(See Ale, Beer, Coffee, Mineral Waters, Tea, Water, and Wines).

A Spring beverage which in former days went by the name of May-drink in England, and several parts of Europe, was flavoured with the garden herb Sweet Woodruff (Asperula odorata); this, by reason of the coumarin it contains, is scented like the Sweet Vernal Grass of our meadows, and the Sweet Clover, each being most fragrant when freshly dried; such coumarin powerfully stimulates the brain. Withering tells that "the strongly aromatic flowers of Sweet Woodruff will make an infusion exceeding in spicy flavour even the choice teas of China." The powdered leaves are also mixed with fancy snuffs because of their enduring fragrance. Another species of the same herb is the Quinsy Woodruff (Asperula cynanchica), so called because a most useful gargle can be made from this plant by infusion in boiling water, against quinsy (cynanche), or other such sore throat. "Ahem!" as Dick Smith said when he swallowed the sponge, teaching to bear troubles bravely, and not to make a fuss about trifles. This herb is to be found growing in dry pastures, especially on a chalky soil; it has tufts of lilac flowers, and very narrow leaves.

The Sweet Woodruff has small white blossoms set on a slender stalk, with narrow leaves growing around it in successive whorls, like the common well-known Goose-grass, or Cleavers.

The lassitude felt in hot weather on its first access in early summer, may be well met by an infusion of Hop leaves, strobiles, and stalks, as Hop-tea, to be taken by the wineglassful two or three times in the day; whilst a more vigorous action of the biliary organs is also stimulated thereby. The popular nostrum "Hop-bitters" is thus made: Of Hops (dried), half a pound; of Buchu leaves, two ounces; boil these in five quarts of water in an iron vessel for an hour; when it is lukewarm, add thereto Essence of Wintergreen (Pyrola), two ounces, and one pint of spirit (Brandy, Whisky, or Gin). Take one tablespoonful three times a day before eating; it will improve the appetite considerably. Horehound Beer is much drunk by the natives in Norfolk. Again, Balm tea is highly restorative. Borage has a cucumberlike flavour, and when compounded with lemon, and sugar, added to Claret, and water, it makes a delicious "cool tankard" as a summer drink. A tea brewed from Broom tops, with bruised Juniper berries, is famous for increasing the flow of urine, and relieving dropsy. Black Currant leaves make a fragrant infusion as a substitute for China, or Indian tea.

A scented Orange-water is largely prepared in France from the flowers, which is often taken by ladies as a gentle sedative at night, when sufficiently diluted with Eau Sucree (sugared water); thousands of gallons are drunk in this fashion every year. "There's nothin so refreshing as sleep, Sir!" (quoth Sam Weller to his Master) " as the servant gal said afore she drank the eggcupful of laudanum." For, in the more serious language of Dr. Martineau, "God has so arranged the chronometry of our spirits that there shall be thousands of silent moments between the striking hours." Primrose tea exercises similar curative effects, though in a lesser degree, to those of the Cowslip; it is excellent against nervous disorders of an hysterical nature. Sage leaves add pleasantly, and with benefit to the refreshing contents of the afternoon teapot; and a Tamarind drink obviates putrid fevers.