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[SCA-Herbalist] A&S ideas

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  • Jennifer Moore
    A&S is coming up and I m scrambling to find unique items to make. There aren t many people in my area that have anything to do with herbs, so I m looking to
    Message 1 of 8 , Mar 25, 2003
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      A&S is coming up and I'm scrambling to find unique items to make. There
      aren't many people in my area that have anything to do with herbs, so I'm
      looking to find something that will hopefully awe them and get some
      interested in working with herbs.

      I thought maybe I would try a period lip balm? (only problem is I have no
      sources)

      Does anyone have ideas of things I could make that would get more people
      interested? Websites you can point me to?

      Any ideas at all?

      Harley
    • Jennifer Heise
      ... Bear in mind that this is for an A&S (competition or display). ... Do you have any sources for period infusion mixes? ... [snip] ... Your Grace, not to
      Message 2 of 8 , Mar 25, 2003
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        > > A&S is coming up and I'm scrambling to find unique items to make. There
        > > aren't many people in my area that have anything to do with herbs, so I'm
        > > looking to find something that will hopefully awe them and get some
        > > interested in working with herbs.


        Bear in mind that this is for an A&S (competition or display).

        > Commercially I would guess that more herbs are sold as teas than anything
        > else. (Look at Celestial Seasonings!) You might try some yummy tea mixes.

        Do you have any sources for period infusion mixes?

        > The only thing I make that people are eager to get their hands on you can't
        > make right now and that's jewel weed ointment- which really does counteract
        > poison ivy.
        > Think about what people actually buy a lot of: OTC medications.

        [snip]


        > Making people what they'd want to use anyway is a lot more useful than
        > coming up with something period that no one wants anyway.

        Your Grace, not to raise a disagreement with you, but this list and also
        most A&S competetions are focused on PERIOD uses, rather than merely OTC
        ones.

        Entering a non-period item in an A&S competition or display isn't really
        going to either impress the arts community or get people excited about
        period uses... ;)

        Also, I've found that entering first-aid or even cosmetic applications
        in A&S competitions and/or displays generally doesn't impress people.
        Cool-looking stuff and/or stuff they can taste/try seems to get a better
        response.

        There are a number of period sources for cosmetic and other recipes,
        including the _Trotula_ (there's a new edition by Monica Green), Gervase
        Markham's _English Housewife_ , Plat's _Delightes for Ladies_, the
        _Manual de Mugeres_ and Porta's _Natural Magick_

        An Online translation of the Manual de Mugeres by Karen Larsdatter is at:
        http://www.geocities.com/karen_larsdatter/manual.htm

        Natural Magick: is online
        http://members.tscnet.com/pages/omard1/jportat5.html

        There's also some cosmetics in the _Elixirs of Nostradamus_ but I would
        use that with caution.
      • jenne@fiedlerfamily.net
        ... Depends, I guess. I m going to be judging an A&S competition in the East Kingdom this weekend, and I can assure you that presentation is a very small
        Message 3 of 8 , Mar 25, 2003
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          > > Bear in mind that this is for an A&S (competition or display).
          > What that means is you need to find impressive period containers. A whole
          > another discipline which improves effect, but not the product.

          Depends, I guess. I'm going to be judging an A&S competition in the East
          Kingdom this weekend, and I can assure you that presentation is a very
          small amount of what we judge on, while it's important to document that
          something is either from a period recipe or a combination whose
          ingredients and method can be documented from period.

          > > Do you have any sources for period infusion mixes?
          > No- I don't think they generally made recipes for them except medicinally- I
          > generally mix up herbs depending on the taste and symptoms of the recipient.
          > Documentation would consist of- "they had this at this period and place, and
          > used it for this..." Not what I'd call a recipe.

          That's been my experience too. If I was doing an infusion, I would
          document infusions in general, then non-simple infusions
          [multiple-ingredient infusions], then document the ingredients, then
          suggest that they could be used in combination.

          > > Your Grace, not to raise a disagreement with you, but this list and also
          > > most A&S competetions are focused on PERIOD uses, rather than merely OTC
          > > ones.
          > Oh yes, of course, but I do tend to want something useful- so that's the way
          > my advice runs. If you want, I'm sure we could find lots of recipes for
          > cosmetics with white and red lead- but would you really want to invest the
          > time and energy to make such a period product when you knew that it would
          > never be used? Personally I love making period products that are useful.

