John Ward's Latin: Difference between revisions

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jujuba -ae, jujubinus -a -um = jujube; of, from, or related to jujubes; see ''Zizyphus'' below
jujuba -ae, jujubinus -a -um = jujube; of, from, or related to jujubes; see ''Zizyphus'' below


labdan., ladan(um -i)., labdanum =  labdanum or ladanum, gum resin from plants of genus ''Cistus'', used in perfumes and for fumigation; NB don't confuse with laudanum (q. v.)  
labdan., ladan(um -i)., labdanum =  labdanum or ladanum, gum resin from plants of genus ''Cistus'', used in perfumes and for fumigation; NB don't confuse with laudanum (q. v.)  
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vulp., vulpes -is = wolf
vulp., vulpes -is = wolf


Winterani = only in (Captain) Winter's bark; see under cortex winterani, above
Winterani = only in (Captain) Winter's bark; see under cortex winterani, above

Revision as of 13:22, 26 March 2021

This article features two vocabulary lists of the Latin words and abbreviations in the diaries of John Ward, Folger MS V.a.284 -299.

The first list is the work of Dr. Robert Tallaksen, a reader and transcriber at the Folger Shakespeare Library. It is regularly updated with new words. Last update was March 26, 2021.

The second list is the work of Callum Simms, a transcriber on Shakespeare's World (a crowd-sourced project between the Folger Shakespeare Library, Zooniverse and the OED, sponsored by EMMO). Some of John Ward's diaries have been transcribed by volunteers on Shakespeare's World. On Shakespeare's World's talk feature, Callum Simms is known as @IntelVoid.

John Ward was the vicar of Stratford-upon-Avon from 1662 to 1681. The Folger Shakespeare Library has 16 of his 17 diaries. More information on John Ward can be found in A Semi-Diplomatic Transcription of Selections from the John Ward Diaries.

Dr. Robert Tallaksen's List

Instructions and Amounts

ā, ān., ana = of each

a. c., p. c., ante/post cibum = before or after a meal

ad. grat. acid., ad gratem aciditatem = to an agreeable sourness

ante pastum = before food

ante/post prandium = before/after a meal (lunch)

applic., applico -are = apply; e.g., applica ventre = apply to the abdomen

balneum -i = bath; e.g., BV, balneo vaporoso, in a steam bath; BM, balneo Mariae, in a bain-marie

bib., bibo -ere = drink; bibit (she/he drinks), bibat (let her/him drink) or bibatur (let X be drunk )

bullio -ire = boil; bulliant, they should boil or let them boil

calcino -are = to calcine; reduce by roasting or burning to a powder or friable substance; una calcinentur, let them be calcined together

cap., capio -ere = cape, take; also capiat (let him/her take X) and capiatur (let X be taken)

chartula -ae = a small piece of paper; specifically, such a piece of paper twisted or folded and containing a single dose of medicinal powder

clarific., clarifico -are = clarify

coch., cochleare = spoonful(s)

colatus -a -um (also incolatus) = strained, filtered, purified (from colo -are = strain, filter); colatura -ae, material which has been filtered or strained

compos., compositus -a -um = adj., compound; composed, prepared

cong., congius -i = gallon

contund., contundo -ere = bruise, crush, beat

contus., contusus -a -um = adj., bruised, crushed, beaten

coq., coqu., coquo -ere = boil

crebro = adv., frequently, repeatedly

cum = with; often abbreviated with macron: cū

cuspis -idis cultelli = point of a knife; as much medicine as will lie on a knife point; a small but uncertain amount, likely a few grains

d., da, datur detur = da, give; datur X, X is given; detur X, let X be given

d., dos., dosis -es = dose

decoq., decoquo -ere = boil down / reduce

diluculi., diluculum -i = at daybreak; alternis diluculis, every other morning at dawn

dulcorand., edulcorand., dulcorandus -a -um = sweetened; from dulcoro -are

e, ex = out of / from

ebull., ebullio -ire = boil

epotus -a -um = swallowed, quaffed, drunk up

erasus -a -um = scraped; see also rasus -a -um, below

et = and

exacin., exacinatus -a -um = with the seeds or stones removed; e.g. raisins

excorticatus -a -um = peeled, skinned, stripped of outer covering

f. (face), facio -ere = make

fiat X = let X be done/made

foveo -ere = keep warm; foveatur, let her/him/it be kept warm

frigid., frigidus -a -um = cold; e.g., capiat frigida, let it be taken cold

gran., granum = grain (apothecary measure)*

gt, gutt, gutta -ae = drop*

h. s., hora somni, hora somnj = at bedtime

in = in, into

incid., incido -ere = cut open/into; incisus -a -um, incised, cut open

(in)fund. - (in)fundo -ere = pour (in)

insideat = let her/him sit (in a bath)

inspissat., inspissatus -a -um = adj., thickened, condensed

inung., inunguo -ere = rub on (e.g., salve, ointment)

ieiuno or jejuno ventriculo = on a fasting (empty) stomach

lambend., lambo -ere = lick/ lap up; sensim lambendus, to be licked up slowly

lb, sometimes lib, or crossed, "℔" = pound; liquid measures often in pounds rather than volume

m., misc., misceo -ere = mix; misceantur, let them (ingredients) be mixed

m. f. = misce face/ misceat or misceant fiat, mix (the ingredients) and make X, or let (the ingredients) be mixed and X be made (e.g., pills, electuary)

magistral., magistralis -e = related to magister -tri, a master or teacher; can refer to something that is a practitioner's own formulation (as opposed to officinalis -e, see below), or a remedy that is supremely effective

mane = in the morning

manica hyppocratis = Hippocrates' sleeve, a kind of conical strainer made of linen or flannel; e.g., clarificentur per manicam hyppocratis, let them be clarified through a Hippocrates' sleeve

mass., massa -ae = the compound out of which pills, etc., are formed

matut., matutinus -a -um, matutine = in the (early) morning

mortarium -i = mortar; tunde, or contunde in mortario, crush in a mortar

mundat., mundatus -a -um = cleaned

no. or no = numerus, for the number of things; e.g. succ. Limon. no (numero) ii, juice of two lemons (in the number of two)

nocte = at night

nodulo, nodulus -i = a little knot, from nodus -i; in nodulo ligat., tied in a little knot

officin., officinalis -e = from officina -ae, a shop; any standard medicine or ingredient kept in apothecary shops

ꝑreꝑ. or preꝑ.= preparatus -a -um (conjectured)

paratur = it is prepared; e.g., paratur vnguent., an ointment is prepared

pauxill., pauxillatum = little by little

permisceo -ere = mix thoroughly; permisceantur, let them (ingredients) be thoroughly mixed

pisto -are = pound, stamp, crush; pistentur, let them be pounded

pomeridiane = (adv.) in the afternoon

pulveriz., pulverizatus -a -um = powdered

q. s., quantum satis or quantum sufficit = a sufficient quantity

q. s. m. f. = quantum satis misce face (or misceantur fiat), take a sufficient quantity of the last ingredient or ingredients named, mix, (and) make X; or let the ingredients be mixed and let X be made

ras., rasur., rasus -a -um or rasuratus -a -um = scraped or scrapings of

redig., redige, redigo -ere = reduce (into); e.g., redig. in cataplasma, reduce to a poultice

s. a., secundem artem = according to art/practice, in the usual way; connotation is that the method requires particular skill and/or experience

s. or ss., semis = one half (see note below)

saepe, sepe = often; saepius (comparative) = rather often, more often

semicoch., semicochl., semicochleare = half a spoonful

sero = late; e.g., mane et sero, in the morning and late

setaceum -i = sieve; per setaceum, through a sieve

siccus -a -um = dry

singul., singulus -a -um = one at a time, individually, singly

spatha -ae, spatula -ae = a flat piece of wood, a stirrer; diminutive is spatula -ae

spong., spongiā, spongiis = with a sponge or sponges

stillitat., stillatim = drop by drop

substituo -ere = substitute; X substituatur, X should/ought to be substituted; e.g. for a missing ingredient, in defectu vini graeci aliud vinum potens album substituatur, in the absence of Greek wine another strong white wine should/may be substituted

subtilissime, subtilissimus -a -um = very finely, minutely; e.g., face pulverem subtilissimam, make a very fine powder; contunde in mortario subtilissime, crush very finely in a mortar

sumend., sumendus -a -um = to be or should be taken; e.g., mane et sero sumendum = to be taken early and late

summo mane = very early in the morning

superbib., superbibo -ere = drink after or upon another substance; superbibendus -a -um, it should be taken after something else

ust., ustus -a -um = adj., burnt

vesperi = in the evening


lb or ℔ = pound; NB the unit of weight, not of money

M = handful

p = pugil, the amount that can be picked up with the thumb and two fingers

℥ = ounce (available on EMROC toolbar in Dromio)

f℥ = fluid ounce, though the "f" is generally omitted

ʒ = dram, drachm (available on EMROC toolbar in Dromio)

℈ = scruple (available on EMROC toolbar in Dromio)

20 grains = 1 scruple; 3 scruples = 1 dram; 8 drams = 1 ounce

Numerical amounts are most often given in minuscule Roman numerals; e.g., iiii. The last "i" is very often written as a "long i" or "j," e.g., iiij, but should be transcribed as a minuscule: iiii.

When "s" or "ss" is used for one half, it follows the last character, thus

  • ℈s, 1/2 scruple
  • ℥iiis = 3 1/2 ounces
  • ʒiss = 1 1/2 drams
  • the "s" can look like a long "i" but will lack a dot.

The abbreviations for grain, "gr," and guttae, "gt," can look very similar; if so:

  • when the ingredient is a liquid, e.g., a syrup, suggest using "gt"
  • if a dry substance, e.g., saffron, use "gr."

