John Ward's Latin

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This article features two glossaries of the Latin words and abbreviations in the diaries of John Ward, Folger MS V.a.284 -299. The words are all associated with medical receipts. At the bottom of the article are links to a cribsheet for John Ward's handwriting, several sites that depict alchemical symbols, and a Greek keyboard.

The first glossary was compiled by Dr. Robert Tallaksen, a reader and transcriber at the Folger Shakespeare Library. It is regularly updated with new words. Last update was March 4, 2024.

The second glossary 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.

John Ward's Latin medical words and abbreviations (Dr. Robert Tallaksen, compiler)


aliquantulum -i = a small but unspecified amount; a little bit of something

coch., cochlear -aris = a spoonful; abl. cochleare, by spoonful(s); NB distinguish from cochlearia, the scurvy-grass plant

cong., congius -i = gallon

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

gran., granum -i = grain (apothecary measure)

gt, gutt., gutta -ae = drop

NB the abbreviations for grain, "gr," and guttae (drops), "gt," can look similar; if unclear, if the ingredient is a liquid, e.g., a syrup, suggest using "gt;" if a dry substance, e.g., saffron, use "gr."

lb = pound; sometimes crossed, "℔," or "lib," which may also be crossed; liquid measures often given in pounds instead of volume; NB the unit of weight, not money, which is written as "pounds" or "£"

M = handful

no. or no. = numero, ablative of numerus -i, for the number of specified things; e.g., succus Limonum no. (numero) ii, juice of two lemons (of lemons in the number of two), with the item in the genitive

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

s. or ss., semis = one half; when "s" or "ss" is used, it follows the last character, e.g., ℈s = 1/2 scruple, ʒiss = 1 1/2 drams, ℥iiis = 3 1/2 ounces; the "s" can look like a long "i" but will lack a dot; "s" and "ss" are interchangeable

semicoch., semicochl., semicochlear -aris = half a spoonful

JW gives these ancient Roman equivalents in V.a.295 50r: cyathus = 1.5 ounces hemina or cotyla = 9 ounces libra = 12 ounces sextarius = 16 ounces

The following symbols are in the EMROC toolbar in Dromio:

  • ℥ = ounce (Unicode ℥); f℥ = fluid ounce, though the "f" is generally omitted
  • ʒ = dram, drachm (symbol unicode ʒ)
  • ℈ = scruple (symbol unicode ℈)

℔, the crossed symbol for pound, is not in the EMROC toolbar and is not used


  • 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

Ward occasionally used alchemical symbols; see the last section of this list

Descriptions, ingredients, instructions, types of receipts, and Anatomic References


ā, āā, ān., ana = of each; e.g., folia senae et folia acetosae ana Mi, senna leaves and sorrel leaves, of each one handful

aaron -onis = the wild arum or cuckoo pint, Arum maculatum; many common names, e. g., Adam and Eve, friar's cowl, jack in the pulpit; see also faecula aaronis, below

abies -etis = genus of evergreen conifers, including the silver fir tree, Abies alba

abietinus -a -um = of, pertaining to, or resembling a fir tree

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

absque = preposition + ablative, without

absynth., absynthium -i = wormwood, Artemisia absinthium; sal absynthii = salt of absinth, impure potassium carbonate (K2CO3) obtained from wormwood ashes; see also vinum absinthites, below

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

accendo -ere = kindle, set on fire; accendatur flamma, let it be set alight with a flame

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

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

acetum -i bezoardicum, bezoarticum = bezoar vinegar; the "magistral" bezoar vinegar recipe included sulfur, rue, garlic, cloves, saffron, and walnuts

acetum -i scilliticum = squill vinegar; vinegar infused with squills

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

acredo -inis = sharp or pungent taste; ad mediocrem acredinem, to a moderate sharpness

adamas or lapis -idis adamas = diamond; from α (not) + δάμαζω (conquer, break) because it cannot be broken; cf. English noun/adjective adamantine, unbreakable or immovable

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

adeps adipis (or pl.) adipes = the soft fat or grease of an animal, with the name of the animal as an adjective or in the genitive; NB adeps is a common noun that can appear as a masculine or feminine; e.g., adeps suilla, pork fat, adeps anserinus, duck fat, adeps cuniculi, rabbit fat

adiant., adianth., adiantum -i = maidenhair fern, Adiantum capillus-veneris; A. album, white maidenhair or wall-rue

admodum = adverb, to a great measure, to a high degree

adonis -is or -nidis = the plant pheasant's eye, Adonis annua; its red flowers are said to have grown on Adonis' grave

aegilops -opis = see fistula lachrimalis, below

aerugo -inis aeris = see next entry

aes aeris = brass, copper; aerugo -inis aeris, or aes viride, rust of copper, verdigris; see also unguentum Egyptiacum, below

aetites -ae = eagle stone (Pliny the Elder), "a hollow nodule or pebble of hydrated iron oxide containing a loose kernel that makes a noise when rattled" (OED); said to be helpful in avoiding miscarriage, in pregnancy generally, and in childbirth

agalloc(h)um = see lignum aloes, below

agaric., agaricus -i = originally the bracket fungus, Formitopsis officinalis, later any mushroom with a cap, various species including Agaricus cantharellus, the chanterelle; trochisci de agarico, agaric lozenges, for headache, poisoning, asthma, and many other afflictions

agaricus -i Rudii = an unknown mushroom or fungus used by or otherwise associated with Eustachio Rudio (1551 - 1611), Italian physician, Latinized as Eustachius Rudius

ageratum -i = sweet maudlin, sweet yarrow, or English mace, Achillea ageratum; a flowering plant in the sunflower family

agni cast., agni casti = chaste tree, chasteberry, Abraham's balm, etc., Vitex agnus-castus; may also appear as viticosum rubrum, see vitex, below

agonizans -antis = present participle of agonizo -are, to struggle, fight, agonize; JW uses the dative form (agonizanti) to prescribe that a certain medication be given to one who is in agony (V.a.295, 62r)

agrestis -e or agrestus -a -um = rustic, wild (as opposed to cultivated, sativus -a -um); e.g., cucumis agrestis, wild cucumber, daucus agrestis, wild carrot

agrimon., agrimonia -ae = a genus of perennial herbaceous plants, especially common agrimony, Agrimonia eupatoria

agrimonia -ae odorata = fragrant agrimony, also known as A. procera

alabastrites -ae = alabaster stone

alaternus -i = Italian or Mediterranean buckthorn, Rhamnus alaternus

albedinem = accusative of albedo -inis, whiteness; occurs in the phrase ad albedinem calcinati, calcined to whiteness, in this case hart's horn

alb., albus -a -um = white

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

albugo -inis = a white spot and a film on the eye; JW states that it is the same as the affliction called "pin and web"

alcahest, alkahest (alcahestum -i?) = a hypothetical universal solvent sought by alchemists; OED states that the word is post-classical Latin, though it is believed to have been invented by Paracelsus

alcanna -ae = alkanet, Alkanna tinctoria, an herb in the borage family; the root of which yields a red dye; used for infections

alchermes, alkermes (confectio -onis) = confection of kermes (pregnant female of the crimson insect Coccus ilicis), formerly supposed to be a berry; widely used as dye-stuff and in medicines

alchymilla -ae = genus of herbaceous perennials in the rose family, especially lady's mantle, Alchemilla mollis; the species used for the herbal tea used in gynecology was A. xanthochlora or A. vulgaris

aleophanginae = see pilulae aleophanginae, below

alexipharmicus -i = an alexipharmic; a "medicine or treatment believed to protect against, counteract the effects of, or expel from the body a noxious or toxic substance... an antidote" (OED); from αλεξιφαρμακον

alexitericus -a -um = alexipharmic

alexiterium -i = an alexipharmic medicine, antidote; alexiterium D. Stephani, Stephanus's antidote, possibly from Stephanus Atheniensis (c. 550 - 630), Greek physician and commentator on Galen

alezeteris = likely a misspelling for "alexiteris," see above entry

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

alipta -ae = see alyptae moschata, below

aliquantulum -i = a small but unspecified amount; e.g., ol. Rutæ ℥i sal. aliquantulum m.f. Clyster, oil of rue and a little bit of salt, make an enema

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

alleluia = same as lujula, see below

allium -i = garlic, Allium sativum; digitus allii, a finger (clove) of garlic; A. silvestre, wild garlic; wild garlic with red cloves, A. sylvestre nucleis rubentibus

alnus -i = alder, a tree of genus Alnus; cort. alni nigri = black alder bark, from A. glutinosa

aloe -es = aloe; especially the true aloe, Aloe vera; more than 500 species; distinguish from lignum aloes, q.v.; accusative form is aloen (ἀλόην)

aloe -es 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"

aloe -es hepatica = hepatic, Bombay, or Barbados aloes; used as a cathartic

aloe -es lota = washed aloe; apparently dissolved in the juice of roses and then dried

aloe -es succotrina = the Fynbos aloe, native to South Africa; medicinal uses uncertain

alsine -es = bog stichwort, Stellaria alsine, or possibly chickweed, Stellaria nemorum

alteratus -a -um = altered

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

althea -ae lutea = yellow mallow; Culpeper states that "[t]he seede drunke in wine preuaileth mightily against the stone;" perhaps the same plant as the one that Avicenna called Abutilon

altile = possibly ablative form of the adjective altilis -is -e, fattened, rich, abundant, nourishing; JW states (V.a.291, 48r), "Altile est uinum dulce coctum, nam Altil apud Arabes dulce sonat," Altile is boiled sweet wine, for Altil among the Arabs sounds sweet

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

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

alum., alumen -inis = alum; aluminum hydroxide, AlOH3, used as an antacid, or hydrated aluminum sulfate (Al2(SO4)3•nH2O), where n is the number of water molecules (papermaker's alum)

alum. rup. = alumen -inis rupes, alum (see above entry) in crude or unrefined rock form, i. e., roch(e) alum; may also be designated alumen ruparum, alum of the rocks

aluta -ae = a kind of soft leather, originally prepared with alum, used to apply a medication externally; e.g., emplastrum extendatur super alutam, let the plaster be spread out on a (piece of) leather

alvus -i (m. or f.) = belly, bowels, womb, stomach, or the digestive organs as a whole

alypta -ae moschata = a compounded lozenge containing ladanum (q. v.), styrax calamita, red sytrax, aloe, ambra, camphor, nutmeg, and rosewater; for asthma and chest constriction

amaracus -i = dittany of Crete, Dictamnus (Origanum) creticus

ambra -ae = amber, or a balsam from Liquidambar styraciflua (sweetgum), or ambergris

ambra -ae grisea = ambergris

amethystus -i = amethyst, a purple or reddish form of quartz; the semi-precious stone, "to which the ancients attributed the property of preventing drunkenness" (Dunglison's Medical Lexicon)

ammeos sem. = semina ameos, the seeds of the ammi plant, see next entry; Gerard states that they are good "drunken in wine against the biting of all manner of venomous beasts," as well as against all manner of poisons, pestilent fevers, and the plague

ammi -ii = an umbelliferous plant, Ammi vulgare (maius), common bishop's weed or herb-william; also A. creticum, candy bishop's-weed, or A. perpusillum, small 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; JW mentions A. virginiatum and states that it is "very like if not the same with Cornus"

amplus -a -um = great, large, spacious, ample

amygdala -ae = almond, almond-tree

amylum -i = white starch

anacollema -ae or -i = a term used by Galen for a plaster applied to the forehead and intended to prevent defluxion of humors into the eyes, also any substance producing rapid healing; especially for treatment of a headache or nosebleed; for a headache, ingredients included mastich, red bole, myrrh, tutty, saffron, egg white, etc.; for a nosebleed, acacia juice, vinegar, bole armeniac, vitriol, and egg white

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

anas -atis = duck, various birds of family Anatidae, genus Anas; genitive plural anatum, as in iecores anatum, duck livers; adjective anatinus -a -um, of or pertaining to a duck, e.g., axungia anatina, duck fat; cygnus inter anates, a swan among ducks

anatinus -a -um, of or pertaining to a duck, e.g., axungia anatina, duck fat

anceps -ipits = literally, two-headed, two-edged, twofold; also doubtful, uncertain, e.g., V.a.295 110r, paraphrasing Celsus in De medicina, "satius est anceps Remedium experiri quam nullum," it is better try a doubtful remedy than none at all

anchon, ancon -onis = specifically the olecranon, the proximal extent of the ulna, but by extension the elbow as a whole; the anconeus muscle inserts on its lateral surface

aneth., anethum -i = dill, Anethum graveolens

angelica -ae = wild celery, Angelica archangelica; used as a flavoring, e.g., gin, bitters, and absinth

angina -ae = originally specficially quinsy, a throat infection, from άνγω, to strangle, see also squinancia, below; in current usage, any kind of pain, e.g. angina pectoris

anglicus -a -um, anglicanus -a -um = used when an ingredient is specified to be of English origin; e. g., croci anglicani, (of) English saffron

amina -ae hepatis = the "spirit of the liver;" another name for sal martis (q.v.), so called on account of its efficacy in treatment of liver diseases

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

anodin., anodyn., anodynos -us = a pain reliever, anodyne

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

ante caenam, pastum, prandium = before supper, before food (unspecified), before lunch

antepileptic., antepilepticus -a -um = anti-epileptic, against the falling sickness; e.g., aqua antepileptica

anthora -ae = anthora, yellow monkshood, or healing wolfsbane, Aconitum anthora

anthos = rosemary flowers; anthosatus -a -um, infused with rosemary flowers; e.g., mel (honey) anthosatum

antibyssus = see pulvis antibyssys, below

antidotum -i or antidotus -i = an antidote or counterpoison

antidotum -i haemagogum = the adjective "haemagogum" indicates that it is a material which promotes menstrual or hemorrhoidal discharge of blood; numerous ingredients including lupins, pepper, licorice, long birthwort, etc.; Culpeper says that it "provokes the Terms, brings away both birth and afterbirth"

antidotus -i Matthioli = Matthiolus' Great Antidote, some recipes call for more than 300 ingredients; in the Pharmacopoiea Londinensis, William Salmon (1644 - 1713) terms it "one of the greatest Galli-maufries that ever I saw"

aparine -ines = cleavers, clivers, catchweed, sticky willy, or velcro plant, Galium aparine

aphtha -ae = stomatitis; usually in the plural, see next aphthae, below

appensus -a -um = hang, cause to be suspended, weigh out

apthae -arum = thrush, the oral infection caused by the fungus Candida albicans; NB not the bird (genus Turdus)

apium -i = smallage or any of several kinds of celery or parsley, especially wild celery, Apium graveolens dulce; apium caulis, the stock or stem of one of these plants; A. risus, laughing parsley, because it produces a contraction of the mouth resembling laughter

apocynon -i or apocynum -i cannabinum = a perennial herbaceous plant, known as dogbane, hemp dogbane, Indian hemp, etc.; used in herbal medicine for fever and to slow the pulse; the seeds when powdered are a source of food

apozema -atis = an infusion or decoction; or concentration by boiling

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

aqua -ae aluminosa = a solution of alum in water; see alumen, above

aqua -ae apoplectica = cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, zedoary, grains of paradise, citron and orange peel, etc.; for apoplexy (stroke), fits of the mother, expulsion of wind, provoking of urine and the Terms, expulsion of the birth and after-birth; may also be termed aqua apoplectica et hysterica

aq., aqua -ae = water; if an infusion, distillation, or decoction, with the name of the source in the genitive, e.g., aqua hordei, barley water; or with an adjective, e.g., aqua fortis, strong water or nitric acid

aq., aqua -ae benedicta = a synonym for aqua (or liquor) calcis; see below

aqua caelestis = celestial water; pure rainwater, or spirit of wine, or a cordial of some kind

aq. calc., aqua -ae calcis = lime water; produced by mixing slaked lime with water and then diluting the supernatant

aqua -ae caponis = capon water; made by boiling a capon with raisins, pine nuts, licorice, and herbs, mixed with wine and other herbs, and distilled; a pectoral

aqua -ae cerasorum nigrorum = black cherry water

aqua -ae chrysulca = see aqua regia, below

aqua fontis, aqua fontana = spring or well water

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; see also aqua apoplectica, above

aq., aqua -ae hordei = barley water

aqua -ae imperialis = a drink made from water mixed with cream of tartar and lemon, and sweetened to taste

aq., aqua -ae mariae = Mary's water; sugar candy, Canary wine, and rosewater, boiled to a syrup; to which is added aqua caelestis, ambergris, musk, saffron, and yellow saunders; used for fever, to strengthen the heart, and to relieve a languishing nature

aq., aqua -ae mirabilis = extraordinary or wondrous water; cloves, galangal, cubebs, mace, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, celandine, infused into aqua vitae for 24 hours and re-distilled; used for colic

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

aqua -ae peculi rosarum = JW explains this substance thus (V.a.295 123r): "probably the tops on which the flour and antherae grow, which Mr. Toon told mee they sometimes distill when Roses are deer, and yeilds a water as fragrant"

aqua -ae protheriacalis = "a water serving in stead of treacle water," V.a.288, 103r

aqua -ae regia = a mixture of nitric (HNO3) and hydrocholoric (HCl) acids which can dissolve gold and platinum

aqua -ae stygia = same as aqua fortis, q.v.; the name is from the adjective stygius -a -um, of or belonging to the river Styx; hence, infernal, deadly, pernicious, etc.

aq. vit., aqua vitae = distilled spirit

aquilegia -ae = genus of perennial plants, including various species of columbine, e.g., Aquilegia alpina, alpine columbine and A. vulgaris, common or European columbine

arc(h)onticon = see pulvis arconticon, below

argentina -ae = genus of plants in the rose family, especially silverweed, Argentina anserina

argentum -i = the element silver (Ag); argentum vivum ("living") = mercury (Hg) in its liquid state; see also hydrargyrum, below

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

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

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

armoniacus -i = obsolete for ammoniacus -i; see sal ammoniacus, below

armoracia -ae = a genus of flowering plants of the Brassiceae family; A. rusticana, horseradish

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

artemis., artemisia -ae = mugwort, Artemisia vulgaris; also other species including southernwood or southern wormwood,(A. abrotanum), wormwood (A. absinthium), tarragon (A. drancunculus)

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

arum -i = common arum or aron, Arum maculatum; also known as wake-robin, cuckoo-pint; a stimulant

arundo -inis = genus of grasses; Arundo donax, giant cane; A. plinii, Pliny's reed; A. vallatoria, bankside reed; A. saccharina, sugar cane, now genus Saccharum

asa dulcis = benzoe siamensis, a resin gum from Styrax tonkinensis, used for skin irritation; possibly also used as a purgative, diuretic, or antispasmodic, and identical to benzoin

asar., asarum -i = asarabacca or hazelwort, Asarum europaeum; also known as nardus celticus; an emetic and cathartic; JW suggests its juice (V.a.295 101v) as a sternutatory

asclepiadis = genitive of genus Asclepias; various species, including milkweed.; mentioned as radix asclepiadis, the root of such a plant

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

aspalathus -i = genus of flowering plants in the family Fabaceae (beans), numerous species

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

asperula -ae odorata = sweet woodruff; also called Gallium odoratum; JW mentions A. quinta Gerardi, small red-flowered woodruff

asphodel., asphodelus -i = genus of flowering plants mythologically connected with the underworld and said to cover the Elysian fields; the white asphodel, A. albus, is also known as King's spear; the roots were compounded into a cataplasm and applied to scrofulous ulcers

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

assaireth = in pilulae Assaireth (Avicenna); pills containing hiera picra, mastich, myrobalans, etc.; a cholagogue

asthma -atis = asthma or an attack of asthma, shortness of breath

asthmaticus -a -um = suffering from shortness of breath, asthmatic; of or relating to asthma

athanasia -ae = genus of flowering plants in the daisy family; in ancient times a kind of antidote; "athanasia magna" was thought to be useful in dysentery and hemorrhages

atriplex -icis (olida) = orache or arrach, an emmenogogue and used for disorders of the uterus generally; Culpeper defines A. olida as "stinking arrach"; JW states (V.a.295 127v) that the berries of A. baccifera (red-berried arrach) color sack a "Claret=Colour"

aurant., aurantior., aurantium -i = orange, Citrus aurantium, also known as pomum aurantium (golden/orange colored apple); cortex aurantiorum, orange peel

