Glaser - The Complete Chemist - Animalis


Of Animals.

Animals in general, as well the perfect Terrestrial, as Birds, Fishes, and Insects, are composed of a more volatile substance than Mineral and Vegetables. Wherefore they yield neither so much Earth, nor volatile Salt after their Calcination. Now albeit this Family is no less numerous than that of Vegetables, yet always studying brevity, we will give Examples which shall be sufficient for the Preparation of all sorts of Animals, and their parts, and begin with the more Solid, as are bones, Horns, Hoofs. After we will come to the fleshy parts, and lastly to Blood and Urine. And whosoever comprehends well these Preparations, may afterward easily work everything that depends on Animals. But it is necessary that the Artist choose for his work the parts of those Animals which were of a middle age, and died by violence.


Of the Oyl and volatile Salt of a man’s Skull.

Take the skull of a man dead of a violent Death, cut it into such little pieces as may enter into a Glass Retort, of which leave the third part empty. Place the Retort in an earthen dish in a Sand Furnace, and fit thereto a great Receiver, well luted, that the Spirits may not be lost, and when the lute is dry give fire gradually. There comes over a little Phlegm at first, and after a Spirit which will fill the Receiver with a white mist. At that time you must govern your fire discreetly, otherwise the Spirits pressed too hard will force the joints, or break the Receiver. After this Spirit comes over the Oil, with store of volatile Salt, which will cleave to the sides of the Receiver. Continue your Distillation and augment your fire by little and little, till no more come over, which will come to pass in ten or twelve hours. After, let your Vessels cool, and unlute your Receiver, which will contain a Spiritous Liquor, a stinking Oyl, and volatile Salt. The Spirit and volatile Salt are of the same nature. Wherefore they must be separated from the Oyl and afterwards rectified. That which remains in the Retort is black as coal, but if it be calcined in an open pot, it will become white, and very spongeous and light, and being deprived of all its Salt, which is very volatile, as is that of all other animal parts. And it may be called with good reason Caput Mortuum, or Death Head, which remains after the Distillation.

To separate the Spirit and volatile Salt from the Oyl, you must put about a pound of warm Water into the Receiver, and shake it well that the volatile Salt may be dissolved, and taken up in the Liquor. Afterwards filter this Liquor through Cap paper, and the Oyl will remain in the paper, which you may, by piercing the paper, cause to run into another Vial, and keep it. The use of it is to cleanse Wounds and Ulcers, for it eats and consumes putrefied flesh, and other superfluities.

Take the Liquor which contains the Spirit and volatile Salt, and put it into a large Bolts- head with a long neck, and cover it with a Funnel, which you must lute exactly all about. After pour in by Funnel a few drops of good Spirit of Salt, and presently stop the hole of the Funnel, that no Spirits may come out. Continue to do this till the Ebullition (which will be made at first by the contest of these two Spirits) cease. Then filter the Liquor, and distill by an Alembick of Glass in a gentle heat of Sand, all the Water, which will be insipid, because the Spirit of Salt is incorporated with the volatile Salt of the skull, and fixed it in a manner. And when all the humidity is come over, push on the fire by little and little, to cause all the Salt to sublime, which will remain in the Body. One part whereof will rise and cleave to the Alembick, and the other parcel to the upper part of the Body. Let the Vessels cool, and gather the sublimed Salt, which in taste nearly resembles that of Sal Ammoniac. Its Dose is from a Scruple to a Dram.

But it may be made also more subtle and piercing by separating the Sulphurous Animal Salt from the acid Spirits of Salt, with which it was mingled to correct in part its bad scent. Take then four ounces of this Salt, and mix it with two ounces of fixed Salt of Tartar, or such other Salt Alkali as you please, and put them in a little Body well fitted with its Head and Receiver, and lute their joints exactly. Then give fire gently, and you shall see that the Sulphurous Salt will separate itself, and rise into the Head with the least heat, white as Snow, and will leave the acid spirit (wherewith it was incorporated) in the bottom of the Body detained by the Salt Alkali. So you shall have a Salt of the most extreme subtlety, which you must keep in a Vial well stopped, for otherwise it vanishes by little and little.

This Salt and all others drawn from Animals, have very great Virtues, and may pass for the Columns of Pharmacy. For they penetrate to the places farther removed from the first Digestion, and dissolve all Viscous and Tartarus Matters, open all Obstructions, heal all Fevers, and principally the Quartans, preserve from the Plague and strongly resist all Putrefaction. The Dose is from six to fifteen Grains, in some cold Liquor or Broth (otherwise in the least heat they vanish in the Air).

The Salt of Mens Skulls is peculiarly proper for Falling and Mother Fits. This Operation may serve for an Example of all Bones, Horns, Hoofs, Nails, Claws and Hairs, and generally for all solid and dry parts of Animals.


Of the Distillation of Vipers Flesh.

