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I love an excuse to combine my two obsessions , 17th century books and Gin! So , after some Monday evening browsing through The London Dispensatory of 1654 I’ve discovered that the components of gin are very good for you indeed ( So says Culpeper!)

To save you the pain of deciphering the text, it says…


‘Of the fresh Juniper berries, bruise them and put them in a wooden vessel with fountain water for 3 months. Distil them in an alembic with simple water. After the oils separated keep the water for another distillation.

This is specific against the ‘Stone in the Reins’ and ‘Pains in the Yard’ (not sure what this was!) It expels the wind out of the body, it roots out all fevers, Jaundice, Dropsy, Gout, Colic, it cures obstructions of the liver, spleen, gall and lungs.

It helps diseases of the head as vertigo , migraine, convulsions, falling sickness (epilepsy) and numbness. It expels plague and poison.

Of coriander: it comforts a cold stomach, stops vomiting , kills worms and suppresses vapours that would hurt the head

juniperOf cardamom: they help concoction(?) and principally comforts the head

Of angelica: it is a resister of the plague and pestilent fevers and it expels the wind

Of Lemon: Excellent against fevers, hot diseases, strengthens the stomach and creates an appetite.’

So, with all this in mind a gin or two of an evening sorts out your fevers and vapours, keeps the plague at bay, gets rid of wind and gives you an appetite.

When I find out what ‘Stones of the Reins’ and ‘Pains in the Yard’ are I’ll let you know.


(Please drink responsibly!)