Certaine philosophical preparations of foode and beverage for seamen

handwriting in top margin: "5098" and in top right corner: "173".
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Preparations of Foode and Beverage for Sea-men, in their
long voyages: with some necessary, approoved, and Her-
meticall medicine; and Antidotes, fit to be had in readinesse at sea, for prevention or cure of divers diseases.



  1. ANd first for Foode. A cheape, fresh and lasting victuall, called by the name of Macaroni amongst the Italians, and not unlike (save onely in forme) to the Cus-cus in Barbary, may be upon reasonable warning provided in any sufficient quantity, to serve either for change and variety of meat, or in the want of fresh victual. With this, the Author furnished Sir Francis Drake and Sir John Hawkins, in their last voyage.
  2. Any broth or Colase, that will stand cleare and liquid, and not gellie or grow thicke when it is cold, may also be preserved by this fire of Nature from all mouldinesse, sowrenesse, or corruption, to any reasonable period of time that shalbe desired. A necessary secret for all sicke and weake persons at sea, when no fresh meate can be had, to strengthen or comfort them.
  3. Now for Beverage: All the water, which to that purpose shall bee thought needefull to be caried to sea, will bee warranted to last sweete, good, and without any intention to putrefaction, for 2, 3, or 4 yeeres together. This is performed by a Philosophicall fire, being of a sympatheticall nature with all plants and Animals. In the space of one moneth, the Author wil prepare so many Tunnes thereof, as shall be reasonably required at his hands.
  4. By this meanes also both Wine, Perrie, Sider, Beere, Ale, and Vineger, may be safely kept at sea, for any long voyage, without feare of growing dead, sowre or mustie.
  5. And, as for Medicine, if any Nobleman, Gentleman, or Merchant, shall by his Physition be advised to cary any speciall distilled waters, decoctions, or juyces of any plant or any other liquid vegetable or animall body whatsoever with him in any long voyage, this Author will so prepare the same onely by fortifying it with his owne fire of kinde, that he may be assured of the lasting and durabilitie thereof, even at his owne pleasure.
  6. Here I may not omit the preparation of the juice of Limons with this fire: Because it hath of late been found by that worthy Knight Sir James Lancaster to be an assured remedy in the Scurby. And though their juice will, by naturall working and fermenting, in the end so spiritualize it selfe, as that it will keepe and last either simply of it selfe, or by the help of a sweete olive oyle supernatant: yet this Author is not ignorant, that it hath lost much of his first manifest nature, which it had whilest it was conteined within his owne pulp and fruit: (as is evident in the like example of wine, after it hath wrought long, which differeth exceedingly both in taste and nature from the grape out of which it was expressed) whereas being strengthened with this philosophicall fire, it retaineth still both the naturall taste, race, and verdure, that it had in the first expression: and so likewise of the Orange.
  7. There is also a specificall powder for Agues Quotidian, and Tertian: and sometimes it helpeth Quartans. Halfe a dramme is sufficient for a man: and a quarter of a dramme for a child. It is taken in white Wine<,> Beere, or Ale. It cureth sometimes at the first taking, often at the second, and seldome or never faileth at the third time. It is not offensive to the taste. It expelleth the disease, without any evacuation or weakening of the Patient.
  8. A sweete Paste, for the head-ache: which commonly giveth ease, in one houres space, either upon the first or second taking, because it is specificall. The dose is the weight of 6[?]. d.
  9. A safe, general & gentle purging Powder, to be taken in white wine, working easily without any convulsion, or other offence to the stomacke. It is pleasant, and hath not any common or knowen purgative therein. It weakeneth not the Patient, neither doeth the body grow costive after it: which is usuall in most of the common purgatives. There have been so many trials made upon all sorts of complexions with this powder, as that it may well deserve the name of a generall purge: yet I can least commend it in Cholericke bodies. The dose is two drammes and an halfe at a time. This being taken in warme weather for three dayes together, in the Spring and Fall, will prevent both the Gowte and Dropsie, and most of Handwritten note: "goute" with ⁁ above the 'u'. Hand-drawn line linking the word to the printed text. those diseases that spring from rheumaticke causes: and if it cure them in eight or ten dayes, take it for advantage. It cureth the Pockes newly taken in five or sixe dayes: and in tenne or twelve dayes, at the most, it cureth a deepe rooted Pocke.
  10. And if the plague, burning feaver, or small Pockes, or Meazels happen to infect any of the Souldiers or Mariners, or others in the ship: then if, within sixe or eight houres after infection, a dose of my Antidotary powder (whereof eight graines are sufficient) be taken, it commonly preventeth the rage and violence of the Plague, by mastering the poyson, seldome suffering any sore to arise: and it disperseth and conquereth the matter of the small Pockes and Meazels: whereby in a few houres it vanisheth, without making the Patient heart-sicke. And, in the cure of any kind of poyson, no Unicornes horne, no Bezoar stone, no Terra Lemnia or Sigillata, no Mithridate etc. is able to match the same, though taken in a double proportion. It is an excellent remedie against swooning, or any sodaine passion of the heart.
  11. There is also a medicine, which I will commend for the sea (being a notable astringent powder) which stayeth any flux of blood in a short time, and often cureth the Piles and Emerhoides.
  12. The Essences of spices and floures (as of Cinnamom, Cloves, Mace, Nutmegs, Rosemary, Sage, etc ) being in the forme of powders, may with lesse danger be caried at sea, are more apt to be mixed and incorporated with Syrupes, Juleps or Conserves, are more pleasing to nature, and are more familiarly taken, and with better successe then the chymicall oyles themselves, drawen by limbecke: their effects are answerable to the nature of the oyles.

