eat.  For if the child eats them before he drinks wine, he will always hate it, and live sober, because his natural heat is made more temperate…"


"…He  ( Palladius) says also that they  ( Peaches) may be well preserved in the Liquor Oxymel…"

Ox / Oxen                                    

"…so cunningly, that even without eggs, or any apparent seeds, they will bring forth living creatures, (as they will bring forth Bees, of an Ox, and a Scorpion, of Basil;)…"

"…Therefore to consider of animals, that have the quickest hearing, we must think of those that are the most fearful.  Nor nature takes care for their safety, that as they have no great strength.  Yet they might exceed others in hearing, and save themselves by flight.  As the Hare, Coney, Hart, the Ass, Ox, and the like…"

Ox Bane    

See: Bane

"…The juice of black Chamaelion kills heifers by a Quincy.  Wherefore some call it Ulophonon.   Oxen fear black Hellebore, yet they will eat the white…"

Ox Gall          

"…If it be too hard, and we would have more liquid, that so it may fill out the pulse or other baits which we lay for them, put thereto the juice of Mandrakes, and Hemlock, and an Ox gall…"


"…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…"


Oyster - Any marine bivalve mollusk of the genus Ostrea. They are usually found adhering to rocks or other fixed objects in shallow water along the seacoasts, or in brackish water in the mouth of rivers.

See:  Limnoslrea

 "…Dirty mud genders Oysters, sandy mud Perwincles, the mud in the rocks breeds Holoturia, Lepades, and such-like…"

"…As the Oyster shell does that brings forth the Pearl.  There are also shells, we call the Mothers of Pearl, that inwardly are shining, and of a silver color, like Pearls.  All which women use for their art of beautifying themselves…"


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