Amfion or Opium, Thee, Coffee, and Tobacco.
MOst Persians use Amfion or Opium, that is, Juice or Oyl of Poppy; by them call'd Offiuhn and Tiriak, (as the Berry Chas Cehask) and by the Turks onely, Maslac; which they making up in little Pills like Pease swallow: Those that use themselves to it, may take a quarter of an Ounce or more at a time: Some take it every other, or third day, onely to set them into an intoxicating Extasie, where they please themselves with strange Ima∣ginations. They are gathered in several Places of Persia, especially about Ispahan, after this man∣ner: The white Poppy being cut produces a milky Juice, which having stood a while, and be∣coming black, is taken and made fit to be used. The Druggists and Apothecaries make great ad∣vantage thereof. But Opium is not onely used much in Persia. but also in Turky, and India. It is also said, that some Women when their Husbands and they cannot agree, contrive their dispatch with a Dose of Opium.* From the Husk or Shell the Persians also extract a Juice, which they call Coknar, much drunk by the Soldiers, especi∣ally in the time of Schach Abbas, when they were forbidden to drink Wine; for it revives the Spi∣rits for the present, but is nothing so wholsome; for soon after their Bodies are so debilitated that they are unfit for Service; wherefore Schach Abbas prohibited upon pain of Death, either to make or fell this Liquor: Moreover all Vessels with this Liquor wherever they were found, were bro∣ken no, and stav'd immediatly before their Doors. But after all this, and the before mention'd first Law made by King Abbas, he preferring an Incon∣venience Page 54before a Mischief, permitted the People to drink Wine again as formerly, in stead of Cocknar.
*They are great Takers of Tobacco, insomuch that People of all sorts and Degrees Smoak it in their Temples and other publick Places: They have it from Bagdad or Babylon, and Curdistan, but so ill prepar•d, that they desire our European To∣bacco, which they call Inglis Tambacu, because the English bring the greatest quantities thither: They take it not as we do, but suck it through two Pipes joyn'd together; but first they take a Glass Bottle or Indian Nut, or a Cabach, which is a kind of Shell, that holds about a Pint, into which they put more or less (sometimes sweet) Water, leaving sufficient room for Smoak; then they put the two Pipes through the Mouth of the Bottle; the one contains the Tobacco in one Bowl, and through the other goes the Smoak; the end of one Pipe stands as far from the bottom, as the end of the other is from the Water, viz. about a Thumbs breadth.
The Persians generally with their Tobacco drink Coffee, made from the Arabian Caowa, or Persian Cahwee, which they dry and pulverize, and after decoct, as we now use, and have learn'd from them, of which we shall enlarge when we come to Arabia, the Place where it grows.
They use also Tee or Tea, being very common, and sold in publick Houses, by them call'd Chat tai Chane, that is, Houses of Catayan Tzai, or Thee, of which likewise in its proper place.