Types of Receipts

alviducum -i = "opener of the belly;" i.e. a laxative

apozema -atis = infusion, decoction, concentration by boiling

aq. x = water of x; common ingredient meaning water infused or distilled with x (e.g., rosewater)

balneum -i = bath

bocheti, bochetum -i = a liquid produced in this way: after a decoction of woods, roots, and/or barks, fresh water is added to the same ingredients to make a second decoction for ordinary drinking

carminativus -a -um = serving to expel flatulence, as in "emplastrum carminativum"

cataplasm., cataplasma -is = poultice or plaster

cholagog., cholagogum -i = cholagogue, a medication that promotes discharge of bile

clyster -eris = enema

collutio -onis = a rinse or wash; e.g. "collutio oris," mouth-wash

collyrium -i = eye-wash

decoct., decoctio -onis = decoction

embroc., embrocatio -onis = an embrocation; like a liniment but of a thinner consistency, many types; used for bathing or moistening any part, applied by rubbing

eclegma, ecligma -atis = medicine to be taken by letting it melt in the mouth

elect., electuarium -i = electuary; a "medicinal conserve or paste, consisting of a powder or other ingredient mixed with honey, preserve, or syrup of some kind" (OED)

empl., emplastrum -i = plaster; emplastrum Paracelsi (of Paracelsus) is one of many

emuls., emulsio -onis = emulsion

epithema -ae = "Any kind of moist, or soft, external application" (OED)

errhin., errhinum -i = errhine; medication to be applied into the nose to produce sneezing

fomentum -i, fomentatio -onis = dressing, compress; usually with warm liquids (fomentation) and applied as a poultice or with a pad of material

fotus -us = same as fomentation, above

gargarisma -ae = a gargle, throat-wash

haust., haustu., haustus -us = draught

infus., infusio -onis = infusion

iulap., iulep., iulapium -i = a mixture, often sweet, used as a vehicle for medicines

iusculum, jusculum -i = broth

lambatiuum, lambativum, lambitivum -i = same as lohoch/linctus, below

linctus = medicine that is to be taken by licking (same as lohoch)

liniment., linamentum -i = liniment; l. arcei = liniment of Arceus, l. elemi (see below under gummi)

lithontriptic., lythontriptic., lithontripticus -a -um = lithontriptic; having the property of breaking up bladder stones

lohoch = medicine that is to be taken by licking (same as linctus)

lot., lotio -onis = lotion; fluid applied externally

metrenchyta -ae = injection ("clyster") for the uterus

pectoral., pectoralis -e = for diseases of the chest

pill., pillulae = pill(s)

possetum -i, liquor posseticus = posset; milk curdled with treacle, wine, or any acid substance

potio -onis = drink

potus -us = drink

ptisan., ptisana -ae = decoction of vegetable matters, e.g., barley, licorice, or raisins; a tisane

pulv., pulver., pulvis -eris = powder

purg., purgatio -onis = laxative

sorbilis -e = something that can be sucked up

syr., syrup., syrrup., sirup., sirupus -i = syrup

tragea = powder (?)

troch., trochisc., trochiscus -i = troche (lozenge)

ungu., vngu., unguentum -i = oil, salve, or ointment; for some types, see below

Italic text

Ingredients and Descriptions


abrotan., abrotanum -i = artemisia or southernwood, Artemisia abrotanum

absynth., absynthium -i = wormwood, Artemisia absinthium

acetos., acetosa -ae = sorrel or sour dock, Rumex acetosa; fol. acetos., folia acetosae, leaves of this plant

acet., acetum -i = vinegar; a. theriacale, treacle vinegar

acori., acorus -i = sweet flag plant, Acorus calamus

adiant., adianth., adiantum -i = maidenhair fern, Adiantum capillus-veneris

agaric., agaricus -i = originally the bracket fungus, Formitopsis officinalis, later any mushroom with a cap, various species including Agaricus cantharellus, the chanterelle

agni cast., agni casti = Vitex agnus-castus; chaste tree, chasteberry, Abraham's balm, etc.

agrimon., agrimonia -ae = common agrimony, Agrimonia eupatoria

alb., albus -a -um = white

alb. graec., album graecum = the dry white excrement of a dog, hyena, or other bone-eating carnivore, esp. when used as an ingredient in medicinal preparations (OED)

alchermes, alkermes (confectio -onis) = confection of Kermes (crimson insect, cf. cochineal)

alhandal = Arabic name for colocynth (q. v.); troches of alhandal also contained bdellium & gum tragacanth

alkakeng., alkekengi = winter cherry, Physalis alkekengi, a diuretic

aloe -es = aloe; common aloe, Aloe hepatica

aloe depurata = extract made by boiling aloe with water and then concentrating the liquid; if the water was replaced with juice of violet flowers, "aloe violata;" if with juice of rose leaves, "aloe rosata"

alth., althe., althea/althaea -ae = mallow or marsh-mallow, Althea officinalis; also called malvaviscus

alumin., alumina -ae = alum; argil or argillaceous earth

ambra = amber, or ambergris

ammi -ii = umbelliferous plant, Ammi vulgare (maius), common bishop's weed

ammoniac., ammoniacum -i = gum ammoniac, gum resin of Dorema ammoniacum

amomi., amomum -i = genus of aromatic plants including black cardamom, Amomum sublatum

amylum -i = white starch

anagallis -idis = common or "scarlet" pimpernel, Anagallis arvensis

aneth., anethum -i = dill, Anethum graveolens

anis., anisum -i = anise, Pimpinella anisum; semina anisi, aniseed

anserin., anserinus -a -um = of, relating to, or obtained from a goose; adipes anserinus, goose fat

antepileptic., antepilepticus -a -um = anti-epileptic; e.g., aqua antepileptica

anthos = rosemary flowers

apium -i = smallage or any of several kinds of celery or parsley, esp. wild celery, Apium graveolens dulce

aq., aqua -ae = water; aqua fontis, spring or well water

aq. calc., aqua -ae calcis = lime water (whitewash)

aq. fort., aqua -ae fortis = nitric acid, HNO3; may also be called "spirit of niter"

aq. histeric., aqu -ae histerica = anti-hysteric water; receipts vary

aq. naphae, aqua -ae naphae = orange flower water

aq. vit., aqua vitae = distilled spirit

argentum -i = the element Silver, Ag; argentum vivum ("alive") = mercury (Hg), see hydrargyrus, below

argill., argilla -ae = argil, argillaceous earth, alumina

arillus -i = seed/stone; uva passa detractis arillis, dried grapes with the seeds removed

ari., arum -i = common arum, Arum maculatum

aristoloch., aristolochia -ae = many species, including birthwort, Aristolochia clematitis; JW also mentions A. rotunda, smearwort or round-leaved birthwort; see also serpentaria, below

aromat. rosat., aromaticum rosatum = aromatic medicine containing roses

artemis., artemisia -ae = mugwort, Artemisia vulgaris; also other species including southernwood, wormwood, tarragon

artanit., artanita -ae = probably sow-bread, Cyclamen purpurascens

asar., asarum -i = asarabacca or hazelwort, Asarum europaeum

asparag., asparagus -i = asparagus, Asparagus officinalis; the root was used as a diuretic

asell., asellus -i = wood louse, Oniscus asellus; pulv. (onisc.) asell., powder of wood lice

ass. foetid., assafoetida -ae = asafoetida, dried gum of root of Ferula foetida or F. assa-foetida

auri = uncertain; appears in V.a.298 as "fol. auri," possibly leaves of Aurus brasiliensis, also known as Calamus aromaticus asiaticus, Asian sweet-scented flag

aur., aurum -i = gold; golden pills, see pillulae aurae below

aurant., aurantior., aurantium -i = orange, Citrus aurantium; cortex aurantiorum, orange peel

aurant. chinens., aurantium -i chinense = Chinese (sweet) orange, Citrus sinensis

auripigment., auripigmentum -i = auripigment, arsenic trisulfide (As2S3), used by painters under the name of King's Yellow (OED); also appears as arsenicum auripigmentum

avellan., avellanus -a -um = hazel- or filbert; nux avellana, hazel-nut; from the name of the town Avellana in Campania, well known for its fruit and nut trees

aven., auenaceae, avena -ae = oats, Avena sativa; wild oats, A. fatua

avenac., avenaceus -a -um = of or relating to oats; oaten

axung., axungia -ae = lard or fat of an animal; e.g., axung. porcin., hog lard


bacc., bacca -ae = berry

bacon., baco -onis = bacon

balaust., balaustium -i = pomegranate flower

balsam., balsamum -i = balsam, any strongly scented resin; many types; can be solid, e.g., benzoin (see below), or liquid, e.g., Peruvian balsam, balsam of Tolu

basilic. = see ung., vng. basilic. below

bechicus -a -um, bechinus -a -um = for treatment of a cough

bechion bechii = coltsfoot, Tussilago farfara

bdell., bdellium -i = gum resin from shrubs of Balsamodendron species, used as pectoral (for diseases of the chest) and emmenagogue (to promote menstrual flow)

becabung., beccabunga -ae = water pimpernel, brooklime; Veronica beccabunga

bened. laxat., benedicta laxativa or benedictum laxativum = another name for rhubarb, or the laxative electuary made from it

benedict. = carduus benedictus, q. v.

benz., benzoin., belzuinum -i = benzoin, gum benzoin; gum obtained from Styrax benzoin

berber., berberis -is = barberry tree, Berberis vulgaris or the berry itself

beta -ae = beetroot, Beta vulgaris; also appears as "rad. betae"

beton., betonic., betonica -ae = betony, Stachys betonica

bezoar (indecl.); bezoart., bezoarticum -i = a stone or concretion found in animal intestines; eight types are described (mineral, biliary, resinous, fibrous, etc.) and may be described with an adjective, e.g., bezoart. minerale, animale

bezoard., bezoardic., bezoardicus -a -um = relating to or in description of a bezoar

bismalv., bismalva -ae = althea, marshmallow; or related species Malva bismalva or M. moschata, musk-mallow

bol. armen., bolus -i Armeniae = Armenian bole, bole armoniac; an argillaceous earth

bombac., bombax -acem = cotton, cotton-wool, stuffing

borac., borax (-acis) = borax (sodium borate, disodium tetraborate), Sodae biboras

brassica -ae = cabbage; also a genus of numerous cruciferous plants incl. turnip, rape, etc.

