This section is from the book "An Experimental History Of The Materia Medica", by William Lewis.
Granum Tinctorium & coccus ba-phica quibufdam. Kermes: round reddish-brown grains, about the size of peas: found in Spain, Italy, and the southern parts of France, adhering to the branches of the scarlet. oak. These grains appear, when fresh, full of minute reddish ova or animalcules, of which they are the nidus, and which in long keeping change to a brownish red powdery fubftance. They are cured by sprinkling with vinegar before exficcation: this prevents the exclusion of the ova, and kills such of the animals as are already hatched; which would otherwife become winged insects, and leave the grain an empty hulk.
(a) Kali hispanicum supinum annuum fedi foliis brevi-bus, Mem. de l'acad. des fcienc. de Paris, pourl'ann. 1717. & Pharm. Paris, p. lxiv. Salfolafativa Linn.
Fresh kermes yield upon exprefiion a red juice, of a light pleasant smell, and a bitterish, subastringent, somewhat pungent taste: this juice, or a syrup made from it, are brought from the south of France, and sometimes made use of as mild restringents and corroborants. An elegant cordial confection, for these intentions, is prepared in the shops, by dissolving, in the heat of a water bath, six ounces of sine sugar in six ounces by measure of damask rose water, then adding three pounds of the juice of kermes warmed and strained, and after the whole has grown cold, mixing in half a scruple of oil of cinnamon: this confection is taken from a scruple to a dram or more; either by itself, or in juleps, with which it mingles uniformly without injuring their tranfparency. The dried grains, if they have not been too long kept, give out, both to water, and to rectified spirit, the same deep red colour, and nearly the same kind of smell and taste, with those of the expressed juice. The watery tinctures lose nearly all their smell in evaporation: the fpiri-tuous retain nearly the whole of their smell as well as of their taste. The infpifiated extracts are considerably bitter, astringent, and of a kind of mild balsamic pungency: the spirituous is stronger and in somewhat smaller quantity than the watery, but the difference in strength is more considerable than that of the quantity, spirit seeming to extract the active matter more completely than water.