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

auricula-judae = jelly-ear, a species of gelatinous fungus that grows on wood, especially elder; formerly known as Jew's ear; used as an astringent and for sore throat, sore eyes, and jaundice; the "Jew" in the name is derived from the belief that the apostle Judas hanged himself from an elder tree

auriculus -i muris = mouse-ear or mouse-ear hawkweed, Pilosella officinarum

auriculum -i = gold calcined to powder

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

aurora -ae = dawn, daybreak, sunrise; in the ablative (aurora) in directions for the time when a medication should be given, i.e., at dawn; cf. diluculum

aurum -i = metallic gold; appears passim as "fol. auri," gold leaf, used (e. g.) for gilding pills; though possibly leaves of Aurus brasiliensis, also known as Calamus aromaticus asiaticus, Asian sweet-scented flag; see also pillulae aurae below

aurum -i fulminans or volatile = fulminating (explosive) gold, a mixture of compounds of gold, ammonia, and chlorine; seems primarily to have been viewed as a curiosity; Glauber used fumes produced by its detonation to gold-plate objects

aurum -i potabile = potable gold; an alchemical preparation of uncertain components (in addition to gold), a cordial with many purported virtues

aurum -i vitae = a mixture of gold, mercury, and antimony complexes; an antidote for plague; described in a small monograph, The Cure of the Plague by An Antidote Called Aurum Vitae (1640), where it is described as being invented and produced by one John Woodall, "Master in Surgery;" Dr. Willis made it according to his own recipe

authepsa = from αὐθέψης, a "self-boiler" or "self-cooker;" a vessel used for heating water and keeping it hot, likely a metal pot with a central tube filled with coals, similar to a modern samovar

avellan., avellanus -a -um = relating to hazel-nut or filbert; nux avellana, hazel-nut; from the name of the town Avellana in Campania, 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 with the name of the animal as an adjective; e.g., axungia porcina, hog lard


bacc., bacca -ae = berry (any)

bacill., bacillus -i = a small stick; e.g., bacill. glycirriz., a stick of licorice

bacon., baco -onis = bacon

balaust., balaustium -i = flower of pomegranate, Punica granatum

ballota -ae = black or stinking horehound, Ballota nigra

balneum -i = bath; balneum vaporis, steam bath; balneum Mariae, bain-marie; e.g., BV, balneo vaporoso, in a steam bath; BM, balneo Mariae, in a bain-marie; balneum roris (ros roris, dew), apparently similar to the balneum vaporis, in which a distilling vessel is suspended over steam and not in hot water

balsam., balsamum -i = balsam, balm, any strongly scented resin, many types; can be solid or liquid; e.g., balsam of Tolu, of Gilead (from tree Balsamodendron gileadense or B. opobalsamum)

balsamum -i apoplecticum = applied to the head and nostrils of stroke patients; precise ingredients varied; contained Peruvian balsam, musk, amber, civet, oils of coconut, amber, rue, marjoram, nutmeg, rosemary, cassia, clove, and lavender, etc.; JW states (V.a.295 79r) that it consists of about eighteen "hott oils," good for "such persons as haue weak brains"

balsamum -i copaiva = balsam of copaiba; an oleoresin from the trunk of any of several species of South American trees of genus Copaifera, also known as copaifera officinalis; used for urinary diseases including gonorrhea

balsamum -i Lucatelli = Lucatellus' balsam; olive oil, Venice turpentine, yellow wax, and powdered dragon's blood (see sanguis draconis, below)

barba -ae iovis = Jupiter's beard, Anthyllis barba-iovis; also known as silverbush

bardana -ae = burdock; see lappa, below

basilic., basilicon = see unguentum basilicum, below

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

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

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

behen = uncertain identification because early herbalists used the name from Arabic sources, not knowing what plant it referred to; in England the name chiefly affixed to two types: white (bladder campion, Silene inflata) and red (sea lavender, Statice limonium)

bellis -is = the common or English daisy, Bellis perennis; also known as woundwort or bruisewort

bened. laxat., benedicta laxativa or benedictum laxativum = another name for rhubarb, or the laxative electuary made from it; or a compound of turbith, scammony and spurge

benedict. = carduus benedictus, q. v.

benedictum -i = see vinum benedictum, below; may be designated benedictum of crocus

benzoes = benzoe siamensis; see asa dulcis, above

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. (radix) betae"

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

betonica -ae Pauli = St. Paul's betony, Veronica serpyllifolia, a small species of speedwell

bezoar (indecl.); bezoart., lapis bezoarticum -i = a stone or concretion found in animal intestines; eight types are described (including mineral, biliary, resinous, fibrous) and these may be described with an adjective, e.g., bezoart. minerale, animale; a particular type comes from the pazan (pasang), the wild or bezoar goat, Capra aegagrus

bezoardicum -i ioviale = the Jovial bezoar or bezoar of Jupiter, a diaphoretic; butter of antimony (q.v.) and nitric acid, distilled; unrelated to "bezoar," above

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

bezoarticum -i Mathioli = the bezoar of Pietro Andrea Mattioli (1501 - 77), Italian physican and naturalist, Latinized as Matthiolus; precise description of this bezoar unknown

bezoarticum -i solare = the "solar" or "golden" bezoar; leaf gold, nitric acid or aqua regia, and butter of antimony (q.v.); a diaphoretic and treatment for syphilis; not related to "bezoar," above

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

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

BM = balneum mariae; see balneum, above

bocheti, bochetum -i = a liquid thus produced: 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

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

bolus -i carabe = see carabe -bes, below

bombac., bombax -acis (?) = cotton, cotton-wool, stuffing (in CL, an interjection meaning splendid! marvelous!)

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

botryos = Jerusalem oak, Dysphania botrys; also known as sticky goosefoot or feathered geranium

brachiale -is = a bracelet or armlet; see pericarpium, below

brassica -ae = genus of numerous cruciferous plants, incl. cabbage, turnip, rape, etc.; Brassica sabandica crispa, curled savoy colewort

brodium -i or -ii = broth

bryon., bryonia -ae = briony, Bryonia dioica, may also be denoted red or white; black bryony, lady's seal; used as an emetic and in herbal medicine; some species are highly poisonous

bubo -onis = a swelling, in particular the enlarged lymph nodes that develop in bubonic plague, caused by infection with Yersinia pestis; in CL, the horned owl

bubula -ae = beef

bubulus -a -um = consisting of or 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

bullio -ire = boil; bulliant, they should boil or let them boil, bulliantur, let them be boiled, bulliuntur, they are boiled

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

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

butyrum -i antimonii = "butter of antimony," antimony trichloride, SbCl3, so called because it resembles a fatty mass

buxus -i = common or European box, Buxus sempervivens, an evergreen shrub or small tree

BV = balneum vaporis; see balneum, above


C.C. = see cornu cervi, below

cachexia -ae = consumption, wasting away

cacoethes -is = an incurable malignant disease or tumor (from κακόηθεσ, of evil habit)

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

calceus -i = shoe, slipper; calcei detriti, worn-out shoes

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

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

calface = imperative, make warm/hot, heat (from calfacio -ere)

caltha -ae = genus of perennial flowering plants in the buttercup family, with star-shaped flowers; e.g., Caltha palustris, the marsh-marigold or kingcup

calc., calx calcis = lime, limestone, chalk; calc. viv., calx vivum, unslaked lime; see also unguentum de calce, below

calidus -a -um = warm, hot; adverb calide, warmly, e.g., fomentetur calide, let it be bathed with a warm substance

calomelanos -ani = calomel (mercurous chloride, a purgative); e.g., pilulae calomelanos et colocynthidis, pills of calomel and colocynth

cambogia -ae = see gambogia, below

campana -ae = a cover in the shape of a bell, used in the manufacture of sulfuric acid; "Oil of Sulphur is extracted per campanam that is with a glass still resembling a Bell" (V.a.291, f.118r)

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

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

camphoratus -a -um = camphorated, treated or impregnated with camphor

canabini, cannabini = see Apocynum cannabinum, above

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

candi = candy; essentially always appears in association with sucrum or sacch., saccharum; etymology from Anglo-Norman sucre chandi, Middle French sucre candi and post-classical Latin sucrum candy, with earlier roots in Occitan, Catalan, Spanish, and Italian

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 = see camphor, above

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

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

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

capra -ae = she-goat; pinguedo caprae, she-goat fat

caprifolium -a = Italianate woodbine or perfoliate honeysuckle, Lonicera caprifolium

caput -itis = the head

caput capitis cati = a cat's head; typically, it seems, a black cat's head burned to ashes

caput -itis mortuum = material left over after such chemical processes as distillation or sublmation, sometimes indicated by a stylized drawing of a skull; Dr. Willis says that it is "good for nothing but to be flung away, all vertue being extracted" (Dr. Willis's Practice of Physick Being the whole Works of that Renowned and Famous Physician...; Dring, Harper, and Leigh, London, 1684)

carabe, -bes = 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")

caranna = an aromatic resin from the West Indian flowering tree Bursera acuminata and/or the South American trees Protium carana, P. altissimum, and Pachylobus hexandrus

carbo -inis = charcoal, coal, charred remains; carbo petrae ("of the rock"), coal which has been mined; carbo maris or marinus, sea-coal

cardamantice = see iberis cardamantice, below

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

cardam., cardamomum -i = cardamom, Elettaria cardamomum

carduncellus -i = uncertain; either Carduncellus, a genus of flowering plants in the aster family; or Carthamus carduncellus, one of the distaff thistles, see carthamus, below

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

card. ben., card. bened., card. benedict., carduus -i benedictus = holy or blessed thistle, Cnicus benedictus, (or Centaurea benedicta) widely used as an antidote

carduus -i Mariae = Marian, milk, or St. Mary's thistle, Silybum marianum

carellorum = plural genitive of the diminutive of carus -i, "little seed;" refers to the seed of hypericon, St. John's wort

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

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

caro carnis = meat, flesh (any kind), with the source as an adjective or in the genitive; e.g., haedina, kid; vitulina, veal; perdicum, of partridges

carthami., carthamus = the genus of distaff thistles with many species; best known is the safflower, 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 (any kind)

cass., cassia -ae = cassia (various species); Cassia fistula, the golden shower or pudding pipe tree, also referred to as purging cassia or purging fistula

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

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

castoreum -i = castoreum; beaver musk

cataplasm., cataplasma -is = poultice or plaster

catapsoras = see unguentum catapsoras, below

cataputia -ae = from cataputium -i, a pill, because the seeds were swallowed like pills; can refer to the castor oil plant, Ricinus communis or Cataputia media, also called palma Christi from the palmate shape of its leaves; or caper spurge, Euphorbia lathyris (Cataputia minor)

catholicon, catholicum -i = a universal purging electuary; see diacatholicon, below

cattaria -ae = catnip, Nepeta cataria

cauda -ae equina = horsetail or mare's tail; various species of ancient genus Equisetum, e.g., E. arvense, common horsetail or the aquatic flowering plant Hippuris vulgaris; NB distinguish from cauda equina, the bundle of spinal nerves in the lower lumbar region

caulis -is = cabbage, or its stalk or stem; see also apium caulis, above; JW states (V.a.295 81r) that "Caulis Cypria is Colliflower," actually Brassica oleracea botrytis cauliflora

cavus -a -um = hollow, concave, excavated; in anatomy in the form cava, meaning the vena cava, the largest vein in the body, which returns blood to the heart; the superior vena cava collects blood from the head, neck, arms, and chest, while the inferior vena cava collects blood from the legs, feet, abdomen, and pelvis

centaurea -ae = genus in the familiy Asteraceae, including cornflowers, knapweends, and star thistles; JW mentions Centaurea media, C. spicata, and C. minima, the last also known as herba impia

centaury = English name applied to two different plants, including: a plant of the gentian family (Gentianaceae), Centaurium erythraea, common centaury (formerly Gentiana centaurium); yellow-wort or yellow centaury, Blackstonia perfoliata; both, like many gentians, are extremely bitter in taste, and were formerly often used in tonics and febrifuges

centinodii, centinodium -i = common knotgrass, birdweed, pigweed, or lowgrass, Polygonum aviculare; post-CL "centinodia," Anglo-Norman "centinodie"

cepa -ae = onion, Allium capa

cephalaea -ae = a persistent or lasting headache; from κεφαλαια

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

ceratum -i = cerate, an unctuous material for external application, made of wax mixed with oil, lard, or similar, and other medicinal substances; consistency between ointment and plaster

ceratum -i santalinum = cerate containing two or more of the santals or saunders; see santalum, below

ceratum -i stomachicum = a cerate for the abdomen made from roses, mastich, wormwood, spikenard, wax, and oil of roses (Mesue)

ceratum -i oesypatum = cerate containing oesypus (unrefined lanolin), oil of chamomel and iris root, yellow wax and rosin (Galen)

cerebrosus -a -um = enraged, hot-headed; JW says (V.a.295 72r) that "braine sick and froward men" are "Cerebrosi et pervicaces homines"

cerebrum -i = brain; e.g., cerebrum leporis (rabbit brain) for hair loss, cerebrum. passeris (sparrow) for "seed increasing"

cerefolium -i = chervil, Anthriscus cerefolium; also cheraefolium

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

cerimen = JW states (V.a.295 94v) that this word is "Latine for Ear=wax;" but neither it nor its usual modern spelling of "cerumen" appears in any Latin dictionary; OED states that cerumen is derived from cera -ae.wax, or from Greek κηρούμενος, formed of wax

ceroma -ae = in CL, a mixture of oil, wax, and earth with which wrestlers rubbed themselves; apparently now synonymous with ceroneum, see next entry

ceroneum -i = emplastrum ceroneum; containing pitch, yellow wax, sagapenum, ammoniacum, turpentine, etc.; an emollient

ceronia -ae = St. John's bread; fruit of the carob tree, Ceratonia siliqua

ceruss., cerussa -ae = ceruse or white lead; a mixture of lead carbonate and hydrate PbCO, and lead hydrate, PbH2O>sub>2; used in paint and as a white paint or cosmetic for the skin

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

cervus -i = a deer or stag; cornu cervi, see C. C., above

ceterach. = spleenwort or rustyback fern, Asplenium ceterach

chalcitis -idis = copper pyrite, chalcopyrite, CuFeS2; also synonym for colcothar, q.v.

chalyb., chalybs chalybis = steel; chalybeate or ferruginous waters were made (as opposed to those naturally occurring) by quenching steel or infusing powdered steel in water; Dr. Willis had a proprietary solutio chalybis, the receipt for which appears to have died with him

chamaelea = Microstachys chamaelea, "creeping sebastiana"

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

chameleon -ontis = genus of thistles in the Asteraceae family (daisies, sunflowers); C. niger, the black chamaeleon thistle; C. albus, white chameleon or little chardon

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

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

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

chebula -ae = black or chebulic myrobalan, Terminalia chebula

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

cheraefolium -i = chervil, Anthriscus cerefolium

chia, chio., 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

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

cholica -ae, colica -ae = strictly, a disease of, or pain in, the colon; but commonly employed to indicate any acute pain in the abdomen; cholica biliosa, pain caused by an accumulation of bile, either in bile ducts or in the intestines; colica flatulenta, or "wind colic," pain caused by an accumulation of intestinal gas

chorepiscopus -i = a country or suffragan bishop, appointed in the ancient church by a diocesan bishop, who exercised episcopal jurisdiction in a rural district; from χώρα (place, country) + ἐπίσκοπος (overseer, bishop)

chrysocolla -ae = borax, q.v.

chrystallus -i = crystal, e.g., of vitriol

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

cicerbita -ae = genus of flowering plants including C. alpina, alpine sow-thistle

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

cicuta -ae = various species of hemlock; e.g., water hemlock, Cicuta virosa or palustris; common greater hemlock, C. vulgaris major

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 (of anything); e.g., coquantur per 3 horas super cineres calidos, let them be cooked for three hours upon hot ashes; coque sub cineribus, cook under ashes

cinnabaris -is = pigment obtained from the gum of the dragon's blood tree; NB distinguish from English cinnabar; see cinabrium, above

circopithecus -i = Cercopethicus, genus of monkeys with tails (from Greek κέρκος, tail, πίθηκος, ape); all are forest monkeys from sub-Saharan Africa; e.g., C. ascanius, the red-tailed monkey

circumcirca = adverb, all around; circumcirca tibias, all around the shins

cistus -i = genus of flowering plants in the rock rose family with about 20 species; JW mentions (V.a.291, 67r) C. anglicanus, not a currently recognized species; resin-bearing species, e.g., C. ladanifer, are a source for labdanum, q.v.

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

citrium -i = the citron tree, genus Citrium; species include C. vulgare, C. dulci medulla, and C. magno fructu

citrullus - i = a genus of desert vines, including C. lanatus, watermelon, and colocynth

clarific., clarifico -are = clarify

claviculata -ae = probably Ceratocapnos claviculata, the climbing corydalis

clematis -idis daphnoides = a genus of about 380 species in the Ranunculaceae family (buttercups); C. daphnoides, periwinkle (Vinca minor); C. indica, Indian clematis

cloaca -ae = sewer, underground drain

clyptica = medicines to beautify and cleanse the skin (singular presumably clypticum -i)

clyster -eris = enema (any kind); may also be spelled "glyster"

cnidium = spurge flax or mezereum, Daphne cnidium

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

cochlear -aris = a spoon or spoonful

cochlear., cochlearia -ae = genus of approximatey 30 species in the Brassicaceae family; includes common scurvy-grass, Cochlearia officinalis, also C. anglica and C. danica; sal cochleariae, salt of scurvy-grass; NB distinguish from coch., cochlear -is, see above entry in the Measurements section

coculus -i indi = India berries; from the tree Anamirta cocculus; source of picrotoxin

cohibeo -ere = hold together, contain

cohobo -are = subject to repeated distillation, by pouring a liquid back again upon the matter from which it had been distilled; perfect participle cohobatus -a -um, cf. English cohobate

colatura -ae = a substance which has been or will be strained; from colo -are

colatus -a -um (also incolatus) = strained, filtered, purified (from colo -are = strain, filter)

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

colcothar vitrioli = ferrous sulfate, FeSO4, used as a pigment; but this may also be referred to as jeweller's rouge

collum -i = the neck or throat

collutio -onis = a rinse, generally an eye-wash or mouthwash

collyrium -i = an eye-wash or liquid eye-salve

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

colon -i = the colon, the large intestine

colophon., colophonia -ae = dark or amber colored resin obtained by distilling turpentine with water; also called pix graeca

colubrinum -i = snake-wood, Rauvolfia serpentina; from colubrinus -a -um, snake-like

columba -ae = dove, pigeon; a bird of the Columbidae family, containing 50 genera and over 300 species

colutea -ae = a genus of about 25 species of flowering shrubs, Parkinson states that it is used as an emetic and as a purge; common name, bastard senna; C. arborescens, bladder senna; JW mentions C. vesicaria, apparently the same as C, arborescens, but adds maior and minor

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

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

compos., compositus -a -um = adj., compound; composed or prepared of two or more ingredients

concha -ae = mussel, pearl-oyster, or other bivalve shellfish

concisus -a -um = cut up, cut off, broken

concoquo -ere = digest, boil or seethe together

cond., conditus -a -um = preserved (from condo -ere) ; e.g., nuces juglandis conditae, preserved walnuts; sale conditus -a -um, preserved in or with salt; condiatur, let it be preserved, e.g., condiatur cum melle, let it be preserved with honey; if the word appears with sacch., saccharum, likely "candi" (q.v.)

contund., contunde = beat, break up, pound to pieces, from contundo -ere; contundantur in mortario, let them be broken up in a mortar

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

confectio -onis alkermes = see alchermes, above

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

confectio -onis Humain = to preserve sight; containing eyebright, fennel seeds, cinnamon, etc.