bryon., bryonia -ae = briony, Bryonia dioica, may also be denoted red or white; black bryony = lady's seal

bubula -ae = beef; bubulus -a -um, derived from beef; medulla bubula, beef marrow

bugloss., buglossa -ae = bugloss (various species of Anchusa, Echium, and others)

bugul., bugula -ae = numerous herbaceous plants including common bugle, Ajuga reptans

bupthalmi., bupthalmum -i = common ox-eye, Bupthalmum salicifolium

butyr., butyron -i = butter; butryr. rancid., rancid butter; butyr. recens, recent. = fresh butter


calaminth., calamintha -ae = calamint; various species of Calamintha, e.g. officinalis, sylvatica

calc. viv., calx calcis = lime, limestone, chalk; calx vivum, unslaked lime

calendul., calendula -ae = garden or common marigold, Calendula officinalis

campan., campanula -ae = throat-wort, bell-flower; Campanula trachelium

camphir., camphor., camphora -ae = camphor, from Laurus camphora or Dryobalanops camphora

cancror., cancer cancri = crab; cancrorum vivorum, (of) live crabs; see also "oculi cancri," below

canell., canella -ae = canella tree; Canella alba, wild cinnamon

cantharid., cantharis -idis = blistering fly or Spanish fly, Musca hispanica; decoction of the insects used externally and internally as powder or tincture; can be poisonous in overdose

caphura -ae = camphor

capill. vener., capillus veneris = maidenhair fern, Adiantum capillus-veneris

cappar., capparis -is = caper, Capparis spinosa; ol., oleum capparibus, oil of capers

carabe, carabes = likely a name for white amber (V.a. 298, f. 161r, receipt in Latin, "Carab. pulueriz.," followed by receipt in English, "the white amber powderd")

cardiac., cardiacus -a -um = cordial, for stimulating, invigorating, or restoring the heart, aqua cardiaca = cordial water

card., carduus -i = thistle (various species)

card. ben., card. bened., card. benedict., carduus -i benedictus = holy thistle, Cnicus benedictus, widely used

cardam., cardamomum -i = cardamom, Elettaria cardamomum

caric., carica -ae = fig, Ficus carica; may be described as ficus pinguis, a fat or ripe fig

carlin., carlina -ae = carline or silver thistle, Carlina vulgaris

caro carnis = meat, flesh (any kind)

carthami., carthamus = saffron flower, Carthamus tinctorius

carui., carvi., carum -i = caraway, Carum carui

caryocost., caryostinum -i = caryocostinum, an electuary so called because it contains cloves and costus, Saussurea costus, also known as costus, kuth, and putchuk, a species of Indian thistle

caryophill., caryophillus -i = clove, Caryophyllus aromaticus

caseum -i = cheese

cass., cassia -ae = cassia (various species; e.g, Cassia fistula, purging cassia)

cass. lign., cassia -ae lignum = cassia wood

castanea -ae = chestnut or chestnut-tree, Castana vesca

castoreum -i = castoreum; beaver musk

catholicum -i = a universal purging electuary

C.C. = cornu cervi (deer or hart's horn), source of ammonia; not the plant (Plantago coronopus)

centinodii, centinodium -i = knotgrass, Polygonum aviculare; post-classical Latin "centinodia," Anglo-Norman "centinodie"

centaur., centaurium -i = centaury, feverfew, or featherfew; Centaurea magnum or maius = C. erythraea; C. minus or C. parvum = Chironia centaurium (?)

cera -ae = wax; cera alba or citrina = beeswax

ceras. nigr., cerasum -i nigrum = black cherry, Cerasum nigrum; aq. cerasorum nigrorum, black cherry water; gummi cerasi, (black) cherry tree gum

cerat., ceratio -onis = covering or smearing over of a portion of the body with wax

cerevis., cerevisia -ae = beer or ale

ceruss., cerussa -ae = mixture of lead carbonate and hydrate, white lead

cervin., cervinus -a -um = of or pertaining to a deer or stag

cervis., cervisia -ae = beer or ale; cervisia tenuis, thin or small (i.e., weak or inferior) beer

ceterach. = spleenwort or rustyback fern, Asplenium ceterach

chalyb., chalybs chalyibis = steel

chamamel., chamaemel., chamaemelum -i = chamomile, Anthemis nobilis

chamaepit., chamaepitys -yos = common ground pine, Teucrium chamaepitys

chamedr., chaemedr., chamaedrys = germander speedwell, Veronica chamaedrys, or wall germander, Teucrium chamaedrys

chel. 69., chelae -arum cancri = crab's claws; for explanation of "69," see oculi cancri, below

chelidon., chelidonium -i = common or greater celandine, Chelidonium magnus

chio, chia., terebinth. chia = turpentine from the tree Pistacia terebinthus, also called Cyprus, Chio, or Chian turpentine

chin., china -ae = china root, Smilax china, similar to sarsaparilla

cicer -i = chickpea, Cicer arietinum; several varieties, including white (album), red (rubrum), and black (nigrum)

cich., cichor., cichorium -i = wild chicory or succory, Cichorium intybus; C. endivia, endive

cinamomi., cinnamomum -i = true cinnamon, bark of Cinnamonum zeylanicum; wild cinnamon, Canella alba

cinabrii., cinabrium -i = cinnabar, or vermilion; mercuric sulfide, HgS

ciner., cinis -eris = ashes

citrin., citrinula -ae = a small citron or lemon

coccinel., cocinella -ae = cochineal; the red dye from the insect Coccus cacti, or the insect itself

cochlear., cochlearia -ae = lemon scurvy-grass, Cochlearia hortensis or C. officinalis, or horseradish, C. armoracia; NB don't confuse with coch., cochleare -is, = spoonful

coculus -i indi = India berries; possibly from a tree of genus Natsiatum

colatura -ae = something that has been strained; adjective is colaturus -a -um

colcothar = iron peroxide, jeweller's rouge; also called crocus martis

colocynth., colocynthis -idis = bitter-apple (a purgative), Citrullus colocynthis

colophon., colophonia -ae = resin obtained by distillation of turpentine with water

combustus- a -um (comburo -ere) = burnt up, reduced to ashes

commun., communis -e = common; also expressed as vulgaris -e

cond., conditus -a -um = preserved; e.g., nuces juglandis conditae, preserved walnuts

conf., confect., confectio -onis = compound of vegetable, fruit, etc., with sugar; same as conserva

confectio -onis Hamech = named after an Arabian physician; contains myrobalan, violets, rhubarb, absinthe, etc., made up with honey

confectio -onis hyacinthi = not from the flower, but an astringent containing many ingredients including zircon (called hyacinth from its color), red coral, bole armoniac, myrrh, alkermes, etc.

confectio -onis liberans -antis = name derives from its property of delivering the patient from the plague; as many as thirty ingredients including Armenian bole, terra sigillata, pearls, coral, &c.

cons., conserv., conserva -ae = compound of vegetable, fruit, etc., with sugar; same as confectio

consolid., rad. consolid., radix -icis consolidae = larkspur (root), Delphinium consolida

contrayerv., contrayerva -ae = contrayerva; the root stock and rhizome of Dorstenia contrayerva, D. brazilensis, or D. virginiana (= Aristolochia serpentaria); used as an antidote to snakebite

convall., convallaria -ae = lily of the valley, Convallaria majalis; or Solomon's seal, C. polygonatum or Polygonatum solomonis

cor., corium -i = leather

coral., corallium -i = general name for coral; most commonly red (rubr.), also black and white

coran. = uncertain; but possibly currants or Corinthian raisins (uvae corinthiacae)

cord., cordial -is = cordial; see also flores cordiales, below

coriand., coriandrum -i = coriander, Coriandrum sativum

cortic., cortex -icis = bark of any tree; occasionally described as cortex medius or cortex interior, middle or inner bark, esp. of the ash tree, Fraxinus excelsior

cort. winteran. = cortex -icis Winterani, Drimys winteri, antiscorbutic; named after a Captain Winter (or Wynter), who accompanied Sir Francis Drake in part of his voyage of 1577 - 80; Winter discovered it after rounding Cape Horn and before turning back

coton. = cotton

cotul., cotula -ae = mayweed, stinking chamomile; Anthemis cotula

crem., cremor -oris tartari = cream of tartar, potassium bitartrate, KC4H5O6; Ward occasionally uses the alchemical symbol for tartar, a square or rectangle with a cross below it ( ); see Alchemical Symbols, below

cret., creta -ae = chalk

croc., crocus -i = saffron, from the crocus flower, Crocus sativus

croc. metall., crocus -i metallus -i = several preparations of metals; e.g., crocus antimonii (antimony), crocus veneris (copper), crocus martis (iron)

crocatus -a -um = saffron-yellow

crud., crudus -a -um = raw, unrefined

cucum., cucumer. agrest., cucumis (-eris) agrestis or c. asinius = wild cucumber, Momordica elaterium, a purgative

cumin., cuminum -i = cumin, Cumin cyminum

cupressi., cupressus -i = cypress-tree; nux (pl. nuces) cupressi, the fruit or cone of the cypress

cupul. gland., cupula -ae glandis = the cupule, or cap, of the acorn

curcubitula -ae = cupping glass; also a bitter gourd

cuscuta -ae = dodder, a parasitic twining plant; genus Cuscuta has more than 200 species

cyclamen -inis = many species of genus Cyclamen; e.g., C. purpurascens (see artanita, above) and C. hederifolium, ivy-leaved cyclamen, also called sowbread

cydon., cydonium -i = quince; Cydonium oblonga or C. malum; or Pyrus cydonia

cydoniac., cydoniacus -a -um = of or relating to quince; consistentia cydonaci, the consistency of a quince

cynorrhod., cynorrhodon -i = cynorrhodon, the dog rose, Rosa canina; fructes cynorrh., rose hips

cynosbat., cynosbati fructus = rose hips from Rosa canina


dactyl., dactylus -i = date, Phoenix dactylifera

dauci, daucus -i = garden carrot, Daucus carota; D. sylvestris or D. vulgaris, wild carrot

deliquium -i = melting, flowing down; per deliquium = spontaneous liquification (deliquescence) of a solid by dissolving in moisture absorbed from the air; e.g., ol. tart. per deliquium = oleum tartaris per deliquium, potassium carbonate (K2CO3) in aqueous solution from water so absorbed

detract., detractus -a -um = removed; e.g., uva detractis arillis, grapes with the seeds removed; similar to enucleatus -a -um

dia- =  a preparation consisting of a main ingredient, usually alluded to in the name, though receipts vary; e.g., diambra -ae (powder containing cinnamon, angelica, cloves, nutmeg, galangal, etc. used for nervous afflictions and aphrodisiac); diabotanum (plaster of herbs); diacarcinon (from crabs, antidote for rabies); diacarthamum (safflower (a. k. a. bastard-saffron), hermodactyl, ginger, etc.); diachylon cum gummi or d. simplex (juices of herbs); diacorallium (diarrhodon abbatis (q. v.) plus coral, sugar, rosewater); diacurcuma (turmeric); dialthaea (marsh-mallow); diamoron or d. abbatis (honey and mulberries); diamoschus (musk); diapalma (desiccating plaster containing palm oil, litharge, and zinc sulfate); diaphaenicon (dates); diaprunum (damask prunes); diaturbith (Convolvulus turpethum); the New Sydenham's Society's Lexicon names about eighty (OED); a few of the more common ones are given below

diacass., diacassia = a purgative electuary with senna; or the confection of senna; may be designated "cum manna," q. v.

