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Guaicaum & Sarsaparilla
Guaiacum was traditionally held to be Warm and Dry, Pungent and slightly Bitter. It clears Wind, Damp and Poison. It main areas of use are Damp Heat skin disorders, especially with signs of Toxicity. It is also much used for Chronic Joint diseases including Rheumatism, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sciatica and Gout.
Sarsaparilla is Neutral and Dry. It clears Heat, Damp and Poison from the Blood, and is likewise used in Chronic Skin and Joint disease. Sarsaparilla here may refer to either true Sarsaparilla, or to China root, the related asian Smilax species.
Together, they are most often combined for Chronic Skin diseases with Heat, Damp and Toxicity, and for Chronic Joint diseases coming from Wind and Damp, with or without signs of Heat.
They are therefore used for Eczema, Psoriasis and Venereal Diseases, as well as for Chronic Arthritis and Rheumatism, Gout, Sciatica and other Damp pains.
During the 17th and 18th century, these medicines often appeared as ‘Diet Drinks’, decoctions to be taken as ‘common drink’ throughout the day in obstinate diseases including Edema, Obesity, Cachexia, Fibroid Tumours and Cancer, in addition to the above-mentioned Skin and Joint complaints.
Such treatment was used to ‘sweeten the Blood’ and remove chronic impurities, thereby altering the nature of the body over a long period.
Decoction Against Arthritis and Gout, Decoction of Guaiacum, Arthritic Wine, Holy Wine
1. To correct these medicines, they were often combined with Licorice.
2. Very often, Sassafras was added to this combination. This was used for Arthritic complaints, and for Syphilis.
3. Also for Syphilis, add Betony and Licorice.
4. Also for Syphilis, as well as Cramps, Paralysis and Convulsions associated with Damp, add Senna and Polypody (as in The Holy Wine)
5. A more compound version for Syphilis, add Stoechas, Cyperus, Blessed Thistle, St. John’s wort and Betony.
6. As a common drink to be taken in chronic Skin, Joint and Metabolic diseases where cleansing is required, decocted in Barley broth.
7. For Arthritic and Rheumatic complaints, add Licorice, Calamus, Cinnamon, Galangal (as in Decoction Against Arthritis and Gout)
8. Also for Arthritis and Rheumatic disease, add Germander, Ground Pine, Sage, Rosemary, Mistletoe and Lily of the Valley (as in Arthritic Wine)
9. In all Damp diseases (Edema, Catarrh, Arthritis, Damp Ulcers etc), add Sandalwood and Deer Horn.