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 = 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.

confluo -ere = flow or run together; present participle confluens -entis

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

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

consolida -ae saracenica = goldenrod, Virga aurea or Solidago virga-aurea, same as solidago saracenica, below; a vulnerary

contabesco -ere = waste away gradually, be consumed; coque ad contabescentiam, gradually boil until consumed

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

contund., contundo -ere = bruise, crush, beat; contundantur in mortario, let them be crushed in a mortar

coq., coqu., coque, coquo -ere = boil; coquuntur, they are boiled; coquantur, let them be boiled

contus., contusus -a -um = adj., bruised, crushed, beaten; from contundo -ere, crush, grind, pound

convalesco -ere = to recover, grow strong, regain health, convalesce

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

copaiva = see balsamum copaiva, above

cor., corium -i = leather

cor cordis = the heart

cor cordis plantarum = "the heart of plants;" the point where the root meets the shoot

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

corallina -ae = coralline or corallin, a genus of seaweeds having a calcareous jointed stem, especially Corallina officinalis; a vermifuge, e.g., treatment for "maw worm," (V.a.291, 81r)

coran. = currants, the black, red, or white fruit of a shrub in the genus Ribes, containing about 200 species, also including gooseberries; most often refers to Corinthian raisins, see uvae Corinthiacae, below

cord., cordial -is = cordial, a drink with medicinal or health-giving properties, especially one that is thought to invigorate the heart (cor cordis), stimulate the circulation, or provide comfort; see also flores cordiales, below

coriand., coriandrum -i = coriander, Coriandrum sativum

corium -i = leather; per corium trajectus - a -um, passed or filtered through leather

cornu cervi = deer or hart's horn, a source of ammonia; distinguish from the plant buck's horn plantain, Plantago coronopus

cornus -us = the cornel cherry tree, Cornus mascula

coronopus -i = either Lepidium coronopus, swinecress or wartcress; or Plantago coronopus, buck's-horn plaintain

corpus -oris = body, flesh, person; corpus varicosum, see varicosus -a -um, below

corrigentia -um = things to be corrected, set right, improved

corroborans -antis = strengthen, harden, reinfoce; corroborantia, things or medications that do these things; from corroboro -are

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

cortex -icis peruvianus = Peruvian bark, from the tree Cinchona officinalis, the source of quinine, and a treatment for malaria; also known as cortex Iesuiticus or Jesuit's bark; see also pulvis Iesuiticus, below

cort. winteran. = cortex -icis Winterani, Drimys winteri, a tree in the familiy Winteraceae, native to southern South America; an antiscorbutic; named after a Captain Winter (or Wynter), who accompanied Sir Francis Drake in part of his voyage of 1577-80; Winter discovered the tree after rounding Cape Horn and before turning back

cosmetica -ae = cosmetic (noun); also adjective, cosmeticus -a -um

costa -ae = rib

costus -i = an essential oil extracted from the root of a species of thistle, Dolomiaea (previously Saussurea) costus, known as costus, Indian costus, kuth, or putchuk; a diuretic and emmenagogue, and for convulsions, worms, etc. (Parkinson)

coton. = cotton, the fibrous substance which clothes the seeds of the cotton plant, genus Gossypium

cotonaria -ae = cottonweed or cudweed, species of genus Gnaphalium

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

cranium -i humanum = human skull, pulverized; used for treatment of stroke, epilepsy, paralysis, etc.

crassula -ae = a genus of succulent plants, e.g., Crassula ovata, the jade plant, and C. aquatica, pigmyweed

crebro = adv., frequently, repeatedly

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, at the end of this document

cremor -oris silicum = crystals prepared by Glauber by melting potassium carbonate (K2CO3) and sand in a crucible and keeping the mixture molten until the carbon dioxide was driven off, then allowing it to cool and then grinding to a fine powder; if kept in moist air it would absorb water (see per deliquium, below) and form a viscous liquid, which Glauber called oleum silicum

crepitus -us lupi = the puff ball mushroom, genus Lycoperdon, with about 50 species; the Greek λύκος πέρδω name derives from the words, and the Latin name is translated as, "wolf's farts"

cret., creta -ae = chalk

creticus -a -um = chalky

cribratus -a -um = strained, sieved, sifted

crista -ae galli = the cockspur coral tree Erythina crista-galli, a species of flowering tree in the legume family Fabaceae; literally, "cock's comb;" NB don't confuse with the vertical projection of the ethmoid bone of the skull

crithmus -i = probably samphire, otherwise sea or shoreline purslane, Crithmus indicus, C. maritimum, or Sesuvium portulacastrum

crocatus -a -um = of a saffron-yellow color

croc., crocus -i = saffron, from the crocus flower, Crocus sativus; an adjective may be added to indicate origin, e.g., austriacus, from Austria, or anglicanus, English

croc. ♂is = crocus Martis, "saffron of Mars," iron peroxide, colcothar, or jeweler's rouge

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

crocomagma -atis = dregs of the oil of saffron, or an ointment made with it; mentioned by Pliny the Elder as being useful for cataracts and stangury

cruciata marina = Alsine cruiciata marina, sea pimpernell, also known as Anthyllis lenitifolia

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

cubeba -ae = Java pepper, Piper cubeba; used as a spice and as an antiseptic for treatment of gonorrhea

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

cucupha -ae (also cucufa) = a cap with spices quilted in it, worn for certain nervous disorders of the head (OED)

cucurbita -ae = any of various gourds of genus Cucurbita; approximately 95 species, including pumpkins and various other squashes

cucurbita -ae = a cupping glass; diminutive cucurbitula -ae; or the lower part of an alembic

cucurma -ae = genus of plants in the family Zingiberaceae; the powdered rhizome of Curcuma longa is the source of turmeric

cum = with; very often abbreviated with macron: cū; if not followed by noun in the ablative case, "when;" e.g. (V.a.298 89r), unguentum sit frigidum cum inungantur partes, let the ointment be cold when the parts are anointed

cumin., cuminum -i = cumin, Cumin cyminum

cuniculus -i = rabbit, which JW often spells as rabbet

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

curo -are = to cure; curari, passive infinitive, to be cured; e.g., per sudorem curari possunt, they (i.e., certain diseases) can be cured by means of a sweat

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

cutis -is = the skin

cyanus -i = cornflower or bachelor's button, Centaurea cyanus

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

cynoglossum -i = common hound's tongue, Cynoglossum officinale; considered to be a troublesome weed because its burrs stick to the wool of sheep

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

cynosbat., cynosbati fructus = rose hips from Rosa canina

cyperus -i = genus of endogenous plants with around 700 species; Cyperus longus, or sweet cyperus, also called galingale

cytinus -i = the undeveloped calyx or flower of the pomegranate

cytisus -i = a genus of shrub-like flowering plants, useful for fodder; Parkinson calls it the tree trefoile; JW mentions C. maranthi cornutus, possibly the C. galenicreditus marantha cornutus mentioned by Parkinson; also the varieties "common," procumbens, siliqua, and pubescente "which Ned Morgan hath"


d., da, datur detur = from do dare, to give; imperative da, give; datur X, X is given; detur X, let X be given

d., dos., dosis -is = dose

dactyl., dactylus -i = date; fruit of the date palm, Phoenix dactylifera

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

debeo -ere = ought, be under obligation to, be bound to; debet, it should; e.g., debet poni, it should be put, placed, set down

decoct., decoctio -onis = decoction; boiling in liquid to extract the soluble parts of a substance

decoq., decoquo -ere = boil down/reduce; decoquatur, let it be boiled down

defrutum -i = wine must (freshly pressed grapes prior to or during fermenation) boiled down to one-half of the original volume; cf. sapa, below

deliquium -i = a melting or flowing down; ; "ad deliquium" refers to the letting of blood to the point at which the patient feels faint or does faint from loss of blood; "per deliquium" is spontaneous liquification (deliquescence) of a solid by its 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

dens dentis = tooth, with the animal source in the genitive; e.g., dens apri, wild boar's tooth

dens dentis leonis = "lion's tooth," dandelion; Taraxacum dens-leonis

dentaria -ae = toothwort; D. maior = Lathraea squamaria; or D. minor = D. pentaphylla; other plants using the same name include shepherd's purse, Capsella bursapastoris; D. bulbifera, so called from the tooth-like projections on the root-stock; and Plumbago europaea or P. scandens, used for toothache

depravo -are = distort, deform, twist, make crooked

depuratus -a -um = purified, refined (from depuro -are)

dessicativum -i rubrum = see unguentum dessicativum rubrum, below

desicco -are = dry up, desiccate; whence desiccativus -a -um, describing a substance which, when applied externally, dries up moisture

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

detritus -a -um = worn out

devoro -are = swallow, devour; 3 devorentur hora somni, let three be swallowed at bedtime

dia- = a preparation consisting of a main ingredient, usually alluded to in the name and tending to mean made, containing, or consisting of that ingredient, though receipts vary; the New Sydenham's Society's Lexicon names about eighty (OED); the ones mentioned by JW are included below

diabotanum = plaster of multiple herbs (Galen); resolvent (tissue softener) and suppurative

diacalciteos = chalcitis (an iron oxide), with plantain and nightshade juice; for cancer; possibly the same as diapalma

diacarcinon = from crabs; antidote for rabies

diacarthamum = containing safflower ("bastard-saffron"), hermodactyl, ginger, etc.; a purgative

diacaryon = a term used by Galen for an extract containing green nuts and honey

diacatholicon or catholicon = purgative electuary containing senna, cassia, tamarinds, etc., so called for its general usefulness

diachylon cum gummi or diachylon simplex = ointment containing juices of various herbs; may be designated "magnum," which included litharge of gold, oils of iris, chamomile, and aneth, turpentine, pine resin, yellow wax, etc.; may also be spelled diachylum

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

diachylon = originally an ointment made of vegetable juices, later a common name for a lead plaster; see emplastrum plumbi, below

diacorallium = trochisci diacorallium (Galen), containing bole-armoniac, red coral, terra lemnia, etc.; to stop blood, including menstrual flow and the bloody flux (dysentery)

diacinamomum -i = a compound of cinnamon; an antidote

diaclysma, plural diaclysmata = mouthwash; for toothache, cleaning the gums; diaclysma ad scorbutum, an antiscorbutic

diacod., diacodium -i = electuary containing of poppy seeds or heads, used as an opiate

diacorum = electuarium diacorum, electuary of calamus; likely Acorus calamus, sweet flag

diacrocu = a dry collyrium (eye-wash or salve) in which saffron is an ingredient (New Sydenham Lexicon)

diacrocuma = an electuary for the stomach, abnormalities of the kidneys and bladder; many ingredients including saffron, asarabacca, parsley, carrot, anise, and smallage seeds, etc.

diacrydium = see diagrydium, below

diacurcuma = numerous ingredients, including saffron (crocus), asarum, rhubarb, phu, etc.; used as an antidote and for cachexia, dropsy, and diseases of the liver and spleen

diacydon. simpl., diacydonium -i simplex = conserve or marmalade of quinces (Cydonium oblonga)

diaeta = see dieta -ae, below

diagalanga -ae = confection of galanga with "hot spices," useful for the wind cholic

diagrid., diagryd, diagrydium -i = electuary containing scammony, a purgative; also "diacrydium"

diair., diaireos = an electuary that contained orris (iris) root; an antidote

dialacca = electuary containing lacca, q. v.; an antidote

dialthaea (cum gummis) = ointment containing marsh-mallow root and seeds boiled with olive oil, beeswax, gums, and resins; for gout and as a suppurative

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

diambra -ae = powder containing cinnamon, angelica, cloves, nutmeg, galangal, etc. used for nervous afflictions and as an aphrodisiac, stomachic, and tonic; despite multiple ingredients, it is listed as a "species"

diamoron or diamoron abbatis (the abbot's) = honey and mulberries, used as a gargle for throat diseases

diamoschu(s) -us = musk, saffron, galangal, zedoary, lignum aloes; for conditions affecting the head and brain, e.g., vertigo, epilepsy, palsy, also for the stomach, lungs, liver, and spleen

dianisum -i = a compound powder containing aniseed, licorice, mastick, caraway, fennel, mace, cinnamon, pepper, etc.; or an electuary made of the powder and honey

diapalma = desiccating plaster containing palm oil or animal fat, litharge, and zinc sulfate; JW states (V.a.295 78r) that "Nick" (presumably Culpeper) jeered the College for not stirring their diapalma mixture with a "palme=stick" and that therefore they named it diacalciteos instead

diapampholigos = see unguentum diapampholigos, below

diapente = a medicine of five ingredients, made by adding ivory shavings to diatesseron (q.v.)

diaphoenicon = electuary made from cooked and strained dates; a purgative

diapompholigos = see unguentum diapompholigos, below

diaprunum = electuary containing the pulp of damask prunes; a purgative

diareos = electuary of orris roots, with pennyroyal, hyssop, licorice, etc.; may be designated Solomon's (Solomonis); for respiratory afflictions such as asthma and cough

diarrhod. = either diarrhodomeli (juice of roses, scammony, agaric, pepper, and honey) or diarrhodon (several powders which contain roses); the latter may be designated as being The Abbot's, diarrhodon abbatis, attributed to Abbas Curiae, chaplain to Roger, Duke of Apulia

diascord., diascordium -i = an electuary made with scordium (Teucrium scordium) or germander leaves, roses, storax, cinnamon, etc.; named for Dioscorides, 1st c. Greek physician; used against fever, the plague, worms, colic, and to promote sleep

diasena -ae = electuary or confection of senna; though it appears to have numerous ingredients, JW lists it as a "species," i.e., a single ingredient uncompounded or unmixed

diaspoliticum -i = diaspoliticon; electuary containing rue, cumin, pepper, honey, and saltpeter

diatessaron = a concoction of gentian, Aristolochia root, laurel berries, and myrrh, mixed with honey and juniper extract

diatragacanth = a preparation of tragacanth (q.v.), and may be denoted "frigidum," "cold," containing gum arabic, gum tragacanth, licorice, white poppy seed, and the four great cold seeds (see semina frigida majora, below); or "calidum," "hot," containing gum tragacanth, cinnamon, hyssop, almonds, linseed, fenugreek, licorice, and ginger

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

diaturbith = a purgative; contained turpeth, root of East Indian jalap, Ipomoea turpethum

dictamn., dyctamn., dictamnus -i = dittany of Crete, Dictamnus (Origanum) creticus

dieta -ae = diaeta -ae, a mode of living prescribed by a physician related to eating and drinking; the word alone may refer to "diet drink," which is an unspecified decoction of medicinal herbs intended as a restorative; e.g., f. dietam de qua cap. ℥iiii mane, make a diet (drink), of which take four ounces in the morning

digero -ere = disperse, scatter; e.g., digeratur per duos dies in aqua salviae, let it be dispersed in sage water for two days

digitus -i = finger; digitus allii, clove of garlic

diluculi., diluculum -i = daybreak; in the ablative (diluculo) in directions for the time when a medication should be given, i.e., at dawn; cf. aurora; alternis diluculis, every other morning at daybreak

dirigentia -ium = things to be arranged, aligned, set in order

dispareo -ere = disappear, vanish; e.g., donec Mercurius dispareat, until the mercury should disappear

diureticus -a -um = something that promotes urine, a diuretic

divide = divide, separate; from divido -ere; dividendus, it will be divided

doronicum -i = a genus of flowering plants in the sunflower family; collectively known as leopard's bane

doronicum -i = a genus of flowering plants in the sunflower family; collectively known as leopard's bane

dracontium -i = a genus of flowering plants; also known as serpentaria and arum polyphyllum; named thus because its roots were said to resemble a dragon's tail; a stimulant

dryopteris -idis = the genus of wood ferns, with around 400 species; including D. lobelii, described by Gerard as being small and growing in marshy land

ductus -i = a duct or canal; some have descriptive names, e.g., ductus thoracicus, thoracic duct; some have eponyms, e.g. ductus Virsungius, Wirsung's duct (of the pancreas); some have both, e.g., ductus salivalis inferior, the duct of the submaxillary salivary gland or Wharton's duct

dulcamara -ae = see solanum dulcamara, below

dulcis -is = sweet; but see also mercurius dulcis, below

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

duplicatus -a -um = doubled; duplicaturus -a -um, describes something that will be doubled

dypsacus -i = genus of plants including teasel; especially fuller's teasel, Dipsacus fullonum, and wild teasel, D. sylvestris


e, ex = from, out of

ebeni, ebenum -i = ebony (wood)

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

ebull., ebullio -ire = boil; ebulliatur, let it be boiled

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

echium -i = a genus of plants in the borage family, e.g. Echium plantagineum, purple viper's-bugloss, Paterson's curse (poisonous to horses), or salvation Jane

eclegma, ecligma -atis = medicine to be taken by letting it melt in the mouth; same as lohoch or lambative

educo -ere = lead out, draw out, bring out

edulcorandus -a -um = to be or should be sweetened

elaeosaccharum -i flavedinis citri = "oil sugar" (German Ölzucker), made by grinding an essential oil with eight or ten times the weight of sugar and used for making distilled waters; this particular one would likely have been made with the zest (yellow, flavedo -inis) of a lemon

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

elatine -es = speedwell, various species of Veronica including V. faemina sive elatine, the Fluellen or female speedwell; or of genus Elatine, e.g., E. folio acuminato, E. flore ceruleo folioque acuminato, etc.; Parkinson says that it is useful for watery eyes, defluxions from the head, bruises and wounds, bleeding, etc.; Pliny the Elder identified it as a plant of the genus Antirrhinum (snapdragons)

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)

electuarium reginae coloniens = see reginae coloniens, below

elephang., pill. de elephang = see "pillulae elephanginae," below

elescoph., elescophus -us = elescophus solidum, an electuary containing cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg, said to be effective against colic and pains of gout; also known as the Bishop's Electuary, electuarium episcopi

elix., elixir (indecl.) = nondescriptive term for many different preparations, mostly compound tinctures

elix. proprietat., elixir proprietatis = proprietary elixir of special character; contained aloe, saffron, and myrrh; also known as compound elixir ot aloes, tinctura aloes composita

elixir vitae = the elixir of life, also known as elixir Matthioli; Sydenham's Lexicon defines it as a "panacea for all evils, and a source of long life, often seearched for, and always being found, by the olden chemists and alchymists;" according to Dunglison's A Dictionary of Medical Science, it was "composed of alcohol and 22 aromatic and stimulating substances" and that it was "formerly employed in epilepsy;" JW states (V.a.295 74v) that it is "only a spirit drawn off Elix. proprietatis: in reducing that to a body," see above entry

elminthagogum = see helminthagogum, below

elutrio -are = wash out; JW says (V.a.295 94v) that means pouring out of one vessel into another

emblicum -i = a type of myrobalan, apparently the same as the one called belliricum; mel emblicorum, honey from this plant

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

emmenagogum -i = emmenagogue, used to stimulate blood flow to the pelvis and uterus, in particular to promote menstruation

empetron = from empetros -i, apparently a form of saxifrage (Pliny the Elder)

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

emplastrum -i bithinici or bythinici = a plaster for the spleen, not otherwise described

emplastrum -i Caesaris = red roses, roots of bistort, sanders, and mint, coriander seeds, etc.; for strengthening the back and relief of back pain

emplastrum -i ceroneum = see ceroneum, above

emplastrum -i cochlearum ustis = plaster of burnt snail shells; mentioned by Pliny the Elder in Naturalis Historia; burnt snail shells, linseed oil, honey, nettles, etc.; another entity called emplastrum ex testis cochlearum ustis is probably similar, with "testis" the ablative plural of testa -ae, an earthenware jar or a vessel, or testum -i, a lid placed over food and then covered with hot coals, either word indicating the snails' shells; rather than testis -is cochlearum, snail testicles (which may not exist since land snails are hermaphroditic)

emplastrum -i e crusta panis = plaster of crust of bread; crust of bread toasted and steeped in red rose vinegar, with mastich, mints, spodium, red coral, all the sanders, etc.; to stop vomiting and strengthen the brain (when applied to the head)

emplastrum -i Cymino = cumin seeds, bay berries, yellow wax, pine resin; to "expel wind"

emplastrum -i desiccativum rubrum = a red drying plaster; unguentum desiccativum rubrum, below

emplastrum -i epispasticum = a blistering plaster; several receipts, all containing cantharides with other ingredients, such as melilot plaster, burgundy pitch, Venice turpentine, vinegar, etc.

emplastrum -i de galbano = galbanum (q.v) dissolved in vinegar, with diachylon (q.v.) and sal ammoniac; for corns and other excrescences of the feet

emplastrum -i gratia dei = herbs boiled in wine, the liquid strained and mixed with olive oil, beeswax, litharge, ceruse, and verdigris; also called emplastrum divinum or manus dei

emplastrum -i histericum = JW defines this as galbanum worn upon the navel in hysterical fits

emplastrum -i de janua = betony, plantain, smallage, with wax, pitch, rosin, and turpentine; for green wounds and ulcers

emplastrum -i metroproptoticon = mastic, galbanum, cypress turpentine, cypress nuts, oil of nutmegs, ship's pitch; Culpeper says it is for for looseness, vomiting, and fits of the mother, and comforts and strengthens "the retentive faculty in the stomach and belly;" JW says it was invented "against the falling of the womb"

emplastrum -i nostratibus = "plaster for our people;" described by Culpeper as being called flos unguentorum, the flower of ointments; containing rosin, perrosin (dry resin from pine trees), yellow wax, sheep suet, olibanum, turpentine, etc.