diacatholicon = laxative electuary containing senna, cassia, tamarinds, etc., named for its general usefulness

diaclysma, plural diaclysmata = mouthwash

diacod., diacodium -i = syrup of poppies

diacydon. simpl., diacydonium -i simplex = conserve or marmalade of quinces

diagrid., diagryd, diagrydium -i = old name for scammony (NB not a preparation) cv

diair., = either diaireos, an antidote that contained iris, or diaium -orum, a troche having violets as its main ingredient

diamargarit. fr., diamargariton frigida = cooling powder of pearls, compound

diarrhod. = either diarrhodomeli (juice of roses, scammony, agaric, pepper, and honey) or diarrhodon (several powders which contain roses); the latter may be designated being The Abbot's:  "diarrhodon abbatis"

diascord., diascordium -i = an electuary made with scordium (Teucrium scordium) or germander leaves, roses, storax, cinnamon, etc.; named for Dioscorides, 1st c. Greek physician

diatrion., diatrium -i santalorum = an antidote made from three kinds of sandal-wood with other ingredients

dictamn., dyctamn., dictamnus -i =  dittany, Dictamnus creticus


ebeni, ebenum -i = ebony (wood)

ebul. ebulus -i = danewort,  dwarf elder, Sambucus ebulus

ebori., ebur -oris = ivory; ras. ebori, ivory shavings

elaterium -i =  purgative made from seeds of the squirting or exploding cucumber, Ecballium elaterium

elephang., pill. de elephang = elephangma (?) (unknown; V.a.294, f. 33r; possibly but unlikely to be Phytelephas macrocarpa, alias Elephantusia)

elix., elixir (indecl.) = many different preparations, mostly compound

elix. proprietat., elixir proprietatis = elixir of special character; contained aloe, saffron, and myrrh

ens ensis or possibly ensis -is veneris = "essence" or "sword" of Venus; sal ammoniac with copper sulfate or "flores veneris," a copper oxide; used in cases of worms, rickets, and "vapors"

enucl., enucleatus -a -um = with the nut or kernel removed; similar to detractus -a -um

enul., enul. campan., enula -ae = elecampane, Inula helenium or Enula campana

epithymi., epithymum -i = dodder of thyme, thyme dodder, Cuscuta epithymum

equiset., equisetum -i = mare's tail, Hippurus vulgaris

ering., eryngium -i = sea holly, Eryngium maritimum

erisimi, erisimum -i = "irio grain" (Pliny), or Erysimum cheiri, wallflower

eruca -ae = colewort, Brassica oleracea; many common vegetables incl. cabbage, broccoli, &c.

eupator., eupatorium -i = agrimony or hemp agrimony, Eupatorium cannabinum

euphorb., euphorbia -ae = euphorbium, gum resin from Euphorbia antiquorum

euphrasia -ae = eyebright, Euphrasia officinalis

exicc., exiccatus -a -um = dried

extract., extractum -i = extract

extractum Rudii = see pilulae Rudii, below


fab., faba -ae = bean  

faeces, faecul., faecula -ae =  sediment, e.g., wine dregs, or material that falls to the bottom after grinding plant material in water

faenic., faeniculum -i = fennel, Faeniculum vulgare

faenugraec., faenugraecum -i = fenugreek, Trigonella foenum-graecum

farin., farina -ae =  flour, meal; farina tritici, wheat flour

febrif., febrifugia -ae = feverfew, featherfew; common centaury, Centaurium erythraea

feculae bryoniae = powdered dried bryony root, a purgative

ferment. acrioris, fermentum -i acrius -oris = a sharper or more bitter fermentation (of ...?)

fic., ficus -i = fig, Ficus carica

fim., fimi, fimus -i =  dung, excrement

flammula -ae Iovis = "little flames of Jupiter;" Clematis flammula, C. recta; in classical Latin, periwinkle (Vinca species)

flor., flos floris = flower, with the plant name following; e.g., flores nymphaeae, water lily flowers

fl. cordial., flores -um cordiales = the four "cordial flowers:" borage, bugloss, roses, and violets

fl., flos floris sulphuris = flowers of sulfur, sublimed sulfur; may appear in conjunction with alchemical symbol for sulfur, , as fl. is

foetid., foetidus -a -um = stinking

fol., folium -i =  leaf or leaves (folia) of any plant

fol. acetos., folia acetosae = leaves of common sorrel or sour dock

follicul., follicula -ae = a pericarp or seed pod

fontan., fontana (aqua) =  spring (-water)

formicar. volant., formica -ae volans -antis = flying ant; there is a receipt that includes oleum formicarum volantium, oil of flying ants (V.a. 298, f. 129v)

frag., fragar., fragaria -ae = strawberry, Fragaria vesca; roots (rad.), leaves (fol.) and fruit were used

fraxin., fraxinus -i = ash-tree, Fraxinus excelsior

fumar., fumaria -ae =  fumitory, Fumaria officinalis


gagat., gagates -ae =  jet  (mineral)

galang., galing., galangala -ae = galangal, Maranta galanga

galban., galbanum -i = gum resin from Ferula gummosa or F. rubrucaulis

gallinaceus -a -um = from or relating to poultry; adipes gallinaceus, chicken fat

genist., genista -ae = broom, genus Genista, many species

gent., gentiana -ae = gentian, Gentiana lutea, officinal gentian; G. centaurium, lesser centaury

gland., glans glandis = acorn

glicirriz., glycheriz., glycheryz., glychyrriza -ae = licorice, Glycyrrhiza glabra

gram., gramin., gramen -inis = grass, or any kind of grass-like herb

gramen purpureum, purple grass or purplewort, Trifolium purpureum

guaiac., guaiacum -i = guaiac gum, guaiacum officinale; lignum guaiacum, guaiac wood

gumm., gummi (undecl.) = [tree] gum

gumm. arabic. = gum arabic or gum acacia, hardened sap of Acacia senegal or Vachellia seyal

gumm. ceras. = gummi cerasi, cherry tree (Prunus cerasus) or black cherry tree (Cerasum nigrum) gum

gummi elemi = a resin from the tree Amyris rumieri or gum elemi tree

gum. ammoniac., gummi ammoniacum = "gum of Ammon," from the herb Dorema ammoniacum

gumm. anim., gummi anime = gum anime, resin of various tropical trees, e.g., Hymenaea courbaril

gumm. tragacanth., gummi tragacantha -ae = gum tragacanth, obtained from shrubs of genus Astragulus, esp. A. tragacantha


haeder., heder., hedera -ae = ivy; Hedera terrestra, ground ivy

haedinus -a -um = of, relating to, or obtained from a kid

hamech. = confectio hamech, purgative containing myrobalans, violets, colocynth, etc.

helenii., helenium -i, hinula -ae = elecampane, Inula helenium or Enula campana

hepatic., hepatica herba = liverwort, Marchantia polymorpha

herb., herba -ae = herb; used to specify a plant when another substance has a similar name

hellebor., helleborus -i = hellebore, genus Helleborus, around 20 species; may be white, albus; black, niger; stinking, foetidus

haematit., hematit., lap. hematit. = lapis haematites, hematite; iron oxide, Fe2O3

heracleinus - a -um, heraclinus -a -um = relating to hazel-wood; oleum heracleinum, oil of hazelwood, from distillation of small pieces of the wood cut in spring or fall

hermodact., hermodactyl., hermodactylus -i = a bulbous root, possibly Colchicum, used as an antiarthritic

herniar., herniaria -ae =  rupturewort, Herniaria glabra

hier. picr., hiera picra, or hiera/hieræ = aloe powder made with honey into an electuary

hircinus -a -um = relating to a goat; esp. hircin, a "peculiar substance existing in the fat of the goat (and in a less degreee, in that of the sheep) on which its strong odour depends" (OED); thus possibly describing goat suet

hollandic., hollandicus -a -um = Dutch; pulv. hollandic., Dutch powder, apparently a purgative

hord., hordeum -i = barley, Hordeum vulgare; French barley, Hordeum spelticum; aq. hordei, barley water

hormini., horminum -i = sage or clary sage, Salvia sclarea (Pliny); there is also a flowering plant, Horminum pyrenalcum, dragonmouth or Pyrenean dead-nettle, apparently not used in medicine

hipposelinum, hypposelinum -i = alexanders or allisanders (black lovage), Smyrnium olusatrum

hydrarg., hydrargyrus -i = the element Mercury, Hg, in its liquid state

hyoscyamus -i = henbane, Hyoscamus niger, or an extract or tincture of it

hyperici, hypericon, hypericum -i = St. John's wort, especially Hypericum perforatum

hyssop., hyssopus -i = hyssop, Hyssopus officinalis, for which H. montanus is a subspecies or an accepted synonym; also H. capitatus, wild thyme

