This section is from the book "Meals Medicinal", by W. T. Fernie. Also available from Amazon: Meals Medicinal: With "Herbal Simples" Curative Foods From the Cook in Place of Drugs From the Chemist.
Gervase Markham (seventeenth century) commended Partridges done on the broiling iron (now obsolete), which was open to the air on all sides, and most convenient for basting the birds. Partridge pudding was an invention of the South Saxons; and for "Perdrix aux choux " a quaint recipe is given in The Professed Cook (1776) by Clermont, "for many years clerk of the kitchen to some of the first families;"
(See Alkalies, and Bread).
The herb Rue was termed of old "serving men's joy," because of its curing so many common ailments. Its juice is of great efficacy in some forms of epilepsy, operating for the most part insensibly, though sometimes purging. Concerning its use for this distressing infirmity, Julius Caesar Baricellus said, "I gave to my own children two scruples of the juice of Rue, and a small matter of gold, and by the blessing of God, they were freed from their fits".
Next to Wheat, which is the great bread-making grain of the world, comes Rye, but it contains less gluten than wheat, and of a chemically different kind, so that the bread made therefrom is moist, and heavy; moreover, fine Rye flour possesses much less proteid than wheat flour. Rye meal, which is the basis of the dark, sour breads of Northern Europe, and Holland, is of nearly the same chemical composition as barley meal. Rye grain is subject to a fungus producing "ergot," and which makes it poisonous.
Sunflower Seeds if browned in the oven as you would coffee, and then made into an infusion after being freshly ground like that berry, serve admirably for the relief of whooping cough. Sweeten the decoction, and let the affected child drink it freely, especially at night.
A little Vinegar, when administered to animals about to be killed for eating, will render their flesh less tough than it otherwise would prove; and it is not unusual to give a spoonful of vinegar to poultry shortly before their slaughter for the table.
It contains nearly all the phosphates of the new milk, from which it is obtained after the curd has been abstracted. Pepys drank it at the New Exchange, June 7th, 1665, "With much entreaty getting it for our money, and they would not be entreated to let us have one glasse more".
As "Milk is the wine of infancy, so wine is the milk of old age".
It is well worthy of note that as remarkably helpful against diabetes, a wine known as the Vin Urane Pesqui is to be scientifically commended, and has repeatedly proved of undeniable efficacy. This wine consists of old Bordeaux with which Uranium (a specific antidote to diabetes) is properly incorporated. Under its use (as a pleasant beverage) the amount of sugar in the urine becomes much reduced, whilst the general health is sensibly improved. The metal, Uranium, when taken experimentally in varying large doses by healthy provers, has been found to produce all the symptoms of confirmed diabetes.