emplastrum -i plumbi = lead plaster; an adhesive plaster made by boiling together lead oxide (litharge), olive oil, and water; then applying it to sheets of linen as a sticking plaster which adheres when heated

emplastrum -i e ranis Vigonis = Vigo's (Giovanni da Vigo (1450 - 1525), Italian surgeon) plaster of frogs; ingredients from Culpeper's London Dispensatory, here given in full with spelling modernized: oil of camomile, dill, spicknard, and lillies of each two ounces, oil of saffron an ounce, hogs grease a pound, the fat of a calf half a pound, euphorbium five drams, frankincence ten drams, oyl of bays an ounce and an half, vipers fat or for want of it take a snake two ounces and a half, six live Frogs, earth worms washed in wine three ounces and a half, the juice of the roots of wallwort and elicampane of each two ounces, schoenanth, stoechas, mugwort, of each a handful, wine a quart, litharge of gold a pound, turpentine two ounces, yellow wax so much as is sufficient, liquid styrax an ounce and an half, quicksilver killed either with fasting spittle or juice of lemons four ounces; this is the manner of making it, let the frogs, worms, & herbs with their juices, the oyls of dill, camomile, lillies, grease and suet be boyled in a pound & an half of wine, strain it, then add the litharge, wax 4 ounces, and the remainder of the wine, then boyl it till all the wine be consumed and it stick not to your fingers, then add the oyl of bays, saffron, and spike, and the fat, afterward the euphorbium and frankincence, last of all the quicksilver, well mixed with the liquid styrax and turpentine, stir them all till they be incorporated, take heed you put not in the quicksilver while the mass is too hot lest it fly out; at the end of the receipt Culpeper states, "I have known it applied to the swelling in the throat called the King's Evil, but for my part I fancy not the Receipt, neither for that NOR ANYTHING ELSE" (emphasis added)

emplastrum -i sticticum = a wound plaster, also called Paracelsus' plaster; olive oil, yellow wax, litharge, ammoniacum, bedellium, etc.

emplastrum -i stomachicum magistrale = mint, wormwood, stoechas, bay, marjoram, etc., mixed with resin, wax, and labdanum

emplastrum ex testis cochlearum ustis = see emplastrum cochlearum ustis, above

emplastrum -i tonsoris = the barber-surgeon's plaster; pitch, wax, pine resin, fenugreek, bryony root, cumin seeds, etc.

emplastrum -i triapharmacum = a plaster made of flour, water, and oil; may be designated triapharmacum Galeni

emplastrum -i Vigonis = Vigo's plaster, various receipts for various disorders; e.g., fractures and hernias; Vigo, Giovanni da Vigo (1450 - 1525), Italian surgeon; see also emplastrum e ranis Vigonis, above

emuls., emulsio -onis = emulsion

emunctorium -i = a candle snuffer, from emungo -ere, to drain off or cleanse; thus, in general, any organ that gives issue to matter that is to be excreted; e,g., emunctoria capitis (of the head or neck), the tonsils; emunctoria hepatis (of the liver), inguinal lymph nodes; and emunctoria cordis (of the heart), axillary lymph nodes

ens ensis or 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;" or flowers of steel, iron chloride, FeCl2, prepared by heating steel filings with sal ammoniac

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; see inula, below

ephioglossum -i = misspelling for ophioglossum, q. v.

epispasticus -a -um = a substance which will produce blistering; e.g., liquor epispasticus, a blistering liquid, containing cantharides (q.v.) and acetic ether; see also emplastrum epispasticum, above

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

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

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

equiset., equisetum -i = mare's tail, Hippurus vulgaris; see also cauda equina, above

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

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

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

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

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

esca -ae = food, both of humans and beasts; bait; JW quotes the "fathers" (V.a.295 97r) that melancholy is the bait of the devil: "mellancholie is calld by the fathers escam diaboli"

eschara -ae = dead tissue that is cast off from the skin, especially after a burn, but also after gangrene, ulcer, some infections, spider bites, etc.; from ἐσχάρᾱ, a slough

esula -ae = green or leafy spurge, Euphorbia esula

et = and

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

euphorb., euphorbia -ae = spurge; a large genus of flowering plants, many of which have an acrid milky juice, used as a purge

euphorbium -i = gum resin from Euphorbia antiquorum

euphrasia -ae = eyebright, Euphrasia officinalis; also "ewphrasia"

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

excipiat., excipio -ere = take out, remove; excipiatur, let it be removed

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

exhibeo -ere = present, furnish, deliver; passive infinitive, exhiberi, to be delivered; exhibeatur dos. gr. xx, let a dose of 20 grains be administered

exhibitus -a -um = perfect participle of exhibeo -ere, to present, furnish, deliver; used to designate a manner in which a medication was to be given; e.g., guttae 3 oleum fulginis exhibitae in vino, three drops of oil of soot administered in wine (V.a.295, 62r)

exhilarans -antis = gladdening, cheering; see also syrrupus exhilarans, below

exicc., exiccatus -a -um = dried

extendo -ere = stretch out or over, smooth out; extendatur, let it be stretched out; extendendum, it will be stretched out, e.g., a bandage over a wound; with a form of esse, must be stretched out or over

extinguo -ere = quench; e.g., misceatur et exting. cum terebinth., let it be mixed and quenched with turpentine

extract., extractum -i = extract

extractum Rudii = see pilulae Rudii, below


fab., faba -ae = bean; farina faborum, bean flour

f. (face), from facio -ere = make

facile = adverb, easily, readily,

facilis -e = easy, without difficulty

facula -ae = see fax -acis, below

faemineus -a -um, feminineus -a -um = female, feminine; proper to or typical of a woman

faex faeces, faecul., faecula -ae = sediment or dregs in general, e.g., wine dregs, or material that falls to the bottom of the vessel after grinding plant material in water, or from the infusion of vegetable substances; e.g., faecula a(a)ronis, sediment of Arum plants

faenic., faeniculum -i = fennel, Faeniculum vulgare

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

far., farin., farina -ae = flour, meal; farina tritici, wheat flour ; far. hordei, barley flour; far. sem. lini, farina seminum lini, linseed flour

farfarus -i = colt's-foot, Tussilago farfara

fax -acis = torch, fireball, comet; in the diminutive, facula -ae, also refers to bright spots on the surface of the sun

febrif., febrifugia -ae = any substance used as a fever reducer; especially feverfew or featherfew, Tanacetum parthenium); also common centaury, Centaurium erythraea, see also centaurium, above

febris -is = a fever or attack of fever

feculae -arum bryoniae = powdered dried bryony root, a purgative

fel fellis = gall, bile; vesica -ae fellis, gallbladder

fere = adverb, almost, nearly, generally; e.g., fere 3ia pars omnium morbourm qui corpus humanum infestant, nearly a third (part) of all the diseases which attack the human body

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

ferrum -i = iron; or anything made of iron, such as a sword, plow, axe, etc.

fiat X = let X be done/made

fic., ficus -i = fig, Ficus carica

filix -icis = fern or bracken, likely Pteris aquilina; filix mas = the male fern; F. mas aculeata, mentioned by Gerard as having a sharp prick at the top of the leaf (aculeatus -a -um = prickly, thorny)

filipendula -ae = meadowsweet, Filipendula ulmaria

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

fistula -ae = an abnormal connection between the skin and an organ or cavity within the body, typically exuding pus or other matter, examples given in the next two entries; may also refer to an artificial connection made surgically, such as an arteriovenous fistula for dialysis access; or the plant Cassia fistula, see under cassia, above

fistuala -ae in ano = a connection between the anal canal and the skin adjacent to the anus; usually the result of a perirectal abscess that drains spontaneously through the skin; treatment is surgical and can be challenging

fistula -ae lachrimalis = lacrimal fistula, a communication between the skin of the cheek and the lacrimal sac, a result of lacrimal abscess which has opened through the cheek instead of scarring; it is usually located just below the inner canthus of the eye, and fluid exudes constantly from it; also known as aegilops

flagellum -i = whip, lash, scourge

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

flaved., flavedo -inis = yellow color; when in reference to citrus fruit, the zest; e.g., flavedo aurantiorum, zest of oranges; may be spelled flavedins; see also elaeosaccharum flavedinis citri, above

flor., flos floris = flower, with the plant name following in the genitive; 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

flos floris unguentorum = see emplastrum nostratibus, above

flores -orum antimonii = flowers of antimony; antimony (III) oxide, Sb2O3, emetic and expectorant

flores Schoenanthi = flowers presumably from the so-called herba Schoenanthi, Cymbopogon schoenanthus, camel-, fever-, or West Indian lemongrass

fluidus -a -um = flowing, fluid, moist

fluor -oris = flow, stream (from fluo -ere); flluor albus = leukorrhea, q.v.

fluviatilis -e = of a river or river-; e.g. cancri fluviatiles, river-crabs or freshwater crayfish, Astacus fluviatilis

foeniculum -i = faeniculum, see above

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

folium -i indicum or indum = the Indian leaf, Tamalapatra; also known as Cinnamomum tamala, same as malabathrum

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

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

fomentetur = let it be bathed with warm or medicated material, from fomento -are

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

fontanella -ae = one of the soft spots in an infant's skull that disappear as ossification progresses; also a synonym for fonticulus, see next entry

fonticulus -i = diminutive of fons fontis, a fountain or spring; = a small artificial ulcer, seen in conjunction with scarification or with blistering substances

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)

fotus -us = same as fomentum, above

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

frag., fragar., fragaria -ae = strawberry, Fragaria vesca; roots (rad.), leaves (fol.) and fruit were used; F. sterilis, barren strawberry (i.e., producing no edible fruit)

frater -tris = brother; fratres germani (germanus -a -um), brothers who have the same parents or at least the same father; fratres uterini (uterinus -a -um), brothers who have the same mother only

fraxin., fraxinus -i = ash-tree, Fraxinus excelsior; cortex -icis fraxini, ash-tree bark; see also cortex, above

fraxinella -ae = dittany, gas plant, burning bush, or fraxinella, Dictamnus albus; produces volatile oils which may catch fire spontaneously in hot weather

frictus -a -um = rubbed, rubbed down (from frico -cui)

frictus -a -um, frixus -a -um = roasted, fried (from frigo -ere)

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

fritillaria -ae = the fritillary, a genus of spring-flowering herbaceous bulbous plants of the Liliaceae (lily) family with about 130-140 species; some species are used in traditional Chinese medicines; some bulbs are edible if properly prepared

frontale = a mixture or bandage to be applied to the forehead or brow (frons -ontis)

frontalia -ium = frontlet, an ornament for the forehead; a phylactery; JW says (V.a.295 53v)that the Hebrew word for frontalia is totaphoth (טוֹטָפֹת)

fructus -us = fruit, produce, crops; fructus horarii, a term used by Galen as a general term for gourds and certain melons that ripen during the hottest part of the summer

fucus -i = likely Fucus vesiculosus, a seaweed; common names include bladderwrack, rockweed, sea grapes; an original source of iodine and thus used to treat goiter

fumar., fumaria -ae = fumitory, Fumaria officinalis

fumisuctor -oris = a smoker, literally, a sucker of smoke; JW states (V.a.295, f. 11v) that he has seen the word fumisuctoribus used for tobacco-takers; from fumus -i + suctor -oris (from sugo -ere)

furor -oris = raving, madness, fury; from furo -ere


gagat., gagates -ae = jet, the hard black semi-precious stone; from Greek γαγᾱ́της

galang., galing., galangala -ae = galangal or galingale, aromatic rhizome of plants of genera Alpinia and Kaempferia, of the ginger family; e.g. Alpinia galanga, greater galangal, A. officinarum, lesser galangal, and Kaempferia galanga

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

galega -ae = galega or goat's-rue, Galega officinalis

galion -i, galium -i = large genus of herbaceous plants, over 600 species, known as bedstraw

galla -ae = galls produced on the Chinese sumac or nutgall tree, Rhus chinensis, by sumac aphids, Melaphis chinensis

gallia moschata = see trochisci gallia moschata, below

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

gallus -i = relating to a cock or rooster; testicula galli, rooster testes; Gallus indicus, turkey cock

gamandra = see gummi Gamandra, below

gambogia -ae = gamboge, ultimately deriving from Gambogia, the Latin name for Cambodia; a gum resin obtained from trees of the Genus Garcinia, used as a purgative and as a yellow dye (e.g., for the robes of Buddhist monks)

gargarisma -ae = a gargle, throat-wash

garyophil., garyophyl., garyophyllon -i = a kind of Indian spice; Gerard thought it was the same as the clove, Caryophyllus aromaticus

generosus -a -um = of good or noble birth; vinum generosum, noble wine

genist., genista -ae = broom, genus Genista, many species; flores genistae, broom blossoms

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

geranium -i columbinum = long-stalked crane's-bill; may also be listed as G. dissectum; G. noctu olens (full name given by Parkinson as G. triste sive Indicum noctu olens), "the sorrowful or Indian geranium [which is] fragrant at night," the sweet Indian cranes's bill, noted as having a tuberous root

germanus -a -um = describes brothers and sisters who have the same parents, or at least the same father, cf. uterinus -a -um; NB distinguish from germanus -a -um, German or Germanic

gilla Theophrasti = sal vitrioli, i.e. zinc sulphate, ZnSO4; an emetic; origin of "gilla" unknown, but of itself signifies a solution of vitriol

gland., glans glandis = acorn or kernel; diminutive glandula -ae, a kernel in the flesh, i.e., a small lymph node or gland; in plural, glandulae -arum, the tonsils

glaux -cis = sea milkwort, sea milkweed, or black saltwort, Lysimachia maritima; formerly Glaux maritima

glicirriz., glycheriz., glycheryz., glychyrriza -ae = licorice, Glycyrrhiza glabra; G. echinata, hedgehog, German, Chinese, prickly, Roman, or Hungarian licorice (echinatus -a -um, prickly)

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

gramen -inis exile hirsutum = Gerard calls it "hairy grass," useful for green wounds and to stop bleeding; Parkinson lists it as gramen hirsutum sive exile ferrugineum, "hairy or small brown wood grass"

gramen -inis caninum = dog grass, also known as Triticium caninum, reputed to be eaten by dogs to produce vomiting (OED)

gramen purpureum = purple grass or purplewort, Trifolium purpureum (purpureus -a -um, purple)

granatus -a -um = containing many seeds; see pomum granatum, below

gratia dei = see emplastrum gratia dei, above

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

gumm., gummi = [tree] gum

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. arabic. = gum arabic or gum acacia, hardened sap of Acacia senegal or Vachellia seyal, the red acacia and source of shittah (shittim) wood

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

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

gummi gutta -ae, gummi de Gamandra, gummi gamba = gamboge or camboge, a gum resin from various trees of genus Garcinia; a purgative

gumm. tragacanth., gummi tragacantha -ae = gum tragacanth, obtained from shrubs of genus Astragulus, especially A. tragacantha; used to treat cough and diarrhea

gutta -ae rosaceae = rosacea or acne rosacea, a skin condition of unknown cause producing reddened skin on the nose and cheeks (from rosaceus -a -um, made of roses, rose-); this may be the condition described by Chaucer in the The Canterbury Tales as affecting the Summoner


haeder., heder., hedera -ae = ivy; Hedera terrestris, ground ivy; H. arborea, tree-climbing ivy

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

haemagogus -a -um = promoting the flow of blood; antidotum haemagogum, a concoction of Nicholaus's, with numerous ingredients, including black pepper, licorice, birthwort, mugwort, cassia, pellitory of Spain, etc.; a purgative, emmenagogue, and abortifacient

haematemesis is = vomiting blood

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

haemoptysis -is = spitting or coughing up blood

halex -ecis = a herring

hallelujah = same as lujula, see below

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

hauriatur = let it be drunk/swallowed (from haurio -ire)

haust., haustu., haustus -us = a drink or draught

hedycroi = hedychroi, i.e., "pleasant colored;" see trochisci hedychroi, below

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

hedysarum -i = genus of annual or perennial herbaceous plants; H. alpinum is an antiscorbutic

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

hellebor., helleborus -i = hellebore, genus Helleborus, around 20 species; may be white, albus (probably used by Hippocrates as a purgative); black, niger, or Christmas rose (used by the Romans to treat paralysis, gout, and insanity); stinking, helleborus foetidus

helminthagogum -i = a vermifuge; from ἑλμινθ-, a worm, + ἀγωγός drawing forth

helxine = Helxine soleirolii (Soleirolia soleirolii), a plant in the nettle family; many common names, including baby's tears, angel's tears, peace in home, Corsican creeper

hepar -atis = the liver (ηπαρ); with the animal source in the genitive; e.g. hepar anatis, duck liver

hepatic., hepatica herba -ae = liverwort, Marchantia polymorpha, a lichen-like plant; or spring-flowering anemone, Anemone (Hepatica) triloba, whose three-lobed leaves were thought to resemble the liver

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

herba -ae impia = cottonrose, Logfia filaginoides; the name "impia" means irreverent, wicked, impious; D'Arcy Power suggests that the name refers either to the fact that no animal will touch or taste it, or that the plant's small branches rise above the mother stock

herba -ae inguinalis = or argemo, mentioned by Pliny the Elder; identified by Culpeper as garden star-wort, which, "the ancient writers commended against buboes and swellings in the groin;" in The General Practise of Physicke, C. Wirsung identifies four types

herba -ae trinitatis = heartsease or wild pansy, Viola tricolor; so called because each flower has three colors

herba -ae paris = Paris quadrifolia; named for the regularity (par paris) of its leaves and petals; not for the city in France nor the son of Priam

herba -ae venti = rough-leaved phlomis, Phlomis herba venti

hermodact., hermodactyl., hermodactylus -i = the bulbous root of an unknown plant, probably Colchicum, used as an antiarthritic; the drug colchicine is derived from Colchicum spp. and is still used to treat gout, and new research suggests that it my be preventative for heart attacks

herniar., herniaria -ae = rupturewort, Herniaria glabra

hiera diacolocynthidos = an electuary containing colocynth, agaric, germander, white horehound, stoechas, opopanax, etc.

hiera Logaddi = an electuary containing numerous ingredients including colocynth, polypodium, euphorbium; among its virtues it "takes away by the roots daily evils coming of melancholly" (Culpeper)

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

hieracium -i = hawkweed; many species, e.g., Hieracium maius Dioscoridis, H. minus, JW mentions several, including: H. nigrum, H. longius radicatum (longer-rooted), H. chondrillae facie, H. dentis leoniz(atum?)

hilum -i =the point of attachment of a seed to its seed-vessel; in anatomy, a notch or wide fissure where vessels enter an orgen

hippoglossum, hyppoglossum -i = spineless butcher's broom, horse tongue lily, or mouse thorn, Ruscus hypoglossum

hircinus -a -um = relating to a goat; especially 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

hirudo -inis = a genus of leeches, esp. Hirudo medicinalis, used for removing blood from a patient and "balancing the humors;" approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in 2007 to decrease vascular congestion, and as of 2023 still on the approved list

hirundo -inis, gen. pl. hirundinum = passerine bird of genus Hirundo, especially H. rustica, the barn swallow; but many other species

hollandic., hollandicus -a -um = Dutch; pulvis hollandicus, see below under pulvis

h. s., hora somni, hora somnj = at bedtime (at the hour of sleep)

hordeatus -a -um = of or related to barley (Hordeum); e.g., aqua hordeata, barley water, saccharum hordeatum, barley sugar

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

hordeum -i perlatum = pearl barley; barley processed to remove the outer fibrous hull, and polished

hordeolum -i = an inflamed gland on the margin of the eyelid at the level of the eyelashes; a stye; so called from its resemblance to a small grain of barley

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

hortensis -e = relating to, from, or grown in a garden; e.g., nasturtium hortense, garden nasturtium; from hortus -i, garden

hortensius -a -um = same as above entry

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

hydrarg., hydrargyrum -i, hydrargyrus -i = the element Mercury (Hg) in its liquid state; see also mercurius, below

hydrarg., hydrargyrum -i extinctum = elemental (liquid) Mercury mixed with a fatty material (e. g., lard or lanolin) and used topically

hydromel -itis = honey-water, which when fermeted is called mead

hydropiper -eris = water pepper, marshpepper knotweed, or tade, Polygonum hydropiper; or arsesmart, Persicaria hydropiper

hydrops -opis = dropsy, edema; hydrops pectoris, a collection of fluid (effusion) in the pleural space

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

hyperi = misspelling for hyperici, see next entry

hyperici, hypericon, hypericum -i = St. John's wort, especially Hypericum perforatum; see also carellorum, above

hypocistis (-is?) = solidified juice of Cytinus hypocistis, a parasitic plant that grows on the roots of Cistus shrubs, used to treat dysentery; JW describes it as "a very great binder"

hydrops -opis = dropsy, edema

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

I - J

jacobaea = a common wild flower, Jacobaea vulgaris or Senecio jabocaea, common names include ragwort, St. James-wort, staggerwort; a supposed aphrodisiac (satyrion) was made from it by the Greeks and Romans; it is the national flower of the Isle of Man

ialap., jalap., jalapa -ae, jalapium -i = jalap, Ipomoea jalapa; a purgative; NB distinguish from iulap., iulapium, q.v.

janua = see emplastrum de janua, above

iberis -idis cardamantice = sciatica cress; one of several plants of the family Brassicaceae, the roots of which were supposed to be useful in sciatica when made into a plaster

iecur, jecur -oris = liver; also hepar -atis, q.v.