          But there are many period recipes that do not contain white lead or other
          dangerous ingredients. That's the important part to know and understand.
          There have been a lot of rumors running around to the tune of "all period
          herbal recipes contain dangerous ingredients or impossible to find ones"
          and it's just not true.

          (I'm entering a selection of period mouthwashes & dentrifices in the
          Science category of the same competition. All of them are perfectly
          harmless.)

          > > Cool-looking stuff and/or stuff they can taste/try seems to get a better
          > > response.
          > On the tea I was thinking of a packet of the herbal mix- with a pot of tea
          > made up for the judges to taste. (who cares what the mix looks like!) Once
          > again, finding a nice infusing cup and a period storage/display container
          > becomes part of the entry. As for cosmetics- hand cream could be something
          > they could try. Or if you put a mirror with the cosmetic... We keep getting
          > back to display don't we?

          Brighid ni Chairain did a hand-cream for one of the displays in the East.
          Most of the hand-creams that are period, though, seem to use animal fat as
          the base, which modern people have trouble with.

          -- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa jenne@...
          "The tumult and the shouting dies/The captains and the kings depart
          Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice/An humble and a contrite heart."
          -- Rudyard Kipling, Recessional
        • Alywn
          It does differ from Kingdom to Kingdom. Middle judges more heavily than East on display type things. Ava ... If you have built castles in the air, your work
          Message 4 of 8 , Mar 25, 2003
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            It does differ from Kingdom to Kingdom. Middle judges more heavily than East on display type things.
            Ava