I - J

ialap., jalap., jalapa =  jalap, Ipomoea jalapa; a purgative; NB distinguish from iulap., iulep., iulapium -i, see "Types of Receipts," above

jejunus -a -um = fasting, abstinent, hungry; e.g., jejuno ventriculo, on a fasting (empty) stomach

imperatoria -ae = master-wort, Peucedanum ostruthium; same as ostruthium

inauratus -a -um = gilded; some pills were gilded, denoted pillulae inauratae

incis., incisus -a -um = incised, cut into, cut open

inula -ae = elecampane, Inula helenium or Enula campana

ireas., ireos., iridas, probably from iris -idis = iris flower, Iris species; radix ireas, iris root or rhizome, also known as orris or orrice root

iugland., jugland., iuglans -andis =  walnut

iuiubinus -a -um = relating to jujubes; see zizyphus, below

iuniper., juniper., iuniperus -i =  juniper; granum juniperi, juniper berry (its seed cone)

jujuba -ae, jujubinus -a -um = jujube; of, from, or related to jujubes; see Zizyphus below


labdan., ladan(um -i)., labdanum =  labdanum or ladanum, gum resin from plants of genus Cistus, used in perfumes and for fumigation; NB don't confuse with laudanum (q. v.)

lac., lact., lac lactis = milk; lac. rec. or recens (-entis), fresh milk, lac veterum, old milk

lact., lactuca -ae = lettuce, Lactuca sativa

laevigatus -a -um = made smooth, pulverized

lap. bezoard., lapis -idis bezoardicus = bezoar stone; see bezoar, above

lapis -idis calaminaris = calamine, a zinc ore; either zinc carbonate or silicate

lapat., lappath., lapathum =  dock, sorrel; Lapathum

lapp., lappa -ae = burdock, Arctium lappa; also called lapp. maj., lappa major, greater burdock

lard., lardum -i = lard, fat

larid., laridum -i = bacon; larid. veter., laridum veterum, old bacon

laudan., laudanum -i =  laudanum; alcoholic tincture of opium; also known as tinctura thebiaca; NB don't confuse with ladanum, see "labdanum," above

laudan. paracels., Paracelsi = Paracelsus' laudanum; opium and alcohol plus various other ingredients, incl. gold, amber, pearl, musk

lauendul., lavendula -ae =lavender, Lavandula angustifolia (or Spica foemina, spike)

lauri., laurus -i = laurel, bay tree, Laurus nobilis

lenitiv., lenitivus -a -um = soothing, gently laxative

leon., leonurus -i = lion's tail; motherwort, Leonurus cardiaca

leporinus -a  -um = of or relating to a hare; pilus leporinus, hair of a hare, hare hair

lepus -oris = hare; lepus combustus, hare ashes (in a receipt for treatment of urinary stone)

lign., lignum -i =  wood, with the name of the source in the genitive; e.g., lignum aloes

lign. rhod., lignum -i rhodii = rosewood; rose-scented wood from Convolvulus floridus or C. scoparius

lign. sanct., lignum -i sanctum = guiacaum, holy wood; Guiacum officinale

lill., lillior., lilliorum., lilium -a = lily; flores/folia/radix liliorum, flowers/leaves/root of lilies

limac., limacum, limax -acis = snail, slug; aq. limacum, snail water

lin., linum -i =  flax, Linum usitatissimum; semen or semina lini, flaxseed, linseed

linaria -ae = toad-flax or wild flax, Linaria vulgaris

liquirit., liquiritia -ae = licorice, Glychyrrhiza glabra

liquor -oris =  liquid, liquor

liquor possetic., posseticus = posset; milk curdled with treacle, wine, or any acid substance

litharg., lytharg., lithargium -i = litharge, lead oxide; can be white ("litharge of silver") or red ("litharge of gold")

lixivium -i = water containing alkaline salts leached from wood ashes (OED), used to make soap

lot., lotus -a -um = washed

lujul., lujula -ae = wood sorrel, Oxalis acetosella; or common or garden sorrel, Rumex acetosa

lupul., lupulus -i = hops; Humulus lupulus


mac., macis -idis =  mace; the covering of the nutmeg seed of Myristica fragrans

majoran., majorana -ae = marjoram; see Origanum, below

malabathrum or malobathrum -i = aromatic leaf of one of several oriental trees, e.g. Cinnamomum tamala

malicorii, malicorium -i = pomegranate rind

malvatic., malvaticum (vinum) =  Malmsey (wine of the Malvasia grape); Madeira/sack

malv., malvavisc., malvaviscus -i = marshmallow, Althaea officinalis

man., manna -ae = condensed juice of the manna ash tree, Fraxinus ornus; a purgative

margarit., margarita -ae = pearl; prepared pearl is a common ingredient

marrub., marrubium -i = common horehound, Marrubium vulgare; other species also

martiat., martiatus -a -um = pertaining to soldiers; unguentum martiatum, soldiers's ointment

mastich., masticha = mastic, resin of Pistacia lentiscus

matricar., matricaria -ae = feverfew, Matricaria or Tanacetum parthenium

matrisilv., matrisylv., matrisylva -ae = woodruff, Asperula matrisylva or A. odorata

mechoach., mechoacan = root of a variety of morning glory, Ipomoea macrorhiza or I. jalapa, from Michoacán (Mexico); may be identified as black (nigr.)

mecon., meconium -i = opium

medull., medulla -ae = the pith or pulp of any vegetable; also bone marrow: medulla spinalis, spinal cord

mel., mel mellis =  honey; (e)dulcorandus melle = to be sweetened with honey

melilot., melilotos -i = melilot, Trifolium melilotus officinalis

meliss., melissa -ae =  balm, esp. lemon balm, Melissa officinalis; several other species, also including common, field, & mountain calamint

merc. dulc., mercurius dulcis = mercurous chloride, Hg2Cl2; calomel; a purgative

mercur., mercury = annual or French mercury, Mercurialis annua; used in clysters; NB don't confuse with the element Mercury (Hg) , usually referred to as hydrargyrus

mespil., mespilus -i = medlar, fruit of medlar tree, Mespilus germanica; resembles a small apple

meum -i = spignel, Aethusa meum or Meum athamanticum

mica -ae = crumb, morsel, grain; micae panis, crumbs of bread

milii., milium -i = millet seed, Panicum mileaceum; also P. italicum, Indian millet seed

mill., milliped., millipes -pedis = pill-millipede or wood-louse; pulv. milliped., powdered millipede; also prepared by soaking in wine with or without crushing in a mortar

minium -i = native vermilion, read lead; emplastrum de minio, plaster of red lead and olive oil

mithridat., mithridatium -i = mithridate; complex and variable recipe, up to 60 ingredients, including opium

monach., rhab. monach., rhabarbarum -i monachorum = monk's rhubarb, Rumex patientia

mora -ae = mulberry; many species, including Mora nigra, black or common mulberry

mosch., moschat., (nux) moschata =  nutmeg; seed of Myristica fragrans

mucilag., mucilago -inis = aqueous solution of gum; e.g., Mucilago arabaci gummi

must., mustum -i = must; pressed grapes before fermentation into wine; also mustum cervisiae, = wort

myristic., nux myristica, myristica -ae = nutmeg, Myristica moschata

myrobalan., myrabalan., myrabalanum -i = myrobalan = Indian gooseberry, Phyllantus emblica; may be designated myrobalan omnium

myrtill., myrtillus -i = myrtle berry, black whortle berry, or bilberry; Vaccinium myrtillus

myrtin., myrtinus -a -um = of or made from myrtle, myrtle-; e.g., syrupus myrtinus, myrtle-syrup


nard, nardin., nardus -i or nardinus -a -um  = nard; or the ointment so named; or the plant from which the ointment was prepared, Nardostachys grandiflora, possibly the same as spikenard, Nardostachys jatamansi

nervin., nervinus -a -um = pertaining to nerves; e.g., unguentum nervinum, nerve ointment

nig., nigr., niger -gra -grum = black

nuc., nux nucis =  nut; e.g., nux moschata, nutmeg; nux pinea, pine nut; nux avellana, hazelnut

nucl., nucleus -i =  nut

nymph., nymphaea -ae = water lily; Nymphaea alba, white; other species may have blue, red, or yellow flowers


oculus -i = eye

ocul., oculi cancri = crab's eyes; "A round concretion, found in the stomach of crayfish and some other crustacea, consisting mainly of carbonate of lime; it has been used, finely powdered, as an absorbent and antacid" (OED), or possibly Abrus precatorius, the (poisonous) rosary pea. More likely the former, conclusion based on receipt in V.a. 298, f. 160r, calling for "ocul. 69" probably the same as "ocul. Cancri" on the same page, with "69" uncertain, but resembling the astrological symbol for Cancer (  ) rotated 90° (  ); see illustration on last page

ocymi., ocymum -i = basil, Ocimum basilicum

ol., oleum -i =  oil; many varieties, named from the source

ol. dulc., oleum -i dulcis = sweet oil; usually olive or rapeseed

ol. lumbric., oleum -i lumbricorum = oil of earthworms; from worms boiled in wine and oil and strained

ol. philosoph., oleum -i philosophi = philosopher's oil, made from distilling pieces of brick soaked in oil

ol. sulph., oleum -i sulphuris = oil of sulfur, various receipts

ol. vulpin., oleum -i vulpinum = fox oil; made from a skinned and gutted fox boiled with oil and herbs and pressed

olilban., olibanum -i = aromatic resin from trees of genus Boswellia, esp. B. sacra; frankincense

onon., ononis -is spinosa = restharrow, Ononis repens

opiat., opiatus -a -um = opiated; anything containing opium; other medicines that produce sleep but which may or may not contain opium

opt., optim., optimus -a -um = best

origan., origanum -i = several species, incl. Origanum vulgare, common Mediterranean oregano or wild marjoram; O. creticum, (Spanish) oregano; O. marjorana, sweet marjoram; O. dictamnus, dittany of Crete

os ossis = bone; oss. sep., ossa separata, separated bones, but definition uncertain

ostrutii., ostruthium -i = master-wort, Peucedanum ostruthium

ovin., ovinus -a -um = relating to or belonging to sheep

oxycrat., oxycratum -i = oxycrate  (mixture of vinegar and water with a little honey)

oxycroceum = as emplastrum oxycroceum, plaster made with saffron and vinegar

oxymel = honey and vinegar boiled to a syrup

oxymel Julianiz., oxymel Iulianizans = a syrup containing the above, also caper root bark, iris root, fennel, rock parsley, endive, etc.


