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 Powders in General
First of all, it must be understood that any medicine that is prepared in the manner of an electuary or in pills can be given as a powder, but if necessary, scammony (‘scamonia’, the plant scammony which is a purgative - need better translation for this as it comes up several times) is added in the proper portion. Some, however, are so disgusted with ready-made medicines that they do not want to take them in any way, to whom we give a powder that is strong for this purpose and perhaps a laxative, and we offer them unwary at the beginning of the meal in some food or drink. And when they have received the laxative powder, they must abstain from food, lest the power of the medicine be suffocated by an excessive quantity of it. And note that medicine given in powder is more effective against the vices of parts removed from the stomach than pills or suppositories. For dust penetrates deeply by its subtlety. Especially diuretics and the like need a fine powdering, so that they penetrate more quickly to the members. Therefore, whatever medicine has reference to the remote parts must be finely powdered; but, as some say, laxative medicine quickly loses its power when powdered. Wherefore it is better that they be made with honey or sugar, or at least with a juice of their own competence, to be bound together and formed into pieces. And when you wish to use them, they should be diluted with some liquid of sufficient strength and taken by mouth. But the laxative powder should be given to those who have a fever with water, not to those who have a fever with wine. For dust quickly loses its power because of its fineness. Therefore, at least the laxative powder should not be used for a fortnight or a month longer unless it is prepared as aforesaid. Moreover, when a bird or other animal is to be pulverized, they are first placed in a crude pot with a lid and lined with clay in a boiling oven - not to burn them, but to dry them so that they can be pulverized.
Of Waters in General
Against different diseases, they find different medicinal waters, some from leaves, some from flowers, some from roots, and from many other things in different ways, as will be evident from the inside, about some for example. And you must know that all herbal waters have the same virtues as the herb from which they are extracted.
But when you want to draw water from flowers or leaves or the like, they are collected in the morning and thrown away with sticks, cut a little and are broken a little in a mortar. And from there the lower vessel of the distiller is filled up to the middle and covered with another part of the distiller. And then those vessels are bound well round the lip with clay, and then they are placed on an earthen furnace which has a narrow opening. And then the coals are placed without smoke, and the water drips through the mouth of the dropper, which is received in a glass vial, and reserved for use.