hist-brewing: warning & revision

adam larsen euphonic at flash.net
Mon Jun 26 14:11:49 PDT 2000


    As of  late i have been flooded with over a dozen esquires regarding
the use of some rather exotic herbs that are dangerous.  It appears that
several web sites have been posting recipes using the following herbs :
Witch's foot, Thorn apple and a Datura root ( American South Western
variety).  Under no circumstances should you use these herbs in your
ales or any other internal application.  I have known a few folks who
have had extremely dangerous experiences with these elements so please,
be some what less adventurous in your use of herbs and avoid a trip to
the hospital.
    Other herbs which i have had mixed reports about are the intoxicants
Darnel and Melilot.  I am not willing to try to use these herbs my self
and i would suggest that one consult with several medical professionals
and herbalists before attempting to use them.  As a general rule one
must be careful when looking at old recipes as they may call for herbs
that have narcotic or other dangerous properties which very few people
are capable of  determining the threats inherent with their use with any
degree of reliability.
    A brief addendum to my previous post should mention that Viungs Rok
& Malt brewery did make a modernized version of Gottlandsdricka until
they shut down the brewery three years ago.  Apparently they no longer
make the soda version of  the drink but another brewer apparently does.
I have still found no evidence that the traditional versions of the
drink were ever made by any commercial brewer.

        Juniper Warning

    I was not sure if i mentioned this before but it appears that some
herbalists maintain that juniper products should not be consumed by
pregnant, possibly pregnant or nursing women.  I have no way of
verifying any health risk associated with such a claim so i would
recommend that when in doubt err on the side of caution.
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