            >> > Bear in mind that this is for an A&S (competition or display).
            >> What that means is you need to find impressive period containers. A whole
            >> another discipline which improves effect, but not the product.
            >
            >Depends, I guess. I'm going to be judging an A&S competition in the East
            >Kingdom this weekend, and I can assure you that presentation is a very
            >small amount of what we judge on, while it's important to document that
            >something is either from a period recipe or a combination whose
            >ingredients and method can be documented from period.
            >
            >> > Do you have any sources for period infusion mixes?
            >> No- I don't think they generally made recipes for them except medicinally- I
            >> generally mix up herbs depending on the taste and symptoms of the recipient.
            >> Documentation would consist of- "they had this at this period and place, and
            >> used it for this..." Not what I'd call a recipe.
            >
            >That's been my experience too. If I was doing an infusion, I would
            >document infusions in general, then non-simple infusions
            >[multiple-ingredient infusions], then document the ingredients, then
            >suggest that they could be used in combination.
            >
            >> > Your Grace, not to raise a disagreement with you, but this list and also
            >> > most A&S competetions are focused on PERIOD uses, rather than merely OTC
            >> > ones.
            >> Oh yes, of course, but I do tend to want something useful- so that's the way
            >> my advice runs. If you want, I'm sure we could find lots of recipes for
            >> cosmetics with white and red lead- but would you really want to invest the
            >> time and energy to make such a period product when you knew that it would
            >> never be used? Personally I love making period products that are useful.
            >
            >But there are many period recipes that do not contain white lead or other
            >dangerous ingredients. That's the important part to know and understand.
            >There have been a lot of rumors running around to the tune of "all period
            >herbal recipes contain dangerous ingredients or impossible to find ones"
            >and it's just not true.
            >
            >(I'm entering a selection of period mouthwashes & dentrifices in the
            >Science category of the same competition. All of them are perfectly
            >harmless.)
            >
            >> > Cool-looking stuff and/or stuff they can taste/try seems to get a better
            >> > response.
            >> On the tea I was thinking of a packet of the herbal mix- with a pot of tea
            >> made up for the judges to taste. (who cares what the mix looks like!) Once
            >> again, finding a nice infusing cup and a period storage/display container
            >> becomes part of the entry. As for cosmetics- hand cream could be something
            >> they could try. Or if you put a mirror with the cosmetic... We keep getting
            >> back to display don't we?
            >
            >Brighid ni Chairain did a hand-cream for one of the displays in the East.
            >Most of the hand-creams that are period, though, seem to use animal fat as
            >the base, which modern people have trouble with.
            >
            >-- Jadwiga Zajaczkowa jenne@...
            >"The tumult and the shouting dies/The captains and the kings depart
            >Still stands Thine ancient sacrifice/An humble and a contrite heart."
            > -- Rudyard Kipling, Recessional
            >
            >
            >
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            >and renaissance herbalism and herbalism in the SCA. Please verify any health
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            "If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost;
            that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them."
            ~ Henry David Thoreau
          • Tchipakkan
            ... Commercially I would guess that more herbs are sold as teas than anything else. (Look at Celestial Seasonings!) You might try some yummy tea mixes. The
            Message 5 of 8 , Mar 25, 2003
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              >
              > A&S is coming up and I'm scrambling to find unique items to make. There
              > aren't many people in my area that have anything to do with herbs, so I'm
              > looking to find something that will hopefully awe them and get some
              > interested in working with herbs.
              >
              > I thought maybe I would try a period lip balm? (only problem is I have no
              > sources)
              >
              > Does anyone have ideas of things I could make that would get more people
              > interested? Websites you can point me to?
              >
              > Any ideas at all?
              >
              > Harley
              >
              Commercially I would guess that more herbs are sold as teas than anything
              else. (Look at Celestial Seasonings!) You might try some yummy tea mixes.
              The only thing I make that people are eager to get their hands on you can't
              make right now and that's jewel weed ointment- which really does counteract
              poison ivy.
              Think about what people actually buy a lot of: OTC medications.
              Coltsfoot is a great improvement on sudafed- more effective and none of the
              drowziness.
              I can't think of an herbal remedy that works better than asprin, but that
              doesn't mean you can't.
              Bruise ointments will always be popular with fighters.
              BTW- more apothicary/chiurgeon oriented than herbalist, but practicle:
              If you can find a source for ammonium nitrate fertilizer it makes great
              instant cold packs- another popular fighters remedy. Put a tablespoon of the
              crystals in a ziplock bag, add a splash of water and voila, instant cold
              pack. When the cold wears off- you can dump it on the ground without hurting
              anything. (well, dispose of the bag properly.) Not herbal, but useful for
              SCAers.
              Making people what they'd want to use anyway is a lot more useful than
              coming up with something period that no one wants anyway.
              --
              Tchipakkan
              Arastorm the Golden
              Lady of Stormgard
            • Tchipakkan
              ... What that means is you need to find impressive period containers. A whole another discipline which improves effect, but not the product. ... No- I don t
              Message 6 of 8 , Mar 25, 2003
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                > Bear in mind that this is for an A&S (competition or display).
                What that means is you need to find impressive period containers. A whole
                another discipline which improves effect, but not the product.

                > Do you have any sources for period infusion mixes?
                No- I don't think they generally made recipes for them except medicinally- I
                generally mix up herbs depending on the taste and symptoms of the recipient.
                Documentation would consist of- "they had this at this period and place, and
                used it for this..." Not what I'd call a recipe.

                >> Making people what they'd want to use anyway is a lot more useful than
                >> coming up with something period that no one wants anyway.
                >
                > Your Grace, not to raise a disagreement with you, but this list and also
                > most A&S competetions are focused on PERIOD uses, rather than merely OTC
                > ones.
                Oh yes, of course, but I do tend to want something useful- so that's the way
                my advice runs. If you want, I'm sure we could find lots of recipes for
                cosmetics with white and red lead- but would you really want to invest the
                time and energy to make such a period product when you knew that it would
                never be used? Personally I love making period products that are useful.

                > Entering a non-period item in an A&S competition or display isn't really
                > going to either impress the arts community or get people excited about
                > period uses... ;)
                I wasn't suggesting making non-period stuff, but selecting USEFUL things
                people could make use of these days from the available period possibilities.

                > Also, I've found that entering first-aid or even cosmetic applications
                > in A&S competitions and/or displays generally doesn't impress people.
                > Cool-looking stuff and/or stuff they can taste/try seems to get a better
                > response.
                On the tea I was thinking of a packet of the herbal mix- with a pot of tea
                made up for the judges to taste. (who cares what the mix looks like!) Once
                again, finding a nice infusing cup and a period storage/display container
                becomes part of the entry. As for cosmetics- hand cream could be something
                they could try. Or if you put a mirror with the cosmetic... We keep getting
                back to display don't we?

