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

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


Our common English Orchids are the Early Purple, which is
abundant in our woods and pastures; the Meadow Orchis; and the
Spotted Orchis of our heaths and commons. Less frequent are the
Bee Orchis, the Butterfly Orchis, Lady's Tresses, and the
Tway blade.

[405] Two roundish tubers form the root of an Orchid, and give its
name to the plant from the Greek orchis, testicle. A nutritive
starchy product named Salep, or Saloop, is prepared from the roots
of the common Male Orchis, and its infusion or decoction was taken
generally in this country as a beverage before the introduction of tea
and coffee. Sassafras chips were sometimes added for giving the
drink a flavour. Salep obtained from the tubers of foreign Orchids
was specially esteemed; and even now that sold in Indian bazaars is
so highly valued for its fine qualities that most extravagant prices
are paid for it by wealthy Orientals. Also in Persia and Turkey it is
in great repute for recruiting the exhausted vitality of aged, and
enervated persons. In this country it may be purchased as a powder,
but not readily miscible with water, so that many persons fail in
making the decoction. The powder should be first stirred with a
little spirit of wine: then the water should be added suddenly, and
the mixture boiled. One dram by weight of the salep powder in a
fluid dram and a half of the spirit, to half-a-pint of water, are the
proper proportions. Sometimes amber, cloves, cinnamon, and ginger
are added.

Dr. Lind, in the middle of the last century, strongly advised that
ships, and soldiers on long marches, should be provided with Salep
made into a paste or cake. This (with a little portable soup added)
will allay hunger and thirst if made liquid. An ounce in two quarts
of boiling water will sufficiently sustain a man for one day, being a
combination of animal and vegetable foods. Among the early
Romans the Orchis was often called Satyrion, because it was
thought to be the food of the Satyrs, exciting them to their sexual
orgies. Hence the Orchis root became famous as all aphrodisiac
[406] medicine, and has been so described by all herbalists from the
time of Dioscorides.

A tradition is ascribed to the English Orchis Mascula (early Purple),
of which the leaves are usually marked with purple spots. It is said
that these are stains of the precious blood which flowed from our
Lord's body on the cross at Calvary, where this species of Orchis is
reputed to have grown. Similarly in Cheshire, the plant bears the
name of Gethsemane. This early Orchis is the long Purples,
mentioned by Shakespeare in Hamlet: and it is sometimes named
Dead men's fingers, from the pale colour, and the hand-like shape
of its tubers.

That liberal shepherds give a grosser name,
But our cold maids do 'dead men's fingers' call them.

It is further styled Cain and Abel and Rams' horns, the odour
being offensive, especially in the evening. It thrives wherever the
wild hyacinth flourishes, and is believed by some to grow best
where the earth below is rich in metal. Country people in Yorkshire
call it Crake feet, and in Kent Keat legs, or Neat legs. The
roots of this Orchis abound with a glutinous sweetish juice, of
which a Salep may be made which is quite equal to any brought
from the Levant. The new root should be washed in hot water, and
its thin brown skin rubbed off with a linen cloth. Having thus
prepared a sufficient number of roots, the operator should spread
them on a tin plate in a hot oven for eight or ten minutes, until they
get to look horny, but without shrinking in size: and being then
withdrawn, they may be dried with more gentle heat, or by exposure
to the air. Their concocted juice can be employed with the same
intentions and in the same complaints as gum arabic,--about which
we read that [407] not only has it served to sustain whole negro
towns during a scarcity of other provisions, but the Arabs who
collect it by the river Niger have nothing else to live upon for
months together.

Salep is a most useful article of diet for those who suffer from
chronic diarrhoea.

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