In the ‘Arcana Fairfaxiana Manuscripta’ there is a ‘drink for the plague’ recipe. It is below, though I cannot recommend it and am sure it will not cure Covid-19! I have modernised the language and translated the amounts from imperial to metric. The recipe gives no indication of how to make up the drink.

  • Hartshorn* or baking powder 30g
  • Ginger sliced 7g
  • Gooseberries 30g
  • Figs 226g
  • Oranges, rind and flesh from 2
  • Turmentall 30g – I can’t find out what this is. Any ideas? 
  • Angelica roots 30g
  • Crush a handful of each of the following herbs:
    • Angelica stalks and leaves
    • Elder leaves
    • Red bramble buds and leaves (un-ripe blackberries)
    • Red sage
    • Rue and Saxifraga, both stalks and leaves

*Hartshorn is also known as baker’s ammonia and ammonium carbonate. It is an old time leavening that literally used to be made from ground deer horn.