(From conservo, to keep). A coxserve. Conserves consist of recent vegetable matters and sugar, beat together into one uniform mass.
On account of the large quantity of sugar contained in conserves, it is obvious that they arc chiefly useful as an auxiliary to other more efficacious drugs. Though of the conserves of lavender, wood sorrel, mint, rosemary, orange and lemon peels, arum, or wormwood, a useful dose may be taken, if the proportion of sugar is diminished.
Mucilaginous substances, if mixed with sugar, become glutinous, and astringents soft. The more intense bitters arc improper for this form; and lightly flavoured vegetables soon spoil: the latter must, therefore, be prepared extemporaneously.
The general observations for properly making conserves are but few: leaves are to be picked from their stalks, and flowers from their cups. When the flowers or leaves are properly prepared, they must be beat into an uniform mass, in a marble mortar, with three times their weight of powdered lump sugar; but we are often obliged to diminish the proportion to twice, or sometimes to an equal weight. Orange peel may be rasped, or ground in a mill, and then beat up with the sugar. Roses are to be ground before they are beat into a conserve. If they are infused in a large proportion of water, and this is separated by expression, their bitterness, perhaps their virtue, is extracted.