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(archangelica Officinalis Hoffm)
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Least Viewed Herbs

Finocchio
Southernwood
(archangelica Officinalis Hoffm)
And There Is Pansies That's For Thoughts
Acorn
Poppy
Bluebell (wild Hyacinth)
Asparagus
Anemone (wood)
House Leek (crassulaceoe)



Apple








The term Apple was applied by the ancients indiscriminately to
almost every kind of round fleshy fruit, [27] such as the
thornapple, the pineapple, and the loveapple. Paris gave to Venus
a golden apple; Atalanta lost her classic race by staying to pick up
an apple; the fruit of the Hesperides, guarded by a sleepless
dragon, were golden apples; and through the same fruit befell
man's first disobedience, bringing death into the world and all
our woe (concerning which the old Hebrew myth runs that the
apple of Eden, as the first fermentable fruit known to mankind,
was the beginner of intoxicating drinks, which led to the
knowledge of good and evil).

Nothing need be said here about the Apple as an esculent; we have
only to deal with this eminently English, and most serviceable
fruit in its curative and remedial aspects. Chemically, the Apple is
composed of vegetable fibre, albumen, sugar, gum, chlorophyll,
malic acid, gallic acid, lime, and much water. Furthermore,
German analysts say that the Apple contains a larger percentage of
phosphorus than any other fruit or vegetable. This phosphorus is
specially adapted for renewing the essential nervous lethicin of
the brain and spinal cord. Old Scandinavian traditions represent
the Apple as the food of the gods, who, when they felt themselves
growing feeble and infirm, resorted to this fruit for renewing their
powers of mind and body. Also the acids of the Apple are of signal
use for men of sedentary habits, whose livers are sluggish of
action; they help to eliminate from the body noxious matters,
which, if retained, would make the brain heavy and dull, or
produce jaundice, or skin eruptions, or other allied troubles. Some
experience of this sort has led to the custom of our taking Apple
sauce with roast pork, roast goose, and similar rich dishes. The
malic acid of ripe Apples, raw or cooked, will neutralize the
chalky matter engendered in gouty subjects, particularly from [28]
an excess of meat eating. A good, ripe, raw Apple is one of the
easiest of vegetable substances for the stomach to deal with, the
whole process of its digestion being completed in eighty-five
minutes. Furthermore, a certain aromatic principle is possessed by
the Apple, on which its peculiar flavour depends, this being a
fragrant essential oil--the valerianate of amyl--in a small but
appreciable quantity. It can be made artificially by the chemist,
and used for imparting the flavour of apples to sweetmeats and
confectionery. Gerard found that the pulp of roasted Apples,
mixed in a wine quart of faire water, and laboured together until it
comes to be as Apples and ale--which we call lambswool (Celtic,
'the day of Apple fruit')--never faileth in certain diseases of the
raines, which myself hath often proved, and gained thereby both
crownes and credit. Also, The paring of an Apple cut somewhat
thick, and the inside whereof is laid to hot, burning or running
eyes at night when the party goes to bed, and is tied or bound to
the same, doth help the trouble very speedily, and, contrary to
expectation, an excellent secret. A poultice made of rotten Apples
is commonly used in Lincolnshire for the cure of weak, or
rheumatic eyes. Likewise in the Hotel des Invalides, at Paris, an
Apple poultice is employed for inflamed eyes, the apple being
roasted, and its pulp applied over the eyes without any intervening
substance To obviate constipation two or three Apples taken at
night, whether baked or raw, are admirably efficient. It was said
long ago: They do easily and speedily pass through the belly,
therefore they do mollify the belly, and for this reason a modern
maxim teaches that:--

To eat an Apple going to bed
Will make the doctor beg his bread.

[29] There was concocted in Gerard's day an ointment with the
pulpe of Apples, and swine's grease, and rosewater, which was
used to beautifie the face, and to take away the roughnesse of the
skin, and which was called in the shops pomatum, from the
apples, poma, whereof it was prepared. As varieties of the
Apple, mention is made in documents of the twelfth century, of
the pearmain, and the costard, from the latter of which has come
the word costardmonger, as at first a dealer in this fruit, and now
applied to our costermonger. Caracioli, an Italian writer, declared
that the only ripe fruit he met with in Britain was a baked apple.
The juices of Apples are matured and lose their rawness by
keeping the fruit a certain time. These juices, together with those
of the pear, the peach, the plum, and other such fruits, if taken
without adding cane sugar, diminish acidity in the stomach rather
than provoke it: they become converted chemically into alkaline
carbonates, which correct sour fermentation. It is said in
Devonshire that apples shrump up if picked when the moon is on
the wane. From the bark of the stem and root of the apple, pear
and plum trees, a glucoside is to be obtained in small crystals,
which possesses the peculiar property of producing artificial
diabetes in animals to whom it is given.

The juice of a sour Apple, if rubbed on warts first pared away to
the quick, will serve to cure them. The wild Scrab, or Crab
Apple, armed with thorns, grows in our fields and hedgerows,
furnishing verjuice, which is rich in tannin, and a most useful
application for old sprains. In the United States of America an
infusion of apple tree bark is given with benefit during
intermittent, remittent, and bilious fevers. We likewise prescribe
Apple water as a grateful cooling drink for [29] feverish patients.
Francatelli directs that it should be made thus: Slice up thinly
three or four Apples without peeling them, and boil them in a very
clean saucepan, with a quart of water and a little sugar until the
slices of apple become soft; the apple water must then be strained
through a piece of muslin, or clean rag, into a jug, and drank when
cold. If desired, a small piece of the yellow rind of a lemon may
be added, just enough to give it a flavour.

