[Sca-cooks] Medieval questionaire / tisane and tea

emilio szabo emilio_szabo at yahoo.it
Sun Oct 28 19:11:27 PDT 2007

In her commentary to that point the author of the Quiz stated that she was thinking of
Chinese tea as being non-medieval.

As for boiling herbal ingredients in water, this was common practice long before the Middle Ages and still during the Middle Ages. However, in the first place, this practice was part of the use of Materia medica. The Middle English Macer on Wermode: "This herbe comforti(th) and strenghi(th) (th)e stomak in what-so-euere wyse a man take it. But betere is it (th)er-to, (3)if (th)ou sethe it in rayn-water and lay it a-colde (th)er-oute and ofte drinke it in (th) is wise. It helpi(th) diuerse sikenesses of (th)e stomak".

There are many decoctions of this kind in water, vinegar, wine, milk and other things. They are curative medicines. Anybody came across drinks of boiled herbal ingredients in regimen sanitatis sources? They would indicate that these drinks were possibly much nearer to everyday customs.

<< While we moderns call a tea any dried herb steeped in water, in the MA such a beasty 
was often called a tissane. >>

Could you provide a few examples, please? I did not find such examples for English so far.


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