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Medical treatments

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  • ladymorwenna
    Greetings all, I ve been pondering medival medical treatments and the effectiveness (or not) of them. WARNING: the following might be slightly gross and TMI. I
    Message 1 of 27 , Jun 30, 2004
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      Greetings all,

      I've been pondering medival medical treatments and the effectiveness
      (or not) of them.

      WARNING: the following might be slightly gross and TMI.

      I have an infected sore on one leg and the doctor has decided not to
      prescribe antibiotics because I was on a massive course of them
      (including the hot new anthrax drug, lucky me) early in the year. To
      fight the infection with drugs would involve unpleasant side-effect
      and probably future resistance to the drug.

      So what was I to do? Vinegar. Apparently the bacteria doesn't like an
      acid environment, so I was prescribed vinegar compresses.

      I think it's even working, albeit slowly.

      So this got me thinking about medieval (or medieval sounding) remedies
      that actually work. Anyone know any?

      And if you can think of other ways to draw out an infection, I'd love
      to know.

      Painfully yours,
      Morwenna
    • aheilvei
      ... love to know. ... My grandmother always used this stuff called black salve and that s what it was.. a salve that was black as midnight. It was sometimes
      Message 2 of 27 , Jun 30, 2004
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        > And if you can think of other ways to draw out an infection, I'd
        love to know.
        >
        >

        My grandmother always used this stuff called 'black salve' and
        that's what it was.. a salve that was black as midnight. It was
        sometimes called 'drawing salve' because it drew out infection as
        well as particles that may have been caught in the skin (bits of
        dirt that got deeply into a scratch and caused it to be infected, or
        splinters). I honestly would love to know the make up of this salve
        to have some on hand because it was pure *magic* within 48 hours of
        putting this stuff on (and keeping it on) nearly all infection and
        such was always gone from a wound.

        On the period front, Mistress Iasmine of the Middle Kingdom would be
        the person I would speak with on the topic of medicines and herbals.
        She knows more great period 'cures' than I can even imagine. You can
        find her email on the Middle Kingdom Laurel website (available off
        of the Middle Kingdom main webpage) or the Barony of Roaring Wastes
        website, as she is Baroness of that territory. Let us know what she
        gives you for 'cures'. (She's also one of the most gracious and kind
        people I've ever had the honor to call friend.)

        Smiles,
        Despina
      • Lady_Lark_Azure
        ... love ... When a nasty scrape got really infected when I was a kid, hot compresses drew the gunk to the surface and I then cleaned it with peroxide and
        Message 3 of 27 , Jun 30, 2004
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          > And if you can think of other ways to draw out an infection, I'd
          love
          > to know.

          When a nasty scrape got really infected when I was a kid, hot
          compresses drew the gunk to the surface and I then cleaned it with
          peroxide and covered it with Neosporin. Not period, but effective.

          Isabeau
        • Lyle H. Gray
          ... Search for black salve on www.google.com -- I found a number of references for it, including cross-references with Balm of Gilead and Bloodroot. -- Lyle
          Message 4 of 27 , Jun 30, 2004
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            On Wed, 30 Jun 2004, aheilvei wrote:

            > My grandmother always used this stuff called 'black salve'
            > and that's what it was.. a salve that was black as midnight.
            > It was sometimes called 'drawing salve' because it drew out
            > infection as well as particles that may have been caught in
            > the skin (bits of dirt that got deeply into a scratch and
            > caused it to be infected, or splinters). I honestly would
            > love to know the make up of this salve to have some on hand
            > because it was pure *magic* within 48 hours of putting this
            > stuff on (and keeping it on) nearly all infection and such
            > was always gone from a wound.

            Search for "black salve" on www.google.com -- I found a number of
            references for it, including cross-references with Balm of Gilead
            and Bloodroot.

            --
            Lyle H. Gray
            gray@... -- text only, please
            http://members.verizon.net/~vze3wwx7
            --
            Shared knowledge is preserved knowledge.
          • aheilvei
            ... I hadn t thought of that... and with all the googling I do! I d be interested in the cross references too - thanks for the great lead.
            Message 5 of 27 , Jun 30, 2004
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              > Search for "black salve" on www.google.com -- I found a number of
              > references for it, including cross-references with Balm of Gilead
              > and Bloodroot.
              >
              > --
              >

              <smacks forehead> I hadn't thought of that... and with all the
              googling I do! I'd be interested in the cross references too -
              thanks for the great lead.