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

jejuno -are = fast, or abstain from (with dative); jejunes, second person singular present active subjunctive, you should fast

ilex -icis = Quercus ilex, the evergreen, holly, or holm oak; JW records (V.a.292, 34r) that at Ned Morgan's he saw four sorts: Ilex Coccigera, Ilex glandifera, Ilex aktae foliis, and the "Common;" Parkinson identifies Ilex aquifolia sive coccigera as the lesser or scarlet holm oak (and "aktae foliis" is possibly a misspelling for "aquifoliis"); Gerard identifies I. major glandifera (glandiferus -a -um = acorn-bearing) as the great scarlet oak; and the "common" is likely Q. ilex

ilex -icis = holly; a genus of more than 500 plants in the family Aquifoliaceae; I. aquifolium is the common, English, or Christmas holly

illino -ere = lay on, anoint, put on by spreading or smearing

imbecillitas -atis = weakness, feebleness (as in a pulse); also powerlessness, helplessness, etc.

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

impetus -us = a fit, attack of disease, paroxysm, inflammation

improbo -are = disapprove, condemn, reject; e.g., Galenus improbat cosmetica in vivo probo et honesto, Galen condemns cosmetics in a life well-conducted and honorable (V.a.295 109v)

in = with ablative, in or on, e.g., baculum in mensa est, the staff is on the table; with accusative, into or onto, e.g., pone baculum in mensam, I put the staff onto the table

inaurentur = let them be gilded (pills), from inauro -are, to cover with gold

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

incid., incido -ere = incise, cut open/into; past participle, incisus -a -um

incisio -onis = an incision, a cutting into

indica -ae = Tylophora indica, the "purging Indian plum" (Parkinson)

infund., infundo -ere = pour in, into, or upon

infus., infusio -onis = infusion; steeping or dissolving of a substance in water or other liquid; cf. decoction

insanabilis -e = uncurable, irretrievable, hopeless

insideo -ere = sit in or upon anything; insideat, let her/him sit (in a bath)

insolatus -a -um = placed in, or exposed to, the rays of the sun; from insolo -are

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

intervallo -are = take at intervals, imperative intervalla; e.g., intervalla iteranda pro arbitrio, (take) a second time after an interval, according to (your) judgment (V.a.293, 36r)

intinctus -a -um = dipped in, soaked in (from intingo -ere); e.g., in oleum amygdalae intinctus, soaked or dipped into almond oil

intra = adverb, within, inside, inwardly; preposition with accusative, in or into, (with time) during, within or among

intus = adverb, within, on the inside, inwardly

inula -ae = elecampane, Inula helenium or Enula campana; horse-heal, elf-wort, or elf-dock; a tonic and stimulant

inung., inungo -ere = rub on; e.g., salve or ointment

involvo -ere = to roll in, envelop, cover; e.g., involvantur in pulvere cinamomi, let them be covered with powder of cinnamon

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

iris -idis = a genus of flowering plants with over 300 species; Iris persica, Persian iris

irroro -are = sprinkle with water; past participle. irroratus -a -um

isatis -is or -idis = genus of flowering plants including woad, Isatis tinctoria

ischuria -ae = retention of urine or suppression of urination; causes include stone, cystitis, prostate disease; cf. ischemia, a lack of blood flow

iugland., jugland., iuglans -andis = walnut; iuglandes virides, green walnuts

jujuba -ae = jujube; or red or Chinese date, Ziziphus jujuba

iuiubinus -a -um = of, from, or related to jujubes, e.g., syrupus jujubinus, jujube syrup; see Ziziphus below

iulap., iulapium -i = julep; "a liquid medicine of agreeable taste and demulcent property" (Sydenham Lexicon); what JW (V.a.295 75r) refers to as "godly Cato" is equated by one James Cooke (1614-94) in his book Mellificium chirurgiae (1662) with the "Cordial Syrup or Julip" of Norimberg (Nürnberg); this is described in the Pharmacopoiea Londinensis as consisting of Rhine wine, rosewater, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, sugar, ambergris and musk

iulianizans -antis = occurs only in "oxymel julianizans," see below

iulus, julus -i = plant-down; soft fibrous material attached to the seeds of some plants which aids their dispersal by the wind, e.g.,. thistledown; JW states (V.a.295 63r) that it is the tenuous down that precedes the leaves ("iuli sunt tenerae lanugines quae foliis praecedunt")

juncellus -i omnium minimus = Juncellus, a genus in the family Cyperaceae, the sedges; from its name, this is the smallest of all; Camden's Britannia calls it the "least rush"

juncosus -a -um = full of or abounding in rushes (the grass-like plant)

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

iusculum, jusculum -i = broth

iuvenis -is -e = young, youthful


labdan., ladan(um -i)., labdanum = labdanum or ladanum, gum resin from plants of genus Cistus or Cystix, used in perfumes and for fumigation; NB distinguish from laudanum (q. v.)

labrum -i veneris = Venus' lip; the wild or fuller's teasel, Dipsacus silvestris or D. fullonum

labruscum -i = fruit of the wild grape; may also be referred to as labruscum agrestis

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

lac lactis sulphuris = liquid preparation of sulfur, quicklime, and salt of tartar, filtered and precipitated with spirit of vitriol

lacca = ingredient in trocischi de lacca, which contain the dark red resinous substance produced as a protective coating by the lac insect, Kerria lacca, used to make shellac

lacteae -arum = lymphatics or lymphatic ducts, with the location as an adjective; e.g., thoracic lymphatics, lacteae thoracicae

lact., lactuca -ae = lettuce, Lactuca sativa

ladanum -i = labdanum, see above

laetificans -antis Galeni = see pulvis laetificans Galeni, below

laevigatus -a -um = made smooth, pulverized

lagena -ae = a large earthen vessel with a neck and handles; also a flask, flagon, or bottle

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

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

lapat., lappath., lapathum -i = dock or sorrel; genus Lapathum now included in genus Rumex

lapis -idis adamas = diamond; see adamas, above

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

lapis -idis bufonis = toadstone; a stone-like object found in the head of, or produced by, a toad (CL bufo -onis); supposed to have antidotal or therapeutic virtues and worn as a jewel or amulet

lapis -idis caelestis = artificial, Roman, or blue vitriol; copper sulfate, CuSo4

lapis -idis calaminaris = calamine, a zinc ore; zinc carbonate or silicate; still used as a component of a calamine lotion, to treat itching

lapis -idis contrayervae = same as pulvis contrayervae compositus, powder of contrayerva compounded with crab shells

lapis -idis hematitis = lapis hematites, hematite; iron (III) oxide, Fe2O3; so called from the Greek word for blood, αἷμα, because some varieties have a red coloration; other varieties may be a lustrous metallic grey

lapis -idis hirundinis = either a supposed stone from the stomach of a swallow (family Hirundinidae, including martins and saw-wings); presumably something like a bezoar (q. v.); or lapis icterias, the "jaundice stone" (Pliny the Elder) used for treating the same

lap. hyb., lapis -idis hybernicus = hibernicus lapis, Irish slate, said to be of a crumbly texture; powdered and mixed with spruce beer for inward contusions; also known as tegula (-ae) hibernica (-ae)

lapis -idis iaspis or jaspis = jasper, a semiprecious stone, red, green, or brown; a variety of silica

lapis -idis lydius = touchstone; a fine-grained black stone, typically a type of flint, upon which objects made of gold or silver can be rubbed to determine their purity

lapis -idis nephriticus = nephrite, jade; semiprecious stone of various colors; also known as lapis or cos naxius

lapis -idis piperis = "pepper stone;" apparently the same as peppercorn; in V.a.286 44v JW states that it can cause sneezing (sufficit ad sternutationem)

lapis -idis sabulosus = sandstone (from sabulosus -a -um, sandy, gravelly); used outwardly for treatment of fractures, both as a plaster and as a cataplasm; or inwardly, for which the sandstone is ground and mixed with sugar and comfrey water or cinnamon

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

lard., lardum -i = lard, fat (also laridum, see next entry)

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

later -eris = a brick or tile

latericium -i = brickwork; latericum philosophorum, see oleum philosophi, below

latericius -a -um = made of or consisting of bricks; e.g., pulvis latericia, powder of bricks

lateritium -i = brick cap, cinnamon cap, or chestnut mushroom, Hypholoma lateritium

latus -a -um = broad, wide, widespread, extended; NB don't confuse with following entry

latus -eris = the side or flank of a person or of an animal

laudan., laudanum -i = laudanum; alcoholic tincture of opium, also known as tinctura thebiaca; NB distinguish from ladanum, see "labdanum"

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 = genus of evergreen trees including the bay tree, Laurus nobilis; L. alexandrina, laurel of Alexandria, uncertain but Culpeper thought it might be the same as the hippoglossum described by Dioscorides

laurinus -a -um = of or pertaining to the laurel; e.g. oleum laurinum, laurel oil

lenit., lenitiv., lenitivus -a -um = soothing, gently laxative; from lenio -ire

leniendus -a -um = something that will alleviate, moderate, assuage; from lenio -ire

lens -tis maior = the great lentil; there is also a lesser or little lentil, L. minor

lentigo -inis = a freckle; literally, a lentil-shaped spot

lentiscus -i = the mastic tree, Pistacia lentiscus; mastic is the resin from this tree

lentiscinus -a -um = of or derived from the mastic tree

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

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

lepidium -i = plants of genus Lepidium, of the Brassicaceae family, including L. densiflorum, common pepperweed

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

leucoium -i, leucojum -i = genus of plants in the amaryllis family, including Leucojum aestivum, summer snowflake or Loddon lily; L. vernum; spring snowflake, snowbell, dewdrop, St. Agnes' flower; L. bulbosum, bulbous violet

leukorrhea -ae = a whitish, yellowish or greenish vaginal discharge, also known in English as "the whites;" many causes, including physiologic, malignancy, infection, or inflammatory conditions of the vagina or cervix

leuisticum, levisticum -i = lovage, Levisticum officinale; see also Siler montanum

lichen -enis arborum = tree lungwort, Sticta pulmonaria, known as lungs of oak; also a similar North American plant, Mertensia virginica

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

lignum -i aloes = a fragrant dark resinous wood, agarwood or aloeswood, from the heartwood of the aquilaria tree; genus Aquilaria, many species, especially A. malaccensis, used in incense production; also known as xyloaloes or agaloc(h)um; NB distinguish from the succulent aloes plant, Aloe vera

lign., lignum -i nephriticum = traditional diuretic derived from wood from narra (Pterocarpus indicus) and Mexican kidneywood (Eysenhardtia polystachya) trees

lign. rhod., lignum -i rhodii = rosewood; rose-scented wood from Convolvulus floridus or C. scoparius; JW states that it is the heaviest wood, heavier than Guajacum

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; lilium dierum, lily of days, presumbably a short-lived lily but of uncertain identity; JW mentions it in V.a.295 59r

limac., limacum, limax -acis = snail, slug; aqua -ae limacum, snail water, made from snails (washed), mint, hart's tongue, various flowers, nutmeg, egg whites and milk, distilled; with Canary wine added, stronger snail water

limatur = third person singular present active subjunctive of limo -are, file or file down; limatur chalybs, let the steel be filed down (for a steel-containing electuary)

limonium -i = genus of flowering plants known as sea-lavender, statice, caspia, or marsh-rosemary; over 100 species; also, any plant of genus Pyrola, especially P. rotundifolia, wintergreen

lin., linum -i = flax, Linum usitatissimum; semen or semina lini, flaxseed, linseed; far. sem. lini, farina seminum lini, flour of linseeds; Linum catharticum, purging or fairy flax

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

linctus -a -um = medicine taken by licking (same as lohoch); past participle of lingo -ere

lineus -a -um = made of linen, flax, lint (synonymous with linteus)

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

linteus -a -um = relating to or made from linen cloth (linteum -i)

lipothymia, lypothimia -ae = fainting, syncope; transient loss of consciousness characterized by rapid onset, short duration, and spontaneous complete recovery

lippitudo -inis = a sore condition of the edges of the eyelids with copous secretions from the Meibomian glands and conjunctiva; rheum, blear-eyed-ness

liquidambar -i = sweetgum tree; various species, including Liquidambar orientalis, oriental or Turkish sweetgum; also several others native to eastern and southeast Asia; in later pharmaceutical use, the balsam from this tree, also known as liquid storax

liquirit., liquiritia -ae = licorice, Glychyrrhiza glabra

liquor -oris = liquid, liquor

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

litharg., lytharg., lithargium -i, lithargyrum -i = litharge, lead oxide, PbO; may be white, a byproduct of separation of lead from silver ("litharge of silver") or colored ("litharge of gold") with red lead, lead tetraoxide, Pb3O4

lithontribon -i (Lugdunensis) = urinary stone-breaking powder (of Lyon); spikenard, ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom, saxifrage, etc.

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

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

lohoch = medicine taken by licking or by letting it melt in the mouth

lohoch sanum = "the healing lohoch;" hyssop, calamint, jujubes, sebestens, raisins, dates etc.; "succors the breast, lungs, throat, and trachea" (Culpeper); may be titled lochoch sanum et expertum

longano, longanon -onis = the rectum

lot., lotus -a -um = washed, bathed; e.g., cum terebinth. Lot., washed with turpentine

lotus -i = various species of genus Lotus, e.g., L. urbana and L. sylvestris

lucis majores = see pilulae lucis maiores, below

lujul., lujula -ae = wood sorrel, Oxalis acetosella; also called alleluia or hallelujah because it flowers between Easter and Pentecost

lumbricus -i = worm; when the common earthworm, Lumbricus terrestris, so designated; or an intestinal worm, e.g., Ascaris lumbricoides

lunaris -e = of or belonging to the moon; lunar; see also protrusiones lunares, above

lupinus -i = lupin, flowering plants of genus Lupinus; numerous species, including the bluebonnet

lupul., lupulus -i = the hop plant, Humulus lupulus

lupus -i = wolf; see also crepitus lupi, above

lychnis -idis = the campion, flowering plants in the genus Silene, numerous species; JW mentions L. noctiflora (V.a.291, 67r), which is not included in Parkinson or Gerard, but there is a Silene noctiflora, night-flowering catchfly

lysimachia -ae = Lysimachia, genus of flowering plants with nearly 200 accepted species, including many varieties of loosestrife, and L. arvensis, scarlet pimpernel


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

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

mac., macis -idis = mace, the covering of the seed in the fruit of Myristica fragrans, the nutmeg tree

macer -eris = the inner bark of the nutmeg tree, M. fragrans (Culpeper)

macri = see pilulae macri, below

mad., madefac., madefact., madefacio -ere = moisten, soak, make wet; past participle madefactus -a -um

magdaleones -um = masses of plaster, or of other composition, in cylindrical form

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

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 available in the shops, officinalis -e, see below), or a remedy that is supremely effective

magistrantia -ae = masterwort, Astrantia maxima

malabathrum or malobathrum -i = aromatic leaf of one of several oriental trees, e.g., Cinnamomum tamala, or the ointment prepared from it; same as folium indum

malaria -ae = an infectious disease caused by various species of protozoa of the genus Plasmodium; the name originates from Italian "mala aria," bad air, because of its association with swamps and marshland (and, as was later discovered, the mosquitoes that bred there)

malicorii, malicorium -i = pomegranate rind

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

malva -ae = common, field, or wild mallow, Malva silvestris; also other species of genus Malva

malva -ae horaria = Venice mallow; it "lasts but an hour" (V.a.295 59r)

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

malus -i persica = peach tree, Malus persica

mane (indecl.) = in the morning; multo mane, very early in the morning

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

man., manna -ae = condensed juice of the manna ash tree, Fraxinus ornus; a purgative; may be designated as being from Calabria (manna calabrina), from F. ornus or F. excelsior

manus -us Christi = a cordial used for debilitated patients containing sugar with rose water or violet water; formulations included manus Christi perlata, lozenges containing rose water, sugar, and pearls; and manus Christi simplex, the same without pearls; in the Pharmacopoiea Londinensis, Culpeper had strong views on the naming of this cordial by the Royal College of Physicians: "Here the Colledg have left out that blasphemous speech, which I cannot write without horror, nor an honest man read without trembling, viz. To call a little Rose-water and Sugar boyled to∣gether, THE HAND OF CHRIST: The truth is, if they had left out the rest of the blasphemies, I should have had some hopes they would in time turn honest, but I see to my grief they remain: especially that abominable blasphemy in their Dedicatory Epistle to King James, which they having not enough to alter, let stand, or else it was because like Sodom, they would declare their sin and hide it not, but manifest to the world in the sight of the Sun, that they are not a Colledg of Christians, but of RANTERS, by calling KING JAMES their GOD; blush O Sun at such blasphemy. It may be they left it out because King Charls is dead, for worshiping old Jemmy for God, 'tis more than probable they worshiped his Son for Christ; and their Tubelary (sic) gods being apud Inferos, gives me some hopes they will follow them quickly, and so all the Tyrants will go together."

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

marina ambra -ae grisea = ambergris

marisca -ae, = technically an inferior kind of fig; but in medical context, piles or hemorrhoids; adjectival form is mariscus -a -um; JW records the plural incorrectly as "marisci"

marrub., marrubium -i = common horehound, Marrubium vulgare; other species also; may be designated nigrum (black horehound, Ballota nigra) or foetidum (stinking)

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

mass., massa -ae = a lump or mass that adheres together like dough; specifically, the quantity of combined ingredients out of which pills, etc., are formed

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

Matt(h)iolus -i = relating to or invented by Pietro Andrea Mattioli (1501 - c. 1577), Italian physician and naturalist; e.g.unguentum Matthioli, leontopodium (edelweiss) Matthioli

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

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, sweetened with honey; the name of the source plant may be mentioned in the genitive, e.g., mel emblicorum, or a descriptive adjective may be added, e.g. mel rosatum, "rosated" honey with addition of oil of roses

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

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

melissophyllum -i = bastard balm, Melittis melissophyllum

menstruum -i = in medicine, the menses; in alchemy, a solvent, often corrosive, or a liquid medium for administration of medications

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

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

mercurius -i = the element Mercury in its liquid form, also referred to as hydrargyrum

mercurius -i dulcis (sometimes referred to as simply "dulcis") = calomel or mercurous chloride, Hg2Cl2, a purge

mercurius -i duplicatus = n alchemical substance of uncertain character, described in some references as a "celestial salt;" JW mentions mercurius quadruplicatus, identification uncertain, perhaps just four times the usual amount

merula -ae = the blackbird, ousel, or merle, or the sea-carp; but see also spina merula, below

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

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

metroproptoticon = see emplastrum metroproptoticon, above

meum -i = spignel, Aethusa meum or Meum athamanticum

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

micleta -ae = an electuary for treatment of diarrhea, bloody flux, homorrhoids, and stomach afflictions; contained myrobalan bark, watercress, cumin, anise, fennel, ammi, etc., all fried in rose oil and mixed with myrtle syrup; JW refers to it as "a very great binder"

microcosmi = see spiritus microcosmi, below

millefolium -i = common yarrow, Achillea millefolium, a flowering plant in the aster family

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; JW mentions a spiritus millipedum in V.a.288, presumably from distilling them

minium -i = native vermilion, read lead; emplastrum de minio, plaster of red lead and olive oil; there is also an unguentum de minio, q.v.