Thus much I am bold to offer and publish for the benefit of seafaring men, who for the most part are destitute both of learned Physitions and skilfull Apothecaries: and therefore have more neede then others to cary their owne defensatives and medicines about them. Which if it shall receive enterteinement according to the worth thereof and my just expectation, I may happily be encouraged to prie a little further into Natures Cabinet, and so to disperse some of her most secret Jewels, which she hath long time so carefully kept, onely for the use of her dearest children: otherwise, finding no speedy or good acceptance of this my proffer (but rather crossed by malice or incredulity) I doe here free and enlarge my selfe from mine owne fetters: purposing to content my spirits, with such private and pleasing practises, as may better sort with my place and dignitie, and in likelyhood proove also more profitable in the ende, then if I had thankelesly devoted my selfe to Bonum Publicum. In which course, happy men are sometimes rewarded with good words: but few or none, in these dayes, with any reall recompense.

Ut Deus per Naturam, sic Natura per ignem Philosophicum.
This is the full version of the original text


cheap, flour, fresh, sick, victuals, voyage

Source text

Title: CERTAINE PHILOSOPHICAL Preparations of Foode and Beverage for Seamen, in their long voyages: with some necessary, approoved, and Her- meticall medicine; and Antidotes, fit to be had in readinesse at sea, for prevention or cure of divers diseases.

Author: Hugh Platt

Publisher: H. Lownes

Publication date: 1607

Edition: 2nd Edition

Place of publication: London

Provenance/location: This text was transcribed from images available at Early English Books Online: http://eebo.chadwyck.com/home Bibliographic name / number: STC (2nd ed.) / 19977.3 Physical description: 1 sheet ([1] p.). Copy from: Wellcome Institute for the History of Medicine. Library Reel position: STC / 2101:10

Digital edition

Original author(s): Hugh Platt

Language: English

Selection used:

  • 1 ) whole


Texts collected by: Ayesha Mukherjee, Amlan Das Gupta, Azarmi Dukht Safavi

Texts transcribed by: Muhammad Irshad Alam, Bonisha Bhattacharya, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Muhammad Ehteshamuddin, Kahkashan Khalil, Sarbajit Mitra

Texts encoded by: Bonisha Bhattacharya, Shreya Bose, Lucy Corley, Kinshuk Das, Bedbyas Datta, Arshdeep Singh Brar, Sarbajit Mitra, Josh Monk, Reesoom Pal

Encoding checking by: Hannah Petrie, Gary Stringer, Charlotte Tupman

Genre: Britain > manuals and guides

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