One of the four humours of the body is yellow bile. By the 1700s, it was known that the gall bladder was associated with the liver and that the yellow bile produced by the liver was stored as the “gall” in the gall bladder. Certain medicines caused the gall to be expurged or expelled by the gall bladder, resulting in yellow pasty feces. The most common of these local plants–Podophyllum peltatum–was not at all mentioned by Osborn in any of his recipes.
Osborn’s process continues along the same therapeutic route, designed to treat the humours or disease cause travelling about the different organ systems. Treating the Jaundice required treating the liver and gall bladder, but Osborn’s formulas are focused on the latter. There is an emetic that causes one to throw up (sometimes this vomit is even yellow!), thus the removal of this excess gall. Cathartics clease the bowels as well as the gall and liver content. (If Podophyllum, it especially cleanses the gall and yellow bile, by irritating the bile duct and causing gall extrusion; thus the name for later remedies made with this plant–Carter’s Little Liver Pills). Due to their reddish blood-like coloration, Steeled Wine and Chalybeatus feed the blood (by adding blood you balance out he excess yellow bile and water). Notice again that near the end of this section, Osborn still talks about the need for expectorants, and talks about abating the swelling of the legs (bottom of page 32) and preventing dropsy from occuring (ditto).
The Pill Coche recipes has ingredients referring to three of the four humours. Ivory Soap is white, Aloes is in general clear and mucilaginous (clear/white = phlegm). Gum Myrrh is dark brown (black – black bile). Tincture of Saffron is yellow (for yellow bile); this tincture may be either produced using true saffron herb, but more likely it was the reduced iron alchemical recipe made using Iron, that was yellow instead of red in color. Continuing on this line of philosophy fr Osborn’s formula, we note it is missing the red blood ingredients (but then again he has already mentioned chalybeatus and steeled wine).
But more importantly, also note the Oleum Juniper, Oil of Juniper, which can range from clearish to greenish to blueish in color, depending on how it was made. This ingredient is the fifth element according to Paracelsus–the aromatic or volatile component of a plant medicine, its strongest ingredient bearing the most “entia” or ‘healing energy’ (stating this in overly modern terms).