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COOKBOOK
Herbalism
with Ernestina Parziale
Certified Herbalist




DISCLAIMER: These pages are presented solely as a source of INFORMATION and ENTERTAINMENT and to provide stern warnings against use where appropriate. No claims are made for the efficacy of any herb nor for any historical herbal treatment. In no way can the information provided here take the place of the standard, legal, medical practice of any country. Additionally, some of these plants are extremely toxic and should be used only by licensed professionals who have the means to process them properly into appropriate pharmaceuticals. One final note: many plants were used for a wide range of illnesses in the past, but be aware that many of the historical uses have proven to be ineffective for the problems to which they were applied.



Fundamentals Conversion Table Liquid Measurement Dry Weights & Measures Apothecary Weight More Metrics Kitchen Equivalents Rough Measure Dosages




Note: There are two ways people learn about herbs. They begin by growing them and learning about their properties along the way, and then extend their interest to using them for culinary and medicinal purposes. Then there are those who like to learn about things by "full immersion". I've spent a number of years teaching from the first direction, but realize that not everyone is comfortable with that system. So for the rest of you, this is the backdoor entrance into the world of herbs. I still have one basic rule for all of you...never, never, never ingest an herb that you have not fully researched (at least do some basic reading!). Although recipes/formulations will be presented here, if you decide you want to explore any of them, take each of the herbs and research them first. The A-Z index of herbs will get you started. And don't just take my word for it, check with other authors. It's impossible to put all the information about every herb in one place. Okay...you can start immersing.



Herbalism has some serious fundamentals...things you really must know in order to navigate through all the information, formulations, recipes and old herbals. Next in importance to knowledge of the characteristics of the herbs themselves is "weights and measures". You will encounter many different ways of preparing ingredients and you need to know what some of these terms are and how they equate to a measurement term with which you're familiar. For instance, you will often see the term handful and you might rightfully ask yourself how that could be considered much of an accurate measurement since some hands are large and some are small. Just remember that many old herbal recipes were passed along by women and you can figure it means a medium sized hand, but that also a "handful" actually is a measurement with specific qualifications. This is one of the weights and measures I'll be informing you about in this first of this series of articles. When formulating herbal remedies, it is important to have accurate measurements. In cases dealing with very potent herbs it is absolutely vital.

In researching old remedies you will often run across outdated terms. Drachm is a common one as is scruple. Scruple is actually in use today but as an apothecary weight. The apothecary system requires a scale setup to be specific to its own system. You will run across many old recipes written by the medical professionals of their times which employ the apothecary system of weights. And itís important to clearly identify which system of weights the author was using. The term grain is used in both apothecary and avoirdupois systems, but do not weigh the same amount. If you run into difficulty understanding the apothecary system then your best source of information is your local pharmacist. I have often picked the brains of these great folks when I was curious about old formulations. The term drachm is used by British authors and is/was part of their weights and measurements system.

Rather than simply list the different systems and their various measurements, wherever possible I try to show where measurements of different systems are the same quantity. This is to make it possible for everyone to be able to relate to the amounts being discussed and to make old herbals less obscure and difficult to understand. In order to do this I need to abbreviate the systems from which the different entries are taken.

These systems are:

If you don't have a system of keeping herbal information, then the articles which appear at this site will be a good opportunity to begin. Either create a folder in File Manager or Windows Explorer and copy each article to it as it appears here, or else print it out and start a file folder.



Tip: 1 paper clip weighs about 1 gram (m).



Weights & Measures Used in Herbalism
topHereís a few of the ones you might need. Weights and measures are very confusing things due the number of systems in use. This is one the reasons governments and commercial enterprises are working so hard to get us all using the metric system...consistency.

