I don't yet have a copy of the NBP, but its on my list now and I'll source a copy in the future, I do have a copy of Harold Ward's "Herbal Manual" I picked it up last night to have a proper read and he has a weights and measures chart inside. I also have a copy of W. Bowker's "Valuable Herbal Prescriptions", which is a good source of herbal remedies that were prescribed by Victorian herbalists, even if some of the illustrations of herbs are incorrect, anyone that has access to a copy check out the picture of Cleavers (Galium aperine) opposite page 12. and Comfrey opposite page 15 :oO Some of these old herbal prescription books. and VHP is one of them. are a little 'mixed up' the recipes have the common name only for some ingredients and the latin name only for others.
I'm intrigued by the information on Germe Syrup, Bowker unfortunately doesn't give a recipe for it, nor can I find one, you wouldn't have any clues would you Kevin? Bowker also mentions Child's Powder, Slack has a recipe for Child's Cordial that contains aniseed, lobelia and valerian, I wondered if the powder was a variation on that or something different? I know a lot of the Victorian remedies contained lobelia and cayenne, thanks to Dr Coffin bringing over the Thomsonian System and there was a lot of controversy around the use of both those ingredients at the time.
I don't intend to make the Child's Powder, I'm just curious to know what it was. I remember 'Fennings Cooling Powders' that my Mum administered by rubbing on the gums when myself and my siblings were teething, I very much doubt that they contained any herbal components in 70's from what I can gather on the internet they're still being made today and are paracetemol based, but they could have been based on an old herbal remedy originally?
What I'm having trouble grasping is the grains, does/did a herbalist literally count out a grain of cayenne pepper and for 8 drachms 480 individual grains are counted out, or is a grain another unit of measurement?
Incidentally Kevin, thanks for the photos you sent last month, very interesting, shall email soon