Thursday, April 5, 2018

La Maison Rustique - The Potherbs - Rocket and Tarragon

From: L'agriculture et maison rustique, Charles Estienne (Rouen, 1658).

The Potherbs

(Chapter 27)


Rocket and Tarragon

Rocket, an herb common in salads, is good to temper the coldness of lettuce. It can be sown and planted as much in winter as in summer, because it does not fear the cold, nor does it beg for airing or require much work. It likes to be frequently weeded and fertilized in sandy soil. Rocket should not be eaten alone because of the excessive heat it brings to those who use it so it should be given a companion such as lettuce when eaten in a salad, because one will temper the other. It is good nevertheless for urinating, applied in the form of a poultice to the penis. It is said that three leaves of rocket picked with the left hand, pounded with mead, and taken in drink are excellent for jaundice and hardening of the spleen. Rocket cooked and mixed with sugar cures the coughs of little children. Tarragon, which gardeners call “estrangon,” is made of flaxseed or in many places from the head of red onion, which is the strongest one can find, and planted in well fertilized earth, and after it has sprouted the height of a foot or so, it is necessary to take the end and replant it in the same soil, and water it often. Tarragon has the same virtues as rocket, and should not be eaten alone, but with similar lettuce and herbs.

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