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Posset pot with Chinese decoration, Netherlands, 1701-1750

A popular treatment for colds and other minor illnesses, posset was traditionally made from hot milk curdled with ale or wine and could be thickened with breadcrumbs. Spices were sometimes also added. Posset pots generally have two handles and a spout through which the mixture can be sucked , although the mixture could be spooned out for those less able to feed themselves. Such pots could also be used to feed soup to a patient or help them take in fluids. Dutch posset pots tend to be straight sided and this is a typical example.

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Glossary: nursing

The study and practice of caring for and waiting on the sick, injured, or others unable to look after themselves or to deal with their specific medical needs.

Glossary: feeding

To provide with food or nourishment

Glossary: common cold

a widespread infectious virus disease causing inflammation of the mucous membranes of the nose, throat, and bronchial tubes. Symptoms include a sore throat, stuffy or runny nose, headache, cough, and general malaise.

Glossary: posset pot

A vessel for posset (hot milk curdled with ale or wine and seasoned with spices). Made in England in the 1700s and 1800s out of stoneware, tin-glazed earthenware, or glass.