Also... "All of the standard cooking spices appear in <i>Circa instans</i>, and hte author discusses their humoral properties, how long they may be kept, and what they are good for. ... Culinary spices were of value in balancing diet and as medicines in themselves, but equally or more important as drugs were exotic imports used primarily for fragrance rather than flavoring. Their wonderful scent was thought to be a token of medical efficacy and to bring a kind of healing. ... certain of these aromatic products ((were)) considered spices by merchants and apothecaries: resins like frankincense, myrrh, mastic, and balsam, along with the four perfumed animal secretions: ambergris, civet, castoreum, and musk."
Paul Freedman, <i>Out of the East: Spices and the Medieval Imagination</i> (New Haven and London: Yale UP, 2008), 63