paeon., paeonia -ae = peony, P. officinalis; used by Galen for treatment of epilepsy

papav., papaver -eris = poppy; many species, including P. somniferum, opium poppy; P. rhoeas or P. erraticum, red corn poppy

paralys., paralysis -is = cowslip, e.g., Paralysis fatua (Gerard); also in the sense of loss of function

parietar., parietaria -ae = pellitory of the wall, Parietaria officinalis; may be designated "herb. parietar."

part., pars partis =  part, side

passul., passula -ae = a small raisin; passulae enucleatae/exacinatae, stoned raisins; passulae solis, raisins of the sun; passula Corinthiaca, Corinthian raisin, alias uvae Corinthiacae, Corinthian grapes

pastinac., pastinaca -ae =  parsnip, Pastinaca sativa or P. sylvestris

penid., penidium -i = appears as in sacch(arum) penid(ium), a stick of boiled sugar used as a cold remedy

pentaphyll., pentaphyllon, pentaphyllum -i = cinquefoil, Potentilla reptans; Pentaphyllum purpureum, purple cinquefoil, P. rubrum palustre, marsh cinquefoil, etc. (Gerard)

perlarum mater = mother of pearl

peru., peruvianus -a -um = Peruvian; e.g, Cortex peruviana (Cinchona), source of quinine

pes pedis columbinus = dove's foot, Geranium molle; also some other species of cranesbill

petasititid., petasites -idis = butterbur, Petasites fragrans

petroselin., petroselinum -i = parsley, Apium petroselinum

petroselin. macedonic., petroselinum macedonicum = Macedonian parsley, Bubon macedonicum

peucedani, peucedanum -i = peucedanin, a "colourless crystalline compound... occur[ring] in the root of hog's fennel, Peucedanum officinale" (OED)

phyllit., phyllitis -is = hart's tongue fern, Scolopendrium vulgare

pic., pix picis = pitch; pix Burgundia, Burgundy pitch, from Norway fir, Picea abies

pil., pill., pillul., pil[l]ula -ae = pill

pilulae aurae = "golden pills," so called from their color; contained aloes, scammony, roses, smallage seed, etc., but no gold

pilulae agregativae = aggregative pills, so called because they aggregated many effects; ingredients included aloes, turbith, scammony, rhubarb, myrabalans, agaric, etc.

pilulae cochiae = cochiae pills; may be denoted "majores," the greater cochiae pill (hiera picra, alhandal troches, diagrydium, turpentine), or "minores," the lesser cochiae pill (aloes, scammony, colocynth, syrup of buckthorn, oil of cloves)

pilulae foetidae = "stinking pills;" asafoetida, galbanum, myrrh, confection of roses

pilulae Rudii = black hellebore, colocynth, aloes, scammony, oil of cloves, sulfate of potash

pimpinella -ae = burnet saxifrage, Pimpinella saxifraga, or great burnet, Sanguisorba officinalis

pinear., pineus -a -um = of, from, or related to the pine; nuces pinearum, pine nuts

pingued., pinguedin., pinguedo -inis =  fat (noun); e.g. pinguedo vulpis, fox fat, pinguedo taxi, badger fat

pingu., pinguis -is = fat (adjective); e.g. ficus pinguis, a fat (ripe) fig

piper -eris = pepper; various species of genus Piper, e.g. Piper nigrum, black pepper, P. longum, long pepper, etc.

plantag., plantago -inis = plantain; broad-leaved plantain, Plantago major

plumbeus -a -um = made of or derived from lead

plumbum -i = the element Lead, Pb

polii., polium -i = felty germander, Teucrium polium

polypod., polypodium -i =  polypody, a genus of fern; e.g., polypody of the oak, Polypodium quercinum or P. vulgare, or polypody of the wall (P. murinum)

polytrich., polytrichum -i = golden maidenhair, Polytrichum commune or Adiantum aureum

pom., pomum -i = apple, many species of genus Malum

pomat., pomatus -a -um = of, containing, or relating to apples; see unguentum pomatum, below

pontic., ponticum = Roman wormwood, Artemisia ponticum

popul., populus -i = poplar tree

populeon = see unguentum populeon, below

porcin., porcinus -a -um = of or relating to a hog or pig

posset. = see liquor posseticus, above

praecipit., praecipitat., praecipitatum -i = precipitate; p. rubrum = red mercuric oxide (HgO); p. album = ammoniated mercury or mercuric amidochloride (HgH2ClN); p. opt., optimum, "the best;" unknown and possibly a description and not an ingredient per se

prasius -i = prase, a green quartz

prassium, -i = white horehound, Marubium vulgare or M. album; a syrup called syrupus de prassio is a pectoral (for chest ailments or as an expectorant) and vulnerary (for wound healing)

prunell., prunella -ae = self-heal or bugle, Prunella vulgaris

prunum -i = plum; prunum coctum, cooked plum, possibly used as a sweetener

puleg., pulegium -i = pennyroyal, also fleabane or fleawort, Mentha pulegium; or wild thyme, Thymus serpyllum; also known as puliol

pulm. vulp., pulmones vulpium = fox lungs

pulpa -ae = pulp (of anything)

pulv. sanct., pulvis -eris sanctus = holy powder; recipes vary but usually include senna and cream of tartar, with cloves, cinnamon, ginger, etc.

purpureus -a -um = purple

pyrethr., pyrethrum -i = root of pellitory (of Spain), or of Spanish chamomile, Anacyclus pyrethrum


quercin., quercinus -a -um = made/ derived from oak; e.g., folia quercina, oak leaves; viscus quercini = mistletoe; uvae quercinae, aggregation of galls on oak roots or at the junction of the roots and trunk produced by the oak gall wasp Cynips quercus radicis

quercitanus -i = not an ingredient but a person's name; French physician Joseph du Chesne (c. 1544 - 1609), Latinized as Quercitanus

quercus -us = oak, oak tree, various species of genus Quercus


rad., radic., radix -icis =  root (of anything)

ran., rana -ae = frog; ranarum, of frogs, e.g., sperma ranarum, frog spawn

ranunculus -i = about 600 species including the buttercup or crowfoot; JW mentions Ranunculus arvorum, corn-buttercup or fallow-field crowfoot, same as R. arvensis or R.sylvestris

rap., rapum -i = turnip or rape, Brassica rapa; plural genitive raporum, of turnips, e.g. raporum no 4, four (of) turnips

raphan., raphanus -i = radish, Raphanus sativus

ras., rasur., rasus -a -um or rasuratus -a -um = scraped or scrapings of; often found with licorice (glychyrriza or liquiritia), but also of ivory, hartshorn, boar's tooth, and even human skull (cran., cranium -i humani)

rasp., raspatus -a -um = rasped, essentially the same as above

recent., recens -entis = recent, fresh; e.g., lactis recentis, of fresh milk; cf. ueter., veterus -a -um

resin., resina -ae =  resin (from anything)

rhab., rhabarbarum -i =  rhubarb, Rheum rhabarbarum

rhaphon., rhapontic., rhaponticum -i = rhapontic rhubarb, Rheum rhaponticum

rhei., rheo, rheum -i = rhubarb, Rheum rhabarbarum

rhead., rhoed., rhoead., rheados., rhoeas -adis = Papaver rhoeas, red corn or wild poppy; see tinctura rubra, below

rhodia, rhodium -i = (probably) either rhodium wood, from rootstock of bindweed species Convolvulus floridus and C. scoparius; or oil of rhodium, made by distilling it

ros., rosa -ae = rose, various specied of genus Rosa; ros. sol., rosa solis = rose of the sun

rosac., rosaceus -a -um = made of or from roses; oleum rosaceum = rose oil

rorismar., rorismarinus -i = rosemary, Rorismarinus officinalis

rosatus -a -um = prepared from or containing roses

rosmarin., rosmarinus -i =  rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis

ruber rubra rubrum = red

rumex -icis = dock, various species of genus Rumex; see folia acetosae, above

ruta -ae = rue, Ruta graveolens and other species; see also vepris, below


sabin., sabina =  savin, Juniperus sabina (a juniper species); an abortifacient

saccharum -i = sugar

sagapenum -i, sagapenon -eni = gum resin from Ferula persica; antispasmodic & emmenogogue

sal X = salt of X, with X in the genitive; numerous examples, including table salt and other acid and alkali salts; see elsewhere for definition of "X," e.g., sal absynthii

sal -is marini = sea salt

sal. prunell., sal -is prunella = fused potassium nitrate (saltpeter) in balls, cakes, or sticks

salicis, salix -icis = willow

salv., salvia -ae = common sage, Salvia officinalis

sacchar., saccharum -i =  (cane) sugar; also sacchar. cand., saccharum candidum, sugar candy

sambuc., sambucus -i = elder tree, Sambucus nigra

sanal = a salve containing litharge of silver, red bole, balsam of Peru, etc.; but may be a misspelling for "santal," q.v.

sandarach., sandaraca -ae = gum sandarac, from Iuniperus communis; may also refer to arsenic sulfide or realgar (red arsenic, red orpiment)

satureia (satureja) -ae = genus of aromatic plants including Satureja hortensis, summer savory, and S. montana, winter savory; related to thyme and rosemary

sangu. dracon., sanguis -is draconis = dragon's blood, a red resin made from various trees

sanic., sanicula -ae = wood sanicle, Sanicula europaea; can be a synonym for saxifraga (q. v.)