Get a good quantity of Vipers a little after they come from their Holes, cut off their Heads and Tails, strip them and take out their Bowels: which cast away, reserving their Fat, which you must melt and keep apart. The Heart and Liver must be mingled with their Flesh. Cut your Vipers thus, prepared into pieces, and their Hearts and Livers likewise, and set them in one or more Glass Bodies, which you must fit with Heads and Receivers. And setting them in a Furnace of Sand, draw off with a very gentle heat all the Moisture that will rise. But cease the Fire, and let your Vessels cool as soon as it begins to taste of the least burning. Keep well the distilled Water in Vials well stopped. After, cut into little pieces the dried Flesh found in the Still body, and put them into a Glass Retort, leaving one third part thereof empty, which set in a Sand furnace, and observe all the Circumstances which we have described for the Distillation and Rectification of the Spirit and Oyl of Man’s Skull, and you shall have a Salt endued with innumerable Virtues, which heals not only all continual and intermitting Fevers, but the Palsie, Falling Evil, Leprosie, Diseases of the Mother, resists Putrefaction, expels poisons, heals and preserves from the Plague, and hath an infinite of other choice Virtues. The Dose is from six to fifteen Grains, in its own distilled Water, or some other Liquor.

They that would make the Powder of Vipers, must dry the Heart, Liver and Flesh in a Glass Body in Balneo Maria till it may be reduced into Powder, and by this means nothing at all of their substance perishes. For their Water is drawn over in the Distillation, which is impregnated with their most subtle and volatile spirits, and serve for a Vehicle wherein to take their Powder.

This Operation may stand for a Rule for all the fleshy parts of Animals, for the after Burthen, and for some whole Animals, as Wood Lice, from which may be drawn Remedies proper for healing Cancers.


Of the Distillation of Man’s Blood.

Take a quantity of Blood drawn from sound and well Complexioned young Men, distill from it all the Humidity which will rise in an Alembick in Balneo Maria and keep the Water. After, put in a Retort the dried Mass which remains in the Still body, and proceed therewith in the same manner as we have taught for Skulls in the first Chapter. You shall have a stinking Oyl, and by Rectification and Resublimation a very excellent salt for correcting the whole Mass of Blood, for healing Fevers, the Falling Evil, and Scurvy, and for the opening all Obstructions. Its Dose is from six unto fifteen Grains, in its proper Water, or in some other convenient Liquor.


Distillation of Urine.

Take the fresh Urine of Children from eight till twelve years of age, or of young Men in good health, and fill many Bodies therewith to three fourths parts, to which fit Heads, and draw off in a gentle heat of Balneo Maria all their Humidity which will be insipid. There will remain an Honey like substance in the bottom of the Bodies, which must be put into one Body fitted with Head and Receiver well luted, and distill with a Sand Fire what will come over, governing the fire well, that the matter may not rise and run over. First there goes over a Spiritous Water, and after the Volatile Salt begins to rise and stick to the Head, with a little stinking Oyl which trickles over into the Recipient with the Volatile Salt, which it dissolveth. The Vessels being cooled and unluted, you will find in the bottom of the Body a black Matter, which may be calcined in a Pot with a violent Fire and reduced to ashes. Then a very small quantity of Salt will be drawn therefrom, which Coagulated or Crystallized hath the taste and form of Common Salt. The Oyl and Volatile Salt must be separated from the stinking Oyl by putting into the Receiver so much warm Water as is needful to dissolve the volatile salt which was congealed. Then filter the Solution through Paper in which the Oyl remains and must be made to descend into a Viol apart by piercing the Paper. Put the Liquor filtered into a Great Bolt’s Head with a long Neck, and fit to it a large head round and flat, []  fit to a Receiver and lute the joints exactly. Place it in a Sand Furnace, and give a very gentle fire. You shall see that the Volatile Salt will be separated by the least heat, and will sublime on high into the head of the Still in the form of Snow, leaving a stinking and insipid Oyl in the bottom of the Bolt’s Head, not able to rise, because of the height of the Vessel and over weakness of the heat. Let the Vessels cool and gather and keep the volatile salt in vials well stopped. For otherwise it would go away by little and little by reason of its subtlety.

This subtle and sulphurous salt hath great Virtues inwardly and outwardly. It opens all Obstructions and is admirable in all melancholick Diseases, to cut and dissolve Gravel and Sand, and drive them out by Urine from the Reins and Bladder. Its Dose is from six to fifteen or twenty Grains, in some convenient Liquor.

Being dissolved in Aqua Vitae in which there is left a little Phlegm (for rectified Spirit of Wine will not dissolve it) it may be employed outwardly for the pains of any part of the Body, and especially those of the joints, and to dissolve Nodes.

Another Distillation of Urine, and Sublimation of its Volatile Salts.

Put a quantity of well conditioned Urine into many Pitchers, or a Barrel well stopped, and let it stand forty days in which time it will be fermented, and prepared to give forth its Spirits. Put it into many Glass Bodies and distill off about half the Moisture, and you shall have a clear and spiritous Water. Cast away what remains in the Bodies after every distillation as of little value, and rectify the Water yet two or three times by distilling off the half and casting away what remains. Continue this work till you have collected all the virtue, or all the spirits of Urine into a small quantity, which you shall put into a Bolt’s head with a long neck, to which you must fit a large head, and cause the spiritous Volatile Salt to rise with a very gentle heat of Sand, which will easily separate itself from the superfluous phlegmatic Water, leaving it behind in the bottom of the Bolt’s head. This Preparation is more Tedious and Laborious than the former, but it produces a more subtle and penetrating, and consequently a more efficacious Salt. These preparations may suffice as I conceive, for examining and preparing all matters contained in the Animal Family. Wherefore concluding this Section we will content ourselves only to add some Preparations of Matters that are after a sort distinct from Animals, Vegetable and Minerals.


