Scorbutic Snail Water.
Take Snails bruis'd with their Shells 3 pound, fresh Orange rinds 3 ounces; Brooklime, Water-cresses, Cleavers each 3 handfuls; Whey 3 quarts distil in a cold Still
As to cold-Still Waters, its most certain, they are apt to carry off the Salt of the Metal: For I have often observ'd them to taste as tho' a good quantity of Saccharum Saturni were dissolv'd in them. And in the Book of Experiments, made in the Academy del Cimento, its said, That if Water distill'd in a Leaden Still, be pour'd into River or Spring Water, 'twill muddy it; which Water distill'd in Glass will not: And that muddy Water will become clear again, if a few drops of strong Vinegar be put into it, and shook about; the plain reason of which must be, because the Acid precipitates the Salt of the Lead. That Water distill'd from Milk is not (whatever others may suggest) meer, sincere, elementary Water, manifestly appears (among other Arguments) from hence; that if it be too long kept; it turns four. Now Flesh Broth (which is Water impregnated with Animal Juices) will do the same; but as for simple Water, tho' it be kept an whole Age, it never will.
But Milk Water is (according to my Notion) a delicate Animal Dew, agreeable to our Nature; which supplying a soft and amicable Lympha, void of all saline Asperities, dilutes, edulcorates, contempers, and mingles the whole Mass of Blood, renders it uniformly liquid, benign, homogeneous; and so notably assists it to circulate freely through the minutest Passages, break open Obstructions, cast off its Excrements, subdue its Fervors, and cherish and nourish the Parts.
But to get such a fine Water in perfection, I should advise, to receive the Milk under the Cow into a Glass Cucurbit; to close its Head upon it presently while warm; to distil it with as low a degree of Fire, as will just serve to make it rise; to draw no more at a time than the Patient is to drink at one Dose, and to give it as soon as distill'd.
This Snail-water is commendable in erratic scorbutic Fevers, Flushings, flying Pains of the Joynts, hectic wasting of Flesh, and Night-sweats.
Pharmacopeia Extemporanea 1710