santal., santalum -i =  sandalwood, saunders, various species of genus Santalum; red, white, and yellow varieties

santon., santonic., sem. santonic., semina santonica/ santonici = southernwood (Artemisia santonica) seeds or wormseeds (Absinthium santonicum)

sap., sapo -onis = soap; black soap, sapo niger, appears in some receipts

sarcocolla -ae = gum resin or balsam from shrub Astragalus sarcocolla

sars., sarsaparilla -ae = root of Smilax sarsaparilla

sassaf., sassaphr., sassafras = bark of the sassafras tree, Sassafras officinale or Laurus sassafras

satyrion satyrii maris = tuber or rhizome of the early purple orchid, Orchis mascula;  may also refer to other orchids, the cuckoo-pint, Arum maculatum, or dragon arum, Dracunculus vulgaris

saxifrag., saxifraga -ae = saxifrage, breakstone, Saxifraga species, esp. S. granulata; for treatment of urinary stones and as an antiseptic; related plants may be termed golden, burnet (or rough), great, or meadow saxifrage; S. anglica, pepper saxifrage

scabios., scabiosa -ae = common scabious, Scabiosa arvensis

scill., scilla -ae = see squill, below

scilliticus -a -um = derived from or containing squill

scob., scobis -is = powder or dust produced by sawing, rasping, filing, etc.; e.g. scob. dent. apri, scobis dentis apri, powdered wild boar's tooth

scolopend., scolopendria -ae = spleenwort, Asplenium ceterach

scolopend., scolopendr., scolopendrium -i = hart's tongue fern, Scolopendrium vulgare; phyllitis

scord., scordium -i = water germander, Teucrium scordium

scorpion., scorpio -onis = the stinging arachnid, order Scorpiones; ol. scorpion., oil of scorpions, apparently made by steeping scorpions in olive or other oil

scorzon., scorzoner., scorzonera -ae = viper's grass, Scorzonera humilis, for treatment of any venomous bite

seb., sebum -i =  tallow, suet, grease

sebest., sebesten = sebesten plum, from the tree Cordia myxa

secalini., secale -is = a genus of grasses; e.g., rye

sed., sedum -i =  wall-pepper, stone-crop; Sedum majus = sempervivum, see below

selinum -i = selinum, a genus of plants in the parsley family Apiaceae; see petroselinum, above

sem., semen -inis, (plural) semina =  seed(s) of anything

sem. frigid. maj., semina frigida majora = the four greater cold seeds: cucumber, melon, watermelon, and gourd or pumpkin

sem. frigid. min., semina frigida minora = the four lesser cold seeds: endive, lettuce, purslane, and succory

semperviv., sempervivum -i = houseleek, S. tectorum ("live forever," because it is always green)

sen., sena -ae =  senna

senecion., senecio -onis = groundsel, Senecio vulgaris, or S. iacobaea, Jacobaea (St. James' wort) or ragwort

senella -ae = same as spina alba, see below

serpentar., serpentaria -ae = snake-root; includes Aristolochia serpentaria and Serpentaria virginiana; rad. serpentar. = radix serpentariae

ser., serum -i = milk whey; also serum lactis, whey of milk

sericum -i = raw silk; or red pigment, possibly red lead

seselios, seseli -is = various umbelliferous plants of several genera including Tordylium, Laserpitum, Seseli, and Levisticum among others, >100 species; collectively called hartwort

sigill. Solom., sigillum -i Solomonis = Solomon's seal, Polygonatum multiflorum

silic., silicea -ae = shell or carapace of sea animals, e.g., bivalves and crustaceans

simpl., simplex -icis = preparation with a single active ingredient, unblended; same as species

sinap., sinapis -is = mustard; sem. sinap., semina sinapis, mustard seeds

sisymbr., sisymbrium -i = watercress, Sisymbrium nasturtium

smyrnium -i = species of flowering plants, family Apiaceae (carrots, anise, fennel, and many others); S. olusatrum, alexanders

solan., solanum -i = nightshade, Solanum nigrum; several other species, e.g., bitter-sweet, S. dulcamara, and the common tomato, S. lycopersicum

sp., spec., species =  a simple, or single ingredient or element; i.e., uncompounded or unmixed

sp. ceti., spermaceti = from sperma + ceti (genitive of cetus -i); a fatty substance found in the head of the sperm whale, Physteter macrocephalus

spic., spica -ae =  a spike or common stalk bearing numerous flowers; Spica foemina = lavender

spica -ae nardi = spikenard; aromatic substance from Nardostachys jatamansi (India), or the plant itself; or sometimes lavender

spin. alb., spina -ae alba = "white thorn;" precise identification uncertain, with several possibilities, incl. common hawthorn, Crategeus monogyna or C. oxyacantha, Our Lady's thistle, Carduus lacteus or C. mariae, various species of acacia, etc.

sp. sal., spiritus -us salis = spirit of salt, muriatic (hydrochloric) acid, HCl

sp. sulph., spiritus -us sulphuris = sulfurous acid, H2SO3

sp. vin., sp. vini, spiritus -us vini = alcohol, rectified spirit; used as solvent for tinctures, &c.

spod., spodium -i = a fine powder obtained from various substances by calcination (OED)

squill., squilla -ae = squill; Scilla (or Drima) maritima, used as diuretic and expectorant

squillitic., squilliticus -a -um = of or derived from squill

staphid. agr., staphis -idis agria = stavesacre, Delphinium staphisagria

stoechad., stoechas -adis = French lavender, Lavandula stoechas

stercor., stercus -oris = dung, excrement, feces:  e.g., of dog, canis; horse, equi; peacock, pavonis; also others

stipul., stipula -ae = stalk, stem

sturionis, sturio -onis = European sea sturgeon, Acipenser sturio; ova sturionis = caviar

styrac. calamit., styrax -acis calamita = storax, gum-resin from Styrax officinalis

suc[c]in., suc[c]inum -i =  amber

succ., succus -i = juice

suillus -a -um = of, from, or related to pigs; adipes suillus, pig fat or lard

summit., summitat., summitas -tatis = top or tops, with the name of the plant in the genitive; e.g., summitates absynthii, absinthe tops; summitates hyssopi, hyssop tops

symphit., symphyt., symphitum -i = comfrey; Symphytum maius, greater comfrey


tachamah., tacamahaca -ae = aromatic resin from Bursera (or Elaphrium) tomentosa

tamarind., tamarindus -i = tamarind tree, Tamarindus indica; source of tamarind fruit, a purgative

tamarisc., tamarix -icis or tamariscus -i = tamarisk tree, various species of genus Tamarix

tapsus -i barbatus = black mullein, Verbascum nigrum

taraxicum -i =  Taraxicum officinalis, dandelion; may occur as "herba taraxici"

tartar., tartarus -i = tartar, potassium bitartrate, KC4H5O6; when purified forms white crytals and is referred to as cream of tartar; see cremor tartaris, above

tax., taxus -i =  yew tree (Taxus baccata); or badger, Taxidea taxus; pinguedo taxi, badger fat

terebinth., terebinthina -ae =  turpentine; terebinth. uenet. (Veneta), Venice turpentine; many others including terebinthina communis, Cypria, vulgaris; for Chio terebinth., see Chio, above

terr., terra -ae = earth

terr. Lemni., terra -ae Lemnia = Lemnian earth or clay, a medicinal clay originally obtained from the island of Lemnos

terr. sigillat., terra sigillata = "sealed earth;" Lemnian clay shaped into tablets or cakes into which decorative seals were pressed; same as terra Lemnia

test., testa -ae =  shell of a molllusc, or the skin or coating of a seed

testud., testudo -inis = tortoise, various species of genus Testudo

thapsia -ae = genus of umbilliferous perennials; Thapsia garganica or T. villosa, deadly carrot

thebaic., thebaica -ae = opium; thebaic tincture or extract = laudanum

theriac., theriacal., theriaca -ae = antidote;  treacle; e.g., Theriaca andromachi or T. veneta (of Venice) = mithridatium (q. v.), T. coelestis = laudanum

thur., thus thuris =  frankincense or olibanum, aromatic resin from trees of genus Boswellia, esp. B. sacra

thym., thymi., thymum -i = thyme, various species of genus Thymus, esp. T. vulgaris

til., tilia -ae = lime-tree, linden, Tilia europaea; T. alba, white lime-tree  

tinct., tinctura -ae = a solution of anything in spirit of wine; very many types, e.g., tinctura thebiaca, same as laudanum

tinct. rub., tinctura -ae rubra = tincture of red corn poppy (Papaver rhoeas), similar to laudanum

tormentill. tormentilla -ae = upright septfoil, tormentil; Tormentilla (or Potentilla) erecta

torrefact., torrefactus -a -um = dried of moisture by heat, scorched, roasted, toasted

tostus -a -um = past participle of torreo -ere, to parch, roast; same as above

tragacanth., dragacanth., tragacanthum -i = gum tragacanth (q.v.)

turbith., turbithum -i = turbith or turpeth, from Convulvulus turpethum; a purgative

tutia -ae = tutty; zinc oxide

U - V

ueter., veter., veterus -a -um = old; cf. recent., recentis

ulmor., ulmorum, ulmus -i = elm tree

ung., vng. apostol., unguentum apostolorum = containing 12 (hence the name) ingredients incl. turpentine, resin, yellow wax, aristolochia, frankincense, etc.

ung., vng. basilic., or just basilic., unguentum basilicum = basilicum ointment; yellow, black, or green, each containing beeswax and rosin and other ingredients but not basil

ung., vng. alb., unguentum album = ointment containing olive oil, white wax, and white lead

unguentum Egyptiac., Egyptiacum = ointment containing verdigris (copper acetate or green rust from copper or brass), honey, and vinegar

ung. or vng. pomat., unguentum pomatum = ointment containing pork fat, rose water, and apple pulp

unguentum populeon = ointment containing poplar buds, animal fat, and various leaves

urtic., vrtic., urtica -ae = nettle, esp. the common nettle Urtica dioica; urtic. urent., Urtica urens (burning), dwarf/ annual/ dog nettle

ustus -a -um = burnt

uva -ae = grape; uvae quercinae or oak grapes, see above under quercinus -a -um

valerian., valeriana -ae = wild valerian, Valeriana officinalis

vepris -is = genus of plants in the Rutaceae (rue) family; approximately 80 species

verbena -ae = common vervain, Verbena officinalis, or other plants in genus Verbena

veronic., veronica -ae = speedwell, Veronica officinalis

viciar., vicia -ae = vetch; JW mentions species "vulgaris," same as fava bean/ broad bean

