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History Cookbook: Plague Drink

This recipe is in category Normans / Medieval
About this recipe
Healthiness : (444 votes)

This recipe has been included to show how medieval people used herbs and plants for food and health reasons. It is NOT intended for consumption as it would be very bitter in taste.

NB You should NEVER try picking wild flowers or cooking with them unless you are with an adult who is knowlegable about plants. Many species look similar and some lookalikes are very POISONOUS or can cause skin irritation.

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: none
Number of servings: 6 spoonsful
Serving suggestions: This is something that is best only drunk if you are desperately ill with plague and have no other medication available!!

Plague was a constant fear in medieval times and, in the 14th century, killed over a third of the population of England. People had no knowledge of bacteria and tried all kinds of strange remedies. Here is one for a plague drink. Unfortunately many such drinks tasted disgusting and did little to fight such a virulent illness (although some ingredients, such as Dog Rose, are still used in remedies today).

In some recipes the grape juice was substituted for wine or ale or even the sick person's urine - not very, pleasant at all!!

  • feverfew (to drive away fever, headaches)
  • scabious (to cure scabs and itching)
  • mugwort (to protect from plague)
  • wild briar Dog Rose (to protect the lungs and gently purge the body through its mild laxative effect)
  • mallow (to ease aches and pains)
  • yarrow (to purge and heal wounds and drive away sickness and evil)
  • sage (to prevent joint pains)
  • grape juice
  • Pestle & mortar
  • Container
  • Wooden spoon
  • Strainer
Making and cooking it
Always wash your hands before preparing food Always wash your hands before preparing food.

  1. Take a few of the leaves of each of plant
  2. Crush the leaves together with a pestle and mortar until the juices start to be released
  3. Place in a container, pour over the grape juice and stir
  4. Strain the mixture through a suitable weave cloth
  5. Give to the plague victim to drink.
Plague Drink  - print view  Plague Drink - print view

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Name: Cool Cat 26th February 2018
I think this is disgusting. I think it will make the plague worse !!!
Name: So Bad 13th February 2018
it looks so bad and is it real?
Name: Useful 22nd January 2018
This is very useful for my History potion homework :)
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