              Smiles,
              Despina
            • Marion McNealy
              If you do a Google on black salve, you ll find several websites selling the stuff, along with testimonials and contents. Looks like it goes back about 150
              Message 6 of 27 , Jun 30, 2004
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                If you do a Google on black salve, you'll find several websites selling the stuff, along with testimonials and contents. Looks like it goes back about 150 years and is an alternative treatment for skin cancer, moles and all sorts of things.

                -Marion

                aheilvei <aheilvei@...> wrote:

                My grandmother always used this stuff called 'black salve' and
                that's what it was.. a salve that was black as midnight. It was
                sometimes called 'drawing salve' because it drew out infection as
                well as particles that may have been caught in the skin (bits of
                dirt that got deeply into a scratch and caused it to be infected, or
                splinters). I honestly would love to know the make up of this salve
                to have some on hand because it was pure *magic* within 48 hours of
                putting this stuff on (and keeping it on) nearly all infection and
                such was always gone from a wound.

                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • pandoraf@verizon.net
                what about soaking in Epsom salts? in water hot as you can stand it for 15 minutes or so, a couple times a day - it will draw out any particles that are in the
                Message 7 of 27 , Jun 30, 2004
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                  what about soaking in Epsom salts? in water hot as you can stand it for 15 minutes or so, a couple times a day - it will draw out any particles that are in the wound, and also help disinfect, I think.

                  (not period, but it's what I did when I stepped on a rusty nail as a kid, and for various other scrapes/abrasions that were infected or threatened to be. )

                  Crìnòc Triall
                  Barony of Aquaterra
                • msgilliandurham
                  ... honestly would love to know the make up of this salve ... Is this it? http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/prdSell.asp?ProdGroupID=26915 Hope this helps --
                  Message 8 of 27 , Jun 30, 2004
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                    --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "aheilvei" <aheilvei@u...>
                    wrote:
                    > My grandmother always used this stuff called 'black salve' and
                    > that's what it was.. a salve that was black as midnight. [...] I
                    honestly would love to know the make up of this salve
                    > to have some on hand because it was pure *magic* within 48 hours of
                    > putting this stuff on (and keeping it on) nearly all infection and
                    > such was always gone from a wound.

                    Is this it?

                    http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/prdSell.asp?ProdGroupID=26915

                    Hope this helps -- Gillian
                  • aheilvei
                    ... That might be it. LOL! I m going to have the pervect presents for my sisters birthdays and holidays this year since I m going to wind up ordering several
                    Message 9 of 27 , Jun 30, 2004
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                      > Is this it?
                      >
                      > http://www.vermontcountrystore.com/prdSell.asp?ProdGroupID=26915
                      >
                      > Hope this helps -- Gillian

                      That might be it. LOL! I'm going to have the pervect presents for
                      my sisters birthdays and holidays this year since I'm going to wind
                      up ordering several variations of black salve. We've all been
                      looking for it for years. This is great - thanks everyone.

                      Smiles,
                      Despina
                    • ladymorwenna
                      ... That s what I had been doing, in addition to the vinegar compresses. It helped a great deal, up to a point. As it turns out, no sooner had I posted this
                      Message 10 of 27 , Jun 30, 2004
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                        > When a nasty scrape got really infected when I was a kid, hot
                        > compresses drew the gunk to the surface and I then cleaned it with
                        > peroxide and covered it with Neosporin. Not period, but effective.
                        >
                        > Isabeau

                        That's what I had been doing, in addition to the vinegar compresses.
                        It helped a great deal, up to a point.

                        As it turns out, no sooner had I posted this than my doctor called and
                        wants to start me on antibiotics after all.

                        Now, to turn this back to something back to something medieval.

                        A cure for rickets (vitimin D deficiency) was May butter, made by
                        putting butter out in the spring sunshine. Apparently the butter
                        absorbs vitamin D from the sunlight. Other herbs and stuff could be
                        mixed into the butter, but I don't know if that helped, hindered or
                        neither.