Conversion Table
To change to Multiply by
grainsgrams.0648
gramsgrains15.4324
gramsounces (avdp).0353
gramspounds.002205
literspints (dry)1.8162
literspints (liq)2.1134
litersquarts (dry).9081
litersquarts (liq)1.0567



topLiquids

1 drop = 1 minim (afm) = 1/60th fluid dram
1 dram (fl or liq - US) = 1/8 fl oz = 0.226 cubic inch = 3.697 ml = 1.041 British fluid drachms = 1 tsp
60 drops (minims) = 1 fluid dram (afm) = 1 tsp
1 measuring tsp = 1/3 tbsp = 1-1/3 fl drams = 5 ml
1 measuring tbsp = 3 tsp = 4 fl drams = 1/2 fl oz = 15 ml
8 tsp (fl. drams) = 1 fluid ounce (afm)
16 fl oz (afm) = 1 pint (afm) = 128 fl drams (afm)
2 pints = 1 quart = 32 fl oz = 256 fl drams
4 quarts = 1 gal = 128 fl oz = 1,024 fl drams
1 milliliter = 0.271 fl dram = 16.231 minims = 1/5 tsp
1 fl or liq oz = 29.574 ml = 1.041 British fl oz
1 gill = 4 fl oz = 0.118 liter
4 gills (liq) = 1 pint
2 pints = 1 quart
4 quarts = 1 gallon = 8 pints = 32 gills
1 liter = 1.057 liq quarts = 61.024 cubic inches
1 gallon (US) = 231 cubic inches = 3.785 liters = 0.833 British gallons = 128 fl oz (US)
1 gallon British Imperial = 277.42 cubic inches = 1.201 US gallons = 4.546 liters = 160 Br. fl oz
1 barrel liquid = 31 to 42 gallons (law allows for a variety of sizes: petroleum products are usually found in the larger sized barrels, while fermented/alcoholic beverages are to be found in the smaller sized barrels although federal law recognizes a 40 gallon barrel for proof spirits)



topDry Weights & Measurements

1 ml = 0.015 grain
1 grain = 64.79891 ml
1 gram = 15.432 grains = 0.035 oz (avdp)
27.344 grains (advp) = 1 dram (avdp) = 1.772 grams
16 drams (advp) = 1 oz (advp) = 437.5 grains (advp)
16 oz (advp) = 1 lb (advp) = 256 drams (advp) = 7,000 grains (advp)
1 kilogram = 2.205 lb
1 quart British = 69.354 cubic inches = 1.032 US quarts (dry)
2 pints = 1 quart = 67.2006 cubic inches
8 quarts = 1 peck = 16 pints = 537.605 cubic inches
4 pecks = 1 bushel = 32 quarts = 2,150.42 cubic inches
1 bushel (US struck measure) = 2,150.42 cubic inches = 35.238 liters
1 bushel (heaped) = 2,747.715 cubic inches = 1.278 bushels (struck measure) (note: this is frequently recognized as 1-1/4 bushel, struck measure)
1 barrel (standard for fruits, vegetables and other dry goods except cranberries) = 105 dry quarts = 3.281 bu (struck measure), = 7,056 cubic inches
1 barrel (stand. cranberry) = 5,286 cubic inches = 86-45/64 dry quarts = 2.709 bu (struck measure)
1 *cord fire wood = 128 cubic feet (a 4 ft x 4 ft x 8 ft stack of wood)
(*I realize you don't need this for herbalism, but it's something neat to know)



topApothecary Weight

1 grain = 64.79891 ml
20 grains = 1 scruple
3 scruples = 1 dram (ap) = 60 grains = 3.888 grams
8 drams (ap) = 1 oz (ap) = 24 scruples = 480 grains
12 oz (ap) = 1 lb (ap) = 96 drams (ap) = 288 scruples = 5,760 grains (ap)



topMore Metrics

1 ml = 1/5 tsp
5 ml = 1 tsp
15 ml = 1 tbsp
34 ml = 1 fl oz
100 ml = 3.4 fl oz
240 ml = 1 cup
1 liter = 34 fl oz = 4.2 cups = 2.1 pints = 1.06 quarts = 0.26 gallon
1 gram = .035 oz
100 grams = 3.5 oz
500 grams = 1.10 lbs
1 kg = 2.205 lbs = 35 oz
1 cubic centimeter = 0.061 cubic inch
1 cubic foot = 7.481 gallons = 28.316 cubic decimeters
1 cubic inch = 0.554 fl oz = 4.433 fluid drams = 16.387 cubic centimeters



