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NUTMEG.

A very delightful aromatic spice, growing in the Banda Islands, Amboyna, Isle of France, and in almost all the Islands of the South Seas. The Dutch monopolized this lucrative trade by circulating a report of its flourishing only in the former isles, their settlements, until it was contradicted about the year 1751. The Myristica, or Nutmeg tree, attains the height of about 30 feet, and the fruit is gathered in a green state, when the outer rind is taken off and thrown aside until it becomes in a state of putrefaction, from which springs up a sort of black mushroom, esteemed a delicacy by the natives. The next rind is the mace. (See Mace.) After gathering they are for a few days exposed to the sun, and then dried by the fire. The tinest being selected for exportation are watered with lime water, diluted with salt water, with which they are covered, when they are heaped together until they lose their superfluous moisture by heat; they are then fit for a voyage. A most delicious preserve is made of them whole in India, and the Dutch still retain by conquest or gift almost the entire crop, as well as of cloves and cinnamon. Nutmegs have been found serviceable in many diseases, but when used to excess have produced distressing soporific effects.

OLIVES.

The fruit of the Olea or Olive tree, growing in many of the warm parts of Europe, in France, Italy, and Portugal. There are several species, but the principal the common olive tree, which attains the height of 20 or 30 feet, and bears small clusters of white flowers, wbich are succeeded by oval fruit. Olives naturally have a bitter disagreeable taste, which is partly removed by the brine of aromatized sea salt, with which they are impreg · nated before we receive them. When intended for preservation they are gathered green, but they assume a dark red colour when ripe, and are eaten with pepper, salt, and oil. The Lucca Olives are smaller than the Spanish, and of a milder taste, but those from Provence, which are of a middling size, are most esteemed. Olives are chiefly valued for the oil which they produce, and that extracted from the pulp is the most superior. It is much used in medicine, also for soap, but never for painting, as it will not dry, and is an effectual cure for the stings of insects. The tree is often much injured by a worm peculiar to it. The wood is used by cabinet makers, as it takes a good polish and is prettily veined.

The olive branch has from the earliest period been regarded as emblematical of peace.

PRO

P

NATURE REVIEWED:

OR,

A HISTORY

Of the principal Domestic

PRODUCTIONS OF THE EARTH;

WITH AN EXPLANATION

OF THEIR

PROPERTIES AND USES,

COMPILED FROM THE BEST AUTHORITIES.

CHELMSFORD: PRINTED BY MEGGY AND CHALK. SOLD BY H. GOY; SWINBORNE, WALTER, AND TAYLOR, COLCHESTER ; W. MEGGY, YARMOUTH ; LONGMAN AND CO. BALD. WIN AND CO. HARRIS AND SON, DABTON AND HARVEY, LONDON; AND BY ALL OTHER BOOKSELLERS IN TOWN AND

COUNTRY.

1829.

OPIUM.

Tbe juice of the Papaver Album, or white poppy, which

grows in the fields of Asia Minor, in a similar way to our corn. The best Opium is produced on the soil about the Ganges. Opium is frequently taken for the purpose of lulling pain and procuring sleep. The heads of the poppies are bruised, and the juice which flows from the incisions is collected, and afterwards moistened with water or honey, and then worked up into cakes for sale. In this country it is only taken medicinally, but it is considered as a great luxury in the Eastern parts, and is smoked in a similar way to tobacco. Opium contains gum, resin, salt, an earthy matter, and an essential oil, in which last its narcotic power has been experimentally found to reside. Our garden lettuce contains a milky juice, wbich, when inspissated, has the character of Opium, and contains the same narcotic quality.

OIL.

An inflammable unctuous fluid, extracted from various natural bodies belonging either to the mineral, animal, or vegetable kingdoms. Mineral Oil is that fluid called naphtha or bitumen. Another oil is obtained from the fat of animals (50) by dis

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