Take a pot of barley, and seethe it in a gallon of well-water, and let it
seethe until the barley be lost; then strain it and put thereto as much
new wort as of the aforesaid licquor, and put therein a good quantity
of sage, and as much hyssop, and a pennyworth of liquorice well
bruised; then seethe it again until it be half consumed away; then
strain it and put it into a glass, or into some other close vessel, and so
let it stand the space of one whole day, and let the party grieved drink
two or three spoonfuls of it at a time, both morning and evening, and
this will help him in a short space. This hath been well proved.
– A Rich Storehouse, or Treasurie for the Diseased, 1607
'Wort' is unfermented beer – the mix of grain and water, which would
be soothing to drink; hyssop is a good expectorant, while sage has long
been used against fevers. Liquorice’s soothing properties mean that it is still
a common ingredient in cough medicines.