                        --Morwenna
                      • Lyle H. Gray
                        ... Doesn t butter already have vitamin D in it? Lyle -- Lyle H. Gray gray@cs.umass.edu -- text only, please http://members.verizon.net/~vze3wwx7 -- Shared
                        Message 11 of 27 , Jun 30, 2004
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                          On Wed, 30 Jun 2004, ladymorwenna wrote:

                          > A cure for rickets (vitimin D deficiency) was May butter,
                          > made by putting butter out in the spring sunshine. Apparently
                          > the butter absorbs vitamin D from the sunlight. Other herbs
                          > and stuff could be mixed into the butter, but I don't know if
                          > that helped, hindered or neither.

                          Doesn't butter already have vitamin D in it?

                          Lyle

                          --
                          Lyle H. Gray
                          gray@... -- text only, please
                          http://members.verizon.net/~vze3wwx7
                          --
                          Shared knowledge is preserved knowledge.
                        • Darcellena Hartmann
                          Regarding black salve , I don t know if it s the same substance as what you referred to, but there is presently on the market in America something called
                          Message 12 of 27 , Jun 30, 2004
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                            Regarding "black salve", I don't know if it's the same substance as what you
                            referred to, but there is presently on the market in America something
                            called "Boil Ease" that is supposed to draw boils. It's a very dark salve.
                            I'm pretty sure that this is the correct name.

                            Of course, I don't know if it would work for your sore and I'm not a doctor.
                            I'd suggest asking either your doctor or at least maybe the pharmacist if it
                            would be appropriate for your purposes.

                            Darcellena

                            ----- Original Message -----
                            To: <Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com>
                            Sent: Wednesday, June 30, 2004 11:44 AM
                            Subject: [Authentic_SCA] Re: Medical treatments


                            > My grandmother always used this stuff called 'black salve' and
                            > that's what it was.. a salve that was black as midnight. It was
                            > sometimes called 'drawing salve' because it drew out infection as
                            > well as particles that may have been caught in the skin (bits of
                            > dirt that got deeply into a scratch and caused it to be infected, or
                            > splinters).

                            (snip)
                          • wodeford
                            ... or ... This sounds like icthammol ointment, which looks like tar. I used to use it on my horse. It was great for tick bites when you thought the head was
                            Message 13 of 27 , Jun 30, 2004
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                              --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "aheilvei" <aheilvei@u...>
                              wrote:
                              > My grandmother always used this stuff called 'black salve' and
                              > that's what it was.. a salve that was black as midnight. It was
                              > sometimes called 'drawing salve' because it drew out infection as
                              > well as particles that may have been caught in the skin (bits of
                              > dirt that got deeply into a scratch and caused it to be infected,
                              or
                              > splinters).

                              This sounds like icthammol ointment, which looks like tar. I used to
                              use it on my horse. It was great for tick bites when you thought the
                              head was still in the wound, splinters, etc.

                              Jehanne
                            • faena0216
                              Butter contains true vitamin A or retinol, vitamin D, vitamin K and vitamin E as well as all their naturally occurring cofactors needed to obtain maximum
                              Message 14 of 27 , Jun 30, 2004
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                                Butter contains "true vitamin A or retinol, vitamin D, vitamin K and
                                vitamin E as well as all their naturally occurring cofactors needed
                                to obtain maximum effect. Butter is America's best source of these
                                important nutrients. In fact, vitamin A is more easily absorbed and
                                utilized from butter than from other sources" from Nutr Week, Mar 22,
                                1991, 21:12:2-3

                                The best butter in terms of nutrition is that obtained from cattle
                                allowed to graze at will on pasture. the butter is extreamly yellow
                                in this case, not the near white we see in modern commercial
                                varieties. So the medieval population had much better nutrition,
                                actually, than we do.

                                I hold that many of the ills of today are caused by our poor eating
                                habbits, and from processed foods. Afterall, laborers worked from sun
                                up to sun down in the Medieval period, doing repetitive tasks, and
                                carpel tunnel syndrom is a new pehenomenon as are other ills.
                                Weavers, especially, do repetitive work (throwing the shuttle for
                                hours on end) and we hear about Weaver's Bottom but not any other
                                ailments.