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

miva -ae = listed (by JW and by Lovell) as miva vel gelatina, quince jelly

mixae -arum, myxae -arum = sebesten plum (tree), Cordia myxa; see sebesten, below

mola -ae = a uterine mass, especially hydatidiform mole, a gestational trophoblastic disease arising from the placenta; usually benign but may become invasive and metastasize

mollis -e = soft, flexible, loose; emplastrum molle, a soft plaster

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

morbus -i = any disease, sickness, disorder, ailment, etc.

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

morum -i = mulberry; many species, including Mora nigra, black or common mulberry; also as "Celsus's," as in succus mororum Celsi, from Aulus Cornelius Celsus (c. 25 BCE - 50 CE)

morus -i = mulberry tree

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

moschelaeum -i = see oleum moschaelum, below

mucilag., mucilago -inis = viscid aqueous solution of one or more ingredients made by soaking or heating parts of certain plants in water; e.g., mucilage of gum, mucilago arabaci gummi; of althaea and fenugreek roots, mucil. rad Alth. et faenugr.

mulsum -i = honeyed wine

mummia -ae = a substance prepared from mummified flesh, usually human; or may indicate a liquid bituminous substance, also known as pissasphalt (from Greek pitch + asphalt); this latter may also be termed mummia from Arabic mūmiyā, a type of resinous bitumen used for embalming and as an aphrodisiac and general antidote

mundat., mundatus -a -um = cleaned (from mundo -are, make clean, cleanse)

murra = see myrrha, below

muscus -i = (sphagnum) moss

musc. pyxidat., muscus -i pyxidatus = a type of lichen (Lichen pyxidatus), used in a decoction for whooping cough

muscus -i quernus = tree moss; specifically that which grows on oak trees

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

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

myrobalan., myrabalan., myrabalanum -i = myrobalan = Indian gooseberry, Phyllantus emblica; may be designated myrobalan omnium; chebulae refers to the so-called "black myrobalan," Terminalia chebula; indicae (q. v.) refers to a different plant; may be designated myrobalanum indorum

myrrha -ae = the myrrh tree (genus Commiphora with approximately 190 species, especially C. myrrha); or the gum (myrrh) which exudes from it, used as an antiseptic, analgesic, and in liniments and salves

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


narcissus -i = any of numerous spring-flowering bulbous plant of genus Narcissus; especially N. poeticus and N. tazetta; many uses, including emetic, emollient, and treatment for cough, baldness, dysentery, etc.

nard, nardin., nardus -i , adj. nardinus -a -um = nard, a fragrant oil or perfume; or the aromatic plant from which the ointment was prepared, Nardostachys grandiflora; spikenard, N. jatamansi

nardinus -a -um = of, made from, flavored with, or smelling like nard (see previous entry)

nasturtium -i = genus of watercresses; JW mentions nasturtium aquaticum, probably common watercress, Nasturtium officinale, also known as Sisymbrium nasturtium, and nasturtium hortense, or gardencress, N. hortense

negligo -ere = to disregard, ignore, neglect; future participle negligendus -a -um, should be or ought to be ignored; e.g., nulla tussis est negligenda, no cough should be ignored

nepetha -ae = genus of flowering plants; especially catmint/catnip, N. cataria

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

nescio quid = "I don't know what;" JW defines it thus (V.a.293, f. 70r): "The Bark of a Tree which the Apothecaries call nescio quid, itt was first brought ouer to bee vsd by Dyers but not answering Expectation in their facultie, itt was made vse of to sent Tobacco: itt gius itt a fine fragrant scent:" precise identification uncertain

nicotiana -ae = tobacco, genus Nicotiana; many uses, including unguentum nicotianae, see below

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

nocte = at night (from nox noctis)

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

nouiter, noviter = adverb; newly, recently, lately

novum lumen -inis = not a medication but a book, mentioned by JW in V.a.287, 44r, and in V.a.292, 101r; EEBO search yields Novum lumen medicum (1662) by Joachim Poleman (? - ?, named in V.a.292), after the system of van Helmont. The quotation from the book as given in V.a.287 is as follows: "That part of the sperme which truly conduces to the making of man (as novum Lumen) says, canne bee no greater att first .. then the 8200th part of a graine of wheat/ That of Aristotle is provable, that the 40th day after Conception, homo formica non major." This passage does not appear in this book by Poleman, but appears to come instead from another work, A Most Certaine and True Relation of a Strange Monster Serpent Found in the left Ventricle of the heart of Iohn Pennant (1639) by one Edward May, "Doctor of Philosophy and Physick," etc.: "it can be no greater at first moment of conception, then in proportion to the 8200 part of a grain of wheate;" and "that the fortieth day after conception, homo formica non major," appearing directly after the "8200" quotation

nubiae = granum nubiae; the seed of an unknown plant from Ethiopia, apparently a powerful poison

nuc., nucl., nucleus -i = nut

nucleus -i alii or allii = nut or clove of garlic

nucleus -i pinei = pine nuts (pignoli), edible seeds of pine, various species of genus Pinus

nummularia -ae = Lysimachia nummularia; creeping jenny, moneywort, or herb twopence

nux nucis = nut; e.g., nux moschata, nutmeg; nux pinea, pine nut; nux avellana, hazelnut; nux persica, walnut (see also iuglans, above)

nux nucis moschata = nutmeg

nux nucis vomica = the tree Strychnos nux-vomica, the seeds of which are a source of the highly poisonous alkaloid strychnine

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


oculus -i = eye

ocimastrum -i = common witch herb or broadleaf enchanter's nightshade, Ocimastrum verrucarium; or Italian hedgenettle or hairy wondwort, Stachys ocymastrum

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" the astrological symbol for Cancer (♋︎) rotated 90° ( ); see entry on the last page of this list

ocymi., ocymum -i = basil, Ocimum basilicum

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

ol., oleum -i = oil; many varieties, with a descriptive adjective or with the source in the genitive

oleum -i croci = oil of saffron; in the Pharmacopoiea Londinensis it is stated that some prepare it by distilling a mixture of saffron, turpentine, and spirit of wine with frequent cohobation (redistilling); contrariwise, in The London Dispensatory, Culpeper asserts that there is no such thing

oleum -i chrysomelinum = oil of the kernels of apricots; JW says that it is "of the same uertue with that of sweet Almonds" (V.a.292, f. 40av)

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

oleum excestrense = oil of Exeter; contains wormwood, lesser centaury, eupatorium, fennel, hyssop, etc., infused in oil

oleum -i fuliginis = oil of soot (fuligo -inis), made by distilling soot

oleum heracleinum = see heracleinus, above

oleum -i heracleoticum = hazelnut oil

oleum -i lapivum = from persian cyclamen, Lapivum persicum or Cyclamen persicum

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

oleum -i moschaeleum = oil of musk, from secretions of a gland of various animals, especially the male musk deer, Moscus moschiferus; plus nutmeg, mace, costus, styrax, other herbs, and oil; the animal source of the musk may be named in the genitive, e.g., oleum moschelaeum vulpinum, oil of fox musk; used for treatment of deafness, cold diseases of the heart, strangury, etc.

oleum -i nucistae = oil of nutmeg

ol., oleum -i Nicodemi = leaves of St. John's wort (species of Hypericum), turpentine, litharge, aloes, tutty, saffron, white wine, etc.

oleum -i nucistae = oil of nutmeg, synonymous with oleum myristicae

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

oleum -i rosae = oil of rose, volatile oil distilled from Rosa damascena; still appears in the U.S.P.

oleum -i sabinae = oil of savine (Juniperus sabina); an abortifacient

oleum -i salis = "oil of salt;" the common oil of salt (oleum salis commune) is made from bay salt dissolved in water and mixed with three times its weight of powdered tiles or bricks, evaporated, and distilled (Pharmacopoeia Londinensis); there are also red and black varieties

ol. sulph., oleum -i sulphuris = oil of sulfur, various receipts; possibly sulfuric acid, H2SO4; modern definition is concentrated or "fuming" sulfuric acid, the same with added concentrations of sulfur trioxide

ol. vulpin., oleum -i vulpinum = fox oil; made from a skinned and gutted fox boiled with oil and herbs and pressed; Culpeper specifies a "fat fox of middle age, wearied with hunting and new killed"

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

onon., ononis -idis (spinosa) = restharrow, Ononis repens

ophalmicum = see unguentum ophalmicum, below; distinguish from ophthalmicum

ophioglossum -i = a genus of about 50 species of ferns called adder's tongue ferns; used as an ointment on wounds and burns

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

opiatum -i astringens = properly electuarium opiatum astrigens; contains diascordium, red roses, bistort

opobalsamum -i = Mecca balsam, balm of Gilead; resin produced by the tree Commiphora opobalsamum

opopanax -acis = the "fetid" (OED) gum resin from Opopanax chironium, a spiny acacia

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

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

ornithopodium -i = alternate name of Ornithopus, a genus of flowering plants in the family Fabaceae, the legumes; e.g., O. sativus, common bird's foot

orthopnea -ae = shortness of breath, dyspnea, asthma; technically, shortness of breath while lying down relieved by sitting up or standing, commonly seen in patients with heart failure (from Greek ὀρθό-, combining form of ὀρθός, straight, erect, upright; + πνέειν, to breathe)

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

osmunda -ae regalis = the royal fern, also called flowering fern or buckhorn, called "royal" because of its large size; root used as a demulcent, astringent, and emmenagogue; the name is thought possibly to derive from Osmunder, a Saxon name for the Norse god Thor

ostrea -ae = oyster, mussel, sea-snail

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

ovin., ovinus -a -um = relating to or belonging to sheep; e.g., sebum ovinum, sheep suet or tallow

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

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

oxylapathum -i = sharp-pointed dock; Lapathum acutum, or Rumex acutus

oxymel = honey and vinegar boiled to a syrup

oxymel Julianiz., oxymel Iulianizans -antis = the Julian (or Julianized) syrup of honey and vinegar, a syrup containing oxymel, with the addition of caper root bark, iris root, fennel, rock parsley, endive, and many other ingredients; Julian may refer to Julian the Elder (fl. mid-2nd c. CE), who had studied with Galen but later became his enemy


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

palma Christi = see "cataputia," above

pampholix -icis = crude zinc oxide, ZnO, same as tutia; can also refer to vesicles or small blisters on the skin, esp. of the palms and digits

paliurus -i = genus of flowering plants in the Rhamnaceae (buckthorn) family, including P. palma-christi, Christ's thorn or Jerusalem thorn

paludapium -i = another term for smallage or water-parlsey; from palus -udis, a swamp or marsh, + apium -i (q.v.)

panacea -ae = an herb healing all diseases; specificially, an extract of opopanax (q.v.), allheal, woundwort, or various other herbs; e.g., betony, yarrow, mistletoe

pannus -i = cloth, rag, garment

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

paralyseus -a -um = relating to the cowslip, Primula species; e.g., take/use flores paralyseos

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

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

paregoricus -a -um = alleviating, assuaging; the noun paregoric refers to the camphorated tincture of opium, formerly used as an anti-diarrheal and cough medicine

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

part., pars partis = part, side

parum = a little; e.g., ol(eum) Iasmini parum, a little oil of jasmine

passer -eris = sparrow, especially the house sparrow Passer domesticus

pastillus -i = a small flat tablet, may be coated with sugar; similar to a pill, troche, or lozenge

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, q.v.

pastinac., pastinaca -ae = parsnip, Pastinaca sativa; another species, P. sativa tenuifolia, is a carrot; or P. sylvestris tenuifolia is the garden carrot, Daucus carota

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, q.v.

paulatim = little by little, by degrees, gradually, a little at a time

pauxillus -a -um = little, small; also as substantive: pauxillum, a little, with the material in the genitive; e.g., pauxillum aceti, a little vinegar

pauxill., pauxillatum = adv., little by little, by degrees

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

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

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

peplium -i = peplion, a species of spurge, probably Euphorbia esula; a purge for bile and phlegm

pepo -onis = pumpkin, Cucurbita pepo

per deliquium = by dissolution; describes hygroscopic materials which will absorb water from the atmosphere and dissolve into an aqueous solution

percepier anglorum = the plant parsley piert, Aphanes arvensis; percepier is from French perce pierre, split stone; JW states that the name is applied by some to Alchymilla minor or A. minima

pericarpium -i = a plaster applied to the wrist, from Greek περικάρπιον, a bracelet; used for various disorders including ague and "Defluxions and Fumes in the Eyes" (R. Boyle)

periclymenum -i = common honeysuckle, Lonicera periclymenum

periculosus -a -um = dangerous, hazardous, perilous

perineum -i = the space between the genitals and the anus

perlarum mater -tris = mother of pearl

permisceo -ere = mix or mingle together; permisceantur, let them (the ingredients) be mixed

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

persicaria -ae = spotted persicaria, a common weed; Persicaria maculosa

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

pessarium -i = a pessary

petasititid., petasites -idis = butterbur, Petasites fragrans

petaso -onis = a forequarter or shoulder of pork

petroselin., petroselinum -i = parsley, Apium petroselinum; from Greek πετροσέλινον, rock celery; P. crispum, (curly) garden parsley

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

petum -i = the tobacco plant, see nicotiana, above; possibly an indigenous name via French or Portuguese; syrupus de peto, syrup of tobacco, an emetic, containing tobacco juice, oxymel, mead, and sugar

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

philonium -i persicum = a compound medicine including opium, saffron, white pepper, pearls, and amber; named after Philo of Tarsus, 1st c. BCE Greek physician

philonium -i romanum = a compound medicine containing white pepper, hyoscalmus, saffron, spike, pyrethrum, castor, etc.

phlegma -atis = a watery substance; may be identified with mucus

phlegma -atis vitrioli = very dilute aqueous solution of sulfuric acid

phu (indecl.) = "any of several species of valerian having rhizomes used medicinally" (OED); possibilities include Valeriana officinalis, V. dioscoridis, V. phu; mentioned by Pliny the Elder

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

pileum -i = felt cap

pilosella -ae = genus of flowering plants, numerous species, especially P. officinarum, mouse-ear hawkweed; same as auriculus muris

pil., pill., pillul., pil[l]ula -ae = pill, modified with an adjective, or with the source in the genitive or ablative with "de," in the ablative

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

pilulae aleophanginae = aromatic pills of Mesue; contain aloes, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, mace, etc.; similar to if not identical to pilulae elephanginae, below

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

pilulae Barbaros(s)ae = an anti-syphilitic, containing mercury; apparently named after an Algerian king and not the Holy Roman Emperor; in V.a.295 46v, JW states that they are fluxing pills

pill., pilulae Catholicae = compounded of pilulae sine quibus (see below), aurea, cochia (see next entry), hellebore, colocynth, spirit of vitriol, etc.; a universal purge, probably the source of the name

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 de colocynthide Alexandri = aloe, euphorbium, colocynth, scammony, black hellebore, nitric salt of Alexander (Alexandros) of Tralles (potassium nitrate, KNO3); Alexandros was a Byzantine physician (c. 525 - c. 605)

pilulae ecphracticae = pills to relieve obstructions (from ἐκφράσσω, to open, remove obstacles); the receipt in the New English Dispensatory calls for gums, aromatic pills, guaiac, salt of steel, salt of wormwood, and extract of gentian with gum ammoniac dissolved in vinegar of squills

pill. elephang., pilulae elephanginae = an Arabic term; purging pills containing cinnamon, nutmeg, and other aromatics; also, according to JW (Va293, 71r), "of Diacrydium... a considerable quantitie"

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

pilulae lucis majores = "pills of greater light;" roses, violets, wormwood, colocynth, turbith, cubebs, etc.; for poor vision (hence the name, presumably)

pilulae Macri = Macer's (Aemilius Macer, 1st c. CE) pills, aloes, mastich, marjoram, salt of wormwood, etc.; the poem De viribus herbarum is probably a medieval invention attributed to him

pilulae mediocres = middle-sized pills of any formulation

pillulae de nitro = see pilulae de colocynthidae, above

pill. palmarii = Palmarius' pills, or pilulae Cretae Palmarii; aloes, gentian, amber, aristolochia, myrrh, etc.; named after Pierre le Paulmier or Palmier (1568-1610)

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

pilulae Scribonii = Scribonius Largus's pills; sagapenum, myrrh, opium, cardamom, castoreum, etc.; good for fluxes, dysentery, hemoptysis, gonorrhea, consumption, and many more afflictions

pilulae sine quibus (esse nolo) = "pills without which (I do not wish to be);" a purgative containing aloe, myrobolans, rhubarb, senna, agaric, etc.; may be abbreviated "sine quib."

pilulae e (or ex) tribus = "pills of three things;" RCP Dispensatory lists seven ingredients including mastich, aloes, agaric, hiera picra, rhubarb, cinnamon, and syrup of chicory

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

pinax -acis = a picture, especially on a wooden tablet; in V.a.291. f.157v, the word refers to a book, Pinax theatri botanici, 1623, by Caspar Bauhin or Bauhinus (1560 - 1624), which introduced the binomial system of naming plants but which he did not apply consistently

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

pinsendus -a -um = to be stamped, pounded, crushed; from pinso -ere

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

pissasphaltum -i = a semi-liquid bituminous substance (OED); used externally in treatment of fractures, also in mummification (from Greek πισσάσφαλτος, from pitch + asphalt)

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

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

pix picis Graeca = Greek pitch, see colophonia, above

pix picis navalis = naval pitch; used for waterproofing, along with rosin and tar; also known as "hard pitch," the residue from distillation of coal tar or turpentine

pixis -idis = a small box (originally boxwood) for carrying medicine; circumferendae in pixide, they (e.g., pills) should be carried around in a box

plantag., plantago -inis = plantain; broad-leaved plantain, Plantago major; JW mentions P. aquatica minor, the lesser water-plantain; and P. aquatica stellata, star-headed water-plantain

pleres-archonticon = pulvis pleres-archonticon, called by Bates "The great Restorative Pouder;" containing cinnamon, cloves, galangal, nutmeg, ginger, red roses, Indian spikenard, etc.; also known as the Restorative of Nicholas

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

plumbum -i = the element lead, Pb

podagra -ae = gout, especially in the feet

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

polyidae = see trochisci polyidae Andromachi, below

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

polyurus -i = Christ's thorn or Jerusalem thorn, Paliurus spina-christi; JW reports it as being in the Physic Garden

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

pomeridiane = adverb; in the afternoon; from postmeridianus -a -um

pompholix, pompholyx -ygis = zinc oxide, same as tutia (tutty)

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

pomum -i alterans = see syrupus de pomis alterans, below

pomum -i aurantium = golden or orange-colored apple; an orange

pomum -i granatum = pomegranate, fruit of Punica granatum; granatus -a -um, having many grains or seeds

pomum -i purgans = a "purging apple," intended to purge phlegm; an apple stuffed with polypodium and agaric wrapped in a crust and baked; also known as pomum laxativum purgans

pondus -eris = weight; fiunt pilulae pondere. ℈iiii, let pills be made of the weight of four scruples

pontic., ponticum = Roman wormwood, Artemisia ponticum

popul., populus -i = poplar tree

populeon, populneum = see unguentum populeon, below

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

porrum -i = the graden leek, Allium porrum

portulaca -ae = garden purslane, Portulaca oleracea

posset., possetum -i = posset, milk curdled with treacle, wind, or any acid substance; may also appear as liquor posseticus

potio -onis = drink

potus -us = drink

potus -us ordinarius = the "usual drink;" receipts vary widely and appear to depend on the population consuming it

praecipit., praecipitat., praecipitatum -i = a chemical 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 a specific compound

prasius -i = prase, a green quartz

prasium, 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); appears also as syruppus de prassio

reꝑ. or preꝑ.= prepared; from preparatus -a -um (conjectured); e.g., corallium preꝑ., corallium preparatum, prepared coral

priapus, pryapus -i cervi = a stag's penis

primula -ae veris = cowslip (common cowslip, cowslip primrose)

