Oximel Pectorale / Rob Phytolae / Gelatina Comu Cervi

[ Oximel Pectorale / Rob Phytolae / Gelatina Comu Cervi ] William Paine

Contributor Role
Contributor Name
William Paine

Date: The notebook is dated 1769 on the first page. | 1769/01/01 to 1769/12/31

Publication Format



Florentine orris
spring water
gum ammoniac
poke weed
white sugar candy
Spanish white wine
orange juice
lemon juice

Source: William Paine Papers
Institution: University Of New Brunswick | Source Origin: Loyalist Collection | Reference: MIC-Loyalist FC LFR.P3W5P3


A recipe for an oxymel, a term generally used to indicate medicines made more palpable with the addition of honey or other ingredients, to be used an expectorant. Followed by instructions for making an extract of phytolae (likely poke weed) used successfully in treating cancers and a recipe for making a sweet citrus gelatin from hartshorn. 

First Notebook of Medical Memorada, 1769, Reel 2.  Image use courtesy of the American Antiquarian Society.  


                                          Oximel Pectorale1Syrupi Melles Oxymelita
[Ry] Take of yeRoots of ElecampaneFlorentine Orris each half an
Ounce, Slice, bruise, and boil them in a Quart of Spring Water
till it comes to a Pint and an half. To the strained Liquour
add of unprepared Gum Ammoniac, an Ounce dissolvd in four 
Ounces of Vinegar, add also eight Ounces of Honey, then boil
them together, and skim of the Matter which rises, and
strain ___________


   Phytolae" class="emmr-anno">Phytolae">Rob Phytolae2Rob et Gelatina
Take yeLeaves, tender Branches
and the Berries ripe and unripe
bruise them in a Marble Mortar
to a Magma, strain and press
out very strongly all Juices
thro, a course Cloath, pour the
expressd Juice into a broad shal-
=low broad Dish, to the Depth
of half an Inch, let it stand
in the Sun, till the Moisture
is evaporated, and the Mass
reduced to a Rob or Extract.
This Rob has been credibly
reported, to have cured Cancers
by applying it to the Part
It gives great Pain upon ye


Gelatina Comu Cervi
Take of the Shavings of Harthorn half a
Pound, Spring Water three Quarts, boil
them over a gentle Fire, in a glazed earthen
Vessel, till one half is wasted, then strain of[f]
the Liquour, and add six Ounces of white
Sugar candy in Powder, four Ounces of
Spanish white Wine, one Ounce of Orange
or Lemon Juice, after which with a gentle
Fire, boil all together to a thin Jelly

A concocted expectorant made more appealing with the addition of honey.
A widespread medicinal herb also known as horse-heal traditionally used in expectorants.
An iris root used as a decongestant and expectorant.
Likely extract of poke weed (phytolacca).
Likely phytolacca, or poke weed, a widespread plant used to treat inflammation and pain.
Deer horn gelatin.