                                Nancy M McKenna
                              • wulfy95113
                                One more thing that helps with infections is to increase your consumption of freindly bacteria (Acidolpholus, etc). Eating lots of live culture yogurt can
                                Message 15 of 27 , Jun 30, 2004
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                                  One more thing that helps with infections is to increase your
                                  consumption of "freindly bacteria" (Acidolpholus, etc). Eating lots
                                  of "live culture yogurt" can do this, as well as taking various pills
                                  & such available at Health Food Stores.

                                  Yogurt was used "medicinally" during our period, AKAIK. Of course,
                                  they didn't know about the bacteria, etc.

                                  Wulfy
                                • Christopher Bogs
                                  ... Aye, but throwing a shuttle and doing other types of medieval labour creates a very different repetetive motion than the sorts of tasks (namely typing)
                                  Message 16 of 27 , Jun 30, 2004
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                                    >I hold that many of the ills of today are caused by our poor eating
                                    >habbits, and from processed foods. Afterall, laborers worked from sun
                                    >up to sun down in the Medieval period, doing repetitive tasks, and
                                    >carpel tunnel syndrom is a new pehenomenon as are other ills.
                                    >Weavers, especially, do repetitive work (throwing the shuttle for
                                    >hours on end) and we hear about Weaver's Bottom but not any other
                                    >ailments.

                                    Aye, but throwing a shuttle and doing other types of medieval labour creates
                                    a very different repetetive motion than the sorts of tasks (namely typing)
                                    that are the cause of today's RSIs like Carpal Tunnel. I don't think the
                                    wrist is involved nearly as much as the rest of the arm in throwing a
                                    shuttle, for example...

                                    Just an alternate reason why we might see the emergence of these ills after
                                    our period.

                                    Yrs.,
                                    Christoph
                                    ----------------------------------------
                                    Christopher Bogs | Christopher Jameson
                                    Philadelphia, PA | Barony of Bhakail, EK
                                    ----------------------------------------
                                    Don't tell my parents I'm in the SCA --
                                    They think I'm running guns for a biker gang.
                                  • ladymorwenna
                                    ... I d never heard of that ailment before and I was in A Midsummer Night s Dream! Consider the day lost in which you learn nothing, as my Latin teacher used
                                    Message 17 of 27 , Jun 30, 2004
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                                      > Weavers, especially, do repetitive work (throwing the shuttle for
                                      > hours on end) and we hear about Weaver's Bottom but not any other
                                      > ailments.
                                      >
                                      > Nancy M McKenna

                                      I'd never heard of that ailment before and I was in A Midsummer
                                      Night's Dream! Consider the day lost in which you learn nothing, as my
                                      Latin teacher used to say.

                                      --Morwenna
                                      Played Titania, never got the joke
                                    • Cynthia J Ley
                                      ... Tried a warm soak in epsom salts? Arlys ________________________________________________________________ The best thing to hit the Internet in years - Juno
                                      Message 18 of 27 , Jun 30, 2004
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                                        On Wed, 30 Jun 2004 15:44:01 -0000 "aheilvei" <aheilvei@...> writes:
                                        >
                                        > > And if you can think of other ways to draw out an infection, I'd
                                        > love to know.

                                        Tried a warm soak in epsom salts?

                                        Arlys

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                                      • Kareina Talvi Tytär
                                        ... [snip] Thank you! Ever since I moved to the Barony of Ynys Fawr in Lochac (Tasmania, Australia), I ve been wondering why the butter there is so very
                                        Message 19 of 27 , Jun 30, 2004
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                                          At 12:50 PM 6/30/04, Nancy M McKenna wrote:
                                          >[snip]
                                          >The best butter in terms of nutrition is that obtained from cattle
                                          >allowed to graze at will on pasture. the butter is extreamly yellow
                                          >in this case, not the near white we see in modern commercial
                                          >varieties. So the medieval population had much better nutrition,
                                          >actually, than we do.
                                          [snip]

                                          Thank you! Ever since I moved to the Barony of Ynys Fawr in Lochac
                                          (Tasmania, Australia), I've been wondering why the butter there is so very
                                          different from what I was used to in the US. Their butter is a fairly dark
                                          yellow and has a different texture--it doesn't get as soft when left at
                                          room temperature. Since one sees both cows and sheep grazing free all over
                                          the state, I suspect that your explanation is the heart of the difference!

