Electuaries are preparations of herbs (or other, sometimes bizarre, ingredients) with either honey or sugar. These are different than syrups in that these have more of a paste-like consistency.
As with the previous translation of Syrups, headers that are in parentheses are notes from Tony Hunt, while parentheses contained within the copy usually contain my own notes, whether it is clarification of a term or uncertainty of the translation.
Of Electuaries in General
In the electuaries and other confections, honey and sugar are not to be placed according to the will of the maker, but according to a certain proportion. Wherefore, for two ounces of each kind, it is necessary to drench a pound of honey, or three pounds sugar.
(Judging the Consistency)
Likewise, in the preparation of the electuary, we must first boil the water with the sugar until it is thick and complete, which you can know as follows: A portion of it is placed on marble or polished iron, and if it adheres like honey, it is cooked. And then it is removed from the fire and allowed to cool a little. Then it is sprinkled with powdered sugar and stirred with a spatula until everything is well incorporated.
(Comparative virtues of sugar and honey)
Hence you must know that, according to some, to one pound of sugar should be put two ounces of powder, and to one pound of honey three ounces of powder. But some say that the confections made with honey have a bad taste and melt and are abominable. And therefore, like most, we make it, he says, with sugar.
John of St. Amando says that an electuary or syrup made with honey is better than that made with sugar, because honey better preserves medicines and better covers the horridness of medicines, and because honey is more purifying and also honey is more digestible than sugar. To differentiate, although medicine made with honey is better, for strengthening and cooling it is better made with sugar than with honey. Therefore, if we want to do both, let it be done in both.
Moreover, it must be noted that there are seven species in which there is power to be made in the manufacture, and these are: lapdanum (labdanum/ladanon) and amber, musk, camphor, gold and silver, and pearl. In the preparation of lapdanum and amber must be diluted with any syrup, of course, before it is placed in the preparation. Musk and camphor should be rubbed with warm water or with rose water. But gold and silver and pearls must be ground together with some other dust in the mortar, and the dust must be placed with them so that none of these adhere to the mortar. In some preparations it is found that the pearls must be prepared in this way: take the pearls and place them on a well-polished and washed marble and dilute them with white wine and then place them in the electorate. And in the diamargaritone (‘restorative powder of pearls’ SOURCE https://www.british-history.ac.uk/no-series/traded-goods-dictionary/1550-1820/diamargariton-diapsinacon), made by confection and prepared by decoction, the powders must be incorporated with that decoction, and first camphor, then pearl, and then the musk diluted by itself or with some liquid.
And the dose of each electuary is threefold according as the state of the people is threefold. Some, however, are strong and robust, and to these we must give more credit. And some are weak, and to them less must be given or a smaller dose [f.246rb] must be presented. And some are average and to these the average dose should be presented. The larger dose is six drachmas, the smaller one three drachmas, the middle one four or five drachmas.
Likewise, when an electuary or other medicine is given, it must be given with a decoction of certain herbs or medicines having the same effect and strengthening the affected member. It is not to be understood, however, that any electuary is to be distempered with any decoction, but when the electuary is taken, that decoction must be given, or wine, or barley water, and the like. In addition, electuaries and the like should be taken after a meal after a short interval, such as spiced ginger for strengthening and the like. For if, after taking food, they are immediately taken, confused by the food and scattered, they lose their power. Moreover, certain particular electuaries or antidotes are given, except opiates and astringent electuaries, which no one should use with a bench or any awl (‘stool or sharp point’ is another translation), for they would quickly induce death. Likewise, it should be noted that the medicine for purifying the cold fluids of the chest and spiritual limbs (‘spiritual members’) must be sharpened with one drachm of agaric crushed with one drachm of licorice juice. Likewise, the medicine that purifies the cold fluids of the stomach and liver must be sharpened with one drachm of pepper powder, or with mirabolanes and kebulis according to their proper doses, or with esula according to their doses. As for medicinals, the hot fluids that evacuate must be sharpened with lemon mirabola, or reubarbe, or checked with soap. But if cold fluids abound in the joints, then they should be sharpened medicinally with hermodactile (plant name - Fingers of Mercury, hermodactyls) or with turbith (purgative drug made from the root of a morning glory plant) or esula (plant - member of the spurge family) according to their doses. But if they are hot in the joints, they should be sharpened medicinally with scammony (plant in the morning glory family), or with rhubarb, or with cassia fistula. And it should be noted that the sharps (points?), which are very violent and poisonous, such as scammony, turbith, agaric, and the like, must be checked before they are mixed with compound medicines. Moreover, it must be known that in this compilation I do not intend to speak of all the selections and preparations contained in the antidote, but of some of the usual ones, and not exactly about them and their receptions in all and preparation, but in passing to assign their virtues to the operations and mode of exhibiting them in part and certain I propose, with the help of God, to insert among them masterful preparations...