Mrs Grieve on Gooseberries
Type of Spiritual Experience
The plague was caused by bacterial infections, as such there is the implication here that gooseberries have antibacterial porperties:
"Bubonic plague is a zoonotic disease, circulating mainly in fleas on small rodents, and is one of three types of bacterial infections caused by Yersinia pestis (formerly known as Pasteurella pestis), that belongs to the family Enterobacteriaceae. Without treatment, the bubonic plague kills about two thirds of infected humans within four days.
Bubonic plague—along with the septicemic plague and the pneumonic plague, which are the two other manifestations of Y. pestis—is commonly believed to be the cause of the Black Death that swept through Europe in the 14th century and killed an estimated 25 million people,"
A description of the experience
---Synonyms---Fea. Feverberry. Feabes. Carberry. Groseille. Grozet. Groser. Krusbaar. Deberries. Goosegogs. Honeyblobs. Feaberry.
---Parts Used---Fruit, leaves.
---Habitat---Central and Northern Europe, especially Britain. Ribes Uva Crispa, also, as far east as Nepal and south to Morocco.
The yellow gooseberries have usually the richest flavour for dessert, and the best wine made from them very closely resembles champagne. The red are generally the most acid, supporting the fact that acids change vegetable blues to red.
The fruit does not appear to be highly valued in the South of Europe, but further North is very popular for tarts, pies, sauces, chutneys, jams, and dessert, also for preserving in bottles for winter use. The young and tender leaves are eaten in salads.
---Constituents---Citric acid, pectuse, sugar, and mineral matters, the pectuse causing the fruit to be excellent for jellies.
---Medicinal Action and Uses---The juice was formerly said to 'cure all inflammations.' In the green berries it is sub-acid and is corrective of putrescent foods, such as mackerel or goose. The light jelly made from the red berries is valuable for sedentary, plethoric, and bilious subjects.
As a spring medicine, gooseberry is more valuable than rhubarb. In one of the many books on the Plague, published in the sixteenth century, the patient is recommended to eat 'Goseberries.' Gerard, describing it under the name of 'Feaberry,' says:
'the fruit is much used in diners, sawces for meates and used in brothe instead of Verjuyce, which maketh the brothe not only pleasant to taste, but is greatly profitable to such as are troubled with a hot, burning ague.'
The leaves were formerly considered very wholesome and a corrective of gravel. An infusion taken before the monthly period will be found a useful tonic for growing girls.
Of an infusion of 1 OZ. of dried leaves to 1 pint of water, 1 teacupful three times a day.