                                          --Kareina

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                                        • wulfy95113
                                          They found some serious deformities in the skeletons of English Longbowmen... And you may have a point that many of our illnesses today are caused by poor
                                          Message 20 of 27 , Jun 30, 2004
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                                            They found some serious deformities in the skeletons of English
                                            Longbowmen...

                                            And you may have a point that many of our illnesses today are caused
                                            by poor eating, lack of exercise, etc- but that's only becuase we're
                                            not living long enough to get hit with them. Cancer killed few in
                                            the Middle ages- becuase few lived long enough for it to hit them.

                                            Wulfy

                                            --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "Christopher Bogs" <cbogs@p...>
                                            wrote:
                                            > >I hold that many of the ills of today are caused by our poor
                                            eating
                                            > >habbits, and from processed foods. Afterall, laborers worked from
                                            sun
                                            > >up to sun down in the Medieval period, doing repetitive tasks, and
                                            > >carpel tunnel syndrom is a new pehenomenon as are other ills.
                                            > >Weavers, especially, do repetitive work (throwing the shuttle for
                                            > >hours on end) and we hear about Weaver's Bottom but not any other
                                            > >ailments.
                                            >
                                            > Just an alternate reason why we might see the emergence of these
                                            ills after
                                            > our period.
                                            >
                                            >
                                          • wulfy95113
                                            Sigh- corrected below- not not but now - changes the meaning entirely. ... caused ... we re ... in
                                            Message 21 of 27 , Jun 30, 2004
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                                              Sigh- corrected below- not "not" but "now"- changes the meaning
                                              entirely.

                                              --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, "wulfy95113" <wulfstand@s...>
                                              wrote:
                                              > They found some serious deformities in the skeletons of English
                                              > Longbowmen...
                                              >
                                              > And you may have a point that many of our illnesses today are
                                              caused
                                              > by poor eating, lack of exercise, etc- but that's only becuase
                                              we're
                                              > *now* living long enough to get hit with them. Cancer killed few
                                              in
                                              > the Middle ages- becuase few lived long enough for it to hit them.
                                              >
                                              > Wulfy
                                              >
                                              >
                                            • Mary Taran
                                              ... Carpal Tunnel isn t the only RSI out there. I ve developed what would be tennis elbow in my off-arm, if I played tennis, which I don t. The only thing we
                                              Message 22 of 27 , Jun 30, 2004
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                                                At 11:32 AM 6/30/2004, you wrote:
                                                >Aye, but throwing a shuttle and doing other types of medieval labour creates
                                                >a very different repetetive motion than the sorts of tasks (namely typing)
                                                >that are the cause of today's RSIs like Carpal Tunnel. I don't think the
                                                >wrist is involved nearly as much as the rest of the arm in throwing a
                                                >shuttle, for example...
                                                >
                                                >Just an alternate reason why we might see the emergence of these ills after
                                                >our period.

                                                Carpal Tunnel isn't the only RSI out there. I've developed what would be
                                                tennis elbow in my off-arm, if I played tennis, which I don't. The only
                                                thing we can figure out is that I grip and pull with my left arm large
                                                amounts of heavy fabric when I sew. For the time being, we're calling it
                                                "seamstress' elbow"!

                                                Mary Taran

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                                              • Cynthia J Ley
                                                US butters will sometimes have color additives. Arlys On Wed, 30 Jun 2004 14:24:53 -0700 Kareina Talvi =?iso-8859-1?Q?Tyt=E4r?= ...
                                                Message 23 of 27 , Jun 30, 2004
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                                                  US butters will sometimes have color additives.

                                                  Arlys

                                                  On Wed, 30 Jun 2004 14:24:53 -0700 Kareina Talvi =?iso-8859-1?Q?Tyt=E4r?=
                                                  <kareina@...> writes:
                                                  > At 12:50 PM 6/30/04, Nancy M McKenna wrote:
                                                  > >[snip]
                                                  > >The best butter in terms of nutrition is that obtained from cattle
                                                  > >allowed to graze at will on pasture. the butter is extreamly yellow
                                                  > >in this case, not the near white we see in modern commercial
                                                  > >varieties. So the medieval population had much better nutrition,
                                                  > >actually, than we do.