Vigo = Giovanni de Vigo (1460 - 1519); emplastrum Vigonis, Vigo's plaster (lead, wax, mercury, turpentine, various herbs)

vin., vinum -i = wine; vinum album, white wine; vinum rubrum/rubellum/roseum, red wine

viola -ae = violet, various species of genus Viola, esp. V. odorata; violarum, of violets

visc. querc., viscus -i quercinus = mistletoe; also Viscum album

vitell., vitellus -i = egg yolk; vitelli ovorum, yolks of eggs

vitis -is = vine; folia vitis, grape leaves

vitriol., vitriolum -i = vitriol; various metallic sulfates, esp. iron sulfate ("green copperas") and vitr. album, zinc sulfate; oil of vitriol = sulfuric acid, H2SO4; the famous acronym "visite interiora terrae rectificando invenies occultum lapidem" is likely a spurious back formation

vitulinus -a -um = from or related to a calf (veal)

vulgar., vulgaris -e =  common, usual

vulp., vulpes -is = wolf


Winterani = only in (Captain) Winter's bark; see under cortex winterani, above


zalap., zalapium, -i = same as ialap/jalap, q.v.

zedoar., zedoaria -ae = zedoary, Curcuma zedoaria

zizyphus -i = jujube; from Zizyphus species, e.g., Z. jujuba, the tree that produces them; iuiubinus or jujubinus -a -um, relating to jujubes; e.g., syrupus jujubinus, jujube syrup

zibet., zibetha -ae = civet, civet musk; from several species, best known being the African civet, Civettictis civetta

zyth., zythum -i = zythos  (unfermented Egyptian beer)

zythogala -ae = posset drink; see liquor posseticus, above

zz or ZZ = zinziber = ginger, Zinziber officinale; sometimes indicates myrrh

Alchemical Symbols and Other Abbreviations

Ward very occasionally used these, e.g.,

♀️symbol for tartar (symbol unicode 🜿); crem.♀️is = cremor tartaris, cream of tartar

♂️symbol for Mars; croc.♂️is = crocus Martis = "saffron of Mars," iron peroxide, colcothar, or jeweler's rouge) (symbol unicode ♂)

[add symbol] , symbol for sulfur (symbol unicode 🜍); flores is = "flowers of sulfur," powdered sulfur produced by sublimation as opposed to natural crystalline sulfur (i.e., brimstone)

[add symbol], symbol for vitriol (symbol unicode 🜖)

69: see above, "oculi cancri;" image from Zwinger, Theatri Praxeos Medicae (1710), p. 150

[add thumbnail here] : Oculi cancri praecipitatum ana ʒss

9 (superscript 9) = "-us;" a common medieval contraction, as in "corp9 "= corpus

See various additional abbreviations in "John Ward's Alphabet."

Following list by Callum Simms


• absynth. - absynthium = 'wormwood'
• acetos. - acetosa = 'sorrel'
• acet. - acetum = 'vinegar'
• agaric. - agaricum = 'tinder fungus'
• alchermes (confectio) = confection of 'Kermes' (crimson 'berry' bug - like cochineal)
• aloe optim. = 'agarwood'
• alth. - althea = 'mallow'
• ammoniac. - 'ammoniacum' = 'gum ammoniac'
• argill. - argilla = '(white) potter's clay, argil'
• aristoloch. - aristolochia = 'birthwort'
• artemis. - artemisia = 'mugwort'
• aven. - avena = 'oats'
• bacon. - baco = 'bacon'
• bezoardic. - bezoardicum = 'bezoar' (antimony salt)
• borac. - borax = 'borax'
• bryon. - bryonia = 'briony'
• bugloss. - buglossa = 'bugloss'
• calaminth. - calamintha = 'calamint'
• camphor. - camphora = 'camphor'
• cappar. - capparis = 'caper'
• cardiac. - (aqua) cardiaca = 'toddy' (a beverage - palm wine?)
• card. - carduus = 'thistle'
• carlin. - carlina = 'carline/silver thistle'
• carn. - caro = 'meat, flesh'
• caryophill. - caryophillus = 'clove'
• caseum = 'cheese'
• cass. - cassia = 'cassia' (a type of cinnamon)
• castoreum = 'castoreum' (beaver musk)
• centaur. - centaurium = 'centaury'
• cervis. - cervisa = 'beer'
• chalyb. - chalybs = 'steel'
• chamamel. - chamamelon = 'chamomile'
• cichor. - cichoria = 'chicory, endive'
• colcothar = 'colcothar, jeweller's rouge' (Ferric Oxide)
• cor. - corium = 'leather'
• coton. - cotone = 'cotton'
• cret. - creta = 'chalk'
• croc. - crocus = 'saffron, crocus flower'; (alchemical) 'liver' - crocus metallorum = liver of antimony
• cumin. - cuminum = 'cumin'
• dia-x = medicine containing x. Usually no other name than the Latin one.
• dictamn. - dictamnus = 'dittany'
• ebul. - ebulum = 'danewort'
• eupator. - eupatoria = 'agrimony'
• fab. - faba = 'broad bean' (= horse, fava)
• faecul. - faecula = 'salt of tartar' (potassium carbonate)
• farin. - farina = 'flour, meal'
• fim. - fimus = 'dung'
• fontan. - fontana (aqua) = 'spring' (-water)
• fumar. - fumaria = 'fumitory'
• gagat. - gagates = 'jet' (stone)
• guaiac. - guaiacum (lignum) = 'guaiac' (wood)
• gumm. - gummi = [tree] 'gum'
• hermodactyl. - hermodactylus = 'hermodactyl' (meadow crocus / autumn saffron roots, not black iris)
• herniar. - herniaria = 'rupturewort'
• iuniper. - iuniperus = 'juniper'; granum juniperi = juniper berry (actually a seed cone)
• jalap. - jalapa = 'jalap'
• jugland. - juglans = 'walnut'
• labdan. - labdanum = 'labdanum' (sticky brown resin from rock roses)
• lappath. - lap(p)athum = 'dock, sorrel'; L. acutum = broad-leafed dock
• laudan. - laudanum = 'laudanum'
• lin. - linum = 'flax'
• lujul. - lujula = 'wood sorrel'
• mac. - macis = 'mace'
• malvatic. - malvaticum (vinum) = 'Malmsey' (wine of the Malvasia grape) - Madeira/Sack
• mastich. - masticha = 'mastic'
• mecon. - meconium = poppy juice (opium)
• meliss. - melissa = 'lemon balm'
• mithridat. - mithridatum = 'Mithridate'
• moschat. - moschata (nux) = 'nutmeg'
• ovin. - ovinus (from ovis) = 'sheep'
• oxycrat. - oxycratum = 'oxycrate' (mixture of vinegar and water)
• papav. - papaver (erraticum) = '(common) poppy'
• paralys. - paralysis = 'cowslip'
• pastinac. - pastinaca = 'parsnip, carrot'
• pentaphyll. - pentaphyllum = 'cinquefoil'
• pinguedin. - pinguedo = 'fat'
• polypod. - polypodium = 'polypody', rockcap fern
• puleg. - pule(g)ium = 'pennyroyal' (/fleabane /fleawort)
• resin. - resina = 'resin, rosin'
• rhab. - rhabarbarum = 'rhubarb'
• rosac. - rosaceum = 'rose oil'
• rosmarin. - rosmarinus = 'rosemary'
• sabin. - sabina = 'savin' (a juniper species)
• sacchar. - saccharum = 'cane sugar'
• santal. - santalum = 'sandalwood'; S. citrinum = citrine/yellow sandalwood
• saxifrag. - saxifraga = 'saxifrage, rockfoil' ('breakstone' in Ward)
• scord. - scordium = 'water germander'
• seb./sev. - se(b/v)um = 'tallow, suet, grease'
• sed. - sedum = 'houseleek'
• semperviv. - sempervivum = 'houseleek' ('liveforever')
• sen. - sena = 'senna'
• ser. - serum = 'whey'
• spic. - spica = 'lavender'
• sucin. - sucinum = 'amber'
• symphit. - symphitum (maius) = (greater) 'comfrey'
• tax. - taxus = 'yew'; 'badger'
• terebinth. - terebinthina = 'turpentine'
• test. - testa = 'shell'
• theriac. - theriaca = 'antidote', 'antivenom', 'treacle'
• thur. - thus = 'frankincense'
• zyth. - zythum = 'zythos' (Egyptian beer)
The symbol (℞) is short for 'recipe' and means 'take' in Latin. This is still used for prescriptions today as Rx.


• ā - for originally Greek 'ana' = 'of each'
• bib. - bibo = 'drink' - 'bibat' or 'bibatur' ('let him drink', 'let X be drunk')
• cap. - capio = 'take'
• cum = 'with' - often Ward marks non-abbreviated words with an apostrophe
• decoq. - decoquo = 'boil down / reduce'
• e, ex = 'out of / from'
• ebull. - ebullio = 'boil'
• et = 'and'
• f. - facio = 'make'
• (in)fund. - (in)fundo = 'pour (in)'
• in = 'in, into'
• inung. - inunguo = 'salve, rub ointment on'
• m. - misceo = 'mix'
• mane = 'in the morning'
• nocte = 'at night'
in alphabetical order:
• alb. - albus = 'white'
• aq. - aqua = 'water'. 'Water of X' is a common ingredient that means water infused with X (c.f. rosewater).
• bacc. - bacca = 'berry'
• commun. - communis = 'common'
• cortic. - cortex = 'bark'
• decoct. - decoctio = 'decoction'
• fol. - folium = 'leaf'
• gran. - granum = 'kernel'
• gutt. - gutta = 'drop'
• haust. - haustus = 'draught'
• lign. - lignum = 'wood'
• liquor = 'liquid, liquor'
• nigr. - niger = 'black'
• nuc. - nux = 'nut'
• nucl. - nucleus = 'nut'
• officin. - officinalis = 'medicinal'
• ol. - oleum = 'oil'
• optim. - optimus = 'best'
• part. - pars = 'part, side'
• pulveriz. - pulverizatus = 'powdered'
• radic. - radix = 'root'
• semin. - semen = 'seed'
• spec. - species = 'simple' - a 'simple' is a single-ingredient powder
• sal = 'salt' - 'Salt of X' is the name of a number of alchemical products which nowadays have chemical formulae.
• trochisc. - trochiscus - 'troche' (a lozenge)
• ust. - ustus = 'burnt'
• vulgar. - vulgaris = 'common'


Alchemical symbols, from Getty

Alchemical symbols, from the Text Creation Partnership

Alchemical symbols character code table, from the Unicode Standard, version 13.0

Alchemical symbols, from Wiktionary

Ancient Greek keyboard, from Lexilogos

John Ward alphabet