topKitchen Equivalents

1 minim = 1 drop
1/5 tsp = 20 drops = 1 milliliter
1 tsp = 5 ml = 60 drops (or minims) = 1 drachm (British) = 1 dram = 4.2 grams
2 tsp = 10 ml
3 tsp = 1 tbsp = 15 ml = 14 grams
1 fl oz = 30 ml (by weight but 34 ml by capacity) = 28 grams
1/16 cup = 1 tbsp
1/8 cup = 2 tbsp
1/6 cup = 2 tbsp + 2 tsp
1/5 cup = 50 ml
1/4 cup = 4 tbsp
1/3 cup = 5 tbsp + 1 tsp
3/8 cup = 6 tbsp
1/2 cup = 8 tbsp
3/4 cup = 12 tbsp
2/3 cup = 10 tbsp + 2 tsp
1 cup = 240 ml = 8 fl oz = 1/2 pint (liq) = 16 tbsp = 48 tsp
2 cups = 1 pint = 470 ml
2 pints = 1 quart = .95 liter = 4 cups
1 liter = 34 fl oz = 4.2 cups = 2.1 pints = 1.06 quarts = 0.26 gallon
4 quarts = 1 gallon = 3.8 liters
1 pound = 454 grams
1 gram = .035 oz
100 grams = 3.5 oz
500 grams = 1.20 lbs
1 kg = 2.205 lbs or 35 oz
1000 grams = 1 kilogram
1 glassful = 8 fl oz = 16 tbsp = 60 fl drams = 240 ml
1 teacupful = 4 fl oz = 8 tbsp = 30 drams = 120 ml
1 wineglassful = 2 fl oz = 4 tbsp = 15 fl drams = 60 ml
1 tbsp = 1/2 fl oz = 4 fl drams = 15 ml
1 dessertspoonful = 2 fl drams = 8 ml



topRough Measurements

If you plan to do much work with herbs and especially if you plan to use herbs medicinally, you should have a good kitchen scale that measures in grams and ounces. Cuisinart puts out an inexpensive one based on the counterweight system that works well. Where exactness doesn't matter (and medicinally, it does!), these rough equivalents should help.

1 oz = 1/3 cup of powdered or ground material
1 oz = 3/4 cup fine dried material
1 oz = 1 cup bulky dried material



topDosages

The formulations/recipes presented in most materials refer to adult dosages (unless the work is specifically geared toward remedies for children). To work the dosages for children there are several different methods and charts.

Young's Formula
Take the age in years of the child and divide by the age in years of the child + 12 and this will equal the portion of the adult dose to administer.
Example: a 6 year old child divided by 6 + 12 (18) = 1/3 the adult dose

Dillings Formula
Take the age in years of the child and divide by 20 to get the portion of the adult dose to administer.
Example: a 6 year old child = 6 divided by 20 = 3/10ths

Cowling's Rule
Divide the age at the next birthday by 24.
Example: a 5-year-old would be 6 at the next birthday; 6 divided by 24 equals 6/24 or 1/4. Dose would be 1/4 the adult dosage.

Clark's Rule
Divide the weight in *pounds of the child by 150 to give the approximate fraction of the adult dosage.
(*pounds: using a dosage based on the weight is a more sensible choice. Children vary considerably in size despite their ages. A small 6 year old would require less than a large 6 year old)

CHART
(based on average of 1 tsp per adult dose)
Note: Administering home remedies to infants and young children is NOT recommended without professional guidance.
0 to 3 months = 2 drops
6 to 9 months = 4 drops
1 yr to 18 mos = 7 drops
2 to 3 years = 10 drops
4 years = 1/4 tsp or 15 drops or 1/6 adult dose
6 years = 1/4 tsp or 15 drops or 1/4 adult dose
8 years = 1/3 adult dose
9 to 12 years = 1/2 tsp or 30 drops
12 years = 1/2 adult dose
15 years = 2/3 adult dose or 3/4 tsp or 45 drops
18 or over = adult portion of 1 tsp or 60 drops




©1998 by Ernestina Parziale, CH

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