Don't try this at home: "To make an oyntment, the most excellent in the worlde, whose vertues are infinite"

Than set it [the cauldron] vpon a small fire, and put in three of these blacke Vipers, iij. Todes .x. of these litle beastes, called in latine Tarantulae or Stelliones, which be like vnto Lisardes, hauinge spottes on their backes like Starres, and .l. Scorpions. And if ye can get anie other venimous beastes, put them in quicke, if not at the first time, at the least at euerie time whan ye can haue them: and after you haue well couered and closed the cawdron, giue it but a light fire, the space of .v. or .vi. daies. It shall be good to set the saied cawdron, in maner of a Fornayse, as it were to make Salt peter, or as Sope cawdrons be set: than after, by the space of a day, make the fire a litle greater, vntill all the venimous beastes be broken into pieces, and almost consumed in the sayd oyle, wherinto it should be good, to haue put first, a pot of good white Wine. Than hauing taken the cawdron from the fire and taken all the sayde beastes, presse them or wringe them hard in some canuesse or linnen cloth, weat[...] with white Wine."

I was reading this nice-sounding recipe for scented oil, containing lovely things like lavender, roses, cinnamon, nutmegs... and then I got to this part. I'd rather not put "venimous beastes" in my cosmetics, thank you very much.

Source: The secretes of the reuerende Maister Alexis of Piemount, 1558.