Of Decoctions


1. All the difference between decoctions, and syrups made by decoction, is this: Syrups are made to keep, decoctions only for present use; for you can hardly keep a decoction a week at any time; if the weather be hot, not half so long.

2. Decoctions are made of leaves, roots, flowers, seeds, fruits or barks, conducing to the cure of the disease you make them for; are made in the same manner as we shewed you in syrups.

3. Decoctions made with wine last longer than such as are made with water; and if you take your decoction to cleanse the passages of the urine, or open obstructions, your best way is to make it with white wine instead of water, because this is penetrating.

4. Decoctions are of most use in such diseases as lie in the passages of the body, as the stomach, bowels, kidneys, passages of urine and bladder, because decoctions pass quicker to those places than any other form of medicines.

5. If you will sweeten your decoction with sugar, or any syrup fit for the occasion you take it for, which is better, you may, and no harm.

6. If in a decoction, you boil both roots, herbs, flowers, and seed together, let the roots boil a good while first, because they retain their virtue longest; then the next in order by the same rule, viz. 1. Barks. 2. The herbs. 3. The seeds. 4. The flowers. 5. The spices, if you put any in, because their virtues come soonest out.

7. Such things as by boiling cause sliminess to a decoction, as figs, quince-seed, linseed, &c. your best way is, after you have bruised them, to tie them up in a linen rag, as you tie up calf's brains, and so boil them.

8. Keep all decoctions in a glass close stopped, and in the cooler place you keep them, the longer they will last ere they be sour.

Lastly, the usual dose to be given at one time, is usually two, three, four, or five ounces, according to the age and strength of the patient, the season of the year, the strength of the medicine, and the quality of the disease.

  By PanEris using Melati.

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