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The gem electuary was reputedly the brainchild of Maswijah al-Marindi or Mesuë the Younger, who died in AD 1015, but the recipe was first published in the 1470s. Combining finely comminuted sapphires, chalcedony emeralds, garnets and amber together with pearls, red coral, ivory and musk along with a range of herbal ingredients, an exotic and highly expensive paste, usually bound together with sugar or honey, was produced. The list of ingredients evolved slightly, especially in light of the availability of some of the herbal materials. The electuary was used, both as an individual medicine and in combination with additional...

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