DIRECTIONS FOR MAKING SYRUPS, &C. 405
THE WAY OF MAKING AND KEEPING ALL NECES¬
Hitherto we have spoken of medicines which con¬
sist in their own nature, which authors vulgarly call
Simples, though something improperly; for in truth,
nothing is simple but pure elements; all things else
are compounded of them. We come now to treat of
the artificial medicines, in the form of which, because
we must begin somewhere, we shall place distilled
waters ; in which consider,
1. Waters are distilled of herbs, of flowers, of fruits,
and of roots.
2. We speak not of strong waters, but of cold, as
being to act Galen's part, and not Paracelsus's.
3 The herbs ought to be distilled when they are
in the greatest vigour, and so ought the flowers also.
4. The vulgar way of distillations which people use
because they know no better, is in a pewter still; and
although distilled waters are the weakest of artificial
medicines, and good for little but mixtures of other
medicines, yet they are weaker by many degrees than
they would be were they distilled in sand. If I thought
it not impossible to teach you the way of distilling in
sand, I would attempt it.
5. When you have distilled your water, put it into
a glass covered over with a paper pricked full of holes,
so that the excrementitious and fiery vapours may
exhale, which cause that settling in distilled waters
called the mother, which corrupt them, then cover it
close and keep it for your use.