Beech lived to 108, attributed his long life to it (M Baker. 1980). Indeed, there was a once popular "restorative cordial", supposed to confer longevity, called Carmelite Water, apparently still made in France, under the name Eau de mélisse des Carmes, by macerating the fresh flowers and tops in fortified white wine, together with a variety of spices (Clair). There was also an Aqua Mellis, taken to be a decoction of balm, that was much used in 17th century England against baldness (Burton).
After all this it should come as a surprise to find balm used as a remedy for illness caused by witchcraft. It comes from a deposition made to the Assizes in Leicester in 1717, and was described as "used and prescribed by the cunning men", who put rosemary, balm, "and many gold flowers in a bagge to the patients brest as a charm and to give them inwardly a decoction of the same in a quart of ale and their own blood ..." (Ewen. 1929). As far off as South America, there is a similar belief, for balm was used as an ingredient in the ritual bath that is part of a Brazilian healing ceremony (Williams).
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The information in this book is useful to anyone wanting to start beekeeping as a hobby or a business. It was written for beginners. Those who have never looked into beekeeping, may not understand the meaning of the terminology used by people in the industry. We have tried to overcome the problem by giving explanations. We want you to be able to use this book as a guide in to beekeeping.