                                                  ________________________________________________________________
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                                                • bex_1014
                                                  Hello: I have heard that honey was used in medieval times to treat cuts, sores etc. It is also used today:
                                                  Message 24 of 27 , Jun 30, 2004
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                                                    Hello:
                                                    I have heard that honey was used in medieval times to treat cuts,
                                                    sores etc. It is also used today:
                                                    http://www.worldwidewounds.com/2001/november/Molan/honey-as-topical-
                                                    agent.html
                                                    (Hope that link comes through.)
                                                    Regards,
                                                    Rebecca
                                                  • bex_1014
                                                    Hi: Butter contains Vitamin D, and humans manufacture Vitamin D when exposed to sunlight on the skin. So putting butter out into sunshine would increase your
                                                    Message 25 of 27 , Jun 30, 2004
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                                                      Hi:
                                                      Butter contains Vitamin D, and humans manufacture Vitamin D when
                                                      exposed to sunlight on the skin. So putting butter out into sunshine
                                                      would increase your Vitamin D levels, especially if you also ate the
                                                      butter, but the butter isn't absorbing D from sunlight. Sunlight is
                                                      just energy. :-)
                                                      Also, the nutrient content of butter in May would be better since the
                                                      cows would be grazing on fresh pasture, not months-old hay.
                                                      And if that doesn't work, take some cod liver oil... :-P
                                                      Rebecca


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                                                    • Tiffany Brown / Lady Teffania Tukerton
                                                      ... So do some australian butters, but thankfully not many. You can get a difference in colour and taste of the butter within the variety of brands available
                                                      Message 26 of 27 , Jun 30, 2004
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                                                        --- In Authentic_SCA@yahoogroups.com, Cynthia J Ley <cley@j...> wrote:
                                                        > US butters will sometimes have color additives.

                                                        So do some australian butters, but thankfully not many.

                                                        You can get a difference in colour and taste of the butter within the
                                                        variety of brands available in austalia. Some have "stong" tastes,
                                                        others especially "danish style" are much milder. I suspect there are
                                                        minor variations in the way butter can be processed and also in the
                                                        fat content of the butter (our butter gets more yellow as it tends
                                                        toward rancid).

                                                        We have a few butters that are specially designed to be soft at the
                                                        temperature of the fridge, which may be the norm in america. I think
                                                        traditional (ie 1900) english behavour was to leave some butter out on
                                                        the bench, but that really doesn't work on 30C days. (hence slightly
                                                        warmer butter compartments in refrigerators)

                                                        Besides that, pasture types can definately change dairy products - we
                                                        can taste when the capeweed is in bloom, even in fairly processed
                                                        butters and milks.

                                                        By the way Kareina - investigate copha (clear almost tasteless
                                                        shortening from coconut oil)- I hear it's something you can't get
                                                        outside australia (no chocolate crackles :-( ). Not period, but fun.

                                                        So anyone an expert on medieval butter?


                                                        Teffania
                                                        (krae glas, lochac/Melbourne Austalia)

                                                        Who is horrified to think there are dairy cows out there who don't
                                                        have a nice big paddock to graze around in. I thought the sad
                                                        american grain fed beef phenomenon was only for meat cows.
                                                      • Hasoferet@aol.com
                                                        In a message dated 6/30/04 11:46:26 PM, tbro3@student.monash.edu.au writes:
                                                        Message 27 of 27 , Jul 1, 2004
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                                                          In a message dated 6/30/04 11:46:26 PM, tbro3@... writes:

                                                          << I think

                                                          traditional (ie 1900) english behavour was to leave some butter out on

                                                          the bench, but that really doesn't work on 30C days. (hence slightly

                                                          warmer butter compartments in refrigerators) >>

                                                          They still do in England, but I was born in Los Angeles, and assume that
                                                          anything left on the counter will start rotting in a minute...

                                                          Raquel

                                                          +____________________________________+
                                                          Do not beg. Do not refuse. Preserve. Bestow.

                                                          --Colman mac Beognae, 'The Alphabet of Devotion
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