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

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

prunus -i = genus of trees and shrubs, including plum, cherry, peach, nectarine, apricot, and almond

prunus -i silvestris = blackthorn (Pliny the Elder)

psyllium -i = common name for several members of the genus Plantago (plantain) used to produce mucilage, as a source of dietary fiber, and as a food thickener; used to treat mild constipation or diarrhea; psyllium seed husks are used in the manufacture of the trademarked laxative Metamucil

ptarmaca, ptarmica = leaves (folia) of sneezewort, Achillea ptarmaca

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

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

pulicaria -ae = fleabane, Pulicaria dysenterica

pulm., pulmon. vulp., pulmones vulpis = fox lungs

pulmonaria -ae = lungwort, Pulmonaria officinalis; distinguish from tree lungwort, Sticta pulmonaria

pulpa -ae = pulp (of anything)

puls -tis = porridge or mush; used in sacrifice and given as food to the sacred chickens

pulv., pulvis -eris = powder

pulverizatus -a -um = powdered, pulverized

pulvis -eris ad casum = a powder against inward bruises by falls (Bate); contained terra sigillata, sanguis draconis, mummy, spermaceti, rhubarb; casum from casus -us, a fall, falling down, accident

pulvis -eris antibyssus = a powder against rabies, also known as Paulmier's powder; contained 12 plants including rue, vervain, sage, plantain, oakfern, etc., and was taken mixed with wine three hours before meals; but if the patient had already developed symptoms, it was then applied externally as a plaster

pulvis -eris aromaticus = aromatic powder; cinnamon, cardamom, ginger; similar to diambra, q.v.; also known as pulvis cinnamomi compositus

pulvis -eris comitis = pulvis comitis Warvicensis, the Earl of Warwick's powder; scammony, diaphoretic antimony (also known as tartar emetic), tartarate crystals (potassium bitartarate, KC4H5O6, the crystals sometimes found in wine); used as a purge for watery humors, also for rheumatism, dropsy, and pox

pulvis -eris digestivus = a digestive powder of variable compsition

pulvis -eris Haly = Haly's powder, named after 'Ali ibn al-'Abbas al-Majusi, or al-Masoudi (930 - 994), Latinized as Haly Abbas; white poppy seeds, gum arabic, starch, tragacanth, etc.

pulvis -eris hollandicus = a powder invented by a Dr. Holland, identified in A Compleat English Dispensatory (1719) as another name for pulvis senae compositus maior (senna, anise, caraway, fennel, cumin, spikenard, cinnamon, galangal, licorice and gromwell) and described therein as "an indifferent cathartick, and too much loaded with insignificant Ingredients, therefore little now in use"

pulvis -eris Iesuiticus = Jesuit's powder, powdered bark of Cinchona officinalis and a souce of quinine; see also cortex peruvianus, above

pulvis -eris Iohannis de Vigo = Vigo's powder, mercuric oxide, HgO

pulvis -eris laetificans Galeni = Galen's gladdening powder, apparently actually invented by Niccolò da Reggio (1280 - ?), a translator of Galen; multiple ingredients, including basil, cloves, saffron, zedoary, nutmeg, styrax, ivory shavings, etc.

pulvis -eris odoratus = sweet, perfumed, or fragrant powder; iris root, rosewood, cloves, lemon peels, etc. (Bate); used as a moth deterrent

pulvis -eris pleres-arc(h)onticon = "the great restorative powder" (Bate); numerous ingredients including cinnamon, cloves, xyloaloes, galangal, nutmeg, ginger, and many others

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

pulvis -eris saxonicus = the Saxon powder, from its use as an antidote by Christian I, Elector of Saxony (1560 - 1591); angelica, swallow-wort, valerian, polipodium of the oak, marsh-mallow, etc., all steeped in vinegar, dried, and pulverized

purgans -antis or purgatus -a -um = purging, laxative; e.g., glycirriza purgata, purging licorice

purg., purgatio -onis = a purge or laxative

purpureus -a -um = purple

putrilago -inis = putrid or rotten material

pyra = probably pear, various trees of genus Pyrus; CL pirum -i, pl. pira

pyrethr., rad. pyrethrum -i (salivaris) = root (radix) of pellitory (of Spain), also known as Spanish chamomile, Anacyclus pyrethrum; or possibly masterwort, Peucedanum ostriuthum, or sneezewort, Achillea ptarmica

pyrola -ae = round-leaved wintergreen, Pyrola rotundifolia


q. s., quantum satis or quantum sufficit = a sufficient quantity; q. s. ad = a sufficient amount for...

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

quaere = inquire, search for, seek; singular present active imperative of quaero -ere

quandoquidem = since, indeed, seeing that; JW defines it as "inasmuchas" and quotes Pope Paul IV, "quandoquidem populus vult decipi, decipiatur," inasmuch as the populace wants to be deceived, let it be deceived (decipio -ere)

quartanus -a -um = of, belonging to, or occurring on the fourth day; e.g., a quartan fever or ague, a fever occurring every fourth day; a less severe form of malaria, caused by infection by the protozoon Plasmodium malariae; cf. tertian ague (tertianus -a -um)

-que = and; Senatus Populusque Romanus, the Senate and People of Rome

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; for "lungs of oak," see lichen arborum, above

quercitanus -i = not an ingredient but a person's name; after the French physician Joseph du Chesne (c. 1544 - 1609), Latinized as Quercitanus; e.g., pilulae de sagapeno Quercitani, du Chesne's sagapenum pills

quercus -us = oak, oak tree, various species of genus Quercus, including Q. suber, the cork oak

quernus -a um = of or pertaining to the oak, or made of oak wood

quinquefolium -i = (creeping) cinquefoil, Potentilla reptans; tormentil (P. erecta) is a relative


rad., radic., radix -icis = root of any plant with the name of the plant in the genitive; e.g., radix sarsaparillae

rad. 5 aperient., radices quinque aperienti = the five "opening roots:" celery (Apium graveolens), fennel (Foeniculum officinale), parsley (Petroselinum sativum), butcher's broom (Ruscus aculeatus) and asparagus (Asparagus officinalis); see also syrupus de quinque radicibus, below

rament., ramenta -orum = scrapings, shavings, chips (pl. of ramentum -i)

ran., rana -ae = frog; ranarum, of frogs, e.g., sperma ranarum, frog spawn; see also emplastrum e ranis Vigonis, above

ranunculus -i = a genus of about 1700-1800 species including the buttercup or crowfoot; JW mentions Ranunculus acris, the common buttercup; R. arvorum, corn-buttercup or fallow-field crowfoot, same as R. arvensis or R.sylvestris; R. dulcis, sweet crowfoot; amd the "bulbous," R. bulbosus, the bulbous crowfoot or St. Anthony's turnip

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; also appears as raphamis; R. rusticana, horseradish; same as armoracia, q.v.

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

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

raucedo -inis = hoarseness

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

recrementum -i = refuse, dross, slag

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

regimen -inis = a regimen or course of treatment; specified with various degrees of detail, e.g. "f. pill. no. iii deglutiantur cum regimine. edat absynthium pane et butyro," make three pills [and] let them be swallowed with a course of treatment. Let [the patient] eat absinth with bread and butter." V.a.292, f. 45r

reginae coloniens = electuarium reginae coloniens; saxifrage, gromwell, licorice juice, caraway, anise, etc., with sugar and dissolved in white wine; for the stone and wind colic; the name refers to a Queen of Colen, the supposed consort of one of the three kings in attendance at the Nativity and whose relics are said to be in Cologne (Colen) Cathedral

regulus -i = literally, a petty king or chieftain, or the bright star in the constellation Leo; in alchemy, the metallic component refined from an ore; in metallurgy, refers to the "regulus of antimony," the partially purified metallic form of the element

requies -etis Nicholai = Nicholas' relief, a strong sedative of uncertain composition; mentioned by Burton in The Anatomy of Melancholy

reserandus -a -um = opening up; ad obstructiones reserandas, for the opening of obstructions

resin., resina -ae = resin (from any plant)

revellendus -a -um = for removing, loosening, pull away; from revello -ere

rhab., rhabarbarum -i = rhubarb, Rheum rhabarbarum

rhamnus -i catharticus = buckthorn, Rhamnus cathartica, also known as Spina cervina; a purgative but quite toxic

rhaphon., rhapontic., rhaponticum -i = rhapontic rhubarb root, 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 = either rhodium wood (rhodium lignum), from rootstock of bindweed species Convolvulus floridus and C. scoparius; or oil of rhodium, made by distilling it; NB not the metal, which was discovered in 1803

rob (indeclinable?) = syrup made by the concentration of fruit juice, usually by boiling and often with the addition of sugar, used for medicinal purposes, in later use chiefly as an antiscorbutic; in early use also describing a decoction of sweet wine; said (in OED) to be a borrowing from Latin but not yet definitely identified

roborandus -a -um = strengthening, reinforcing (from roboro -are)

robur -oris = an oak tree, specifically the common or pedunculate oak Quercus robur; or its dense heartwood

roch alum = see alumen, above

rorismar., rorismarinus -i = rosemary, Rorismarinus officinalis; also rosmarinus

ros., rosa -ae = rose, various species of genus Rosa

rosae -arum veterae = old roses, as in old roses, cons. ros. veter.

ros. sol., rosa solis = rose of the sun, not a flower; altered from Latin ros solis, dew of the sun, a cordial originally made from the juice of the sundew plant (genus Drosera), later from spiced and flavored spirits; receipt in V.a.21, p. 183 (not JW)

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

rosata -ae novella = an electuary of roses, containing rose leaves, sugar, licorice, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, honey, etc.

rosatus -a -um = treated with oil of roses; e.g., aloe rosata, mel rosatum

rosmarin., rosmarinus -i = rosemary, Rosmarinus officinalis

rotula -ae = from its shape resembling the patella; a flat, round tablet or lozenge; same as trochiscus

rubellum = vinum rubellum, reddish wine; "vomiting claret" (New London Dispensatory), an emetic; contained antimony in powder, cloves, claret wine

ruber -bra -brum = red

rubus -i = genus of flowering plants in the rose family, with more than 1.350 species; see following two entries

rubus -i idaeus = red raspberry

rubus -i viticosus = sarsaparilla (q.v.)

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

ruta -ae = rue, Ruta graveolens and other species; see also vepris, below; wall-rue, Adiantum album, white maiden-hair

rutaceus -a -um = from or relating to rue

rutaceum = acetum rutaceum, vinegar of rue


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

sabin., sabina -ae = savin or savin juniper, Juniperus sabina (a juniper species); an abortifacient; may appear as oleum -i sabinae; Sabina sterilis, barren savin

sacchar., saccharum -i = sugar, any type, especially cane sugar; also sacchar. cand., saccharum candidum, sugar candy; can be flavored, e.g., saccharum rosatum, sugar of roses made by melting sugar in rose water and adding juice of roses

saccharum -i saturni = "sugar of lead," lead (II) acetate, Pb(CH3COO)2; prescribed as an astringent or anti-diaphoretic; also used as a sugar substitute; responsible for the death of Pope Clement II (1047) and possibly also of Beethoven

saccharum -i tabellatum = lozenges of sugar, with rhubarb, hartshorn, dittany of Crete, etc., etc.; Culpeper says, "for my part I think in penning of it, they made a long Harvest of a little Corn"

saccharum -i Thomae = brown sugar candy, the candy obtained at the first crystallization; also known as saccharum Canariae since it came from the island of St. Thomas in the Canaries

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

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

sagittaria -ae = a genus of aquatic plants with about 30 species, common names include arrowhead and swamp potato; JW mentions S. major and S. minor; antiscorbutic and diuretic

sal X = salt (of) X, with X in the genitive; numerous examples, including table salt and other acid and alkali salts; may be prepared from various plants by boiling, straining, concentration, and crystallization, otherwise by calcination of the material, dissolving it in liquid, filtration, and coagulation

sal absynthii = see under "absynthium," above

sal -is ammoniac = "salt of Ammon," a white crystalline salt supposed to have been prepared originally from the dung of camels near the temple of Jupiter Ammon in Egypt; chemically ammonium chloride, NH4Cl2

sal -is chalybeatus = salt of steel, usually iron chloride, FeCl2, but also other salts of iron

sal -s cochleariae = salt of scurvy-grass

sal -is marini = sea salt

sal -is martis = salt of steel, or sal chalybis; crocus Martis (iron peroxide) etracted with water and crystallized; there is also a sal martis catharticus, the purging salt of iron, sal armoniac and iron filings sublimed in a still and extracted with water

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

sal -is vitrioli = zinc sulphate, ZnSO4, or "white vitriol;" an emetic

salix -icis = the genus of the willow, including various trees and shrubs, e.g., Salix alba, the white willow; the source of salicylic acid, a starting material for aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid)

salsamentum i = salted or pickled fish, or a brine or pickling liquid for fish; if for salted fish, usually in the plural, salsamenta -orum

salv., salvia -ae = common sage, Salvia officinalis; S. pumila, another name for S. aegyptiaca, Egyptian sage

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)

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.)

santalinus -a -um = containing or derived from plants of genus Santalum; see next entry

santal., santalum -i = sandalwood, saunders, various species of genus Santalum; red, white, and yellow varieties; may appear as lignum santalum; yellow saunders, Santalum citrinum; white saunders, S. pallidum; red saunders, Pterocarpus santalinus, also known as red sandalwood

santon., santonic., sem. santonic., semina santonica/santonici santonica = common name for Artemisia cina, Levant wormseed; a vermifugic drug was extracted from its dried flowerheads

sanum = see lohoch sanum, above

saphirus -i = sapphire; CL sapphirus -i

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, S. aspera, or Rubus viticosus

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

sativus -a -um = to describe a plant that is cultivated, sown, or planted, as opposed to wild; e.g., Allium sativum, garlic, Oryza sativa, rice

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

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, especially S. granulata; for treatment of urinary stones and as an antiseptic; related plants may be termed golden, burnet (rough), great, or meadow saxifrage; S. anglica, pepper saxifrage

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

scariola -ae, seriola -ae = defined by JW as endive, but actually a genus of Asian plants in the daisy family

scarlatus -a -um = scarlet; cum scarlato panno, with a scarlet cloth

schoenanthus -i = camel-, fever-, or West Indian lemongrass, Cymbopogon schoenanthus

scill., scilla -ae = see squill, below

scilliticus -a -um = derived from or containing squill, e.g., vinum scilliticum, wine infused with squill; may also be spelled squilliticus

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

scorbutus -i = scurvy; caused by a deficiency of ascorbic acid (vitamin C); JW mentions two variations, scorbutus salinosulphureus, when the "blood is dull and vapid needing quickning Medicines," and scorbutus sulphureosalinus, when the blood is "too hott and stands in need of cooling and tempering Medicines"

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

scoria -ae ferri = iron dross, impurities which float on the surface of or are dispersed in the molten iron; also found in other low-melting-point metals, e.g., tin (stanni), lead (plumbi), zinc (zinci)

scorpion., scorpio -onis = the stinging arachnid, order Scorpiones; ol. scorpion., oleum scorpionum, oil of scorpions, appears to have been made by steeping scorpions in olive or other oil

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

scrophularia -ae = genus of herbaceous flowering plants, the figworts; named for their purported usefulness in scrofula (King's Evil, tuberculous cervical adenitis)

seb., sebum -i = tallow, suet, grease; cf. adeps, above

sebest., sebesten = sebesten (or Assyrian) plum, from the tree Cordia myxa; used in a purging electuary and for "ruggedness of the throat" (Gerard)

secalini., secale -is = a genus of grasses; including cultivated rye, Secale cereale, and several other wild species

sed., sedum -i = wall-pepper, stone-crop; Sedum majus = sempervivum, see below; S. arborescens (also known as S. oxypetalum) dwarf tree stonecrop

seif = see sief, below

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

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

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, senna -ae = Senna, a genus of flowering plants in the legume family; leaves from S. alexandrina have been used as a laxative throughout history, either as senna pods or as an herbal tea

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

senella -ae = same as spina alba, see below; may refer to the haw, fruit of the common hawthorn; JW mentions aqua senellarum, water of haws

sensim = adv., slowly, gradually, little by little

sericeus - a -um = made of silk

sericum -i crudum = raw silk in the form of cocoons or silk fabric; sericum nigrum, black silk

sero = ablative of serus -a -um, late; e.g., mane et sero, in the morning and at a late hour

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

serpillum, serpyllum -i = wild thyme, Thymus serpillum

ser., serum -i lactis = milk whey

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

setaceum -i = a long strip of linen or cotton drawn through a fold of skin, used to promote drainage from a wound, also called a seton; from seta -ae, a bristle; JW mentions (V.a.292, 56r) epilepsy cured by means of a setaceum (epilepsia setaceo curata)

siccus -a -um = dry, dried

sief (indecl.) = a medication for disorders of the eye; may be described with an adjective, e.g. sief album, or with an indication of an ingredient, e.g., sief de plumbo

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

siler -i montanum = Laserpitium siler, an umbelliferous plant of the genus Seseli (OED); JW refers to it as bastard lovage; Gerard refers to it as common lovage, Parkinson as Libisticke or Sermountaine of Liguria, and Bate as hartwort

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

silicum = of flint (silex -icis); see also cremor silicum, above

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

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

sinapismus -i = a mustard plaster or poultice

sine quibus = see pilulae sine quibus, above

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

sisarum -i = skirret, Sium sisarum; a perennial umbelliferous plant, a species of water parsnip

sisymbr., sisymbrium -i = watercress, Sisymbrium nasturtium

smaragdus -i = emerald; can also refer to beryl or jasper

smilax -acis = common smilax, rough bindweed, sarsaparilla; Smilax aspera

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

solea -ae = sole of a shoe, a sandal, or possibly the violet (the flowering plant); appears as "soleae veterementeriae ustae" in V.a.286, 58v

solan., solanum -i = genus of flowering plants, including nightshade, Solanum nigrum; many other species, including S. dulcamara, bitter-sweet; S. lycopersicum, the common tomato; S. tuberosum, the potato; and S. melongena, the eggplant

soldanella -ae = species of bindweed, Convolvulus soldanella, or a primulaceous (from the Primulaceae, primrose family) plant of genus Soldanella

solidago -inis saracenica = goldenrod, same as Virga aurea or Solidago virga-aurea, as in consolida saracenica, above; a vulnerary

sonchus -i = genus of flowering plants, including the common sowthistle, Sonchus oleraceus; JW mentions levis (S. levis, broad-leaved sowthistle) and asper (S. asper, spiny or prickly sowthistle)

sophia -ae chirurgorum = "the wisdom of the surgeons," Descurainia sophia; also known as flixweed, herb-sophia, and tansy mustard; used for treatment of dysentery

sorbilis -e = a medicine that can be sucked up

spatha -ae, spatula -ae = a flat piece of wood, a stirrer; NB distinguish from following entry

spatula -ae foetida = stinking iris, Iris foetidissima; also known as Gladwin iris or gladdon

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

specificum -i = a medicine with a selective curative influence in an individual disease

species laetificans = see pulvis laetificans, above

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

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.

spina -ae cervina = see rhamnus catharticus, above

spina -ae merulae = buckthorn or waythorn; same as above

spiritus -us microcosmi = the vital spirit, or spirit of blood, a volatile liquid prepared by the destructive distillation of blood (Boyle); there is also a preparation called spiritus vini microcosmi, the microcosmical spirit of wine, made by mixing rectified spirit of wine with pure salt of urine, set aside for a while in a cold place, then "digest[ed] in Balneo Vaporis [steam bath] in a Bolthead hermetically sealed for forty days, then in B. M. [water bath] rectify it twice" (New London Dispensatory)

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.

spiritus -us vini microcosmi = see spiritus microcosmi, above

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

spong., spongia, spongiis = with a sponge or sponges; from spongia -ae, sponge

spuma -ae maris = literally, sea-foam; likely powdered pumice, or the mineral sepiolite (meerschaum), a complex magnesium silicate present in fibrous, particulate, and solid forms

squill., squilla -ae = squill; the bulb or root of the sea-onion, Scilla (or Drima) maritima, used as diuretic and expectorant

squillitic., squilliticus -a -um = of, treated with or derived from squill; e.g., acetum squilliticum, vinum squilliticum; may also be spelled scilliticus

squinancia -ae = quinsy, i.e., suppurative tonsillitis with abscess formation; also called squinancy or squinancie

