The Closet of Sir Kenelm Digby, Kt., Opened, by Kenelm Digby

Appendix II

The true Preparation of the Powder of Sympathy, as it was prepared every year in Sir Kenelm Digby’s Elaboratory, and as I prepare it now.

Take good English Vitriol, which you may buy for two pence a pound, dissolve it in warm water, using no more water than will dissolve it, leaving some of the Impurest part at the bottom undissolved; then powr it off and filtre it, which you may do by a Coffin of fine gray paper put into a Funnel, or by laying a Sheet of gray Paper in a Sieve, and powring your water or Dissolution of Vitriol into it by degrees, setting the Sieve upon a large Pan to receive the filtred Liquor; when all your Liquor is filtred, boil it in an earthen Vessel glazed, till you see a thin Scum upon it; then Set it in a Cellar to cool, covering it loosly, so that nothing may fall in; after two or three days standing, powr off the liquor, and you will find at the bottom and on the sides large and fair green Christals like Emerauds; drain off all the Water clean from them, and dry them; then spread them abroad, in a large flat earthen Dish, & expose them to the hot Sun in the Dog-days, taking them in at Night, and setting them out in the Morning, securing them from the Rain; and when the Sun hath calcin’d them to whiteness, beat them to Powder, & set this Powder again in the Sun, stirring it sometimes, and when you see it perfectly white, powder it, & sift it finely, and set it again in the Sun for a day, and you will have a pure white Powder, which is the Powder of Sympathy; which put up in a Glass, and stop it close. The next yeare when the Dog-days come, if you have any of this Powder left, you may expose it again in the Sun, spreading it abroad to renew its Vertue by the influence of the Sun-beams.

The way of Curing Wounds, with it, is, to take some of the Blood upon a Rag, and put some of the Powder upon the Blood, then keep only the Wound clean, with a clean Linnen about it, and in a moderate Temper betwixt hot and cold, and wrap up the Rag with the Blood, and keep it either in your Pocket, or in a Box, & the Wound will be healed without any Oyntment or Plaister, and without any pain. But if the wound be somewhat old, and hot, and inflamed, you must put some of this Powder into a Porringer or Bason full of cold Water, and then put any thing into it that hath been upon the wound, and hath some of the Blood or Matter upon it, and it will presently take away all Pain and Inflammation, as you see in Sir Kenelm’s Relation of Mr. Howard [sic].

To staunch the Blood either of a Wound or Bleeding at the Nose, take only some of the Blood upon a Rag, & put some powder upon it, or take a Bason with fresh water, and put some of the Powder into it, and bath the Nostrils with it.

From Hartman, The Preserver of Health.

Last updated Friday, March 14, 2014 at 21:33