Of Dew.

The Chymists having need of great store of Liquor to extract the virtue and best substance of many Vegetables, they have not yet found a more simple, naked, and consequently a proper one to take up their substance than May Dew, which is made more pure by distilling as follows.

Take a quantity of May-Dew (which abounds with a subtle spirit) and distill off about half in B.M. on a moderate heat of Sand, and rectify it once more, drawing off a half part only, which you must keep in Vials well stopped. This Water serves not only as a Menstruum for Extractions, but may also be employed as a vehicle for many Medicines which have need to be dissolved in some Liquor. The same work serves for Rain water, but it must be taken in the Month of March, about the Equinox, at which time it is better replenished with the Universal Spirit, than at any other season.


Of Manna.

Manna is an Aerial Liquor, fallen in the form of Dew, in the time of the Equinoxes, upon Trees and Herbs, whereon it is by little by little condensed into grains. It is produced in many of the Eastern parts, but that which is most used in Europe comes from Calabria, in the Kingdom of Naples. It ought to be new, white, and of a pleasant sweetness. That which has become yellow and stale is to be rejected, because it hath lost parts of its Spirits. A Spirit is drawn from it by Distillation, as follows.

Put two or three pounds of Good Manna into a large Retort, whereof the third part only must be full. Set it in a Sand Furnace, put to it an unluted Receiver, and by a very gentle heat distill over a phlegmatick Water. Taste it from time to time, and when the drops begin to be pungent, change or empty your Receiver. Set it to again, and lute the joints exactly, and augment the fire by little and little, and continue till there come no more over. Cool and unlute the Vessels, and put the Spirit and rectify it in a small Body and Head on a Sand Furnace and you shall have a clear Spirit, and of a pungent and acid taste, which is an excellent Sudorifick and may be in Malignant Fevers themselves, and in all others likewise. Its Dose is from a half to a whole dram in some Liquor. Some have imagined that calcined Gold might by means of this Spirit be reduced into a Liquor, to which they attribute admirable Virtues, but I conclude that if any good success befall them who use this pretended potable Gold, it must be attributed to the virtue of this Spirit.


Of Honey.

Honey is too well known for us to busy ourselves in its Description. We will content ourselves to teach how it may be reduced into several substances. Take three pounds of Honey taken from Virgin Bees, for that is best, and put it in a very large Body and Head. Set it in a Sand Furnace, fit and lute well to it a Receiver, and give a very gentle fire to raise its phlegmatic Water, which comes over first, and must be kept apart. Continue your fire in this first degree, for the Honey will else be Rarified by too great heat and rise into the Helme, which must be avoided, wherefore this Operation requires a very patient Artist. After the Phlegm rises a sharpish Spirit of a yellow color, and in the conclusion a red Spirit with a little Oyl. The Distillation must be continued till nothing come over. Then let your Vessels cool, and separate your Spirit from the Oyl and rectify it by an Alembick on a Sand Furnace. That which remains in the Body may also be calcined and a very small quantity of Salt thence extracted. The phlegmatic Water may be sharpened by it own acid Spirit, for the Diseases of the Eyes, and to cleanse them, and to make hair grow. The Spirit is good against Obstructions in the Body, taken from twenty to thirty drops, in some aperitive Liquor, or in its own Water. It serves also to dissolve Mars, and other Metals, and reduces them into the form of Salt or Vitriol. The Oyl is good to mundify gnawing Ulcers.


Of the Distillation of Wax.

Cut two pounds of Wax into little pieces and put them into a good Retort so that it may be only half full. Set it in a Sand Furnace. Fit and lute a Receiver to it very exactly. Begin with a small fire and augment it by little and little. There comes over first a little phlegm and after a pungent Spirit. After that a clear, and then a thick Oyl like Butter, and at last a volatile Salt cleaving to the sides of the Receiver, but in very small quantity. Raise and continue your fire till nothing more come over. Then cool and unlute your vessels. Put a pound of moderately hot Water in your Receiver to dissolve the volatile Salt and then join it with its Phlegm and Spirit.

After separate your Oyl by a Funnel. But for that it is very thick, [so] you must incorporate it with sifted ashes and rectify it in a Retort. Keep that which comes first over for inward use, the later, which will be thick like Butter may serve outwardly. The Liquor which contains the Spirit and volatile Salt may be rectified and sublimed into Salt in the same manner as the volatile Oyl of Amber. The subtle Oyl and volatile Salt are very excellent Remedies for the retention of Urine. The Dose of Oyl is from four to ten drops. Of the volatile Salt from five to ten grains in some proper Water. The buttery Oyl is very resolving. Applied outwardly it restores Motion to Paralytic Members, and is also good against Sciatica and Chilblains.