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

stillatim = adv., drop by drop; from stillo -are, drip or fall in drops

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

stercor., stercus -oris = dung, excrement, feces, with the animal of origin in the genitive; e.g., of dog, canis; horse, equi; peacock, pavonis; also others

sticticum -i paracelsi = Paracelsus' emplastrum sticticum; olive oil, yellow wax, lytharge, frankincense, mastic, myrrh, etc; for dispersing diseased or necrotic tissue

stipul., stipula -ae = stalk, stem

stomachicum magistrale = see emplastrum stomachicum magistrale, above

storax -icis = see styrax calamita, below

stragulum -i or stragulus -i = a covering, e.g., a blanket; stragulis coopertus, covered up with blankets, rugs, etc.

stramen -inis = straw; e.g., stramen fabarum, bean straw

stridor -oris = a harsh, vibrating noise produced by some bronchial, tracheal, or laryngeal obstruction; stridor dentium, bruxism, grinding of the teeth

strobylorum, gen. pl. = from strobilus -i, pine nut; see also nucleus pinei, above

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

styrac. calamit., styrax -acis calamita = storax, , a fragrant gum-resin obtained from Styrax officinalis; for liquid storax, see liquidambar, above

suber -is = the cork oak, Quercus suberis

substituo -ere = substitute; X substituatur, X should/ought/may 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 may be substituted

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

succedaneus -a -um = to describe something used as a substitute; e.g., V.a.291, f. 24v: "succus Citri is not to be had the succedaneum is succus limonum for the jaundice"

suc[c]in., suc[c]inum -i = amber

succisa -ae = a genus of flowering plants, family Caprifoliaceae, including devil's bit scabious, Succisa pratensis; used to treat skin conditions including scabies and sores from bubonic plague

succ., succus -i = juice of anything

succus -i nervosus = literally, "nerve juice;" thought to be the means whereby nerve impulses were transmitted

sudo -are = to sweat, perspire; sudet, she/he may sweat, e.g., si post exibitionem sudet convalescat, if he should sweat after administration (of medication), he may recover

sudorificus -a -um = a medication which produces sweating

suffocatus -a -um = strangled, choked (from suffoco -are); but in V.a.295 f. 47r: ova suffocata, poached eggs, and caro suffocata, stewed meat

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

sulph., sulphur -is = the element sulfur; flores sulphuris, "flowers of sulfur," powdered sulfur produced by sublimation as opposed to natural sulfur or brimstone

sumat = it should be/let it be taken; 3rd person singular present active subjunctive of sumo -ere

sumend., sumendus -a -um = will be or should be taken; e.g., mane et sero sumendum, to be taken early and late; with form of esse, indicates a requirement: sumendus est, it must be taken

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

summo mane = very early in the morning

superbib., superbibo -ere = drink after or upon another substance; superbibendus -a -um, it should be drunk after something else; with form of esse, indicates a requirement: superbibendus est, it must be drunk after something else

suppedaneum -i = JW states (V.a.295, f. 13r) that "such Medicines as are applied to the feet in feavours are by some called suppedanea;" from sub + pes pedis, under the foot; technically also, especially in art, a support for the feet of a crucified person

symphit., symphyt., symphitum -i = comfrey; a genus of flowering plants in the borage family with over fifty species; Symphytum maius, greater comfrey; used to promote healing of fractures, from συμφισ, healing or joining of bones, and φυτόν, a plant

synochus -us, also synocha -ae = a persistent or continuous fever; e.g., synochus putrida, a fever resulting from "putrefied humors;" synochus hectica, a spiking fever, which may be associated with tuberculosis

syr., syrup., syrrup., sirup., sirupus, syrrupus -i = syrup of any kind

sirrupus -i Augustanus = Culpeper defines it as the Syrup of the Augustan Physicians; rhubarb, senna, violet flowers, cinnamon, and ginger, mixed and infused in betony, succory, and bugloss waters; with sugar added, boiled into a syrup, adding syrup of roses at the end; it "clenseth Choller and Melancholly very gently"

sirrupus -i bizantinus, byzantinus = juices of endive, smallage, hops, and bugloss, with sugar, boiled to a syrup (Mesue); aniseed, roses, licorice, and other ingredients may be added

syrrupus -i cardiacus = a cordial syrup; receipt in Pharmacopoiea Londinensis includes Rhenish wine, rose water, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, and sugar boiled together, with the addition of ambergris and musk

syrupus -i de pomis alterans = apple juice and bugloss juice, violet leaves, rose water and sugar, boiled to a syrup

syrupus de quinque (5) radic., radicibus = syrup of the five roots; celery (Apium graveolens), fennel (Foeniculum officinale), parsley (Petroselinum sativum), butcher's broom (Ruscus aculeatus) and asparagus (Asparagus officinalis) with sugar and water; a cholagogue and diuretic

syrupus -i exhilarans = gladdening syrup, made of bugloss, lemon balm, and borage juice, alchermes, saffron, compound powder of pearls, and sugar; supposed to have the power of gladdening the vital spirits and banishing melancholy


tabellatus -a -um = an ingredient or ingredients made up in the form of a tablet or lozenge; e.g., saccharum tabellatum (q.v.) and diacodium (an electuary) tabellatum

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

taleola -ae = a little strip or block (diminutive of talea -ae, block or bar); dissect. in taleolas, divided into small strips or blocks (disseco -ere, divide)

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; cort., cortex tamarisci, tamarisk bark; uses include as a carminative, anthelminthic, and diuretic

tanacetum -i = genus of flowering plants in the aster family; about 160 species, including Tanacetum vulgare (common tansy), T. balsamita (costmary), and T. parthenium (feverfew)

tapsus -i barbatus = black mullein, Verbascum nigrum

taraxicum -i = Taraxicum officinalis, dandelion; also as "herba taraxici" or "dens leonis," q.v.

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

tartarum -i emeticum = tartar emetic or antimonium tartarizatum; potassio-antimonious tartrate, C4H4K(Sb.O)O6 + ½H2O; JW mentions Mynsicht's tartar emetic (V.a.295, 49v)

tartar., tartarum nitratum = nitrated tartar, precise identification unknown but the Pharmacopoiea Londinensis of 1685 has a recipe for tartarus nitratus Mynsichti, Mynsicht's nitrated tartar; this consisted of salt of tartar and "fine niter" dissolved in rosewater, filtered, and boiled, until a crust formed on the surface; this was collected and allowed to crystallize, and was used to relieve urinary obstructions and to treat fevers, the sweating sickness, and "all malign and pestilential Diseases"

tartar., tartarum vitriolatum = potassium sulfate, K2SO4; also known as sal polychrestum and arcanum duplicatum

tartareae quercitani = should be tartari quercitani, Quercitanus' (DuChesne's) tartar; precise formulation unknown

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

tegula -ae hybernica = see lapis hibernica, above; properly in the plural (tegulae -arum), meaning roof-tiles

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

terebinthina -ae Veneta = Venice turpentine, an oleoresin derived from the European larch tree, L. decidua; it can still be purchased as a hoof dressing for horses or a hardening resin for varnishes

terr., terra -ae = earth

tenuioris -e = thinner, finer, more delicate; comparative of tenuis -e

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

tertianus -a -m = of, belonging to, or occurring on the third day; e.g., a tertian fever or ague, a fever occurring every third day; a more severe form of malaria, caused by infection by the protozoa Plasmodium vivax and P. ovale; cf. quartan ague (quartanus -a -um)

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

testis -is = a testicle; genitive plural, testium

testu -i, testum -i = a vessel or lid placed over food to be cooked, and covered with hot coals; may describe a mollusc shell; cf. previous entry

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

thapsia -ae = genus of umbilliferous perennials; Thapsia garganica or T. villosa, deadly carrot; the latter used traditionally as a purgative and emetic despite its highly poisonous qualities

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

theriac., theriaca -ae = antidote; treacle; genitive theriacalis, as in aqua theriacalis, treacle water; designations include Theriaca andromachi or T. veneta (of Venice), mithridatium (q.v.), T. coelestis, laudanum; T. hysterica, a formulation of uncertain composition described as "castoreum artefactum," invented by one Paolo Boccone (1633 - 1704), Italian botanist; a receipt for theriaca appears in the Leechbook of Bald, a 10th c. collection of medical remedies

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

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

thymelaea = sparrow-wort, a genus of about 30 species of evergreen shrubs and herbs

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

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

tinctura -ae thebiaca = laudanum, tincture of opium

tinctura -ae sacra = vinum aloes, q.v.

tithymalus -i = any of a number of plants of genus Euphorbia, see above

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

tormina -ae, tormin -inis = colic, gripes

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

tostus -a -um = roasted, parched; past participle of torreo -ere, parch, roast, bake

tragacanth., dragacanth., tragacanthum -i = gum tragacanth (q.v.) derived from shrubs of genus Astragalus or from trees of genus Sterculia

tragea -ae = a powder of various kinds, with the name appended of the organ or affliction it is supposed to address; e.g., tragea anthelmintica (worms), t. asthmatica, t. cordialis, t. epileptica

transfixus -a -um = pierced or thrust through

traiicio -ere = transfer, transport; traiicientur, let them be transferred

triacintho = possibly a misspelling of triacanthos, = Gleditsia triacanthos, the honey locust tree

triapharmacum = see emplastrum triapharmacum, above

tribulus -i terrestris = a taprooted herbacious plant, an invasive and noxious weed with sticky thumbtack shaped burs; common names include goat's head, bullhead, caltrop, devil's eyelashes, and puncture vine

tripolium -i = sea or seashore aster, Tripolium pannonicum

triphera, tryphera -ae major = triphera the greater, a mixture of various myrobalans, emblic, nutmeg, watercress seeds, asarabacca roots, etc.; for excessive menstruation in women and hemorrhoids in men, also weakness of the stomach; there is also a triphera solutiva, an electuary

tritus -a -um = rubbed to pieces; ground up

troch., trochisc., trochiscus -i = a pill, troche, tablet, or lozenge

trochisci -orum de agarico = mushroom lozenges, see agaricus, above

trochisci -orum albi Rhasis = ceruse, sarcocolla, starch, gum arabic, tragacanth, and camphor; sometimes with added opium

trochisci -orum cypheos = grape pulp, turpentine, myrrh, schoenanthus (q.v.), acorus, cinnamon, bdellium, anise, etc.; said to be requisite for the compounding of mithridate

trochisci -orum gallia moschata = aloes, amber, musk, gum tragacanth, rose-water

trochisci -orum hedychroi = "pleasantly colored lozenges;" marum leaves, marjoram leaves, yellow saunders, asarum roots, calamus aromaticus, etc.

trochisci -orum hysterici = lozenges made of castor, amber, powder of millipedes, etc.; used for treatment of palsy; also known as trochisci de mirrha

trochisci -orum polyidae andromachi = pomegranate flowers, white roach, frankincense, myrrh, bull's gall, aloes, etc.; for green wounds and ulcers; Culpeper says "I fancy them not"

trochisci -orum Ramich = perfumed troches of Rhasis; juice of sorrel, red roses, unripe grapes, myrtle berries, etc.; for diarrhea, including the bloody flux

trochisci -orum de vipera = trochisci de vipera ad theriacam, troches of vipers for treacle (Culpeper); viper flesh boiled with dill, made into lozenges with bread and oil of nutmeg or opobalsamum

tubulus -i = a small tube, likely something like a drinking straw; tubulo hauriendus, it is to be drunk through a straw

turbasis -is = starch made of wheat bran or cuckoo-pint (Arum maculatum) roots; for purging phlegm

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

tussilago -inis = a genus of plants in the aster family; T. farfara, colt's-foot, is the only recognized species; as the name suggests, it is used for cough, asthma, and sore throat

tusus -a -um = crushed; same as contusus

tutia -ae = tutty; zinc oxide, ZnO

U - V

vacuus -a -um = empty, void; e.g., vacuo stomacho ad quantitatem nucis iuglandis sumendus, an amount the size of an acorn is to be taken on an empty stomach

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

varicosus -a -um = varicose, full of dilated veins; corpus varicosum, apparently the erectile tissue of the penis (V.a.295, 24v); now called corpora cavernosa and spongiosum

variola -ae = smallpox; variola spuria (false), varicella (chickenpox)

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

verbascum -i = genus of flowering plants with over 450 species, common name mullein; Verbascum thapsus, great or common mullein

verbena -ae = common vervain, Verbena officinalis (legendarily used to staunch Jesus' wounds), or possibly other species in genus Verbena

verdigris = green substance from treatment of Copper with dilute acetic acid, or occurring naturally on copper or brass; may be an acetate, carbonate, or chloride

veronic., veronica -ae = a genus of flowering plants with about 500 species; Veronica officinalis, common or health speedwell

vesica -ae = the urinary bladder; vesica fellis, gall bladder; also a copper vessel lined with tin used in distilling

vesperi = adverb; in the evening, ablative of vesper -eris

ueter., veter., veterus -a -um = old; cf. recens, recent., recentis, new or fresh

viciar., vicia -ae = vetch; JW mentions species "vulgaris," synonyn for V. sativa, an annual herb grown for fodder and by the Romans for food

vincetoxicum -i = white swallow-wort, Vincetoxicum hirundinaria or officinale; a poison antidote (vinco -ere, conquer or defeat + toxicus -a -um, poisonous)

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

vinum -i absinthites = vermouth; made from white wine and absinth; also as vinum florum absinthites, of absinth flowers

vinum -i aloes = wine of aloes; powdered aloes, cinnamon, and sherry wine, macerated; may also contain cardamom and/or ginger

vinum -i benedictum = canary wine infused with crocus of metals (see crocus metallorum, above)

vinum -i (benedictum) antimoniale = antimonial wine made by steeping regulus of antimony (q.v) in white wine; an emetic

vinum -i lymphatum = wine diluted with water; from lympho -are, to mix with water; probably not in the alternative sense of lympho -are, to drive mad ("crazy wine")

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

vinum -i Martiale = globuli martiales or Mars balls, consisting of potassium-iron tartrate (tartrate of potash and iron, C8H8FeK2O12), dissolved in wine

viridis -e = green; e.g., ficus virides, green figs

visc. querc., viscus -eris quercinus = mistletoe, Viscum album, a parasitic plant; quercinus -a -um, because it often grows on oak trees

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

vitex -icis = a genus of flowering plants in the sage family with approximately 250 species, especially V. agnus-castus, chaste-tree (from its reputation as an anaphrodisiac)

vitis -is = vine; folia vitis, grape leaves

vitis -is vinifera = the common grape vine; the leaves "strongly bind," stop the bloody and other fluxes, stop vomiting, help heart-burning, etc. (Pharmacopoiea Londinensis)

vitriol., vitriolum -i = vitriol; various metallic sulfates, especially iron sulfate ("green copperas," vitriolum martis) and vitr. album (zinc sulfate); oleum vitrioli, sulfuric acid, H2SO4; the famous acronym "visite interiora terrae rectificando invenies occultum lapidem" is likely a spurious backronym; for "Roman vitriol," see lapis caelestis, above

vitriolum -i camphoratum = camphorated vitriol or Captain Green's powder; for old sores, sore eyes, loose teeth, oral cancers

vitrum -i = glass; vitrum antimonii, glass of antimony, a yellow or red translucent glass made from calcined antimony ore (to drive off the sulfur) vitrified in a furnace; considered to be the strongest emetic of all preparations of antimony

vitulinus -a -um = from or related to a calf (i.e., veal)

ulmor., ulmorum, ulmus -i = elm tree

umbilicus -i veneris = (Venus's) navelwort, Omphalodes linifolia

ung., unguentum -i = any ointment or unguent, either with the origin or association in the genitive, or with a descriptive adjective

unguentum Agrippae = an ointment containing briony roots, squill, iris root, dwarf elder, oil, and wax; so called because of a supposed association with Herod Agrippa

ung., unguentum -i album = a drying ointment containing olive oil, white wax, and white lead

unguentum Arragon = rosemary, marjoram, thyme, aron and cucumber roots, bay, sage and juniper leaves, etc.; also spelled "Aragon" and "Arregon"

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

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

unguentum -i de calce = ointment of lime; contained slaked lime and rose oil

ung., unguentum -i catapsoras = ointment containing cerussa, calamine, etc., with hog's grease, sublimated mercury, etc.

ung., unguentum -i Comitissae = complex ointment containing many types of bark, berries, and roots boiled in plantaine water, then mixed with yellow wax and several powders; Culpeper terms it "a gallant binding Oyntment, composed neatly by a judicious brain"

unguentum -i dessicativum rubrum = red drying ointment; contains litharge of gold, white lead, calamine, yellow wax, oil of roses, camphor, terra sigillata

ung., unguentum -i diapampholigos = cited by Aristotle, who recommended it for what sounds like diaper rash; contains rose oil, white wax, monkshood juice, white lead, frankincense, etc.

unguentum -i diapompholigos nihili = oil of roses, juice of nightshade, wax, ceruse, lead, pompholix, frankincense; unknown significance of the word nihili, "of nothing" or "worthless"

unguentum Egyptiac., Egyptiacum, Ægyptiacum = ointment containing verdigris, honey, and vinegar

unguentum -i de minio = red lead, litharge, ceruse, tutty, camphor, oil of roses; for treatment of ulcers

unguentum -i nervinum = southernwood, marjoram, mint, pennyroyal, etc., with oils and suet

unguentum -i e nicotiana or nicotianae = tobacco leaves from various species of genus Nicotiana (e.g. N. tabacum and N. rustica), steeped in wine then boiled in hog's grease, with addition of tobacco juice, aristolochia, rosin, new wax; Culpeper thought very highly of it: "It would ask a whole Summers day to write the particular vertues of this ointment, and my poor Genius is too weak to give it the hundredth part of its due praise..."

unguentum -i nutritum = see unguentum triapharmacum, below

unguentum -i ophalmicum = ointment of red mercury; cinnabar, HgS, or calomel, Hg2Cl2; NB distinguish from unguentum ophthalmicum, an ointment for the eyes

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

unguentum populeon or populneum = ointment containing poplar buds, pork fat, and leaves of black poppy, mandrake, madder, henbane, nightshade, etc.

unguentum -i splanchnicum or splenicum = oil of capers and of white lilies, calomel, butter, juice of bryony and sowbread, etc.

unguentum -i triapharmacum = litharge of gold, vinegar, and oil of roses; also called unguentum nutritum

ung., ungula -ae = hoof, claw, talon; ung. caballin. (caballinus -a -um), horse's hoof; vngul. alc. (alces -is), elk hoof

unicornu -us = when termed "at large," described by JW as "either ebonie, hartshorne, or bone of a stagg's heart"

unicornu -us fossile = defined by JW as "Lapis Ceratites," which is a fossilized ammonite, properly "cornu fossile;" if "unicornu," refers to fossil or excavated unicorn; one such having been calcined by order of King Christian IV of Denmark was thought by Thomas Bartholin to be a narwhal horn

unicornu -us solare = solar unicorn, a compound and not an animal; Mynsicht (1662) terms it "efficacissimum & inaccessum remedium;" his ingredients include gold and hazelnuts

unicornu -us minerale = same as unicornu fossile, q.v.

vomitorium -i = something to induce vomiting; an emetic

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

usquebach = whisky (Gaelic)

ustio -onis = cautery; searing, burning

ustus -a -um = burnt (from uro urere, burn, consume by fire)

uter- utra- utrumque, (genitive) utriusque = either, each one, both, the one and the other; e.g., bryoniae utriusque, of both types of bryony, i.e., white and red

uterinus -a -um = uterine; of or pertaining to the uterus

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

vulnerarius -i = describing a medication having curative properties for wounds (vulnus -eris); a vulnerary

vulp., vulpes -is = wolf

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

uvae -arum Corinthiacae = Corinthian, Corinth, or Zante (Zakynthos) currants, raisins of the seedless grape cultivar "Black Corinth," mentioned by Pliny the Elder; distinct from black, red, or white currants from shrubs in the genus Ribes, which are not usually dried

uva -ae crispa rubra = gooseberry, Ribes uva-crispa; rubra, red

uva -ae lupina = monkshood, wolfsbane; Aconitum species, especially A. napellus

uvae quercinae = see under quercinus -a -um, above


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


xyloaloes = see lignum aloes, above


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

zarsa -ae = sarsaparilla, q. v.

zedoar., zedoaria -ae = zedoary, Curcuma zedoaria

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

ziziphus -i = jujube; from Ziziphus species, e.g., Z. jujuba, the tree that produces the edible jujube fruit, resembling a small date

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

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

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

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

🜖 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."

Glossary of Latin terms 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

John Ward Greek alphabet