Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

QUERY: ‘Sriprius’

Posted on by royvickery |

Kristine Kowalchuk, of Edmonton, Canada, writes:  ‘I have come upon a strange reference to a Derbyshire 17th century remedy involving a “sriprius bag” (the medicinal water is poured through it during the preparation).  I’m trying to determine what ‘sriprius’ means, and wonder if it is a variant spelling of Scirpus [club rush] or Cyperus [galingale], both of which have been used in weaving mats and baskets.’

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Comment                                                                                                                  On the Material Collected page of this website there is a note about galingale being used to make, amongst other things, mats, but it’s unlikely that galingale ever grew in Derbyshire, so the sriprius bag must have been brought in from elsewhere.  It would be useful to know what the ‘medicinal water’ was.  Was it clean water which was poured through the bag, implying that the process somehow transferred healing powers to it, or was it water in which solids had been infused or boiled, in which case the bag would have been used simply as a strainer [RV, 9 October 2015].

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