About the year 1562 a certain rector of St. Ives, in Cornwall, the
Rev. Mr. Attwell, practised physic with milk and Apples so
successfully in many diseases, and so spread his reputation, that
numerous sufferers came to him from all the neighbouring
counties. In Germany ripe Apples are applied to warts for
removing them, by reason of the earthy salts, particularly the
magnesia, of the fruit. It is a fact, though not generally known, that
magnesia, as occurring in ordinary Epsom salts, will cure obstinate
warts, and the disposition thereto. Just a few grains, from three to
six, not enough to produce any sensible medicinal effect, taken
once a day for three or four weeks, will surely dispel a crop of
warts. Old cheese ameliorates Apples if eaten when crude,
probably by reason of the volatile alkali, or ammonia of the cheese
neutralizing the acids of the Apple. Many persons make a practice
of eating cheese with Apple pie. The core of an Apple is so
named from the French word, coeur, heart.

The juice of the cultivated Apple made by fermentation into cider,
which means literally strong drink, was pronounced by John
Evelyn, in his Pomona, 1729, to be in a word the most
wholesome drink in Europe, as specially sovereign against the
scorbute, the stone, spleen, and what not. This beverage [31]
contains alcohol (on the average a little over five per cent.), gum,
sugar, mineral matters, and several acids, among which the malic
predominates. As an habitual drink, if sweet, it is apt to provoke
acid fermentation with a gouty subject, and to develop rheumatism.
Nevertheless, Dr. Nash, of Worcester, attributed to cider
great virtues in leading to longevity; and a Herefordshire
vicar bears witness to its superlative merits thus:--

All the Gallic wines are not so boon
As hearty cider;--that strong son of wood
In fullest tides refines and purges blood;
Becomes a known Bethesda, whence arise
Full certain cures for spit tall maladies:
Death slowly can the citadel invade;
A draught of this bedulls his scythe, and spade.

Medical testimony goes to show that in countries where cider--not
of the sweet sort--is the common beverage, stone, or calculus,
is unknown; and a series of enquiries among the doctors of
Normandy, a great Apple country, where cider is the principal, if
not the sole drink, brought to light the fact that not a single case
had been met with there in forty years. Cider Apples were
introduced by the Normans; and the beverage began to be brewed
in 1284. The Hereford orchards were first planted tempore
Charles I.

A chance case of stone in the bladder if admitted into a
Devonshire or a Herefordshire Hospital, is regarded by the
surgeons there as a sort of professional curiosity, probably
imported from a distance. So that it may be fairly surmised that the
habitual use of natural unsweetened cider keeps held in solution
materials which are otherwise liable to be separated in a solid form
by the kidneys.

Pippins are apples which have been raised from pips; [32] a
codling is an apple which requires to be coddled, stewed, or
lightly boiled, being yet sour and unfit for eating whilst raw. The
John Apple, or Apple John, ripens on St. John's Day, December
27th. It keeps sound for two years, but becomes very shrunken. Sir
John Falstaff says (Henry IV., iii. 3) Withered like an old
Apple John. The squab pie, famous in Cornwall, contains apples
and onions allied with mutton.

Of wheaten walls erect your paste:
Let the round mass extend its breast;
Next slice your apples picked so fresh;
Let the fat sheep supply its flesh:
Then add an onion's pungent juice--
A sprinkling--be not too profuse!
Well mixt, these nice ingredients--sure!
May gratify an epicure.

In America, Apple Slump is a pie consisting of apples, molasses,
and bread crumbs baked in a tin pan. This is known to New
Englanders as Pan Dowdy. An agreeable bread was at one time
made by an ingenious Frenchman which consisted of one third of
apples boiled, and two-thirds of wheaten flour.

It was through the falling of an apple in the garden of Mrs.
Conduitt at Woolthorpe, near Grantham, Sir Isaac Newton was led
to discover the great law of gravitation which regulates the whole
universe. Again, it was an apple the patriot William Tell shot from
the head of his own bright boy with one arrow, whilst reserving a
second for the heart of a tyrant. Dr. Prior says the word Apple took
its origin from the Sanskrit, Ap,--water, and Phal,--fruit,
meaning water fruit, or juice fruit; and with this the Latin
name Pomum--from Poto, to drink--precisely agrees; if
which be so, our apple must have come originally from the East
long ages back.

[33] The term Apple-pie order is derived from the French
phrase, a plis, in plaits, folded in regular plaits; or, perhaps,
from cap a pied, armed from head to foot, in perfect order.
Likewise the Apple-pie bed is so called from the French a
plis, or it may be from the Apple turnover of Devon and
Cornwall, as made with the paste turned over on itself.

The botanical name of an apple tree is Pyrus Malus, of which
schoolboys are wont to make ingenious uses by playing on the
latter word. Malo, I had rather be; Malo, in an Apple tree; Malo,
than a wicked man; Malo, in adversity. Or, again, Mea mater
mala est sus, which bears the easy translation, My mother is a
wicked old sow; but the intentional reading of which signifies
Run, mother! the sow is eating the apples. The term Adam's
Apple, which is applied to the most prominent part of a person's
throat in front is based on the superstition that a piece of the
forbidden fruit stuck in Adam's throat, and caused this lump to
remain.





Next: Arum--the Common

Previous: Aniseed



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