                > There are a number of period sources for cosmetic and other recipes,
                > including the _Trotula_ (there's a new edition by Monica Green), Gervase
                > Markham's _English Housewife_ , Plat's _Delightes for Ladies_, the
                > _Manual de Mugeres_ and Porta's _Natural Magick_
                >
                > An Online translation of the Manual de Mugeres by Karen Larsdatter is at:
                > http://www.geocities.com/karen_larsdatter/manual.htm
                >
                > Natural Magick: is online
                > http://members.tscnet.com/pages/omard1/jportat5.html
                >
                > There's also some cosmetics in the _Elixirs of Nostradamus_ but I would
                > use that with caution.
                Thanks for the sources- I didn't know about any of them yet. (and I totally
                agree about _the Elixirs of Nostradamus_ ... sight unseen!

                BTW, I pretty much just use the title Lady- they didn't have other titles
                except Queen in 7th c. Wessex. (Been there, done that, burned the T tunic!)
                I'm not offended, courtesy is never a mistake, but I thought you'd like to
                know. Arastorm the Golden
                Lady of Stormgard
              • Cat>^-.-^<
                Hi Tara: Though Gervase Markam s works are generally out-of-period, the receipts are probably not. You must consider that many of the written works were
                Message 7 of 8 , Mar 31, 2003
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                  Hi Tara:
                  Though Gervase Markam's works are generally out-of-period, the receipts are
                  probably not. You must consider that many of the written works were merely
                  compilations of recipes handed down by word-of-mouth from generation to
                  generation. Being able to read and write was an exception rather than the
                  norm back then, and was usually reserved for nobility, some merchants,
                  physicians and clergy. The few books that were available were also horribly
                  expensive, adding to the restrictions.

                  Here are some recommendations for period works:

                  "Delightes for Ladies", Sir Hugh Platt, 1594 (the post-period 1602 edition
                  is the most common)
                  "The Garden of Health", William Langham, 1579, 1584
                  "The Ornamentation of Ladies", Giovanni Marinello, 1562
                  "The Herball and Generall Historie of Plants", John Gerard, 1597
                  "The Good Housewifes Handmaid", John Gerard, 1585
                  "Herbal" John Banckes, 1515, 1525
                  "Herbal", William Turner, 1568
                  "The Good Housewives Treasurie", Edward Allde, 1588
                  "Secrets of the Reverende Maister Alexis of Piedmont", Giralamo Ruscelli,
                  1555,1557,1558
                  "Small Boke of Distllacyon", Brunschwygk, 1527
                  "The Good Huswifes Jewell", Thomas Dawson, 1585,1587
                  "A Dyetary of Helth", Andrew Boorde, 1542
                  "A Proper New Book of Cookerie", Richard Pynsens, 1576
                  "The Treasurie of Commodius Conceits and Hidden Secrets", John Partridge,
                  1584
                  "The Widdowes Treasure", John Partridge, 1585

                  I was able to find reference to these in other herbal books as well as
                  actual examples using microfiche/microfilm at the library.
                  Good luck! :-)
                  Cat





                  > But only with a good primary source. Meridien judges are pretty picky.
                  > "They had the ingredients and could have combined them this way" is
                  > not enough for competitions. They want a period receipt, description,
                  > or evidence, and if you do anything different, explain how and why.
                  >
                  > Even Markham, Fettiplace & Martha Washington are not acceptable for
                  > some judges. I've had comments that each is out of period at one time
                  > or another. I hope they don't notice the date on Gerard's Herbal!
                • Jennifer Heise
                  ... Hm.. Have you checked out the Manual de Mugeres for examples? I d love to see this-- would you consider posting your docs to the files section when you get
                  Message 8 of 8 , Apr 3, 2003
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                    > My next herbal entry highlights methods of applying remedies -
                    > infusion, cordial, pill, inhaled steam or smoke, salve, poultice, even
                    > wrist bands with ground broken glass (for severe fever). This would
                    > fit right in.
                    >

                    Hm.. Have you checked out the Manual de Mugeres for examples?

                    I'd love to see this-- would you consider posting your docs to the files
                    section when you get them done? or putting them up on a website and
                    pointing to them?
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